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As thousands of years have demonstrated, very simple recipes and methods for getting and saving your money work best.
Financial institutions, banks, stock markets and so on may look impressive on paper, but when they go down the stream like they did with this global crisis, the effects on the lives of honest people that attempted to save money are terrible.
There are thousands that lost everything just because some greedy and reckless business people played god with money; clearly, banks are not to be trusted. Financial engineering is fine as long as what is at stake is not the money produced during the lifetime of millions, but pension funds, savings accounts and so on are too tempting to be left aside by executives that preferred to run the investments of the banks that they were supposed to command more like a gambling addict of gigantic proportions than solid institutions that could be trusted upon.
Bartering has become a way of life for many people; this is frowned-upon by governments because the more people barter, the less control they have and the less taxes money they get. These are the same governments that let financial institutions run away with the money of the people that now are bartering, and who paid with their taxes the disasters made by banks and allowed by governments with varying degrees of complicity.
Old recipes always work; that's why they survived for long despite all the tempting and allegedly better choices that sprouted from time to time, like modern banking institutions. People, in the log run, prefer to play safe and such financial institutions, by definition and their own philosophy, are not about playing safe but, based on calculated risks, attempt to extract more juice from money. Only banks found at reputed offshore jurisdictions or tax havens like Switzerland or Liechtenstein are targeted towards the concept of keeping money safe and in a very discrete way, and they get a beating ever year from the governments of the countries that provoked the financial crisis based on accusations of tax evasion and elusion.
Besides, putting your money in one of those secret accounts that still seem to exist in Switzerland requires a capital investment that is well above what most people have. So, for regular folks the choice is either to play along in a system that ultimately destroys livelihoods, or to get out of the system for good and save money in other ways.
Bartering is just one of them, saving money without the need for banking institutions is also part of that: collecting gold, silver, gems is a technique that will help you save money without fear of financial crises. After all, if you dig out an ancient Egyptian tomb, the gold found there is not only valued for its archaeological side. It is still gold after thousands of years. Try to do that with a hundred dollar bill!
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