Why Governments Buying Local Gold Output Is Bullish For Gold Friday, Sep 16 2011 

Why Governments Buying Local Gold Output Is Bullish For Gold

2011 Investment Commentary Part 1 of 3 Monday, Jan 3 2011 

The problem with making a year long commentary is that things can change which throws off your initial theory. That was the main problem with my forecast as Bernanke decided to launch QE2 amidst criticism from global central banks. This put a floor under the market and lit the fuse for the rally in equities and commodities.

So what happens in 2011 and how does that affect investment portfolios? From my chair looking out over the world here is what I see happening based on current events.

This is the first of three parts. The first will focus on global regional commentary. The second will focus on investment areas and the third will tie the first two together.

EUROPE

Europe will be marked with a growing divergence between the economically strong countries like Germany and France and the PIIGS. As the year progresses expect Spain and Portugal to accept programs similar to Ireland and Greece.

Current chairman Trichet’s term ends on October 31, 2011 and there will likely be an internal tug of war between the PIIGS who would want a dove and Germany and France who will be pushing for a hawk.

In September, Trichet made some criptic comments in a speech saying that the problematic countries need to get their collective houses in order soon or risk being left behind.

Germany’s exports will continue to carry Eurozone growth in 2011. If the Euro begins to decline versus the US Dollar and global currencies we may begin to see inflationary problems as the year goes on with Germany possibly pressing the ECB to removing some excess credit.

This will provide the new ECB President with his first and possibly most important test. Will he be an inflationary hawk with a nod to removing some excess credit measures and attempting to get ahead of the inflationary curve or acquiesce to the PIIGS who will need a time to heal their sovereign balance sheets.

Europe will survive intact helped in part by their current account surpluses.

ASIA

Inflation will begin to turn its ugly head as 2011 goes on. Right now Asian central banks have begun a tightening cycle aimed at removing excess credit and attempting to stay ahead of the inflationary curve.

Unlike the late 1990’s Asian economies are on a much better footing to fight inflation with significant excess reserves, low debt ratios, and a willingness to move ahead of the inflationary curve.

One significant fly in the ointment is not coming from China but Australia, whose interest rate increases are slowing the Australian economy almost to the point of a recession. The ripples here will likely be limited to Australia and New Zealand.

Japan will continue to muddle along economically. This may upset market participants as many people have bet on some sort of crisis but Japan has continued on this path for more than a decade now. One area which may help economic growth is the Japan-Thailand FTA in which Japan has begun to outsource low end production to Thailand which is then exported to Japan where final assembly and export to the world takes place. Benefits from this FTA should become apparent as the year goes on.

The key for Japan will be a rise in exports combined with lower public spending. While this may continue to hold back economic growth a retraction in the public sector would be good for the Japanese economy long-term.

India and China will lead the rate raising cycle with increases of at least 100 bps expected across the board.

LATIN AMERICA

Argentina remains the wild card for South America. South America is undergoing an incredible economic growth story built upon the economies of Brazil, Chile, and Peru.

Central banks across the region will continue on a rate tightening cycle in an attempt to stay ahead of the inflationary curve.

Argentina remains a huge political risk with elections in 2011 with inflation already out of control.

NORTH AMERICA

In Canada, a combination of the H.SI implementation and high consumer debt levels will put a cap on the economic recovery. This is very good for the long-term.

Canada is ahead of the Federal Reserve with respect to interest rates. Baby steps are being taken to let the air out of the bubble and it is likely this will continue as 2011 goes on. We will likely see a couple of rate increases as the Bank of Canada would like to normalize interest rates but is very cognizant of the high debt levels and slow economic recovery. The divergent economic policy relative to the United States will continue.

No interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve until mid 2012 at the earliest and more than likely a slow incremental rate increase policy will begin in 2013.

Not until the mortgage resets have made their way through the system will the Federal Reserve entertain the thought of raising interest rates.

There is a tremendous aversion by consumers in the US to leveraging up. If you were foreclosed on and went back to renting it is unlikely that you have 20% for a downpayment after losing a house purchased with no downpayment.

We will continue to see problems and the grey market overhang will continue to depress prices.

There will be isolated pockets for growth but that is more driven by vulture buying.

Economic growth in the US will be higher than this year but lower than 4% with building inflationary pressures in the food and oil markets.

US POLITICS

The rush of voters to elect new candidates to Washington has changed the political landscape. Never before has the country experienced a split Congress with a Democratic President.

