The Great Taking Documentary Review

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books on wooden deck tabletop

It’s funny that my last post was about investing. Today’s post is almost the antithesis of that! One of my relatives (extended family) is inheriting a large sum of money. A larger sum than I’ve ever seen in my life!

It got my husband and I talking about what we would ever do if we were to inherit substantial wealth. For the record, I am not planning on receiving any substantial inheritance from either side of our families. This was more a fun thought experiment, like if you were to daydream about winning the lottery.

A friend was there for this part of our conversation and she started talking about how she’s doing the opposite of investing. She’s been pulling her money out of stocks and mutual funds and putting the money into property. She is debt-free aside from property (of which she owns 3 – her primary residence, a secondary residence, and a small 3 unit apartment building she owns and rents out as an investment). Rather than trying to grow her money through mutual funds, she’s pulled it out and is aggressively trying to pay down her mortgage debt so she owns her properties outright.

I can certainly appreciate this as a financial strategy. Like I said in my last post, I’m fiscally conservative and risk-averse by nature. I like the idea of being debt free (including the mortgage!)! But I also understand and can see the other side, where one can stand to make more money through interest in mutual fund investments versus the money they’d save by paying off property early. This is particularly true if you locked in a super low mortgage interest rate a couple of years back.

I’m always interested in talking about money and finances. Even when I don’t necessarily agree with the other person, I find it fascinating to hear about different perspectives. I asked my friend to explain more of her thought process and rationale and she explained how her mindset was fully changed from watching a documentary, The Great Taking.

The Great Taking Synopsis (spoilers!)

The Great Taking is a book by David Rogers Webb that’s available as a free pdf download online. You can also watch the documentary David made that provides an overview of the topics covered in the book. My interest was piqued after talking to my friend, so a couple nights later, hubby and I tuned into the documentary.

The basic premise of the documentary is that the entire financial system will eventually fail and everything we have (“we” meaning normal people) will be seized by the financial elites. Webb lays out a pretty convincing argument of how legislation is in place to allow this to happen, how it’s happened before, and the conditions are ripe for it to happen again. Any money held in most financial institutions (including money in savings/checking at banks, as well as money held in mutual funds, stocks, bonds, etc.) will be seized. If you have debt against any actual assets (home, car, etc.), those too will be seized. The only thing “safe” is real property that is owned outright.

 

My (Uneducated) Thoughts

 Although the argument laid out by Webb was well-made (pointing to multiple legal documents, historical trends, etc.), I left the documentary still not entirely convinced. It felt very “doomsday” and although I could see these things happening on a theoretical level, I don’t know that the Feds would allow it to happen in real life. For instance, banks have failed before. We didn’t seize assets from individuals. Instead, the Feds bailed the banks out. I’m not saying that was the right move. I definitely think the government is printing money at an alarming rate (outpacing true economic growth) and think this is overall a bad thing. I can certainly see there being future economic downturns. I think we’re in a housing bubble right now that could pop. I also think the student loan industry is wild with its reckless lending practices (giving a 20-year-old a hundred grand for a college education? Yikes! That can’t end well!).

But do I think the “everything bubble” is on the verge of popping and the Financial “elites” will take everything from everyone, leaving us all completely destitute? No. No, I do not.

All that said, I am new to the world of investing. For most of my career, I’ve only had my retirement account. I only very recently (last year!) opened up a separate investment account outside of retirement, and I invest a very small amount ($50/month, currently). All this is new-ish to me! But I guess I tend to think and believe that, on the long term, mutual funds are a good investment. Even if there’s a short-term downturn, I’m still relatively young (40 years old) and have time on my side for things to rebound long-term. And I certainly think investments in mutual funds is a better idea than pulling all one’s money out of the bank and keeping it in a safe. Or buying gold and silver bars, for example.

I’d love to hear thoughts from others. Have you seen The Great Taking documentary or read the book? Do you think we’re on the verge of an Everything Bubble pop?

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