Part of the recent move up in gold prices to more than $1,400 an ounce and the uptick in gold stocks is a response to the crisis in Syria.
However, there is a lot more occurring just beneath the surface than geopolitics.
But investors would never get that sense from Wall Street, which is still in the midst of its perennial "hate gold" campaign.
Take, for instance, the hullabaloo over the liquidation by hedge fund manager John Paulson of a large part of his position in SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD).
In the second quarter of this year, Paulson cut his position in GLD from 21.8 million shares to 10.2 million shares. At first glance, he seemed to have lost faith in gold and was getting out.
But, there's more to that story…
The Financial Times reported that Paulson offset much of the sale of GLD by purchasing gold swaps on the over-the-counter (OTC) market.
Part of the reason may be cost. GLD has a management fee of 0.4%. The FT reported that with gold forward curve flattening, there's little cost to holding gold derivatives.
Another reason may be less transparency, making it easier to make a major move. In the OTC derivatives market, not everyone can figure out exactly what Paulson is doing with regard to investing in gold.Â
The real underreported action, however, may not be in the gold market, but in gold stocks.
More Smart Money Investing in Gold Stocks
Li Ka-shing, 85, is one of Hong Kong's richest businessmen. Bloomberg estimates his net worth to be about $27 billion.
He is also known as one of the world's savviest investors, buying assets on the cheap.
And he recently made a major move into gold stocks.
One of his companies, Cheung Kong Holdings Limited (CHEUY), recently formed a 50/50 joint venture with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (NYSE: CM) called CEF Holdings. They want to invest into beaten-down mining stocks and particularly gold equities.