There are a lot of alternative currencies right now. Sustainable Personal Finance has mentioned a couple of ones in the past including the Canadian Tire Money and the Salt Spring Island’s local currency. Using alterative currency helps boost your purchasing power especially when your country’s official currency is weak. While purchasing alternative currencies that are specific to a certain nation is good, it’s better if you have something that most countries around the world consider as legal tender.
Gold’s remains as the most popular alternative currency because it’s finite, can be accepted as payment in most countries, and is backed by real value. Bitcoin, the newer alt currency, was the hype several years ago but lost most of its shine because of one thing: it isn’t backed by anything. Bitcoin is just computer generated and once it loses its demand over the years, it can’t be melted and used for other things unlike the precious yellow metal. Gold, apart from being a currency, can be used in making medicine, aerospace components, and electronics.
What’s great about gold is that it can be purchased in many forms. If you can’t afford a bar, you can always buy coins that differ in content. Some have 1/4, 1/2, and sometimes 1/10 gold content to accommodate investors on a budget. Although jewelries don’t cost as much as gold in the form of bars or coins, they can still make neat investments that you can liquidate in case of an emergency. If you don’t want to store gold in your own home, you can always open an account in your bank and let them keep your gold reserves.
Investing in gold for the short term is good but the yellow metal’s true purpose lie in the long term. Most people invest in it, forget about it, and just remember it in case markets go bad. In other words, investors don’t sell gold even if its prices reach all-time lows and only liquidate it in case of an emergency.
Germany is the best example when it comes to investing in gold for the long run. Thanks to its vast precious metal reserves, it was able to keep its stability during the great inflation in 1970s. Today, the precious yellow metal costs around $1,200 an ounce and if Germany decides to sell all of its gold, it would be able to support its own economy for years without the help of any other country.
Remember, holding an alternative currency can help in times of emergency. If you’re going to invest in one, make sure to pick something that is accepted in many countries.