Buy It Now

My motto for 2021 is simple. If you think you might need something later, buy it now.

Last summer there was some pretty bad wildfires where I live. The air was so smoky it was dangerous to breath. Air purifiers sold out everywhere. Not only in stores but online as well. So this week I bought an air purifier. There are already wildfires burning across the West.

The same thing happened this summer when we had a heat wave. Air conditioners flew off the shelves and even online ordering was nearly impossible.

Now I know some people are concerned about food. They have good reason to be. Supply chains are stretched. Farmers are struggling with floods and drought. The risk of social unrest is high, right? You can feel it and see the warning signs all around you. Crime and violence are on the rise everywhere. There’s more road rage. Fights are breaking out on airplanes. People are angry and frustrated by lockdowns, masks, COVID restrictions.

This is what long lines for food look like today in South Africa (left) and what they looked like last year in America (right). Actually those people at Costco might be lined up for toilet paper. In America, people sometimes wait in line for food in their cars. Either way, it might not be a bad idea to stock up now on some non-perishable food.

Whatever it is you think you might need, by the time it’s obvious that you really needs it, everybody else will want it too. If you live where storms and hurricanes are a threat, where people board up windows and sliding glass doors, it would be a good idea to buy some plywood and screws now, while they’re available.

I’ve been buying things that are useful, like screws and paint, sheet metal and fencing. I don’t need them now, but they’ll keep. I’ve bought extra vitamins and some medicine I think I might need. Everything takes longer now. It’s hard to find service people to perform work or repairs. Plan ahead. Don’t delay.

I have a feeling we could see some crazy changes in prices too. If you think you’re going to need new tires or a new vehicle, now might be a good time to buy. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I doubt that prices are going to drop. Inflation destroys the value of currency. It won’t destroy the value of tools, food, clothing, firearms or supplies. For all of these, my advice is — if you can — buy it now.

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