Investment Contrarians

Gold Investments

Avoid Regret: Accumulate Gold Bullion Now

By for Investment Contrarians | Dec 3, 2013

Gold Bullion NowThere are many ways to try to get a handle on where the market is currently trading and what’s likely to come. For me, investor sentiment is extremely important, but not for the reasons many would think.

All markets have various factors pushing them. As a contrarian investor, you want to look at taking profits during periods when investor sentiment has become extremely bullish, and accumulate positions as investor sentiment gets too pessimistic.

Why are these turning points?

If everyone is bullish, then there is little new money left to pile into an investment. Conversely, when everyone is bearish and has sold their holdings, there’s very little selling pressure left, which creates a floor—at least over the short term.

Ultimately, the fundamentals of the market will come through, but the gyrations and oscillations are driven by investor sentiment.

Take gold bullion, for example. I recently read a very interesting article stating that currently, 18 out of 31 Wall Street analysts expect gold bullion to fall this week, continuing their negative investor sentiment outlook on the precious metal. As of the end of October, hedge funds held the lowest level of long positions in gold bullion since July 9. (Source: “Gold Bears Persist as Prices Near Year’s Low on Fed,” Bloomberg, November 29, 2013.)

Both the short-term prediction by analysts and the long-term forecast by hedge funds are expecting gold bullion to remain weak. It’s interesting to note that we are now getting a convergence in investor sentiment over a variety of timeframes. It’s also interesting that July was the last time investor sentiment was this low.

So what happened to … Read More

2014: The Year for Gold Bullion Investors?

By for Investment Contrarians | Nov 20, 2013

Gold Bullion InvestorsLast week’s testimony by Janet Yellen, President Obama’s choice for the next head of the Federal Reserve, was quite interesting. What I also found fascinating was the reaction in various markets.

Yellen was testifying in front of the Senate Banking Committee, and when asked about the possible formation of bubbles as a result of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program, she stated point-blank, “By and large, I would say that I don’t see evidence at this point in major sectors of asset price misalignments.” (Source: Bloomberg, November 15, 2013.)

I certainly don’t have any experience working at the Federal Reserve, but I find this hard to believe.

Is the new Federal Reserve chairwoman trying to convince us that with a weak economy, it makes perfect sense for the stock market to be at all-time highs, margin debt to be soaring to record levels, the housing market to be experiencing bidding wars in certain areas of the country, and for vehicle sales to be soaring—all while incomes remain flat?

What do these factors tell me? All of these different sectors of assets are being fueled by cheap money produced from quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve.

Look at it this way: how many sectors of the economy are booming where there is no financing available, but cash purchases only? Very few. We keep hearing about retailers that cater to the average American having difficulty, since their consumers lack the cash to increase their spending. People are only buying goods if they can get credit, using cheap money.

Is this a bubble?

Well, I ask you to consider this: if the Federal … Read More

Why the Sell-Off in Gold Bullion Is Based on Faulty Logic

By for Investment Contrarians | Nov 15, 2013

Gold Bullion Is Based on Faulty LogicOver the last few days, gold bullion in U.S. dollars has been under selling pressure yet again. With the price of gold bullion pulling back, one obvious question arises: what’s the appropriate investment strategy at this point?

Many are pointing to talk that the Federal Reserve is about to reduce its monetary stimulus, and this has led some investors to adjust their investment strategy by reducing their gold bullion holdings.

There are several interesting points to make about the argument for this investment strategy. Firstly, members of the Federal Reserve, along with other central bankers around the world, have explicitly stated that inflation is far too low—the opposite of what these investors who are bearish on gold believe.

Considering that the Federal Reserve has all the control in terms of money supply and it is adamant in its goal of increasing inflation, I certainly wouldn’t want to fight the Fed.

So, the media is stating that the reason people are shifting their investment strategy on gold bullion is because the Federal Reserve is about to begin reducing money printing due to the increase in inflation…

Since when does higher inflation lead to lower gold bullion prices? It just doesn’t. If inflation gets out of control, I would rather already own gold bullion than join the crowd scrambling to jump on board again.

If anything, having the Federal Reserve and global central bankers pushing their foot on the money printing accelerator just means a greater increase in the probability of inflation.

Inflation, of course, means higher asset prices. As an investment strategy, when an economy is encountering inflation, the one place … Read More

Monetary Stimulus Leaving Average Americans and Precious Metals Behind

By for Investment Contrarians | Nov 14, 2013

Leaving-Average-Americans 2Why is the average American falling behind in our economy?

Millions of Americans feel as though they are being left behind while the disparity between themselves and the rich continues to grow.

Over the last few years, the Federal Reserve has enacted the most aggressive monetary stimulus program in the central bank’s history. But even with the Fed’s trillions of new dollars thrown into the economy, most Americans do not feel any more financially secure or wealthier than before.

Now, when we look at the stock market, one could easily assume that the monetary stimulus brought on by our central bank is having a positive impact.

Let’s take a look at another country whose central bank has also been pushing a very easy monetary stimulus program for years; of course, I’m talking about the Japanese central bank.

We all know the Japanese economy has been in a slump for multiple decades. If monetary stimulus were the answer to all ills, why is Japan’s economy still weak? Let’s take a closer look at the average Japanese citizen for the answer.

According to a report by Japan’s central bank, 31% of Japanese households have no financial assets—a new record-high. This survey has been conducted since 1963. (Source: Bank of Japan web site, last accessed November 12, 2013.)

How could this be? The central bank in Japan has been pushing a very aggressive monetary stimulus program, which has led to a drop in the value of the country’s currency and an increase in the stock market in Japan of approximately 60% this year.

While monetary stimulus by the central bank did help push … Read More

Update: Gold a Boon for Speculative Traders

By for Investment Contrarians | Nov 14, 2013

Gold a Boon for Speculative TradersIt’s been over a month since I looked at gold, so perhaps it’s time to review my evaluation on the yellow precious metal. To recall, I didn’t like the metal at $1,800 an ounce, or even after its declines to $1,600 and $1,500. I didn’t even like it at $1,300.

Even when gold rallied from below $1,300 to $1,365 after the Federal Reserve decided to not begin tapering its bond buying at the September Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, I refused to jump on the band wagon. It just wasn’t the right time.

The problem, in my view, was a lack of reasons why I should buy. In fact, buying into equities in mid-September would have offered investors returns, while losses mounted in gold.

Now, I keep reading about how China is buying more and more gold. Rumor has it that the country is building a big safe-house in Shanghai that could store up to 2,000 pounds of the shiny metal. Sorry, but I’m still not quite convinced that gold is a buy right now. I’m still not impressed.

China has over $3.0 trillion in cash and needs to do something with it. For China, buying U.S. Treasury bonds may not be the best idea, given that the U.S. government appears to be a mess and debt levels just keep rising. So that just leaves gold—luckily, the Chinese love the metal.

Tensions in the Middle East appear to be quiet, but you never know when a conflict could arise, especially with Syria being accused of playing the rest of the world with its agreement to allow the destruction of … Read More