By Porter Stansberry
with Dr. Steve Sjuggerud and Mike Palmer
So how can you protect yourself... and even potentially make a profit over the next decade?
Well, you should certainly own a significant amount of precious metals... real, hold-in-your-hand gold and silver. Both of these metals have skyrocketed in recent years, gaining more than 400%, in anticipation of this crisis.
But guess what...
There's one investment that might prove to be even better than gold or silver when America's currency crisis hits full tilt.
In fact, since 1970, a year before the U.S. went off the gold standard, this investment has easily outpaced both stocks and gold.
See the chart below...
So what is this incredible asset that has crushed stocks and gold, and how does it beat these things handily?
We're talking about farmland. The chart above shows the total returns of U.S. farmland versus the total returns of the stock market (including dividends) and the total returns of gold (which, of course, pays no dividend).
The returns from farmland come from two sources. According to a recent edition of Ag Decision Maker, published by Iowa State University, roughly half of the overall returns come from the appreciation of the actual land.
The other half comes from the "rent" you can get by farming your land – or hiring someone else to do it for you. Add these components together, and it's easy to see why the overall returns of farmland have outpaced gold, stocks, and just about any other asset we could name.
In fact, some call farmland "gold with yield" – because you book steady income from rents while you wait for the value to grow. I can think of no better asset to own during any kind of financial crisis.
Why does farmland do so well?
When food prices go up, farmland prices go up. There's no shortage of mouths to feed – on this side of the globe or the other.
And as an added benefit, farmland returns have little correlation to the returns on stocks and bonds. Farmland didn't fall in a single quarter during the financial meltdown.
If you believe, as I do, that inflation will only get worse, then you'll want to look closely at an investment in farmland.
If you had invested your money in the stock market at the beginning of the 1970s, you would have made about 16%... TOTAL... over the course of the entire decade. Adjusted for inflation, you would have lost about half your money.
But during the same time the total returns of U.S. farmland were more than 600%!
Now imagine what farmland might do today.
I can guarantee, as I've written many times over the past few years, that we are going to experience major inflation.
On top of that, other factors are pushing farmland prices higher...
Just to name a few: A tightening supply of farmland, rising demand for crops, and skyrocketing commodity prices. In short, I expect farmland could be one of the best investments of the next decade.
Of course, farmland has another great benefit as well...
It can actually save your family during a serious crisis.
Barton Biggs, in his excellent book, Wealth, War, and Wisdom, reports farmland was the one thing that saved families in occupied France, Poland, Holland, Germany, and Italy.
An unostentatious farm, not a great estate, is probably best. Bricks and mortar real estate can be expropriated or bombed, but the land is always there. Your land can't be plundered or shipped off to somewhere else.
During World War II in most of the occupied countries, if you had a self-sufficient farm, you could hunker down on it and with luck wait out the disaster. At the very least you were supplied with food in a starving country.
A working farm protected both your wealth and your life.