Infograhic: All the world’s gold

 EmailPrint This Post Print This Post

The fascinating infographic below come courtesy of NumberSleuth.org (via The Big Picture).

Click the image for a larger graphic.

All The World's Gold

Source: NumberSleuth.org, January 5, 2012 (hat tip: The Big Picture).

Did you enjoy this post? If so, click here to subscribe to updates to Investment Postcards from Cape Town by e-mail.

OverSeas Radio Network

“Upside gold crescendo lies ahead,” says Richard Russell

 EmailPrint This Post Print This Post

I often get asked: “What does Richard Russell say about the $350 decline in the price of gold?” The simple answer is that the octogenarian writer of the Dow Theory Letters remains unfazed, and is preaching the gold gospel as strongly as before. The excerpt below from his latest newsletter summarizes Russell’s viewpoint.

“Below are the last day of the year quotes for gold.

2000 — $273.60
2001 — $279.00
2002 — $348.20
2003 — $416.10
2004 — $438.40
2005 — $518.90
2006 — $638.00
2007 — $838.00
2008 — $889.00
2009 — $1,096.50
2010 — $1,421.40
2011 — $1,566.80

“This year’s close for gold marks the 11th year for a higher year-end gold closing. To my knowledge this is the longest bull market of any kind in history in which each year’s close was above the previous year. This fabulous bull market will not end with a whisper and a fizzle. I continue to believe that the upside gold crescendo of this bull market lies ahead. We are watching market history.

“I note the frustration and anger of the anti-gold crowd. To miss 12 years of rising prices is enough to make any investor furious with himself. I would guess that 99 percent of Americans have never participated in the gold bull market. Thus, sour grapes is the sentiment of the gold-haters. Happy to say my subscribers who listened to me in the early years of the gold bull market have enjoyed the riches restored upon them by the greatest bull market in history.”

Did you enjoy this post? If so, click here to subscribe to updates to Investment Postcards from Cape Town by e-mail.

OverSeas Radio Network

Striking portfolio balance with gold stocks

 EmailPrint This Post Print This Post

The article below is a guest contribution by Frank Holmes, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of U.S. Global Investors.

It wasn’t a pretty week for gold prices. The eurozone’s epic endeavor to conquer its sovereign debt issues forced some institutional investors to liquidate profitable gold positions to meet a rising need for liquidity.

In addition, falling confidence in the euro and other global currencies pushed investors tumbling toward the relative safety of the U.S. dollar. As we outlined for you last week, the key phrase is “relative safety” because we know that it could only take a slight breeze to blow the dollar’s house down.

Back on August 22, I wrote that gold was due for a correction and that it would be a non-event to see a 10 percent drop in gold. I wrote, “This would actually be a healthy development for markets by shaking out the short-term speculators.”

This morning’s gold price of $1,590 is about 15 percent from the high, which is a little greater than predicted, but a non-event just the same. I believe the long-term story remains on solid ground.

In a report this week, Credit Suisse reiterated the bull market for gold is not over, saying, “We do not believe the key fundamental drivers of the [gold] bull market have dissipated. While there are risks, in our opinion gold is getting close to attractive levels for new longs to be initiated.”

Gold Stocks vs. the Federal Budget

This chart, which we’ve highlighted several times, shows the size of the surplus or deficit in the federal budget. When the federal government is spending more than it takes in, gold and gold stocks tend to outperform the broader market. It’s important to point out that it’s the political policies, not political parties, that drive this phenomenon. During the 1990s, when President Clinton was in office, there was a budget surplus and investors could earn more on Treasury bills (about 3 percent) than the inflationary rate (about 2 percent). This gave investors little incentive to embrace commodities such as gold, and prices hovered around $250 an ounce.

Since 2001, increased regulation in all aspects of life, negative real interest rates, welfare and entitlement expansion funded with increased deficit spending have created an imbalance in America’s economic system. It’s this disequilibrium between fiscal and monetary policies that drives gold to outperform in a country’s currency. The Federal Reserve capped interest rates near zero back in 2008 and the federal budget deficit ballooned to $1.4 trillion. In fact, both the deficit as a percentage of GDP (negative 11 percent) and federal government debt as a percentage of GDP (nearly 65 percent) are at the highest levels since 1950. This has helped fuel gold’s rise through $1,000 and $1,500 an ounce.

Striking Portfolio Balance with Gold Stocks

Gold stocks have historically ranked among some of the most volatile asset classes. Over any given one-year period, it is a non-event for gold stocks to move plus or minus 38 percent. This DNA of volatility is about three times that of gold bullion, which carries an annual volatility around 13 percent.

Despite this volatility, our research shows that investors can use gold stocks to enhance returns without adding risk to the portfolio.

In 1989, Wharton School finance professor Jeffrey Jaffe completed an academic study that illustrated the effects of portfolio diversification into gold stocks. Jaffe’s original study covered the period from September 1971, just after President Nixon ended convertibility between gold and the dollar, to June 1987.

During Jaffe’s study period, the average monthly return for the S&P 500 was 0.89 percent. Gold stocks, as measured by the Toronto Stock Exchange Gold and Precious Minerals Total Return Index, converted to U.S. dollars, performed considerably better, returning an average monthly return of 1.42 percent.

On the risk side, gold stocks had greater volatility (measured by standard deviation) than the S&P 500. But Jaffe found that, because of their low correlation to U.S. stocks, adding a small percentage of gold-related assets to a diversified portfolio slightly reduced overall risk.

Here is an updated version of Jaffe’s results.

To find an optimal portfolio allocation between gold stocks and the S&P 500, the efficient frontier plots different portfolios, ranging from a 100 percent allocation to U.S. stocks (the S&P 500) and no allocation to gold stocks, and gradually increases the share of gold stocks while decreasing the allocation to U.S. equities.

