This gold prices chart compares the yellow metal to two other measures to find out if indeed gold is in a bubble. You must see the answer… Read more...
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Money Morning Executive Editor William Patalon III recently had a chance to catch up with famed investor Jim Rogers on investing in gold, U.S. stocks, and the best commodities for 2013.
Renowned commodities investor Rogers is concerned about the worldwide economy, but he's not worried about the recent sell off in gold.
In fact, he stands poised to pounce on the yellow metal should it fall further.
It's been a good few days for investors holding on to gold, and we've been getting lots of questions as to why gold prices are up this week.
Gold futures had their biggest one-day gain of the year Thursday, up nearly $40 an ounce, and ended the week up 4.2% at $1,453.60.
At one point this week, gold had retraced half the loss it incurred during its April nosedive. In a two-day period, the yellow metal fell $225 an ounce, hitting a two-year low on April 15.
It is natural for any financial asset to enjoy some sort of a rebound after such a steep plunge. But there are some sound fundamental reasons as to why gold is up.
With the yellow metal down about 14% this year, wouldn't it be great to get the scoop from famed investor Jim Rogers on gold prices in 2013- specifically, why they're down, and if investors should still bet on a long-term gold bull market?
We had a chance to ask Rogers those very questions last weekend.
Sunday evening, Money Morning Executive Editor William Patalon III spoke on the phone with Rogers - who was at his home in Singapore - in a wide-ranging discussion about gold, U.S. stocks, commodities and global central banks' "race to the bottom" - or, as Rogers calls it, "race to insanity."
In this exclusive interview, the legendary investment guru took us on a tour of the gold market, taking a close look at what's driven the past 12 years of gold price gains - and what will move the yellow metal going forward.
He also pointed out the one fundamental reason why gold prices fell recently...
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Gold prices tumbled $140.40, or 9.4%, to $1360.60 an ounce. This brought the two-day decline to $203.70, or 13%.
- The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes that came out last week suggested the central bank may start scaling back its monetary stimulus measures later this year, reducing inflationary pressures.
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) last week cut its 2013 average gold forecast, for the second time, to $1,545 from $1,610. Investors like to dump the metal after the release of bearish research.
- There have been rumors financially strapped Cyprus was selling 400 million euros of gold, 75% of its reserves to raise cash.
Gold prices ended the drastic two-day decline Tuesday, up nearly 2% to $1,387.40.
Even though the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor's 500 Index have hit record highs this year, investing in gold remains the top investment pick in CNBC's latest All-America Economic Survey.
The March poll shows the yellow metal is the favored investment choice among 35% of respondents, beating real estate at 27% and stocks at 21%. This is the second year that investing in gold has topped the list of what those surveyed consider the "best investment" to make now.
While survey participants are more optimistic this year than last about the stock market, 21% are uncertain if now is a good time to dabble in stocks, up from 11% in December 2009.
Those who believe the current environment make it a good time to buy stocks jumped from 31% in November to 40%, the highest amount since December 2009.
Moreover, in spite of the improved outlook for stocks, the overall view of the current state of the economy remains bleak. Currently, 60% of those surveyed are pessimistic about the U.S. economy, up from 56% in November.
After more than a decade of merger mania, gold miners are now looking to spin off some of their acquisitions.
By doing so, the gold miners hope for better results after abysmal performance recently, as gold prices have fallen. And, as always, gold miners' profits rise and fall much faster than the yellow metal's price.
The underperformance of the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX) compared with that of the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD) bears this out. GDX is down 20.5% since the end of last year, while GLD is down 4.8%.
Investors are starting to get really impatient with the gold miners - so much so that billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson is arguing some of the world's biggest gold mining companies, including AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE: AU), spin off some of the mines that they have acquired through M&A over the past 10 years.
Paulson, the largest shareholder of GLD and AU, thinks the sum of the parts is greater than the value of the whole mining company. Paulson certainly can't be pleased with AU's 23.5% decline so far in 2013.
They almost HAVE to. Fact is, gold mining companies' stocks specifically have lagged the performance of the precious metal for six years. Here's why investors can expect a reversal in the next nine months.
In recent years, global gold production has been at or near record levels. The plentiful supplies have led gold bears to argue that the yellow metal's decade-long bull run will end.
But gold bears are dead wrong.
In fact, the 'glory days' of gold production may be ending soon.
That's because some industry experts are beginning to point to a gold "production cliff' that is looming not far in the future.
And this coming decline in production can mean only one thing: higher gold prices.
Renowned bond investor Bill Gross, the manager of PIMCO's Total Return Fund, the world's largest bond fund, just shared his top investment picks with Barron's. Leading the savvy investor's short and selective list was gold.
Why is a bond bull keen on investing in gold?
It's because Gross sees gold as a stellar inflationary hedge as global central banks attempt to reflate their economies.
Gross explained that while it looks like loose monetary policies and the deluge of dollars will continue for a while, at some point both will have to stop and "when all this money printing by central banks ends, it won't be pretty."
Gross sees trouble brewing in the artificially-priced U.S. Treasury market.
"The Fed is buying 80% of the Treasury market today. It is remarkable to think that when the Treasury issues debt in the trillion-dollar-plus category, the Fed ends up buying most of it. The Treasury sells it to banks and primary dealers, who sell it back to the Fed at a higher bid," Gross explained.
"This is very different from the free-market capitalism we've come to know. And it will continue until inflation exceeds the upper end of the central bank's target of 2.5% or, by some miracle, we get real economic growth," Gross continued.
The artificially priced bonds leave investors to question if investing in them is worth the slender reward, given the paltry yields from a bevy of bonds except high-risk junk bonds.
There are plenty of reasons for you to have some gold stocks in your portfolio.
Governments are stockpiling record amounts of the shiny metal. Mints are pumping out new coins as fast as they can. And the Fed under "Helicopter" Ben Bernanke is wallpapering the world with greenbacks, pumping out $85 billion a month until...well, who knows when?
But there's more.
The Europeans have joined the party by bailing out their weak sisters with hundreds of billions of euros.
And the Bank of Japan just announced a $1.2 trillion bond purchase program for 2013 and $150 billion per month after that - almost twice the size of the Fed's folly.
Now the yahoos in Washington are threatening to spill more blood over the debt ceiling.
All this spells big upside for gold prices in 2013...and the companies that produce gold.
But that certainly has changed in recent years.
In 2012, the world's central banks added the most gold to their reserves since 1964. Net official gold purchases added up to 536 metric tons, a gain of 17.4% from the previous year according to a report from Thomson Reuters GFMS. The estimate from the World Gold Council for such purchases is similar at 500 metric tons.
Central banks are forecast by GFMS to purchase 280 metric tons in the first half of 2013 alone.
That's good news for anyone investing in gold.