KNOW WHY YOU'RE here tonight.
You've read my books, heard my lectures and bought gold in '69, oil stocks in '72, Capitol Hill real estate in '75 and defense stocks in '79.
I've made you the Bunker Hunts of Hyattsville, but still you're nervous, confused and bewildered. I look out at your eager faces and I know what you're thinking: "Walter, what do I do now? How do I get with the '80s? How can I keep on being a Winner in the turbulent years ahead?"
That's what I'm here for. To give you the kind of hard-hitting down-to-earth advice you can't get anywhere else. Not from Forbes, not from E. F. Hutton, not from Joseph Granville or Howard Ruff.
I'm here to tell you one thing and one thing only: How You Can Profit From the Coming Nuclear War.
So you think you've got that one licked? You've taken your survival training, picked out your host community, stocked up on bottled water and stashed Krugerrands in the basement.
Congratulations, you're on your way to being a JAS -- Just Another Survivor. What you've got to look forward to is years of living on an Army cot in a dingy church basement. And maybe, if you're lucky, you can get to sell apples (such as they are) on street corners (such as they are).
How many of you think Spam is gourmet food? Let's see those hands waving.
Good. Because by sitting on your hands you've shown that you want to be a Winner. An Achiever. You want to be Numero Uno in your shelter group.
Don't listen to the sissy panty-waists with all their big words like Armageddon and holocaust. Nuclear war isn't doomsday. It can be Boomsday, the greatest profit-making opportunity since the Crusades. What's left of the good life can be yours if you play your cards right.
Make no mistake -- capitalism will survive. The Federal Reserve, the big banks and the Mormons, they know what they're doing. They've got better contingency plans than the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Not too many OSHA bureaucrats will still be around, but you'll still have a friend at Chase Manhattan.
Once they start flying the white flag, instead of the red flag, over what's left of the Kremlin, the real struggle will just begin. The first battle will be fought upstairs -- right in your own head. Forget this garbage about survival guilt. Survival guilt is for wimps. If you wanted to be a Unitarian minister, you would have gone to divinity school. Survival guilt will be manna from heaven for the makers of Valium, so buy your drug stocks now.
In any crowd, there'll be two-bit hustlers who think they're Mr. Big. Let the small-time operators make a few quick bucks peddling bumper stickers ("Don't Blame Me -- I Was for an Even-Handed Policy in the Falkland Islands") and souvenirs ("Mommy and Daddy Were in Georgetown When the Bomb Went Off and All They Left Me Was This Crummy T-Shirt").
Beware of charlatans who claim that all you need to strike it rich after the Second Strike is to own a Seagram's distillery and have a strong position in Caterpillar. Any idiot can figure out that there'll be a market in anything that will move three tons of dirt over your shelter in a hurry. Simpleminded tips like that are equivalent to telling you that you'll need a stiff drink after the fallout settles.
What I'm here to tell you is the important stuff. Like how to get ready for the worst inflation since Weimar Germany. You know what the economists say, "Inflation is too much money chasing too few goods." There won't be any more Toyotas or Betamaxes to buy, so save your Andrew Jacksons for wiping your you-know-what.
Leave your Krugerrands at home. You heard me right. Shiny metal is for suckers. Do you know what the radioactive half-life of gold is? Anyone fool enough to take your Krugerrands will glow in the dark all the way to the bank.
In the first days after the Big Bang, barter will be big. And this time the IRS won't mess with your profits. But what are you going to trade for food and booze? Your stamp collection? Your cherished collectibles from the Franklin Mint?
Don't make me laugh. Here are two everyday items that you can barter for porterhouse steaks and Chivas: Stock up now on Right Guard and Crest. Everybody else is going to run for the hills with just one puny can of deodorant. Do you know how hot it gets in fallout shelters? It'll be Sweat City. Underarm protection is going to be the California real estate of the '80s.
But don't sell money short. People are going to get pretty tired lugging tubes of Crest down to Neiman-Marcus. There'll be some kind of dollar -- even if they call it a Haig or a Weinberger. But this time, it's going to be backed by something real.
What'll be the most precious metal in the post-Bomb world? It sure as hell won't be uranium. Here's a hint: This metal was too tough even for Superman.
Lead. The answer is lead. An ounce of the stuff will get you two tickets on the 50-yard line for the Super Bowl.
Think I'm crazy? Remember that old geezer who taught you high school chemistry? He should have told you that when everything else gets radioactive, lead will keep being . . . well . . . plain old lead.
On Friday, you could have bought lead at 28 cents a pound. It'll still be a bargain on Monday, but the word's getting out. Stick a bunch of lead in the trunk of your BMW right now. Stop whimpering, only losers worry about gas mileage.
Get your pencils out. Here comes the inside skinny -- the one great tip that'll get you to name your first healthy offspring, "Walter."
Buy lead stocks. AMAX are the people who mine the stuff. Asarco are the folks who smelt it. Imagine going to a dinner party at the shelter down the road and being able to say, "I bought AMAX at 26." Getting heavy into lead now is like buying Xerox back when it was called Haloid.
A word about real estate. Forget that beach house in Malibu. Some places just aren't going to come back . . . not for 200,000 years. When it comes to real estate, now more than ever, it's location, location, LOCATION.
Manitoba up in Canada seems like a good bet. It's unpopulated by the standards of North Dakota and not downwind from anything. Another good risk is the part of Arkansas L'il Abner came from. But for anything other than Dogpatch, be sure to check it out with a Geiger counter. In the post-Bomb world, you can get burned bad in real estate.
Here's another word to write down -- batteries. Anyone with any candlepower can figure out that the utility bond market will short out. Niagara Falls will become Crater Lake. You think anyone's still going to be in favor of nuclear power? Union Carbide makes the batteries that will be powering the Conelrad radios of the future. Buy it . . . while there's still time.
For those who want a more diversified portfolio, here are some other probable winners. KOA Campgrounds, especially since the Big Bang will further delay the long-awaited housing boom. Perrier will have trouble with distribution, but Coca-Cola bottling companies with large inventories of syrup have good earnings potential, especially since they no longer will have to share the take with the home office. Johnson & Johnson, with their full line of bandages and first-aid supplies, should come through in robust health. There should also be a steady demand for cosmetics and other beauty aids, especially sunburn ointments.
Now let me tick off five investments that will be certain death in the months ahead. New York Air. Broadway shows, unless they've already got a road company in Nacogdoches. Pepco. Omaha municipal bonds. Gerber's -- remember, babies are their only business.
But I hear you asking, "Walter, what if you're wrong? What if nuclear war turns out not to be a Good Thing? What do we do then?"
I don't know about you, but you'll be able to find me in my darkened suite at the Greenbrier, complaining about room service and working on my new sure-fire best-seller, "How to Profit from the Coming Boom in Illuminated Manuscripts."