Thanks to global currency devaluations, investors have been turning to precious metals like gold and silver as a hedge against inflation. Precious metals are a trustworthy and realistic investment instrument that should be in every investor’s portfolio.
Since hitting a low of $253.70 in July 1999, gold prices have surged. While some economists think gold’s historic run will come to an end, others are not so sure. The overarching driver of the price of gold will continue to be the global financial crisis and ongoing tensions in the Middle East.
If you’re looking for a precious metal that historically outperforms gold…look to silver. Since trading as low as $4.00 per ounce in late 2001, silver reached highs of almost $50.00 an ounce in 2011. While silver prices have retraced a bit, the metal is still up more than 675 percent from its 2001 lows. When it comes to a precious metal bull market, silver consistently out performs gold.
Given our current economic situation, it’s not hard to see why investors turn to inflation-proof hard assets like precious metals.
This week, I went to one of the world’s biggest mining and exploration conventions, which was hosted by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) and was held in Toronto. There were hundreds of gold mining and exploration companies showcasing their projects and making their case for how they could be the next big investment.
Saying the very least, it was an interesting experience.
From time to time, I go to conventions like the one I went to a couple days ago. I go to gauge the sentiment of those who are very close to the industry, to see where gold bullion prices might go next.
This week, at the convention, I found that gold exploration and production firms, analysts, and even those who sell mining equipment are skeptical about where gold bullion prices are heading next.
Let me explain…
Over the day at the convention, I spoke to many different companies that produce or explore gold bullion. The majority of them said something along the lines of, “The markets are tough these days,” or “Funding is difficult to get… We are cutting our exploration budget and not going ahead with further expansion.”
Analysts who look at companies involved in the gold bullion sectors weren’t very optimistic, either. Remember when gold bullion prices were reaching their highs? At that time, you would hear calls for the precious metal prices to go higher than $3,000 or even $5,000 an ounce.
This isn’t the case anymore. The negativity is intense. Analysts said something along the lines of, “At the very core, exploration companies and producers won’t increase in value unless gold … Read More
The key stock indices continue to make new highs. Each day, there’s someone on the TV saying how we are going higher. Some are estimating key stock indices will do much better this year than last. No matter where you look, the opinion seems to be the same: buy stocks and your portfolio will do great. With all this happening, investors must remember one very important lesson that the stock market has taught us over and over again: a rising tide lifts all boats, but tides come and go.
Let me explain…
As key stock indices are going higher, investors’ portfolios may look great. Their return may be exuberant, but they shouldn’t forget that markets tend to move in waves. The conditions may look rosy now, but eventually, it all turns. Key stock indices are known to have corrections—minor or steep.
When the times are good on the key stock indices, such as now, long-term investors have to keep market corrections and sell-offs in mind.
Generally, when the key stock indices turn, investors turn towards government bonds. This is mainly because they move in the opposite direction of the stock market. Investors can protect their assets when key stock indices decline by going heavyweight on exchange-traded funds (ETFs), like PIMCO Total Return ETF (NYSEArca/BOND)—this ETF, like many others, invests in bonds with different maturities. Investors may even consider ETFs like iShares TIPS Bond (NYSEArca/TIP), which invests in the inflation-protected bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury.
Another way investors can protect their portfolio in the case that key stock indices sell off is through gold bullion. The yellow shiny metal has … Read More
A friend of mine asked me the other day about the best way to build a long-term investment strategy. This is a great question, but it’s also one of the most difficult ones to answer.
Obviously, different people have various goals and objectives, especially when it comes to risks. For me, the way I put together an investment strategy is by looking to buy things when they are on sale, including stocks.
Over the past couple of months, if you’ve been following my articles, you’ve likely noticed that I’ve started to become quite bullish on gold mining stocks. This is the classic investment strategy of buying when most people are selling. When you consider the current sentiment, it’s clear that gold mining stocks haven’t experienced this much negativity in years.
Of course, you can’t simply have an investment strategy to buy any random stock or sector when it goes down; that’s doomed to fail. At some point, for the investment strategy to work, there must be some fundamental strength over the long term.
We all know about the pain felt by most gold mining stocks. But don’t forget: the market is a forward-looking mechanism. Your investment strategy should not focus on what’s happening today, but what is likely to occur over the next several quarters and even years.
Why did I recently become bullish on gold mining stocks?
I believe part of the reason for the significant weakness in the precious metal, especially in December, was due to institutions continuing to play the trends. You have to remember that large funds are measured by their performance (yearly and quarterly), and … Read More
“Why would someone be bullish on gold right now? Stocks have the momentum. Let me warn: you will be better off buying stocks than buying gold bullion.” These were the “wise” words of my good old friend Mr. Speculator, when I met him over the weekend.
Not too long ago, he was afraid about what would happen to his stock position. Now, his opinion has changed. Mr. Speculator thinks key stock indices will hit new highs and gold bullion—which provides safety against the backdrop of a weak economy—will go down further. He said, “It will be a bad year for gold investors.”
Mr. Speculator may be right about the key stock indices. The momentum on the stock market is significantly noticeable. We see buyers come in and buy after every decline. This can continue, but you have to keep in mind that the fundamentals are becoming weak. This can be troublesome and could create a massive sell-off very quickly.
On gold, however, I completely disagree.
I have been bullish on gold bullion for some time, and my main argument has to do with the demand and supply of the precious metal. I see demand for gold bullion increasing, while the supply side is being threatened due to low prices.
We are seeing China become the biggest consumer of gold bullion. It was India before, but the government and the central bank of the country are working very hard to curb the demand for the yellow shiny metal. According to the China Gold Association, in 2013, the total precious metal consumption in the country increased by 41% to 1,176.4 tonnes. This … Read More
Demand for gold bullion remains high. Each day there’s a new piece of information that continues to attest to this phenomenon. With this, I remain bullish on the yellow shiny metal. But one thing should be noted: I am not saying the bottom has been placed in, but that all the indicators are suggesting a bottom may be in the making.
From a fundamental point of view, the basic factors of price—supply and demand—suggest gold prices may be going higher (which I have said before). Demand is increasing.
We are seeing massive demand for gold bullion from countries like Turkey. According to the Istanbul Gold Exchange, Turkey imported 302.3 tons of gold bullion in 2013. This was more than double what it imported in 2012 and the highest amount since 1995. (Source: Larkin, N., “Turkey’s Silver Imports Surge to Most Since 1999 as Prices Slide,” Bloomberg, January 2, 2014.)
Pakistan is seeing massive imports of gold bullion into the country. As a result, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has imposed a ban of 30 days on gold bullion imports to Pakistan. This is the second time the country has taken such a step. The first time it imposed a ban on gold bullion imports was in July of 2013. (Source: “ECC imposes 30-day ban on gold import,” The Nation, January 21, 2014.)
The demand for gold bullion from India and China has shown great resilience in the past year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it continue. With the Chinese New Year fast approaching—a time when gold bullion is purchased by consumers as gift and good … Read More
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