Shortages. We Americans don’t really know what these are with the exception of the OPEC (maybe) induced gas shortages back in 1973 and again in ’79. I said “maybe” because I had a client who at the time owned a dozen supertankers, several were filled with oil sitting in the harbor and weren’t allowed to off load. Truly we don’t know what it is to “want” and have never experienced “empty shelves” with the exception of the occasional hurricane or other natural event. Even so, goods started to reappear within a week or so and the “shortage” would go away nearly as fast as it came.
This past weekend I decided to go out and target practice with my family. I stopped at Walmart on the way because we were low on “practice shot” and didn’t want to waste the more expensive hollow point ammo. Lo and behold, in the locked case where normally sits 1,000 or more boxes of ammo… there was NONE!
Well almost none, I counted 7 boxes of odd caliber ammo that had not been hoarded. I knew that the local gun dealer was regularly selling out but I never dreamed that even Walmart would be empty. I figured that with their buying power they would still have stock left… I was wrong! The woman behind the counter told me that they get shipments each and every night but normally by 8:00 each morning everything is gone.
So why is this happening? Well, a couple of reasons. First because people are scared. Scared that an out of control government will ban guns and ammo in direct conflict with this nation’s Constitution. The political and media rhetoric after the Newtown, CT shooting was turned up full volume. I won’t get into it here, but do yourself a favor and spend an hour or so researching what happened, what “really” happened. There are many contradictions and quite a few things don’t add up just as they haven’t for other “events” in the past. In any case, the population has voted. I don’t mean “voted” as in where Diebold counts the votes. No, they voted with their wallets and decided to spend their money on ammunition and arms. As a side note, the local dealer here has not even seen a new in the box AR in over 2 months. What was retailing for about $800 3 months ago is now $1,800 for a used one. Ah, supply and demand!
But I said that there were 2 reasons for the ammo shortage… there are. The Dept. of Homeland Security has ordered another 21 million rounds bringing the total purchase to 1.6 BILLION rounds. This is enough to kill every living American 5 times over and then some! And this doesn’t even account for those carrying the guns and doing the shooting! Now, if you will take your “adult” thinking cap off and put on the one from “3rd grade,” please ask yourself “WHY?” Why would it be necessary for Homeland Security to have this many rounds of ammunition? Do they fear a mass mob crashing the Mexican or Canadian borders? OR… are they stocking up for something else? “Something else” that we don’t know about? Well, seriously, we “know about it” but we just don’t know what “it” will exactly look like or when it will start. This is not humorous stuff at all, people are merely acting in their own self preservation modes and doing what they feel necessary to protect themselves. It never matters “why” supply or demand increase or decrease, price and availability are always affected one way or the other.
My wife read the above and asked me, “What does this have to do with investments?” First of all, your investments won’t mean a single thing if you cannot protect yourselves. Secondly, it has to do with “supply and demand.” With factories cranking out guns and ammo at 110% of capacity, how could a shortage exist? Now, think about the gold and silver mining industry, peak production took place over 10 years ago. What do you think will happen when investors, big BIG investors not just in the U.S. but ALL over the world vote with their trillion Dollar wallets? Do you really believe that you’ll have any chance at all to purchase silver or gold? No, you won’t which is why you need to be pre-positioned because what “was” available yesterday will go into hiding over night. This is not even a bold prediction anymore. This is exactly what will happen and again illustrate the simple concept of supply and demand!