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In US dollar terms gold fell 28% in 2013 and in Euro terms gold topped out in September 2012 at just over €1380 before falling back to the €900 area by December 2013. Silver did even worse and while it has been as high as €34 euro in 2011 by the end of 2013 it was breaking below the €15 level. All of this has happened while the Federal Reserve was fully engaged in QE3 and pumping billions a month in government debt and mortgage backed securities.
In contrast to the poor performance of gold and silver in 2013 the stock markets had a great year and the US property market showed real signs of life. Both of these markets relied almost entirely on the Federal Reserve’s money printing to make headway however, as Bernanke felt that driving momentum in property and stocks was key to US economic recovery. Ironically precious metals got hammered as the Fed’s QE program drove investors to follow momentum in equities and real estate. Furthermore, analysts pointed out that a taper was coming at the end of 2013 and this compounded poor sentiment in the metals markets.
But since the start of 2014 when the Fed has actually started the tapering process equity markets have stalled and metals prices have moved up quite strongly. The economic data over the December January timeframe has been generally below expectations and this has been explained away as a result of poor weather conditions. However we believe that the US economy is set once again to underperform dramatically over 2014 as the Fed tries to reduce QE and that the current weakness is not just a temporary blip. Since we believe that money printing was the prime driver in equity prices last year we also predict that equity markets will go nowhere this year as the Fed tries to bring its balance sheet under some control through the taper process.
If the stock market stalls out this year then we also expect to see some weakness in property prices in the US as a consequence of the attempted taper. General weakness in the US economy will be more difficult to explain away as spring approaches (doubtless many manufactured explanations will be made however!) and this lack of momentum on the general economy, stocks and property is likely to swing the pendulum of momentum back in favour of the metals. Unless a ‘black swan’ emerges gold and silver are likely to make consistent progress back to higher levels and erase much of the losses from last year. However if a ‘black swan’ event was to occur (e.g meltdown in derivatives markets…) gold and silver could both move rapidly past their previous highs in this cycle
10 Reasons to buy Gold Now
10 Reasons to buy Gold Now
- The bubble in government debt is showing signs of bursting – look at the performance of US treasuries since the start of 2013 – yields are rising which is an ominous development for overstretched and over indebted nations in the west
- Gold has outperformed almost all other assets over the last decade (apart from silver!!) and the factors which powered that outperformance (money printing, low interest rates, unsustainable debt etc) all look stronger now than they were back in 2000
- The Dow Gold ratio typically tops out at 1 to 1 at the end of a gold bull market. Look at the example of the deflationary 1930’s and the end of the gold bull market in 1980 – both times gold and Dow Jones index were valued equally in dollar terms. Today that ratio is 8.38 –(Dow 13992.40 and Gold 1667.80 dollars) suggesting this gold bull market has a long way to go.
- The rise in stocks and the improvement in the US housing market in the last few months may signal heightened inflation is on its way as the velocity of money increases in an environment where money has been printed in an unrelenting effort to ward off another great depression.Â High inflation is always connected with outperformance for gold and silver.
- Investors are presently all consumed by their interest in equities and housing as they over-emphasise the importance of short term events and de-emphasise longer term trends. This has directed attention away from gold and kept gold prices range bound. But the idea of a stock bull market at the present time is slightly preposterous – stocks were in the greatest bubble in history a little over a decade ago and stocks today hover around their long term average valuations or slightly above – but before a real long term bull market in stocks can begin again PE rations need to be far below long term averages. They will also need some strong fundamentals to drive outperformance – those fundamentals will return but they are not in place now. The present revival in stocks is not driven by good export numbers, strength in manufacturing, restricted and small government , low taxes or good savings rates. It is driven by money printing, better figures on housing and consumer spending – all things that got the economy into a mess in the first place!
- History tells us that the US economy has a recession every 4-6 years – lookÂ at 2002 and 2008 and we are due another right about now or certainly over the next 18 months. When that hits more money printing will be required – more and more paper is printed every time this debt based system runs into trouble to bail it out – considering how extreme the money printing has been over the last four years imagine how much currency will be printed when we hit the pending recessionary event this time out? You can imagine the consequences for the gold price…
- Gold is still under-owned by the public. Now the public is aware of gold as an asset and a wealth protection option but there is no mania or widespread desire by the public to hold some of their wealth in gold. Before this cycle ends there will be a mania to match any previous market top and the ‘shoeshine boys’ will be advising on the best gold investing options! Today the public remains sceptical and many believe gold has topped out after a good run. They’ll soon see how wrong they are.
