August 17, 2013
HOW TO GET RICH AFTER THE SHTF!
STEP 1 STAY ALIVE
You can't get rich if you're dead. They key is isolation, knowledge, and supplies.
STEP 2 COMMUNITY
Be part of a community that is surviving, honest, stable, growing, but most importantly, is secure. A man can't get rich by living as a hermit. Being isolated for the first year or two is good, but begin to form a community after that. Society is necessary for economic prosperity. It's also very hard to get rich in a community where there is constantly a fear of theft, so at least within your community, there needs to be a sense of mutual security. This will be lost for most of the world, so your community will need to hold on to it OR revive it. Keep in mind that the basic prerequisite for this mutual security is that everyone's basic needs are met, so your community needs to be surviving well.
STEP 3 TRADE NETWORK
Become part of a trade network when they open up a few years after the collapse. Maybe you can initiate this yourself, but it will be dangerous, especially if you rush it. (See my blogs on Forming Alliances and seeing other people after society collapsed) This will basically start out as armed caravans, like humans have done for thousands of years. At first, trade routes will be foot trails through the woods between trusted communities. Later, they will be along roads, rivers, the coast, and maybe some railroads. Trade allows for you to buy and sell goods with others. You can acquire what you don't have and they can acquire what they don't have. Most trades will be the kind that simply make life more pleasant -- different foods and decorations. However, some trades will be the kind that help society develop. For example, let's say one community has secured spare metal and they are making quality windmills. Whoever joins their trade community will be able to purchase a windmill from them and dramatically advance their own society. If other communities sell seeds, gasoline, batteries, horses, plows, scale sets, etc. you can see where this goes. Everybody advances together and benefits. Also, ideas spread and large alliances form, which is also key to economic prosperity. At some point, these networks will have a new currency and banking systems, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
STEP 4 CAREER
There are many careers you can choose that will make you rich after society collapses:
STOCKPILER - Perhaps the easiest way to get rich, at least initially after the collapse, is to stockpile NOW what others will need POST-COLLAPSE. It can start with small barter items, but if you really want to be the new Sam Walton, you should stockpile much more. Stockpile as much of the long-term survival items as possible. Get multiple shipping containers. Stuff them with survival items. Bury them in strategic locations in your region. After the collapse, you can dig up these containers and sell the goods. Not only will you get rich, but you'll literally save lives.
FISH FARMER - Set up large ponds and aquaponics systems. Fish like tilapia reproduce fast. They can quickly grow to large numbers and provide lots of food. You can sell the fish and you will do well. However, when it comes to raising animals and other low-skill industries, my suggestion is to start that industry, but hand it off to the community to do it themselves. Allow others to create their own ponds and raise their own fish, while you move on to another career, perhaps a caravan merchant. My reasoning for this is that raising animals to large numbers is something that will benefit whole communities and whole regions. If you can raise your community and network to a level where everyone easily has enough food, it will allow everyone to advance as a society to create opportunities to make even more money somehow. If all you do for the rest of your life is have your pond and sell fish to your neighbors, you are missing out on bigger opportunities. It's better to grow the pie than be obsessed with taking most of the pie.
RABBIT FARMER - Raise rabbits. Like tilapia, they reproduce fast and provide excellent meat. Not a lot of supplies are needed. Again, it's best to get this industry started and then release it to the community to move on to a better career.
LARGE ANIMAL BREEDER - If you can secure and keep safe goats, sheep, cows, horses, etc. after the collapse, you will be well situated to make money and help people at the same time. Most horses and cows won't survive the collapse. Many will be stolen and eaten. Most dairies and herds of cattle will be targeted by the hungry masses. If you can keep a group of them safe and continue to breed them, you can sell them and do well. Horses will be the primary transportation for many people. If you can breed horses and train them, you will be a tremendously important person. You'll get rich from that!
PERFUME MAKER - Soap will run out. Deodorant will run out. Baking soda will run out. It won't be long before everyone smells like sasquatch's armpits. Perfume is fairly easy to make. Plant flowers in your bugout location. Have hundreds of glass vials and atomizer bottles with you. Sell perfume. Make money. Make women happy (and men).
SOAP MAKER - This is valuable for the same reasons, plus hygiene is necessary to avoid deadly diseases. The process is a little harder than making perfume. We won't have manufactured lye to use, so you'll have to go primitive by using white wood ash and animal fat. If you can master the skill of making soap, it will be so helpful to everyone and you'll make easy money. Carve your insignia on the soaps and trade them far and wide. It will help to establish report with people everywhere, so that when communities begin to unite into small nations, they will look favorably on you and your community. "Oh we use your soap! Thanks so much. We had no idea how to make soap."
CASH CROP - Apart from your basic crops to eat, there are certain crops which can be cash crops. Often times, these are the crops that are bought and sold as commodities on the market today. They usually have a secondary or tertiary use, because they can be processed, stored, and used for that purpose later. Here's some ideas: sugar cane, sugar beets, corn (food, oil, create ethanol), soy (food, oil, fuel), plants with soft toilet paper-like leaves (suggestions?), alfalfa/hay (horses), fruit trees (dehydrate and trade), cotton (clothes), wheat, coffee, tobacco (but please don't).