The question will be how closely will they move to cut spending when a strong proportion of the American public is against cutting Medicare, Social Security, and Defense and how quickly will the public turn on them when the spending is less than expected.

Right now the 2012 Presidential race has yet to kick into gear but as the year goes on the drumbeat from candidates canvassing Iowa will pick up and grab more and more of the headlines.

Expect lots of bluster and backpeddling from the new Congress. Notice how they are already going back on the earmarks promise before taking office. That will be something major to consider for the 2012 election.

Good economic growth will help tax receipts but I do not see any strong impetus to get spending under control. A great way to slow economic growth and help the Federal Reserve put off increasing interest rates (this creates new problem) would be to combine an increase in tax receipts through lower capital gains, dividend, and overseas profit repatriation tax rates with decreased spending. That would show the world that we are taking our budget deficit problem seriously.

If that happened as businesses and employment began to gain traction the government would be creating a drag to ensure we do not grow to fast and let inflation get out of control.

BTW, I am not a Keynesian. The above policy just makes sense to me at this point in time.

Disclaimer
Communications are intended solely for informational purposes. Statements made should not be construed as an endorsement, either expressed or implied. This article and the author is not responsible for typographic errors or other inaccuracies in the content. This article may not be reproduced without credit or permission from the author. We believe the information contained herein to be accurate and reliable. However, errors may occasionally occur. Therefore, all information and materials are provided “AS IS” without any warranty of any kind. Past results are not indicative of future results.
PAST RESULTS ARE NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. THERE IS RISK OF LOSS AS WELL AS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GAIN WHEN INVESTING IN THE STOCK, BOND, AND DERIVATIVE MARKETS. WHEN CONSIDERING ANY TYPE OF INVESTMENT, INCLUDING HEDGE FUNDS, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER VARIOUS RISKS INCLUDING THE FACT THAT SOME PRODUCTS: OFTEN ENGAGE IN LEVERAGING AND OTHER SPECULATIVE INVESTMENT PRACTICES THAT MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF INVESTMENT LOSS, CAN BE ILLIQUID, ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE PERIODIC PRICING OR VALUATION INFORMATION TO INVESTORS, MAY INVOLVE COMPLEX TAX STRUCTURES AND DELAYS IN DISTRIBUTING IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS AS MUTUAL FUNDS, OFTEN CHARGE HIGH FEES, AND IN MANY CASES THE UNDERLYING INVESTMENTS ARE NOT TRANSPARENT AND ARE KNOWN ONLY TO THE INVESTMENT MANAGER.
Before making any type of investment, one should consult with an investment professional to consider whether the investment is appropriate for the individuals risk profile. This is not intended to be investment advice or a solicitation to purchase any of the securities listed here. I will not be held liable or responsible for any losses or damages, monetary or otherwise that result from the content of this article.

4th Quarter Investment and Recommended List Thoughts Tuesday, Oct 5 2010 

The low for the year appears to be in and we are in a Presidential Cycle rally which should eventually take us back to the highs made earlier this year.

However, we are into October which is well known for the two previous crashes and not a generally positive month overall. October is one of the worst performing months for Gold so investors looking to add to Gold and Silver positions would be well advised to look for a buying opportunity as it comes becomes available this month.

For equities, it appears as though we are making a short-term top formation as worries are beginning to appear over not just third quarter earnings but the fourth quarter as well.

In addition, we have the unemployment rate on Friday along with 3rd Quarter GDP at the end of the month. Initial estimates have the GDP number coming in under 2% but we may just see a little boost given to the number, which has been the case over the past few quarters, only to see about a percent taken off in the revisions.

Investors would be well served to continue to follow the guidepost I put up at the beginning of the year focusing on blue chip stocks with solid dividends. Large institutions are just beginning to jump back on the dividend bandwagon and small investors would be well served to get aboard first.

With corporate balance sheets flush with cash we are likely to see a push for increased corporate stock buybacks and dividend increases along with increased M&A activity.

In terms of my recommended list, I like a number of global firms.

In Asia I am bullish on agriculture, banking, and stocks connected to automobile makers but not the automobile makers themselves.

In Europe, there are a number of interesting stocks in Greece which have no connection to the sovereign problems with strong dividend yields and are basing at the present time.

The German industrial machine is of particular interest with export demand showing signs of strength.

In North America, I like banks not in the US and oil and gas stocks with strong dividend yields.

Gold and Silver bullion is attractive while the best values in the mining industry continue to be at the exploration level rather than the development or production levels.