- Paper based currencies usually collapse. Every fiat system we have seen in history has eventually collapsed. This is just a confirmation that bureaucrats and governments are not good managers of money. Gold does not need to be managed and it is that virtue which has made it the only real and enduring form of money. Since the start of the debt crisis in 2007 and 2008 to now the level of debt and money printing has only increased in this fiat currency system. The acceleration of money printing has been a constant feature of the end of every fiat currency and this time promises to be no different. Anyone left holding bundles of paper at the end of this cycle will have a lot of toilet paper but not much actual wealth. Protect yourself by holding gold.
- The British started producing the modern gold sovereign back in 1817 – you can pick up a coin from 1825 and it will have the same purchasing power as a British sovereign minted in 2013. By contrast take a dollar from 1913 (the year before the Federal Reserve was established) and a dollar printed in 2013 – can the dollar today buy you as much as a dollar in 1913? No, in fact the modern dollar is worth only less than 2% of what a dollar was worth in 1913 and that can be attributed to the glorious management of the US Federal Reserve as guardian of the US dollar. The message is clear.
- Eliminate counterparty risk – with gold, you own it without depending on any other party unlike financial transactions where there is always some counterparty risk (e.g. you hold government bonds you rely on that government being able to pay its lenders back their money plus interest). With the subprime meltdown and the exponential increase in debt levels throughout nation states in the west over the last several years counterparty risk has increased despite the perception that money printing has reduced this risk. But money printing can only increase the risk long term because it increases the pressure on the currency itself and if a currency collapses what counterparty risk will any sane individual be willing to accept when it comes to financial instruments like bonds, loans etc? Coming off the Bretton Woods standard in 1971 is what started the explosion in debt levels and the mind boggling increase in the size and complexity of the financial sector and going back to a gold standard in some form seems the only practical ‘reset’ option we have at this point.
Great Reasons To Buy Gold
1. Ireland’s economy.
Soaring unemployment, unsustainable debt and a government unwilling to take the action needed to help Ireland recover.
2. Anglo Irish Bank.
Need we say more – whether its €32 billion or €64 billion needed to bail out this toxic bank we’re being dragged into a black hole by this mess.
Everybody should have some Gold in their possession as a way to diversify their investment porfolio away from poor performance sectors like stocks and housing.
4. Quantitative Easing.
In other words – printing money! All the world’s central banks are tyring to outdo each other on this, trying to get their economies going again. Any cash you hold, whether in Euro’s or dollars is virtually certain to go down in value over the next decade, just as they have in the last decade.
5. Gold’s track record as an asset class.
In 1970, one gold ounce was worth $35 dollars. By 2000 one gold ounce was worth $270 dollars. In 2010 gold is worth over $1200 an ounce. Thats long term outperformance by any measure.
The Chinese are the driving force of the world economy right now. They are swiftly gaining on the US to become the world’s largest economy. This is inevitable, when Britain was the centre of the world, it was also the world’s workshop, and the same was true of the US. China is the world’s workshop today. And the Chinese love gold as an asset class. They will be big buyers of gold in the coming years.
7. The Dollar.
The dollar and gold are vying for the same role in the global financial system. That is, the dollar currently claims the role as the basic measure of value in the global financial system. But since 1971, when the dollar gave up its fixed gold value and left the Bretton Woods system behind, the dollar has lost 97% of its value versus gold. What sort of value measure does that make paper currency? The free market is passing judgement year by year.
8. World Gold Supply.
South Africa used to be the biggest gold producer in the world. It has now been surpassed by China as production falls. But China consumes all the gold it produces and is a net importer of gold. This at the same time that global gold demand is rising relentlessly.
9. Gold is still cheap.
At the start of the 1980’s gold reached over $800 an ounce.When you adjust prices for inflation gold would have to reach over $2000 an ounce today just to equal that high in real terms.
10. Barack Obama.
Obama looks good and sounds good. But when it comes to economics he is not so good. The dollar needs a president who understands that if you print too much you destroy underlying value and currency confidence. America needs a president who understands that low taxes always lead to higher growth and higher tax revenues. Obama wants to raise taxes for the wealthy. Sounds good, but a terrible idea if ecomomic history teaches us anything. And to allow business to thrive Ireland and America need to allow bankrupt and insolvent businesses to go out of business.
Instead economic zombies are being created which will suck the economic life out of western economies for years to come and draw resources away from new start ups and entrepreneurs who can build real wealth. In the face of these economic policies it’s inevitable that gold will be the benficiary for years to come.
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