Gold and Silver
It's always a good idea, of course, for us to invest in our future. This can help protect us and/or give us something to pass along to our children or favorite charities. And most experts will recommend at least a portion of your investments be put into gold and silver. But when economic times become rough, gold and silver become especially attractive, since they have maintained their buying power for at least several thousand years.
Throughout history, fiat (paper) money systems have always ended up failing when they're not backed by something real like gold or silver. This is because there's an incredible lure for politicians to print more money on a whim in order to shape their political agendas. Unfortunately, every time you print money, you make every dollar worth less than before. This is why a certain number of dollars can buy less and less every year, while gold and silver tend to keep the same buying power of physical goods over long periods of time.
Because of our current economic times, gold and silver have gotten especially popular. So it makes a lot of sense that some referral programs have grown up around this demand. The nice thing with gold and silver is that you don't CONSUME them. Month after month, you are simply turning paper money into something many of us consider real and lasting. But if you're looking at a gold and silver program, here are some things to think about:
1. Gold and Silver aren't Currency
While gold and silver have an intrinsic worth and can probably be exchanged with many people for goods and services, they are not "legal tender" and no one has to accept them. As long as the paper money system doesn't collapse, you can always use dollars to buy things. (Though the dollars generally lose value over time with inflation.)
Also, if you DO accept gold or silver rather than currency (bartering), you still have to pay taxes as if you had sold your product or service for cash. So let's say you exchange $40 worth of silver for a product you normally sell for $40 cash. You need to include the sale in your taxes. At a 25% tax bracket, you would have to pay $10 in this case. Talk to your tax expert for further details, because I am NOT a tax expert, and am only talking conceptually about this.
Now gold and silver can generally be turned INTO currency, but only at the going rate on any given day, and only if you find a buyer. So you may make MORE dollars or you may make FEWER dollars when reselling. In this sense, it is an investment.
While I'm not involved in any referral gold / silver opportunities, if I were, I would be collecting the metal as a long-term store of wealth and as something I could pass along in the future -- NOT as a short-term investment. So I wouldn't be worried about the gains and losses the metals experience in day trading.
2. Numismatic vs. Bullion
Gold and silver can be bought for their collectible value or for their intrinsic value as metals. If you collected baseball cards, you could appreciate that a rookie Mickey Mantle is worth a lot compared to a common modern card, but the underlying cardboard is worth about the same.
The perceived value of the information on the card is like numismatic collecting, even though is just a different picture and different stats and someone could make something look similar today. It is the rarity of the thing and its condition that excites collectors. Bragging rights, so to speak.
In times of economic emergency, however, no one's going to care about collectible value, because this is such a subjective thing. And this is why I only recommend buying bullion as a store of value. The value of gold and silver as metals is much more stable, because the general population perceives it as valuable, rather than basing the value on the opinions of a few collectors.
Of course you may have interest in collecting, and that's fine. It's just important to be clear on the difference, and why I think one is a riskier venture.
3. Claims about Gold and Silver
As with any referral opportunity, if you're in one for gold or silver, you cannot make claims about the kind of income someone will make by joining your team. But more importantly, gold and silver come with a lot of regulations. You can't tell people that gold and silver will save them in an economic emergency. Maybe suddenly no one would care about these metals, despite their historic value. You can't tell people that they'll keep going up in value, despite what's happened in recent years. Any time a fiat economy gains strength, it's probable that gold and silver will stabilize or even fall to some degree.
4. Tax Implications
I am NOT a tax expert, so you want to run your specific questions (in your state or country) past your accountant or other professional. But in general, when an asset increases or decreases in value, you can have capital gains and losses. These can increase or decrease your tax liabilities. But this should only happen when you actually sell the metal and experience the actual loss or gain. So make sure you think about this before selling your gold or silver. (And track what you originally spent on it.)