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Gold Bug Predictions and Views Debunked (By a Gold Bug)

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One-way thinking and sensational statements can be dangerous or deadly to your portfolio. Be cautious, entertain foreign ideas, and understand both sides of the coin.

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I must confess I am a gold bug both philosophically and in terms of investing. We are entering a golden age for gold as the bull market is destined to reach amazing heights as real and honest money reemerges as legal tender against fiat currencies that will soon be at the mercy of a sovereign debt crisis. All this being said, I take issue with some headlines listed here in friend Gary's blog and some gold bug talking points. I'm listing some of these headlines and talking points and then my response.

System Wide Meltdown as US to Enter Hyperinflation

The odds of hyperinflation are extremely remote. For that to even happen, the US would need to lose its status as the largest economy in the world and completely lose the reserve currency. Neither of these things is going to happen. Sure US power is waning but the US remains the dominant nation which is essential to the global economy. Moreover, our debt isn't owed in a foreign currency.

More importantly, if hyperinflation was even a small risk, the US dollar and the bond market would be falling apart. This is where technical analysis comes in handy. The US dollar has just emerged from a bullish double bottom on the weekly chart while bonds (as per (TLT) and (IEF)) have been ripping for weeks. Their uptrends remain intact and have actually strengthened as QE has come to a close. The hyperinflation talk is nonsense.

Gold & Silver Have Bottomed, Summer Explosion Ahead

Gold has actually peaked at $1550 and looks headed down to $1475. It hasn't bottomed but is in a bullish consolidation that will likely continue into August. In terms of sentiment, silver looks excellent. Sentiment suggests a lack of material downside but silver's rebounds continue to fail and now the metal will retest $33. It could bottom at $30-$31. To conclude, further consolidation in gold will likely fuel a stronger breakout at some point but not until August at the earliest. Silver needs to confirm a bottom and build a strong base. We won't see an explosion until the market exceeds $50 which may not happen for another 12 months. First these markets need to sustain an uptrend before an explosion can happen. It is just wishful thinking.

Hedge Funds are Shorting the Gold Stocks and the Juniors

Anytime the gold stocks underperform out comes this battle cry.

First of all we need to understand that historically gold stocks do not outperform gold. Please see this excellent piece by Steve Saville which should put to rest this idea that gold stocks should outperform gold or are cheap because they are not outperforming. Gold mining is a very difficult business and its extremely difficult the larger the company is. Even with a rising price of gold it is difficult to sustain production and reserve growth. Hence, the sector doesn't outperform over long periods of time.

Sorry but hedge funds are not shorting the juniors. The juniors are extremely risky illiquid and are the worst performers when the broad market is weak. The vast majority of these companies have no production, no cash flow, no earnings and no money. They are not real businesses. They are vehicles for speculation.

If your juniors are badly underperforming then you haven't picked the right ones or you have unrealistic expectations. Maybe a tiny hedge fund here and there is shorting a few juniors. Other than that the notion is completely unproven. Consider options, warrants and private placements and then you might find the reason your juniors aren't performing.

The current reality is one of risk aversion. That is good for gold but bad for gold shares. However, gold is rising relative to mining cost inputs which will be a bullish catalyst for the gold shares in a few months and likely when this summer selloff abates.

Bonds Will Crash Without QE, Interest Rates Will Skyrocket

Bonds began another advance into the end of this quantitative easing (QE). This is counter-intuitive. If the Fed isn't buying bonds then who is? Institutions with millions need a safe place to park funds and earn a small return. Stocks and commodities have had a great run but now the ill-fated economic recovery has lost momentum. Bonds are the only place the big money can go when risk assets pullback. Remember, no QE initially means lower inflation expectations which means lower stocks and commodities which provides a bid for bonds.

In the Great Depression, rates didn't bottom until the 1940s. Short term funds continue to make new highs. IEF, a 7- to10-year ETF is on the cusp of another all-time high. There are many reasons why bonds may not decline over the next few years. The US still has the reserve currency and global economic power. Weakness in the US will keep short rates low and affect global economies and markets. That combination is advantage for bonds against risk assets. Japan is one example.

At my firm, we expect continued debt monetization, currency depreciation and inflation but we disagree that bonds are going to collapse anytime soon.

Conclusion

Precious metals are certainly in a bull market and the birth of a bubble should occur sooner rather than later. This being said, we need to remember that precious metals and the respective shares are extremely volatile. The buy-and-hold philosophy can work with gold but it doesn't work with the gold stocks. Most companies are not even close to their 2007-2008 levels despite the price of gold being 50% above its 2008 peak. It is more of a bull market for traders and active investors than a buy and hold for 10-year investors.

One-way thinking and sensational statements can be dangerous or deadly to your portfolio. It is more sensible to be cautious, entertain foreign ideas, and understand both sides of the coin.


Editor's Note: See more from Jordan Roy-Byrne at The Daily Gold.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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