EQUIPMENT RENTALS - Get pieces of equipment that will be useful later. You can rent them out or lease them to people. Treadle sewing machines, backhoes (if you have the gas for it), bicycles, farm tools, weaving looms, Biolite Stoves, horses and plows, wagons, dirt bikes, foot pumps, etc.
TRAVELLING SERVICEMAN - You can travel from community to community and provide a service to them for a fee. You can: drill wells, dig fish ponds, build chicken coupes, enhance their security perimeter, be a doctor, be a dentist, build windmills, electrify villages, fix machines, etc. Travelling from place to place is dangerous, but if you do something like this, you'll be like the new age Johnny Appleseed. Your efforts will really help to make life better and grow economies in your wake.
TRAVELLING INSTRUCTOR - Similar to a serviceman, but instead of creating things for them, you can teach them to survive and improve their lives. Teach them how to hunt, make soap, raise fish, raise animals, plant crops, catch water, purify water, heat water, store food, rig solar panels, dig irrigation canals, etc. If you find yourself teaching them the more basic skills, they probably don't have much to offer you, but if they are a more advanced group that is ready to learn more advanced skills, they can probably pay you more. Again, this will tremendously boost economies and come back around to help you one day. I suppose this is similar to what volunteers in the Peace Corps do.
TRAVELLING MOVIE THEATER - Travel with solar panels, a battery unit, laptop, speakers, projector, canvas, and DVDs. Charge people to watch your movies! It will be awesome and FUN! You can also show them video messages from the other communities and news stories of what's going on there. It will let people know they are not alone and there are other good people out there surviving as well. It will be news and entertainment.
PHARMACIST - Pharmacies will be gone and all modern drugs will be used up quickly. If you can have a garden of medicinal plants and create the bests herbal/natural remedies possible, you can get rich. Anyone can grow a tomato plant, but few people know what medicinal plants to grow and how to prepare and apply their medicine.
CARAVAN MERCHANT - Venice got rich because they engaged in ocean trade. You can do the same. Once trade networks are established and minor production has begun, such as many of the things mentioned here, soap, horses, medicine, sugar, salt, seeds, oil, ammunition, you can engage in full-fledged caravan trade. You'll get rich. At some point, you'll get so rich that you can just send others out on the caravans and you can stay home where it is safe.
BOOKSTORE OWNER - You can sell booklets that contain information about how to do certain things that will benefit people. It is best to stockpile these booklets now. You can also print them out post-collapse if you have the means. Survivalsage.com can help you out with this process, as it has many valuable articles, booklets, and manuals. Or you could just be nice and give them out for free to help your community and network advance, while you move on to a better career.
AMMUNITION MILLER - Ammo will be in high demand post-collapse. Preppers are usually prepared for this, but rations will get low at some point. Preppers will only make up the minority of the good guys who will survive. Also, what if we have to fight a war against the drug cartels and prison gangs? If you store the equipment and materials to produce ammo, you can get rich. But make sure to only sell ammo to the good guys. No Destros here!
GOLD SMITH - If you have the equipment and can learn how to refine, test, weigh, and shape gold (and other precious metals), you can make lots of money. You can also bring flexibility and stability to an economy by ensuring the public the accurate value of gold and silver. Most people can't just look at a gold bracelet and tell what karat it is and the market value. You can learn to do that and be prepared for post-collapse life.
INFRASTRUCTURE NOBLEMAN - If you can secure and operate an important piece of infrastructure that has value post-collapse, you will get rich and be a blessing to all of us. For example, if you secure some oil rigs and are able to operate them and then also refine the oil, you can be the first tycoon post-collapse. Other examples might be: hydro power plant (Be realistic. Don't go for Hoover Dam or Niagara Falls. Go for something small.), solar power plants and electrical grids, mines, salt evaporation fields, etc. BEWARE: Only secure and operate these infrastructures if you are sure you can keep them under control. We don't want you to get a solar power plant and electrical grid in operation only to have the Zeta drug cartel take it away from you. That will be a major blow to all the upright citizens and will likely add a decade or two to the reign of the bad guys, before the good guys can rise to power.
ALL OF THE ABOVE - Why choose only one career? You can prepare and learn how to fill each of these roles. If you can do that, you'll be super rich. It also makes you flexible based on what is needed most.
AMBASSADOR FRANCHISER - I think I just made this term up, but in order to do this, you should prepare to do multiple careers. Then, when society collapses, you will spend time training apprentices under one trade. When they are ready, you will send them to another community to do their trade there. You will lend them the animals/supplies they need and they will in turn pay you a portion of their income or a flat rate. Additional incentive will be that if they do well and meet their end of the deal, you will train them in another trade to grow their business even more. This idea might not work depending on the career and the people you are dealing with.
STEP 5 REFLECT
Finally, reflect on why you want to become rich. Some greed is ok, but I hope it will be to make earth a more livable place. You will have more responsibility. Will you work to revive a civil society or do you just want to get rich? Will you hire a private militia and declare yourself king? Will you fight against warlords and drug cartels? What political system will you help to shape? What judicial system will you help to establish? I'm grateful that most preppers are really great people with good family values. Hopefully you guys rise to power and your morals remain intact. It will be a trying time for everyone and we can never know for sure how we will react.