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Add a dash of cash

Back in the late 19th century when the so-called robber barons were at the height of their power and control over the American economy, people like Andrew Carnegie dominated steel, John D. Rockefeller had oil, Jay Gould and various Vanderbilts had railroads yet their grip on these various industries could slip if a financial crisis erupted and they found themselves temporarily short of cash.

Even for these barons, cash was still king.

A lesser known member of the class by the name of Russell Sage earned millions of dollars by preparing for these thunderclap financial crises.

His secret was to have steamer trunks full of cash in bonded warehouses ever at the ready.

When a titan of industry found himself potentially on the short end of a day’s business, he hastily contacted Sage who would very happily lend him the needed cash – but at very high rates of interest.

These loans in present jargon might be called bailouts.

But the barons kept their grip on industry and Sage kept his grip on cash.

Do you have your very own Russell Sage, someone you can go to when financial times get tough?


I imagine that among the lessons of the crash of 2008 is that many of us do not have such a source of bailout cash. We have to provide for ourselves.

You might have done very well with gold investments. But do you also have an emergency reserve of cash just in case you are confronted with bills that need paying when gold might not necessarily be salable at an advantageous price?

How about in your coin collecting activities?

Have you ever been presented with an opportunity to buy something very beneficially priced only to have to turn it down because you just didn’t happen to have the funds available at that moment?

We probably all have.

Are you still kicking yourself?

Don’t let the ones that got away get away in future. Make sure that in your plans to profit from your gold, silver and coin investments that there always is a little something available just in case an emergency threatens your position or an opportunity too good to miss presents itself.

Be your own Russell Sage.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."