Gold prices have been used as a store of wealth for centuries. Naturally, prior to the modern period, the monetary system was quite basic and rudimentary. Gold prices can be quite erratic and have a history of massive swings. One issue with gold prices is that supply can and does come back into the market. Unlike other commodities that are used up, such as oil, when gold prices move up, people can sell their holdings, which can be melted down and added to the world supply again. High gold prices are usually a sign of a lack of faith in paper money, usually due to inflation, which erodes the value of fiat money.
The buy low/sell high investment strategy requires a ton of resolve.
Going against the stock market that just proved an asset is not attractive is not only risky, but it is counterintuitive to the emotional decision-making that takes place in financial markets.
I always scan the stock market for positions at their 52-week lows.
The reason for doing this is twofold: 1) to identify potentially attractive buy low/sell high assets; and 2) to assess what Wall Street dislikes for the purpose of honing my market view.
What you want to look for isn’t a company that is going broke or whose business plans have failed, but a large-cap, brand-name company—a leader within its industry that is down on the stock market for its own specific set of reasons.
One company that exemplifies the scenario I’m describing is Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE/ABX).
This blue-chip gold producer has been having a very tough time on the stock market. The position is down another 10 points since April and has been cut in half since last November.
Barrick Gold’s stock chart is below:
Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com
Barrick Gold looks like a good buy low/sell high trade candidate. But obviously, there are two immediate explanations as to why the position just bounced off a major low: weaker gold prices and rising production costs.
The company did particularly well on the stock market between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. Then it took a break for a good 10 years, doing nothing except paying its dividends.
I would now keep a sharp eye on Barrick Gold for a buy low/sell high trade. But here’s the thing: … Read More
So much change is in the air: the stock market breakout, declining commodity prices, and a world awash in cash.
Thinking about gold, it is just a piece of soft rock. But it’s a rock with a special connotation and with unique properties. It did a fantastic job helping the space shuttle, and a lot of people think it looks pretty good.
The first gold jewelry-makers must have been jumping for joy when they found a shiny rock they could shape without breaking. I read that approximately just 10% of gold production is used in industry; the rest is for jewelry and physical investment.
Because people throughout the centuries attributed value to gold, the soft rock has some worth.
Today, gold prices are determined by derivative traders, central banks, and what barterers believe it to be worth. This is not a group of market-makers that inspires confidence.
I certainly see a role for a little gold as part of an overall portfolio. It has always been a diversification, fear, and inflation-related hedging tool.
With lower gold prices, gold miners are struggling on the stock market. Even the best-quality, fastest-growing gold miners can’t get their stocks to move.
This is the inherent difficulty with resource stocks, and it will never change.
Predicting gold prices is a crapshoot. For the most part, it seems to me that gold prices just trade off their near-term directional momentum, save for a shock. Figures on the supply and demand of the commodity seem to play a lesser role in … Read More
In fact, it has been an awful few days for gold as prices plummeted, failing to hold $1,500 an ounce.
Prices dove right through support at $1,400 to $1,385.62 on Monday—the lowest level since 2011.
The shiny yellow ore is in a bear market. Down 27% from its magical peak of $1,920 in September 2011, it has been nothing but turmoil for investors in the yellow metal.
As I said in a recent commentary, I have lost confidence in the metal as a safe haven investment at this point. I’m not even sure I would enter on the current weakness.
The price chart says “sell.” Follow the trend, and you may be able to squeeze out some profits on an oversold bounce trade; but extending the trend forward, things don’t look good for gold.
Now we will need to see if the precious metal can hold $1,400.
As we move lower, there are now concerns of a meltdown in the gold sector, especially if prices continue to trend lower toward the $1,200 level.
Goldman Sachs, which recently turned bearish and advised shorting the metal, is fearful of gold prices dropping to the $1,200-an-ounce level—as this level also represents the cash cost to produce gold at this point. (Source; Cosgrave, J., “The Scary Number for Gold Investors: $1200,” CNBC, April 15, 2013.)
The $1,200-an-ounce cost of production is clearly an issue, especially for the smaller mining companies that are not as cost-effective or able to survive a cash crunch, compared to the mid- to large-tier producers, like Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE/NEM). (Read … Read More
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