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Why Marlboros May Be a Better Investment Than Gold


"Americans are addicted to tobacco. Anything people 'can't live without' will become essential trading materials," says Dan Martin.

Gold is the last thing Dan Martin would think of hoarding as he waits for the apocalypse he believes will occur next year.

Act now -- offer not valid after world ends.

Martin, a Desert Shield veteran and former Boeing (BA) aerospace engineer, has written a book called Apocalypse: How to Survive a Global Crisis, which, according to the author himself, will help readers survive "any global crisis, be it a natural disaster, a financial meltdown or, yes, even an alien invasion."

"When things break down and infrastructure fails, people won't know where to go," he tells Minyanville. "They'll run to gold first, since Mastercard (MA), Visa (V), and Amex (AXP) will be utterly useless. Banks are going to be gone, cash won't be worth anything."

Aside from weapons, which Martin maintains are absolute necessities to stave off "some unwanted post-apocalyptic guest [who] will want to liberate" your belongings, Martin is investing in a wholly different asset class:


While others debate the merits of owning one precious metal versus another, Martin, who happens to be a non-smoker, is loading up on as many Marlboros (MO) as he possibly can.

"Americans are addicted to tobacco," he says. "Anything people 'can't live without' will become essential trading materials."

Kurt Vonnegut painted quite the realistic picture of cigarette-as-currency in a posthumously published story called "Brighten Up," about his experience as a prisoner of war in Dresden during WWII:

"Louis converted most of his wealth into the most negotiable of all securities, cigarettes. And it wasn't long before the possibilities of being a loan shark occurred to him. Once every two weeks we were issued twenty cigarettes. Slaves of the tobacco habit would exhaust the ration in one or two days, and would be in a state of frenzy until the next ration came."

After taking off for Central Mexico, where he learned "mechanics, welding, fire control, security, farming, ranching, construction, architecture, woodworking, first response, sanitation, plumbing, electrical, heating and air-conditioning, and metalworking," Martin returned to the States with his new wife, putting down roots in the desert, "leaving the world, family, friends and the rest of the sheep behind."

"For 10 years, I've had no TV, no bank account, no bills, no debt, no mortgage, no news, no mail," Martin says. "I haven't stood in a line, haven't sat in traffic, haven't spoken to a telemarketer -- I don't have a phone."

While the "sheep" are left to their own devices, Martin and his wife will subsist on the goats he and his wife breed, raise, and slaughter, along with chickens, catfish, and produce courtesy of "hydroponic technology pioneered by those growing illegal substances."

Though his "portfolio" may tend toward the atypical, Martin is traditional enough an investor to diversify.

"Besides cigarettes, there's really only two other things I'm stocking up on," he says. "Coffee. And toilet paper."

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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