(sample of a chapter from my book I’m writing) If you want to sign up for Kinesis – check out my referral link here.
My earliest memories of silver was looking through massive piles of change for mercury dimes, indian head pennies, and buffalo nickels at my paternal grandfather’s house. They would have these cardboard beer cases filled 3 inches deep with change and dump it out on the table. I was maybe 7 or 8, and occasionally something I found they would let me add to my coin collection.
I was born in 1975, and my dad sold silver as ‘the coin king” in our local paper during this time. Our address was listed. That ended how you think it ended, unfortunately. But as a small child – coin collections were everything to my dad and I. He used to go to local coin dealers and get coins like “VF” and “Good” and “Fine” and the like. That was my first experience with numismatics, and I can tell you that is an endless, bottomless pit. But I had this metal lock box, and I had some coins in there – with all of the above, the buffalo nickels, indian head pennies, wheat pennies, and mercury dimes.
Around the age of 10 or 11 or so, my maternal grandparents got me the Statue of Liberty from the US Mint. I think it was this, but my memory of it exactly isn’t great.
So I had this coin collection and it went dormant around the age of 12-13. My dad and I had a million interests – I was die hard dedicated to things, and my dad was more “squirrel”, and I think this is when he started baseball cards.
Likewise – I had always been fascinated then also with gold. Around us in PA, it’s easy to find pyrite – fool’s gold – but hard to find the real thing. As a kid I used to like digging at places near a creek by us and would occasionally find some pyrite. I ended up getting books with rocks, and loved looking at gold around quartz, etc. I did a 4th grade science project on rocks – based off of a case of rocks my dad’s best friend gave me. He was an amateur rock hound with a massive basement filled with these rocks all framed and on the walls. I was seven, and I could not stop looking at it. To this day, I still have that rock collection. So if anyone knows of a Dick Ertl who lived in Richmond, Virginia 40 years ago – please let him know how much that gift meant to me.
On my mom’s side, my mom was a foreign exchange student to Peru in 1969 and watched the moon landing from there. All growing up, she kept talking about her silver from there. I never got to see it. Only weeks before her death, did she show it to me. She had lost it in boxes for the better part of 40 years through the moves, and I finally saw it. Only a few ounces that I will never sell – but all growing up I heard her talking about her silver from Peru.
In total, it’s maybe 4-5 oz. I was expecting some chest filled to the brim. Nope. I’ll never sell this, as it has so much more sentimental value to me, but this is how something can get passed down through the generations. I’ll give this to my 13 year old someday, as he was close with his grandmother.
It all went sideways when I was 21 or so. Christmas was coming up, and I was going home for the semester. I was broke. Like I didn’t have gas money to get home broke. Christmas by us was always a big deal, and college students aren’t known to have a lot of cash. So the only two real things I had of value – my coin collection and my silver trumpet, I sold. Oh yeah – forgot to mention I had a silver trumpet in HS and college orchestras. I sold my two most prized possessions…for stupid shit no one would ever remember. That’s around the time in my life I started to get bitter with excesses for Christmas. Begged people in my life to scale it back, as it cost me everything to get things for people they forgot about days or weeks later. So that’s the genesis of my “humbug” times around Christmas. I abhor the excesses and feel the commercialism really took over the spirit of it.
So from the age of 21 to 44, I held no precious metals. Forgot everything I knew. One day in 2019, I read about the repo crisis of 9/16/2019, and I became terrified. At this time of my life, also, my wife was a few months pregnant and my mom was in the last weeks of her life battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer for 15 months. I needed to learn, quickly, how to protect against a downturn in the markets. I watched the Big Short, again, and figured that if an endgame was near – that our currency may be at risk this time.
I did what anyone reading this probably did. Spent every waking moment for months, and later years, understanding everything I could about silver, and gold, by proxy. My commute to work was 90 mins each way, and I started listening to the stacker channels. This evolved into Mike Maloney and Steve St. Angelo’s SRSRocco Report, and around the same time, Chris Marcus at Arcadia economics. I listened to every interview I could, every book I could read. Every little grain of information was being added to my brain at 1,000 mph. I then evolved towards the miners, and took my MBA background into researching the hell out of this.
More than 3 years later, I have at least 100 blogs on precious metals and miners, hundreds of threads on Twitter, and 10 or 11 media appearances where I discussed a lot of my research with others. I find the likes of David Morgan to be an inspiration – “The Silver Guru”. How does one get a nickname like that? I’m NOT an industry insider, but I would consider myself a now
lifelong learner” in silver and gold dedicated to try and educate others about sound money and the benefits of re-introducing precious metals to the everyday “Joe Sixpack”. I spent 6 years in grad school – 4 of which for my MBA – and none of that ever talked about gold or silver, at all. I feel society has been gaslit into thinking this is money…
And they don’t understand that is currency. That gold and silver have been money for thousands of years, and are in the Constitution!
