Skip to comments.Gold ready to crash?
Posted on 06/01/2006 8:10:31 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
Gold ready to crash? Commentary: The problem with precious metals By Jesse Czelusta, Index Rx Last Update: 8:01 AM ET Jun 1, 2006
Jesse Czelusta serves as a technical advisor to the Index Rx investment letter, which is edited by his father, Lawrence Czelusta, and is a PhD candidate in economics at Stanford University. (indexrx.com) SAN ANTONIO, Texas (MarketWatch) --
Despite the recent pullback, gold and silver are very much in fashion. The fact that history has witnessed recurring periods of Au and Ag mania is evidence that Mr. Barnum's estimate of the birth rate is merely a lower bound.
Just listen to the din coming from the circus touts, ringleaders, and big top patrons themselves:
"Silver at $40 an ounce! Invest now, don't miss out!" screams the latest get-rich-quick pamphlet to litter my desk.
"Gold at $2,000?" queries the headline on one of my favorite on-line investing sites.
"Gold is the best investment that a housewife can make," I was recently informed by a member of said caste.
Indeed, the past few years have generated a frenzy of speculation in precious metals investments. But a broad-based fall in precious metals prices, if not imminent, is at least inevitable. Any interest in precious metals (as distinct from mining companies' stocks, which are better long-term investments but subject to their own set of limitations) as anything other than a disaster hedge, a short-term gamble, or jewelry is grossly misdirected.
Contrary to popular belief, long-run demand is not growing more quickly than supply.
Imagine that in the year 1900 your great-great grandfather had listened to the advice of someone touting precious metals. How would his investment have looked one hundred years later?
Not so great. At the start of the year 2000, prices for gold and silver in real terms were about the same as they were one hundred years before (see charts). Demand (largely from industry) has increased, but supply has on average kept up.
World mine production today is almost 25 times as high as it was in 1850 (again, see figures). New discoveries and technologies have allowed gold and silver production to continue to expand.
But won't these new sources of supply dry up sooner rather than later? Doubtful.
Supplies are coming not only from countries that are relative newcomers to precious metals production, but also from countries and regions that have long been mining gold and silver.
The U.S. mines more gold today than it did at the height of the Gold Rush in 1853. Gold and silver production in Australia, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and so on -- countries with long histories of mine production -- are stronger than ever.
The proximate lesson of history for investors is clear: gold bullion is second only to hiding your money under a mattress as one of the worst possible long-term investments. If you are intent upon hopping aboard the gold fever bandwagon, then stick with stocks. Better yet, stick with stock index funds. Funds like DWS Commodity Securities SKSRX or GDX an exchange-traded fund offer investors a way to purchase a diversified basket of commodity company stocks at relatively low cost.
On the other hand, history also tells us with respect to commodities that what goes up will almost certainly come down. If you think the gold fever has run its course, you could instead make a contrary play by shorting streetTRACKS Gold Shares which both track the price of gold bullion. Or you could make a highly aggressive move by purchasing puts on the optionable GDX.
If you do make a foray into commodities, be prepared for the inevitable boom and bust cycles. Commodities (like stocks) are worth only as much as the investment masses think they are. Just because your personal opinion is proven right in the long-run does not preclude the possibility that you will miss out on substantial, sentiment-driven profit opportunities in the meantime.
This is why Index Rx employs a mid-term relative strength model, rather than editorial prescience, to pick funds. Neither of the editors of Index Rx would have recommended precious metals twelve months ago. In fact, we purposefully exclude commodity funds from our portfolios because of their volatility and lack of potential for long-term appreciation.
Yet we've benefited from the run-up in commodities prices (and arguably from the dollar's decline) by investing in international and emerging market funds over this period. Our more aggressive portfolios have accrued large returns over the past year via ETFs like iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEMiShares:MSCI Emerg Mkt VPL ) . Although May's drop was precipitous, this short term decline is vastly outweighed by these ETFs' 12-month gains.
While the final numbers were not yet in as this article went to press, recent market action looks likely to move us away from emerging markets and into developed economies. Funds like iShares MSCI EAFE Index (EFAiShares:MSCI EAFE Idx.
Whatever strategy you choose, remember: All that glitters is not gold, even gold itself.
Who has that pic that goes, "Oh no, not this again!" :-)
Shhh! Gold is magic! How dare you subject it to critical analysis like other lowly commodities!
The impending crash of gold will be an excellent buying opportunity, allowing maximum profit when it goes to $10,000 an ounce!
It can't be about to crash. I hear all those commercials Michael Savage does for Swiss America Trading!
Not as much value as guns and gasoline.
BAHOG, don't fail me now!
Gold is gold. A is A.............
Gold going up? BUY GOLD!
Gold going down? BUY MORE GOLD!
(Thus endeth the Swiss America Trading impersonation)
One of my neighbors was buying gold at the last peak.
I was selling.
Guess who made a profit?
Fiat money lover! Dollars will be worthless.
You must measure the value of gold versus useful things. Like packs of smokes and bottles of Jack Daniels.
Or BEANIE BABIES!!!!!!............
Numismatic Gold...is always good stuff, if one is a coin collector.
Bullion coins are for playing the commodities game.
Gold may stay at these levels, it may go higher, it may go lower, as long as one tracks their investment...they'll be okay.
If the monetary system ever collapses, which is pretty extreme, I'd be worried about a lot more things thing than just the gold in my portfolio.
HOT FOR GOLD
Tops in consumer demand for gold, in tons:
1. India 721.6
2. Middle East 387.3
3. U.S. 378.9
4. Mainland China 292.5
5. Turkey 248.4
Naw, I don't like fiat money.
I like Ferrari money.
Could the author also be using newspundit.net for his financial news and information? Like us, he must appreciate their no nonsense hard hitting journalism and their detailed and objective financial analysis.
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