Assuming an investor rebalanced annually, our research found that a portfolio holding an 85 percent allocation to the S&P 500 and a 15 percent allocation to gold equities* had essentially the same volatility as the S&P 500 (horizontal axis) but delivered a higher return (vertical axis). In other words, the addition of a small allocation to gold stocks increased portfolio returns with no increase in the portfolio’s volatility.

Continue reading Striking portfolio balance with gold stocks

OverSeas Radio Network

Gold bull is dead, says Gartman

 EmailPrint This Post Print This Post

Calling the death of gold’s bull run, and the beginning of a gold bear market, with Dennis Gartman, The Gartman Letter. He said in latest newsletter: “We have the beginnings of a real bear market, and the death of a bull … So much damage has been done to the psychology of the market in the past week and so many late longs caught off guard that forced liquidation shall be the outcome.”

Source: CNBC, December 14, 2011.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, click here to subscribe to updates to Investment Postcards from Cape Town by e-mail.

OverSeas Radio Network

You can’t print more gold

 EmailPrint This Post Print This Post

The article below is a guest contribution by Frank Holmes, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of U.S. Global Investors.

What do you get when you mix negative real interest rates with stimulative money supply efforts by global central banks?

An exceptionally potent formula for higher gold prices that could send gold to the unimaginable level of $10,000 an ounce. Negative real interest rates and strong money supply growth are two key factors of what I refer to as the Fear Trade.

Negative real interest rates occur when the inflationary rate, or CPI, is greater than the current interest rate. A quick account of the G-7 and E-7 countries shows that the majority have negative real interest rates.

Across the developed G-7 countries, British citizens are the worst off with real interest rates in the U.K. sitting at negative 4.5 percent. U.S investors aren’t doing much better with rates at negative 3.25 percent and the Fed has all but guaranteed rates will remain there. Only Japan has a positive real interest rate among the G-7 and that rate is barely above zero.

Conversely, the most populous nations making up the E-7 have mostly positive real interest rates. However, the grouping’s grandest economic powerhouses, China and India, have negative real interest rates sitting around negative 2 percent.

Simply put, investors in those countries who have parked their savings in cash and low-yielding investments, such as Treasury bills and money market accounts in the U.S., are actually losing money due to inflation.

That can be tough for any investor, but when you’re the central bank of a country with millions of dollars in reserves, it can be catastrophic. This is why central banks around the globe have sought protection by diversifying their foreign-exchange reserves into gold bullion this year.

VTB Capital’s Andrey Kryuchenkov told The Wall Street Journal this week that, “Central banks are diversifying, and it has intensified to a rate that nobody had expected.” Latest estimates predict global central banks will purchase between 475-500 tons of gold in 2011.

This amount of capital flowing into gold has the potential to push prices up a level in 2012. John Mendelson from ISI Group sees gold prices reaching $2,200 an ounce during the first six months of 2012.

While real interest rates look to remain in the red for the foreseeable future, many of these same countries are printing record amounts of “green” with accommodative monetary policies.

U.S. Global’s director of research John Derrick says central banks around the world have focused their attention on stimulating growth. Beginning with Brazil’s interest rate cut in late August through the European Central Banks (ECB) cut this week, there have been 40 easing moves by global central banks, according to ISI Group.

John says this also means we will likely see more quantitative easing in 2012. The Bank of England has already started its quantitative easing, and many experts believe the ECB and the Federal Reserve will follow in its footsteps.

Bloomberg reports that global money supply (M2) is “set to increase the most on record in 2011.” The chart below shows the year-over-year change of global money supply has been gradually moving higher and higher since mid-2010.

Continue reading You can’t print more gold

OverSeas Radio Network

Gold shares would soon play catch up

 EmailPrint This Post Print This Post

In a recent research note, BCA Research argues that it is too soon to give up on gold shares – a sector that has underperformed gold bullion and liquidity plays over the past few years.

The report says: “Gold miner profits track gold prices and this has not changed in the past few years, although the tracking is far from perfect. What has changed is the traditional 2:1 relationship between changes in gold shares and underlying prices. Global gold shares are flat year-on-year in dollar terms, yet the dollar price of gold is up 22%. This is despite the fact that gold company hedge books are leaner than they have been in years.

“One possible explanation is that commodity-sensitive currencies have been strong in recent years. This places a wedge between revenues and costs for many gold producers. Put another way, gold in C$, A$ and SA rand terms has been weaker than in U.S. dollar terms. However, that has not been the case in recent months as the commodity currencies have dropped in the face of investor risk aversion.

“A more likely explanation relates to the ETF phenomenon. Gold company multiple compression accelerated as ETF holdings hit successive new highs in 2010 and 2011.

“While the divergence is unsustainable, it is difficult to tell when it will end. Even if gold shares are in a bear market versus gold prices, they are stretched relative to the downtrend in place since 2006. Perhaps global reflation and a softer dollar will spur a “broadening” of interest in lagging liquidity plays, such as gold shares.”

I am in agreement with BCA’s recommendation that one should continue to hold strategic positions in both gold and gold shares.

Source: BCA – Daily Insights Service, December 8, 2011.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, click here to subscribe to updates to Investment Postcards from Cape Town by e-mail.

OverSeas Radio Network

Top 100 Financial Blogs

Recent Posts

Charts & Indexes

Gold Price (US$)

Don Coxe’s Weekly Webcast

Podcast – Dow Jones


One minute - every hour - weekdays
(requires Windows Media Player)
newsflashr network
National Debt Clock

Calendar of Posts

February 2019
MTWTFSS
« Jan  
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728 

Feed the Bull