Smoking Securities

Half Baked High Finance

Post Porno Precious Metals

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After a solid jerk to the moans of Ms. Haze, I’m inclined to write a piece on an asset I’m bullish on, lest my dear reader assume I’m a total curmudgeon and hater. A slowing economy is often followed by falling interest rates, which in turn weakens the currency of that economy, thereby increasing the nominal value of assets denominated in said money. Gold reflects this reality, and has done so for the last 6 years.
Since the first rate cuts of the millennium in September 2001, gold has tripled, leading many to believe that the easy money has been made in the shiny yellow metal. Yet, as William O’Neil so concisely points out, “What seems too high and risky to most investors is likely to continue rising. And what seems low and cheap usually goes down.”
Gold will appreciate for fundamental, technical and sentimental reasons in the coming months. The best ways to play this trend include ETF’s like GLD, GDX, DBP, HGU.TO, and the options tied to these underlying securities. There will also be stellar performance by the likes of Newmont Mining (NEM) and Barrick Gold (ABX), but to offset individual company risk, sectors funds like GDX may be a better bet.
Fundamentally: Gold is called a hedge against inflation, and it has done pretty well in this category, rising with the price of energy and agriculture since the commodities boom began in the late 90’s. It is also a safe haven during times of perceived global instability, so as long as there are planes plastering the Pentagon, bombers in Bali, boys blowing up Bhutto and Negros ‘nihilating Nigeria, gold will continue to shine. Finally, unlike the fiat currencies of every industrial nation, the value of gold cannot be easily debased (unless you believe there is a conspiracy to add base lead to the bars held by the Central Banks and sold to retail investors).
Technically: Precious metals have enjoyed a solid run over the past few days, months and years, generally moving upwards at a 45 degree angle across the charts. Currently GLD sits ~5-10% above the most recent consolidation levels (starting points are dependent upon subjective analysis), and is making new highs after breaking out of the bullish pennant formed over the past few months.
Sentimentally: Fear has gripped the Street as a fog of uncertainty clouds the quality of assets currently on/off the balance sheets of many financial institutions. This has led Central Banks to do what they do best, cut interest rates to encourage borrowing, further exacerbating the situation by allowing speculators to acquire money on the cheap and invest it in hard assets (i.e. gold and wheat). So long as these quasi-government institutions kowtow to the passions of commercial banks and other lenders, precious metals will move higher.
Recommendation: Buy precious metals on dips, on breakouts, in consolidations wherever, whenever you get a paycheck.

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Written by chucklesamadeus

January 14, 2008 at 12:02 am

Posted in Buy, GLD, Gold, Overweight

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