Defensive stocks with solid dividend yields will provide excellent value over the final quarter into next year.

You can contact me further details on the recommended list.

Disclaimer
Communications are intended solely for informational purposes. Statements made should not be construed as an endorsement, either expressed or implied. This article and the author is not responsible for typographic errors or other inaccuracies in the content. This article may not be reproduced without credit or permission from the author. We believe the information contained herein to be accurate and reliable. However, errors may occasionally occur. Therefore, all information and materials are provided “AS IS” without any warranty of any kind. Past results are not indicative of future results.
PAST RESULTS ARE NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. THERE IS RISK OF LOSS AS WELL AS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GAIN WHEN INVESTING IN THE STOCK, BOND, AND DERIVATIVE MARKETS. WHEN CONSIDERING ANY TYPE OF INVESTMENT, INCLUDING HEDGE FUNDS, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER VARIOUS RISKS INCLUDING THE FACT THAT SOME PRODUCTS: OFTEN ENGAGE IN LEVERAGING AND OTHER SPECULATIVE INVESTMENT PRACTICES THAT MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF INVESTMENT LOSS, CAN BE ILLIQUID, ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE PERIODIC PRICING OR VALUATION INFORMATION TO INVESTORS, MAY INVOLVE COMPLEX TAX STRUCTURES AND DELAYS IN DISTRIBUTING IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS AS MUTUAL FUNDS, OFTEN CHARGE HIGH FEES, AND IN MANY CASES THE UNDERLYING INVESTMENTS ARE NOT TRANSPARENT AND ARE KNOWN ONLY TO THE INVESTMENT MANAGER.
Before making any type of investment, one should consult with an investment professional to consider whether the investment is appropriate for the individuals risk profile. This is not intended to be investment advice or a solicitation to purchase any of the securities listed here. I will not be held liable or responsible for any losses or damages, monetary or otherwise that result from the content of this article.

The Chinese, Thai, US Bond Markets, and the Equity Markets – Two Ships Passing in the Night? Thursday, Sep 30 2010 

Small investors have fled the stock market since the crash of 2008 seeking safer returns in fixed income despite yields on most US Treasuries below 1%. For the past 30 months investors have poured money in to fixed income investments seeking safety and stability after the 2008 market crash.1 This in turn has pushed yields down to unheard of levels and forced bond managers to chase yield.

Corporate investors have been coming to the market in size as well as signified by recent offerings by McDonalds, Oracle, and Microsoft.2 Corporations, whose balance sheets are already flush with cash are refinancing existing debt or looking to lever up with potential acquisitions on the horizon.

M&A activity is on the rise with corporate balance sheets flush with almost $3 trillion dollars in cash. Over the past few months, companies such as Intel and Unilever have made sizeable acquisitions while the commodity sector is heating up with BHP’s bid for Potash and Kinross’s takeover of Red Back. Even the healthcare sector is getting involved with Sanofi-Aventis pursuing Genzyme.

Even the Federal Reserve is jumping into the bond market by taking principal repayments and expiring mortgage paper and investing the proceeds in US Treasuries.

Overseas, China just issued 50 year bonds and Thailand is considering a 50 year issue as well. This is good news for their respective local bond markets as long dated bond issues increase market liquidity and signify investor confidence.

But as the tide of cash rolls into the market there are investors pulling out. Last week the Chinese government announced that over the past year they have decreased their holdings in US Treasuries by $100 billion dollars while being active purchasers of European and Japanese debt.3 The Chinese may be diversifying their bond holdings much in the same way the Federal Reserve is swapping mortgage debt for US Treasuries or they may be opting to sell before the yields begin to rise.

As a contrarian investor, this is one sign that the bond market is in process of making a top while the stock market may be putting in a bottom. With the stock market currently showing weakness, bond managers chasing yield, and stocks in large cap companies yielding sometimes twice their current bond offerings, investors should look for value rather than chase a trade.

Even with the 2003 tax cuts on capital gains and dividends for the highest tax brackets ready to expire the risk/return ratio is becoming heavily weighted on the side of equities. Small investors would be best served investing in high quality blue chip equities with solid dividend yields that can provide a decent income stream over the coming years.

Any pullbacks during the final quarter of 2010 should be met with buying by small investors looking to chase dividend rather than bond yield.

