So, the price of gold is going up, and so are gold stocks. There really isn’t much money to be made in this market except for speculating in gold shares. It’s the industry with the best near- and medium-term fundamentals as far as I’m concerned.
The big move in gold has already taken place and equity investors should already have some exposure to this important commodity. The thing about the global economy is that we’re in a long period of slow growth with inflationary pressures. It’s the best of both worlds for gold. Add in sovereign debt worries (politicians would rather print money and create inflation than cut programs) and the emerging strength of BRIC economies, and it’s quite arguable that the spot price of gold could hit $2,000 an ounce.
There are actually very few investment-grade, large-cap gold companies. Only a few pay a dividend and, of those, yields aren’t really more than one percent. Most of the gold miners out there would compare to medium- or small-cap companies and, because of the volatility inherent in commodities, should be considered speculative equity securities. Regardless, I wouldn’t have an equity portfolio that didn’t have some exposure to gold, especially giving current economic fundamentals.
Like most things now, investors can consider a gold mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF). There’s even publicly traded companies the sole purchase of which is to own and secure large numbers of gold bars. For the most part, all stocks related to gold trade commensurately with the spot price of the commodity—and there lies the greatest investment risk for a gold investor.
There was a bandwagon effect taking place in precious metals earlier in the year. Institutional investors piled into gold, silver and copper and then jumped into agricultural commodities. Right now, large money managers are desperately hoping that second-quarter earnings and visibility will be strong enough to provide a catalyst to buy stocks. Investing in gold isn’t on their minds to any great degree. But, the price of gold is creeping higher. If it ticks past $1,650, then I think we’ll have a new rush on our hands. Percentage-wise, this price isn’t far away at all. It certainly is a great time to be in the gold mining business. It’s an industry that’s flush with cash.