The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.



) -- Gold and silver have again been temporarily imprisoned in a trading range, and there are plenty of articles out there sowing doubt about investing in precious metals.

Such articles can lead newer investors astray, so I want to give those investor a simple message: You have no choice other than to protect yourselves with precious metals.

To understand why, we need to examine three concepts.Small inside:

Turn Back the Clock

Go back even 15 years in time, and the world of investing bears absolutely no resemblance to the Carnival of Fools that we see today. Back then, the vast majority of financial advisers preached a single mantra: buy and hold.

The premise is simple: Those people who place short-term bets in the market are not investors -- they are gamblers.

Investing means putting one's capital into particular sector/company, and then allowing the time for that investment opportunity to mature/ripen. The principal difference between investing and gambling is time.

Put another way, investors (as opposed to gamblers) provide themselves with the luxury of waiting for the optimal time to harvest their profits.

They wait long enough for the fundamentals that support their investments to assert themselves.

Conversely, the gamblers who do nothing but make serial, short-term bets are merely momentum players. If they time their bets right, they will make a profit.

How did the world of investing devolve from the sober, careful allocation of funds into frantically flitting from one (short-term) bet to another like a swarm of rabid butterflies?

Simple. The vast majority of financial advisers finally became aware of their own gross incompetence. Not having the slightest clue about where our economies have been headed, these "experts" eventually acknowledged (after being surprised by one market crash after another) that when it comes to investing they are much better at destroying fortunes than creating them.

At the same time, these highly paid professionals were not prepared to publicly acknowledge their own, massive deficiencies (and forgo the commissions that they parasitically rake-in).

Thus, instead of admitting that they were no longer capable of providing competent advice for investing, they absurdly announced that investing itself no longer existed. "Buy and hold is dead," they (nearly) unanimously proclaimed.

Those members of the general public who had previously been investors suddenly discovered that their own financial advisers had given them all implicit ultimatums: Change from investors into gamblers, or learn to invest on your own.

In fact, "buy and hold"

is not dead

when it comes to the precious metals sector.

In the era of investing, competent financial advisers would tell their clients that they need to provide (at least) three to five years in order to give a particular investment opportunity the time necessary to realize its potential.

Pick any point during the 10-plus-year bull market for gold and silver, and you will see that anyone who gave an investment in these metals three to five years to "ripen" would have been well-rewarded. It would be difficult to find a single other sector which boasts such a track record. However, when we also look at the future prospects of precious metals, it then becomes impossible to find a single other sector anywhere in our economies which demonstrates not only a long track-record of success but unparallelled fundamentals for the future.

No Other Choices

It was never my intention to become as heavily focused in the precious metals sector as I am (between 80% and 90%).

As with many other precious metals bulls I am a big believer in the overall "commodities" story (from a long-term perspective). This is based on the obvious big-picture fundamental that much of the global population (the so-called "emerging markets") is still in the early stages of what will prove to be the longest/largest economic growth boom in the history of our species.

At the same time, the corrupt buffoons presently running (ruining) Western economies

have betrayed their own peoples

and so grossly mismanaged their economies that they have maneuvered themselves into the worst economic catastrophe in the history of our species.

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And we can "thank" the banker oligarchs who have steered these stooges every step of the way along that road to economic suicide. "Zig" one way today and Western economies will be consumed in a hyperinflation conflagration which is literally beyond the comprehension of any of us.

"Zag" the other way, and these debt-saturated economic Ponzi-schemes will implode into domino-like debt defaults.

Literally only one investment can protect investors from both of those nightmares: precious metals.

Although the virtues of gold and silver in shielding people from the ravages of high inflation are generally well understood, very few investors (or commentators) understand that gold and silver are equally necessary/effective for protecting people from the opposite economic hell.

Commentators fail miserably in their analysis of gold and silver in any "economic crash" scenario. The mistake they make is in comparing what will be a totally unprecedented event in human history with past economic episodes which bear no similarity to our present circumstances.

Never before in history has the majority of the global economy (according to GDP) all been simultaneously poised to default on its debts.

Commentators talk about (mere) "deflation" when what we are facing is serial



The enormous difference between the two scenarios could not be simpler: In the debt-default hell looming before us, "cash is trash" (implying the same thing for bonds).

Our (unbacked) fiat currencies are nothing but the IOUs of the governments issuing them. What is the value of an IOU from a bankrupt debtor? Zero.

Similarly, the debt-default scenario looming before most Western economies implies bonds going to zero. How much are Greek bonds worth today? About 30% of what they were worth one week ago (and fading fast). And as I have reminded readers frequently, in fundamental terms the U.S. economy is obviously more insolvent than that of Greece.

Any economic crash scenario also implies a sickening plunge for the broader economy, meaning that most categories of equities can be expected to crash as well, along with most of the commodities -- except where severe shortages exist.

The question then becomes: As trillions of dollars in various forms of banker-paper plunge to zero, where will the paper-refugees flee with what remains of their wealth? For nearly 5,000 years, the answer to that question has been gold and silver.

The KISS Principle

Regular readers know that I am a long-time disciple of the acronym KISS ("Keep It Simple, Stupid"). We all stand a much better chance of being successful by employing a good, simple plan rather than a good, complex plan.

The logic here is irrefutable: Complexity (by definition) implies the opportunity for more things to go wrong. It is much easier to both understand and implement a simple strategy rather than a complex one.

Gold and silver have perfectly preserved the wealth of their holders for thousands of years. The dollar has lost 98% of its value in less than one century (since the

Federal Reserve

was put in charge of "protecting it"). People can understand that.

The supply of gold and silver is increasing by only about 2% per year. Meanwhile, the supply of the bankers' paper currencies are effectively being increased by somewhere in excess of 10% per year -- more than five times as much new supply. In times of economic crisis, scarce assets retain their value much better than those which are overly abundant. People understand that.

Historically, precious metals have comprised between 5% and 10% of all financial assets. Today, gold and silver (and

the miners

) represent little more than 1% of financial assets.

If this ratio merely returns to the historical average, this implies a surge in the value of precious metals assets by multiples which would dwarf all previous gains over the past 10 years. People can understand that.

There are also many complicated reasons for favoring gold and silver (and the precious metals miners) above all other asset classes at the present time. It's not necessary to discuss all of them here. Those people who also subscribe to the KISS principle know that you only need to be right for one or two (or three) reasons. Take your pick.

What expertise does one require to become an informed precious metals investor? You have to understand basic arithmetic. Moving one's wealth to the time-tested security provided by precious metals allows us to take control of our financial future, allows us to once again be (long term) investors rather than (short term) gamblers, and it provides us with a sound, financial strategy which we can all understand.

Ignore all of the fear-mongering and deceptions of the mainstream charlatans. For 10-plus years they have an unblemished record: They have always been wrong. Cash is trash. Western bonds are nothing but financial garbage. However being able to sleep well at night is "golden."

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.