What I would like to do is to continue my research in the field. I feel like I do deep dives into these things for years and master them. At on point, I “educated” myself into a 175 pound weight loss by understanding nutrition at the base level. I wanted to apply the same rigors to my research of PMs as I did my graduate degrees and my weight loss.
Now, what I’m looking to do is to introduce my passion for gold and silver to my children – and others. At home, I’m trying to raise junior stackers. My wife had once showed me a $50 bond someone bought for her as a kid. That was a tradition here – grandparents might get you a bond or something to teach you how to save.
My venture back into this was in 2019 – as I mentioned above. But a few years before, my grandfather died. Apparently, he had silver, and my mother and her siblings went to coin shops to trade it in. They saved a roll of dimes, a peace dollar, and a Susan B Anthony dollar for each of the 6 grandchildren. The peace dollar was in a paper and plastic wrapper with $38 written on it.
So I knew after the repo mess, I needed to get silver bullion. Off to the coin shop I went. I took my roll of dimes and $38 peace dollar and wanted to get silver bullion!
I shop up there at Steinmetz in York. See – I had ZERO clue about anything at this point. I knew I had a $38 peace dollar, and figured someone was going to try and haggle me. He told me, “no” at the $38. Had a bunch of Peace and Morgan dollars in a bin for $15. THIS is the moment where I had to put aside my old memory of numismatics, and understand the bullion world. That Peace dollar was not some super condition – it was cull, looking back on it. The roll of dimes, I thought, because they were mercury dimes, would be worth more due to their age. No. It was bullion.
He told me if I wanted to stack silver, to keep what I had, then he showed me the Eagles and 1, 5, and 10 oz bars on the other side of the case. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
I had a love at first sight moment. The eagles were beautiful!! I bought a little of everything!
I got ahead of myself the next few months. Like you all, I was racing to buy in before silver went moon! I was buying at $16 and $17, so yeah – I sort of did front run it. After I got a little pile, I then focused on my miners – which is where all of my non-real estate holdings are at. My business side fell in love also with mines and the speculation.
The future of my writing
Over the next 5 months, I’d like to write a book that’s for everyone. Something you could give your teenager to help them understand being a junior stacker and why. How a 20 something should always have a portion of their holdings in silver. To the advanced fund guys the obscene supply/demand fundamentals and how this massive “nickel-like” move is inevitable (not imminent). I want to tie some of this then in with emerging markets, CBDCs, and where the future of money might be – and why. I even have philosophies on how one might layer PM investments to protect against the stupid shit my dad did with keeping quantities in the home – for example, as a rule, I stack more lead than silver in the home. Make of that what you will, but every household should have at least a few ounces to protect against worst case scenarios.
Maybe there will never be another Silver Guru, but I would like to add to the space where I can, to help reach out and tell our story to others. Over Christmas – I’m going to start writing my book. I have written hundreds of research papers in grad school – and while I love the research, blogging allows me more freedom to wing it and “recall someone saying” rather than getting out the APA manual. I’d like to write this first book and self-publish to get something out there and get some experience in the field. The hope is that the book provides a lot better information than a blog, but reads a hell of a lot easier than a research paper. One problem I’m running into, is a lot of my blogging I use visual aids with charts, pictures – this is a LOT different in the publishing world, so if any of you out there have tips on how to get visual aids in, please let me know.
Hopefully I’ll have something done by late Spring. I think there’s a massive move up coming, and this could be a really good time to get something out there. Join me for the ride. I love learning every single day. I’m not “the expert”, but maybe 20 years from now I will be. I’m a researcher who is passionate about silver, has been around this since childhood, and want to help others learn the importance. I’ll let the experts be the experts and I’ll quote them.
My GOALS for the book:
- Get it done by May 2023 and ready to go.
- Understand the publishing process, from soup to nuts
- Get introduced to an editor – my buddy of 25 years, Miles Watson, is a writer who has written a ton of fiction, and I hope to learn a bit from him. Take a look at his page and support his work! Cage life was the first of his that I read and it blew me away!
- Understand how to self-publish. What SW to use, what page count to have, the type of book size, page sizes, paper types, etc.
- Break even. I have a day job, this is a hobby/passion project.
- Get people to read it, enjoy it, and give it to others to read
- Get somewhat known for this and not have to self publish ever again lol
- Be able to write others over the next 20 years as perhaps my next career.
Best wishes to all in your stacking journeys!