America’s westward expansion owes much to the search for gold. Strikes in 1848 at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California set off some 300,000 explorers looking to transform their lives. Although few actually found their fortune directly in gold, other entrepreneurs “struck it rich” by establishing banks, saloons, grocery stories, and more to provide goods and services for prospectors.
American “gold fever” still lives on in our culture with reality television shows like the Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush” and PBS’s “Antiques Roadshow,” which appeal to many lost treasure seekers. With such a high demand, it’s no surprise that another form of gold rush reality “show” has sprung from the eccentric mind of 85-year-old millionaire Forrest Fenn.
A successful art dealer living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Mr. Fenn has created the ultimate hidden treasure challenge, whose broad-ranging map and enigmatic instructions would impress the likes of Egyptian treasure hunter Giovanni Battista Belzoni or fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien.
Fenn, a self-taught archaeologist, claims to have buried an “ornate, Romanesque box,” that’s 10 x 10 inches and weighs 40 lbs fully loaded with treasure, according to NPR. His longtime friend Doug Preston claims to have seen the box prior to burial in Fenn’s walk-in vault, full of “gold nuggets, gold coins, pre-Columbian gold figures, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds.”
Assuming Preston’s description is true and the weight of the box is accurate, a conservative estimate attributing three-quarters (30 lbs. or 437.5 troy ounces) of the box’s weight in gold would bring the total worth in the yellow metal alone to $546,000 USD (437.5 oz at $1,248/oz). Adding in the precious stones may take the total worth to well over a million dollars.
Fenn has outlined the vague details of the location in his self-published book, The Thrill of the Chase, where he explains the treasure is buried somewhere between Santa Fe and the Canadian border at an elevation of 5,000 feet. That’s an area approximately the size of Texas, covering 255,000 square miles, and crossing four states.
The lure of finding the gold has tempted thousands to venture into the Rocky Mountain terrain and has so far accounted for one missing person, Randy Bilyeu, a retired mechanic from Florida who traveled to Colorado looking for the elusive horde. Although his car, his dog, and a raft were found near the Rio Grande, south of Santa Fe, Randy has not been seen since.
If you’ve got a daredevil spirit, grab your metal detector and a copy of Fenn’s book and get to work. For the rest of us, there’s an easier and much safer way to acquire gold and silver from the privacy and comfort of your own home. SchiffGold’s brokers are standing by to take your order today.
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The annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) was released recently and shows 1 in 4 workers surveyed have less than $1,000 saved for their retirement. The RCS, published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, measures statistics taken from 1,000 individuals aged 25 and over about their retirement confidence, planning strategies, and savings amounts. The survey’s results show a disconnect between US worker confidence in their ability to retire comfortably and their actual preparedness.
State Senator from Maine Eric Brakey recently introduced Senate Bill 664, which attempts to provide sales tax exemption for precious metals purchases of “gold and silver coins and bullion.” Passing Brakey’s bill would align Maine with many other states that think taxing precious metals is bad business and discourages consumers from protecting their wealth.
The current attitudes towards taxing precious metals comes from whether they’re perceived as a regular consumer good like Starbucks coffee, or a type of investment or currency.
This week, Trump laid out his big budget adjustments and issued a loud silence about the Fed’s decision to hike rates for the second time since Election Day. In the same week, he’s also changed opinions on unemployment numbers, which he once lambasted and is now using to prove his effectiveness as a leader on economic matters.
Rate Hike Aftermath: Trump Proves His Bite is Weaker than His Bark
- “We’re not going to comment on the Fed’s decisions,” a White House spokesperson said.
- Trump’s silence goes against his campaign rhetoric blasting the Fed for being too “political”.
- Trump may be biding his time until new members are appointed to the Fed.
Many investors are looking for an opinion on the rate hike from the President along with a coherent picture of how he wants to change the financial institution.
Trump seems to have two different opinions of the Fed’s role. In May of 2016, he actually complimented Yellen’s decision to keep rates at historic lows for the long term. However, he’s also explored the notion of returning to the gold standard and true commodity-backed currency.
Prior to the FOMC raising the Federal Funds Rate this week, the Atlanta Fed revised its estimate of Q1 GDP from 3.4% to 0.9%, an enormous downward revision that suggests Chairwoman Janet Yellen and FOMC authorities aren’t as data dependent as they claim. The serious lack of economic growth indicated by the downward revision should give the Fed pause, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, as Peter Schiff pointed out in his latest podcast.
The FOMC raised interest rates on Wednesday, with the decision coming on the heels of the Consumer Price Index data released Wednesday morning by the Bureau of Labor. The report shows an uptick in the price of consumer goods for February, a net gain of 0.1%. Although down from January’s 0.6% increase, a year-over-year look shows consumer prices have risen 2.7%, which is 0.7% above the Fed’s target rate of 2%.
The rising cost of most goods and services is in large part due to the failed monetary policies of the Fed. Money printing and quantitative easing have created runaway inflation, which is driving up prices for consumers.
In his latest podcast, Peter Schiff discusses the February Non-Farm Payroll Report and President Trump’s change in attitude towards the credibility of the data. During his campaign, Trump continually told his supporters the truth about the tanking US economy, characterizing the jobs statistics as phony data.
Ever since his election, however, he now considers these same numbers as credible indicators of the positive impact of his presidency and the general health of the economy. Peter shines a light on Trump’s hypocrisy, showing how current payroll numbers are essentially the same as those under Obama.
Ancient Babylonia is known as the “cradle of civilization,” because it helped develop many important parts of our modern society, from laws (Code of Hammurabi) to advancements in astronomy and architecture. It also helped establish rules and procedures that have influenced modern day banking institutions. A quick look back at Babylonian finance provides insights into the basics of how our financial systems work today.
This week, Trump announced the dawn of TrumpCare, his term coined for the replacement Republicans have built for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), initiated by Obama. The reaction from the entire country was less than desired from the White House, as both sides of the aisle criticized the newly proposed healthcare reformation plan. On top of that, Trump’s self-attributed growing markets may soon be at risk of halting as a rate hike is all but certain at the upcoming FOMC meeting. It, along with slow-to-get-rolling infrastructure plans, could decelerate the President’s market rally.
To understand the impact of inflation on the US dollar, it’s helpful to compare its purchasing power to gold over time. Fifty years ago, the dollar’s value was quite substantial, but over time artificially low interest rates and money printing by the Fed have helped erode the greenback’s potency. In contrast, gold’s unique ability to preserve wealth and purchasing power is easy to see when compared to the dollar over the same time period.
The following infographic shows the difference between two different savings scenarios:
- An American stores $3,500 in a safety deposit box in 1967 and takes it out in 2017.
- An American stores $3,500 worth of gold (100 oz) in a safety deposit box in 1967 and takes it out in 2017.
If each person then went on a spending spree, here’s what could they buy.