Disclaimer
Communications are intended solely for informational purposes. Statements made should not be construed as an endorsement, either expressed or implied. This article and the author is not responsible for typographic errors or other inaccuracies in the content. This article may not be reproduced without credit or permission from the author. We believe the information contained herein to be accurate and reliable. However, errors may occasionally occur. Therefore, all information and materials are provided “AS IS” without any warranty of any kind. Past results are not indicative of future results.
PAST RESULTS ARE NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. THERE IS RISK OF LOSS AS WELL AS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GAIN WHEN INVESTING IN THE STOCK, BOND, AND DERIVATIVE MARKETS. WHEN CONSIDERING ANY TYPE OF INVESTMENT, INCLUDING HEDGE FUNDS, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER VARIOUS RISKS INCLUDING THE FACT THAT SOME PRODUCTS: OFTEN ENGAGE IN LEVERAGING AND OTHER SPECULATIVE INVESTMENT PRACTICES THAT MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF INVESTMENT LOSS, CAN BE ILLIQUID, ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE PERIODIC PRICING OR VALUATION INFORMATION TO INVESTORS, MAY INVOLVE COMPLEX TAX STRUCTURES AND DELAYS IN DISTRIBUTING IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS AS MUTUAL FUNDS, OFTEN CHARGE HIGH FEES, AND IN MANY CASES THE UNDERLYING INVESTMENTS ARE NOT TRANSPARENT AND ARE KNOWN ONLY TO THE INVESTMENT MANAGER.
Before making any type of investment, one should consult with an investment professional to consider whether the investment is appropriate for the individuals risk profile. This is not intended to be investment advice or a solicitation to purchase any of the securities listed here. I will not be held liable or responsible for any losses or damages, monetary or otherwise that result from the content of this article.

Gold Bullion – On the verge of a major breakout? Wednesday, Sep 8 2010 

Historically, the argument against Gold was that it provided no yield to investors. Stocks, bonds, and cash all provide some sort of yield so Gold as an investment has no merit.

But that view appears to be changing, with volatility in the equity markets, bonds now providing little or no yield (witness the US treasury yield curve and IBM’s latest offering), and money markets and cd’s providing scant yields Gold is looking much more attractive as a place to park cash.

Seasonally, the fourth and first quarters of a year are the most bullish for Gold.

In countries such as China and India which are experiencing strong economic growth Gold is looked at as a store of value. In both countries imports of Gold are rising as citizens view Gold as lucky and a store of value.

Recent news out of Europe indicates market participants are increasingly worried about the stress tests performed on European banks as they are increasingly being viewed as not that stressful at all.

In the US the economy appears to be slowing into a 1-2% growth range, with a budget deficit of over a trillion dollars, new spending proposals, and the Federal Reserve instituting a Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP).

So while we look over the world we see two major areas with slow growth, Europe and the US, and investors rushing to Gold as a safe haven to protect against problems in the banking sector and at the sovereign level.

In Asia strong economic growth is allowing investors to diversify their wealth by purchasing and giving Gold as gifts.

While we may be near a major resistance level, Gold has provided investors with a safe haven in times of trouble. Since its rally from the 2008 lows Gold has seen rising support levels as investors buy on any dip.

Technically, the weekly charts have six straight weeks of upward price movement and may make a slight pullback at this major resistance level. Silver is also outperforming Gold as well which is often a sign that a pullback in both markets is forthcoming.

Investors would be wise to buy Gold on any dips and be ready to allocate some capital before the next leg up starts.

Next week: Gold Equities – Where is the Bull?

Disclaimer
Communications are intended solely for informational purposes. Statements made should not be construed as an endorsement, either expressed or implied. This article and the author is not responsible for typographic errors or other inaccuracies in the content. This article may not be reproduced without credit or permission from the author. We believe the information contained herein to be accurate and reliable. However, errors may occasionally occur. Therefore, all information and materials are provided “AS IS” without any warranty of any kind. Past results are not indicative of future results.
PAST RESULTS ARE NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. THERE IS RISK OF LOSS AS WELL AS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GAIN WHEN INVESTING IN THE STOCK, BOND, AND DERIVATIVE MARKETS. WHEN CONSIDERING ANY TYPE OF INVESTMENT, INCLUDING HEDGE FUNDS, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER VARIOUS RISKS INCLUDING THE FACT THAT SOME PRODUCTS: OFTEN ENGAGE IN LEVERAGING AND OTHER SPECULATIVE INVESTMENT PRACTICES THAT MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF INVESTMENT LOSS, CAN BE ILLIQUID, ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE PERIODIC PRICING OR VALUATION INFORMATION TO INVESTORS, MAY INVOLVE COMPLEX TAX STRUCTURES AND DELAYS IN DISTRIBUTING IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS AS MUTUAL FUNDS, OFTEN CHARGE HIGH FEES, AND IN MANY CASES THE UNDERLYING INVESTMENTS ARE NOT TRANSPARENT AND ARE KNOWN ONLY TO THE INVESTMENT MANAGER.
Before making any type of investment, one should consult with an investment professional to consider whether the investment is appropriate for the individuals risk profile. This is not intended to be investment advice or a solicitation to purchase any of the securities listed here. I will not be held liable or responsible for any losses or damages, monetary or otherwise that result from the content of this article.

