Back in 1978, I began to get subscription offers in the mail from a guy in California named Howard Ruff. It seemed like every other day I’d get a mailing. He was pro gold and silver, so I decided to give him a call. I got through to him right away and we had a nice conversation. However, he advised me that he had endorsed a coin dealer out east and was happy with that arrangement.
Two weeks later I got a call from a man who had done business with this other company and was upset. He had wanted to buy gold coins and had wound up with a piece of paper. The coin dealer had put him into a highly leveraged margin purchase with exorbitant commissions and interest charges. He asked if I could help him.
I called Howard Ruff and told him that one of his new subscribers had been cheated by his recommended vendor. Then I called the crooked coin dealer and brow-beat him into giving the customers money back. Then I had the customer let Howard know that I had helped him to get a refund. Howard ditched his recommended dealer and I became the fair-haired boy for gold and silver. This was an enormous stroke of good fortune for me.
Howard Ruff’s newsletter took off like a rocket ship. His subscriber base grew to over 125,000. His book became a runaway best-seller and it recommended my company Investment Rarities. His newsletter never failed to mention us as a source for gold and silver. His seminars were packed with subscribers and my top salesman was a popular speaker at them. We grew from 2 secretaries and myself in early 1978 to 300 employees in early 1980. Our sales went from a few million to $525 million at the peak in 1980.
One of Howard Ruff’s bedrock recommendations was to keep a supply of silver coins at home in case the dollar lost its purchasing power. He thought that if the dollar went kaput for a short time, silver would be immediately recognized as a temporary money replacement. It still seems like good advice.