A severe recession has set in, especially in the developed part of the world. No one is sure how long it will last. The recession has left many persons in debt and jobless. For such persons its time to take hard decisions, such as moving out of their homes by renting, selling, foreclosure or filing bankruptcy. However, there are others who may have lost their jobs or are in fear of losing it but remain in positive territory as far as their financial assets are concerned i.e. they do not owe banks more than the worth of their savings, value of property, and any other assets. These are the fortunate ones, yet such persons may be wondering as to the best possible investments and business opportunities in these hard economic times so as to secure their future.
The safest investment, especially in uncertain economic times appears to be gold or silver. In this regards gold or silver as bank issued bullion or coins is the route to go rather than jewelry that entails a l oss both at the time of purchase and sale. It cannot be readily valued or liquidated when the necessity arises. The safest place to store gold when purchased is perhaps in a hole inside the ground on one's own property provided it can be secured with care and no one else is made a party to the secret. The next best investment is agricultural land provided one can put it to productive use.
Agricultural activity goes on even in the worst of recessions because people must eat. Besides the fact that a farm can provide shelter and food, it is secure from the worst possible downturn. Moreover, it provides the opportunity for a healthy lifestyle close to nature. A farm can provide shelter and occupation not just for the owner but also for the entire family, including grown up children who may loose their jobs or homes in a city at some time in the near future. Producing food also leads to the satisfaction that one is making a positive contribution to the world as compared to a manufactured product such as a cosmetic that adds no real value to life.
Living close to nature can be a delightful change if one can afford it and make an outright purchase of irrigated agricultural land. It makes good economic sense to acquire a small farm of even five or ten acres. Persons with large farm holding may readily agree to sell of small portions of their property in order to raise funds for investments on their larger holdings and the possibility of good company in their neighborhood. However, infrastructure costs can be steep in starting a new agricultural venture. It would be a mistake to meet such costs by getting into debt. That would probably be a move from the frying pan into the fire. However for a new small farmer who can take it easy and avoid getting into debt, the move can turn out to be a brilliant one over a period of time. There is lots that can be done on a small farm - poultry, fish farming, orchards, timber farming, mushroom growing, wi ne and cheese making, bee keeping besides growing vegetables, flowers and corn or wheat. Membership of a country club and participating in the farmers market can provide quality social interaction. Besides, one can generate employment for other younger persons hired to help on the farm by providing them with board and lodgings and a modest salary.
For those who have the money and aptitude for acquiring agricultural property and living on a farm this may be the right time to liquidate their urban assets and make the move. For governments seized with generating employment and shelter it can be a positive policy move if they assist such ventures through policy initiatives and even financial investments in the associated infrastructure. It is better than building a highway or bridge to nowhere and will produce quicker results. The economic activity of the past century has resulted in the expansion of urban areas. We now have polluted cities that are bursting at their seams . It is time now for the growth of rural areas and villages in a new phase of human civilization that this recession may be leading to. The widespread prevalence of mobile telephony and the Internet will make the change a feasible and enlightened one.
Dr. Ashok Malhotra holds a doctoral degree in engineering from the University of British Columbia Canada. He has been recognised as a leading international educator by the International Biographical Center at Cambridge, England. For more of his activities please visit http://stores.lulu.com/am
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