Gold in Uncharted Territory with Silver Following Along Tuesday, Oct 20 2009 

Many reasons have been given for the rise in Gold and Silver during the month of October but overlooked by the mainstream press is an important point; the beginning of the 2010 United States fiscal year. Spending is expected to balloon to upwards of $3.55 trillion dollars with a budget deficit of $1.75 trillion dollars.

It is clear that the next bubble is not in US Treasuries but in the US Government itself. Under Bush II, government was allowed to expand far in excess of what was necessary. Discretionary spending exploded and deficits were allowed to run rampant. Sprinkle in a massive increase in US Treasury issuance along with artificially low interest rates, a touch of monetary supply growth while interest rates were being increased, the collapse of the US real estate market severely weakening the US banking system, and you sow the seeds for the massive increase in government spending we have today.

Three points are certain at this moment in time.

The first is that the United States, with the amount of debt outstanding and coming down the pipeline, is not able to undertake a policy of raising interest rates from these low levels to normalized levels for a number of years.

The second point is that Asian economies, starting with Australia, are going to lead the rate cycle as their economies and banking sectors have weathered the storm in better shape than the US and Europe. Expect to see conventional and unconventional (by Western standards) monetary tightening during this cycle.

The increased focus on Asia will provide investors with very interesting opportunities in a number of sectors.

The third and final point is that Gold and Silver will only go higher from here over the next 6 month period with a spike in price during the March-May time frame after which we trade sideways for at least a year in order to digest the run higher and the increase in gold supply coming on market from new mines coming into production.

The peak in Gold should coincide with a peak in Silver as well along with a test of the USD lows made last year.

In terms of supply, we should remember that Penasquito, Goldcorp’s massive mine in Mexico, is scheduled to come into commercial production in January of 2010. This supply of gold, silver, and zinc should be enough to keep each market in a sideways range for some time until the supply is properly digested.

Investors who do their homework should find themselves well rewarded by the end of the first quarter next year.

Disclaimer
Communications are intended solely for informational purposes. Statements made should not be construed as an endorsement, either expressed or implied. This article and the author is not responsible for typographic errors or other inaccuracies in the content. This article may not be reproduced without credit or permission from the author. We believe the information contained herein to be accurate and reliable. However, errors may occasionally occur. Therefore, all information and materials are provided “AS IS” without any warranty of any kind. Past results are not indicative of future results.
PAST RESULTS ARE NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. THERE IS RISK OF LOSS AS WELL AS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GAIN WHEN INVESTING IN THE STOCK, BOND, AND DERIVATIVE MARKETS. WHEN CONSIDERING ANY TYPE OF INVESTMENT, INCLUDING HEDGE FUNDS, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER VARIOUS RISKS INCLUDING THE FACT THAT SOME PRODUCTS: OFTEN ENGAGE IN LEVERAGING AND OTHER SPECULATIVE INVESTMENT PRACTICES THAT MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF INVESTMENT LOSS, CAN BE ILLIQUID, ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE PERIODIC PRICING OR VALUATION INFORMATION TO INVESTORS, MAY INVOLVE COMPLEX TAX STRUCTURES AND DELAYS IN DISTRIBUTING IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS AS MUTUAL FUNDS, OFTEN CHARGE HIGH FEES, AND IN MANY CASES THE UNDERLYING INVESTMENTS ARE NOT TRANSPARENT AND ARE KNOWN ONLY TO THE INVESTMENT MANAGER.
Before making any type of investment, one should consult with an investment professional to consider whether the investment is appropriate for the individuals risk profile. This is not intended to be investment advice or a solicitation to purchase any of the securities listed here. I will not be held liable or responsible for any losses or damages, monetary or otherwise that result from the content of this article.