“Prepper Investing”: For Those Who Expect Tough Times Ahead
Are there traditional securities that are a good fit for people who want to prepare for dire economic and social circumstances? The primary focus in the so-called “prepper” community is on life after a major crisis: how to survive without communication systems, stable food supplies and medical services.
Another way to prepare for a massive economic emergency is to make a profit on financial securities that thrive before disaster. Companies that preppers look to for food, fuel and security are logically the best types of opportunities available for those who believe that some type of social breakdown is inevitable.
For anyone wanting to invest in companies that could do well on the way to doomsday (this includes preppers and people who merely want to profit by investing in the “doomsday” market), the general categories to consider are precious metals, food, clothing, shelter, fuel (especially sellers of home heating oil), radiation-related (detectors and measurement devices), water purification makers, hand-cranked radios, cyber currencies, companies like Home Depot and Lowe’s, sellers of self-defense products like guns or tasers, and many more.
The following list includes some ideas for anyone who wants to profit from an approaching disaster, or from the perception that one will take place. Preppers, or just those who want to have a decent store of emergency goods on hand at all times, have always been around. As long as people look ahead and stock up on essential goods, there will be a place for “prepper investing.”
Stocks and Investing Ideas for Preppers
Buying shares of a company that has the potential to do very well as crisis approaches is one way to use the “prepper investing” philosophy to make a profit. Here are some prime candidates for the ultimate “prepper portfolio,” followed by their stock symbols for easy research.
Home Depot- HD: Home Depot has already seen its stock price rise and fall in response to natural disasters. A widespread, nearly cataclysmic event that forced people to take cover in their homes for months at a time might mean a rush on HD stores, and a major spike in stock price.
Lowe’s- LOW: Another opportunity to buy into the prepper scenario, and almost identical to Home Depot in terms of financial opportunity.
Campbell Soup- CPB: The food version of Lowe’s and Home Depot, Campbell sells a wide range of canned soups and foods that are easily stock-piled for emergency use. The brand is widely known and trusted, and its products have a long shelf life. When crisis comes, people often turn to older brands that offer a sense of security and stability. Campbell is ideally positioned to do well in a crisis economy.
Kraft Foods- KFT: Kraft is similar to Campbell for purposes of emergency food supplies, but has the added advantage of offering a much wider range of foodstuffs. Like so many rations and prepper-pack foods sold in specialty stores, Kraft offers hundreds of different heat-and-eat or add-water-and-eat meals at very reasonable prices. The company’s other leg-up in this niche is its old, trusted brand name and widespread familiarity to most American consumers.
Cabela’s- CAB: Cabela’s could possibly be the perfect prepper stock. The outdoor macro-store carries a full lineup of ammo, guns, knives, survival gear, medical first-aid supplies, fishing equipment, hunting products, and every conceivable camping product. Whether a crisis scenario is minor or major, Cabela’s has the market covered. Because of its breadth of offerings, the company’s stock is a sort of one-stop ETF (exchange-traded fund) for preppers.
Sturm Ruger & Company, and Smith & Wesson- RGR and SWHC: The biggest and most respected names in personal armament and ammunition, these two are the most familiar firms in the segment. Prepper investors can purchase stock shares or products (see below). It is a known fact that sales of handguns, rifles and ammunition rise in times of crisis. In a very large crisis, these companies have the potential to be major players and profit-makers.
McDonald’s- MCD: In a moderate-level crisis in which the food supply became contaminated, consumers might be forced to turn to fast-food retailers that boast complete geographic coverage. In recent floods and tornados, McDonald’s has become the go-to place for an inexpensive, hot meal. When public water and food sources are unavailable, the world’s best-known seller of hamburgers and soft drinks is a solid bet.
For those who want to do more research on their own, there are several niches that are ideal for prepper-related profits:
Precious metals: Gold and silver have always been favorites for alternative investors and preppers. If a major social or economic crisis looms, all the precious metals’ stocks and bullion could shoot up in price very quickly. Prices and information about all precious metals can be found at Apmex’s website.
Guns, ammunition, knives, and tasers: Mentioned above in the listing of securities, this is a segment that could work in a couple of ways: ownership of securities or the goods themselves. Collectors of fine wine and art often stockpile small caches of assets for long-term profit. Self-defense goods have the potential to be almost as liquid as gold or silver in a crisis situation.
Small, inexpensive water purification systems: In natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and fires, clean water is always in short supply. When the Red Cross goes into war and disaster zones, one of the first things they distribute is clean, potable water. Stock-piling several dozen retail purification systems could be a smart play for anyone anticipating a barter economy. Find out about the different kinds of systems and price points here.
Radiation detectors and measuring devices: After a limited nuclear event, the air can be contaminated for up to three weeks with deadly fallout particles. Geiger counters are an essential part of any prepper inventory, and would be valuable as barter goods. Companies that make them are prime candidates for prepper investing as well. A good place to start getting acquainted with prices and devices is on Amazon.
Cyber-currencies: Bitcoin and other cyber currencies are usually viewed as a typical prepper investment. If nation-based monies fail or disappear, some experts think cyber-currency might be the default form of cash in a post-disaster society. One way to invest in these instruments it to purchase them directly from sources like Coinbase.com
Timing is Everything
For preppers who hope to make a profit on the way to a crisis period, there’s a very key point to keep in mind: in the event of economic collapse or near-collapse, stocks and other traditional securities will have to be sold before a market shut-down.
In other words, if Wall Street becomes temporarily defunct amid social crisis, investors will need bank their profits while all the major economic markets are still operating normally. Wait too long and you could be left holding a lot of paper that has no real value in the post-catastrophe society.
Disclaimer: The above should not be taken as investing advice or a recommendation to purchase particular securities. This discussion is for informational purposes only. Investors should do their own research and speak with a professional financial advisor before making monetary commitments of any kind.