Gold & Silver Setting up for an Attractive New Entry Point

By Mitchell Clark, B.Comm.

An opportunity is now being created in precious metals if the current correction continues. Most precious metals have been falling in price, as financial markets continue to reassess the expectations for economic growth. With lower expectations for global economic growth, the demand outlook for raw materials and spot prices are also going down.An opportunity is now being created in precious metals if the current correction continues. Most precious metals have been falling in price, as financial markets continue to reassess the expectations for economic growth. With lower expectations for global economic growth, the demand outlook for raw materials and spot prices are also going down.

The price of gold has, in my mind, been worthy of a correction for quite some time now. In fact, I think it would be a very healthy development for the long-term trend. It wouldn’t surprise me if the spot price of gold were to retreat and consolidate around the $1,600 level. It’s trading around $1,700 now and $1,600 should provide a good base.

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Perhaps an even better commodity to concentrate on would be silver. This precious metal is more useful in terms of its industrial uses and many argue that it hasn’t kept up with the spot price of gold and could therefore be a better trade. The spot price of silver just broke the $37.00-per-ounce level and there’s no reason why it won’t retreat further to the $30.00-per-ounce level if the current trend in capital markets continues.

This is a very difficult stock market and individual investors are loath to participate. While expectations for the future continue to be reduced, the fundamentals for gold and silver remain mostly intact and are therefore worthy of new positions when spot prices find a new base.

It’s a wait-and-see stock market and a wait-and-see spot price market for precious metals. I think the focus for speculative investors should be on gold and silver and that risk-capital investors will have an attractive new entry point very soon.

As for the rest of the stock market, share prices remain very vulnerable before third-quarter earnings season begins. Over the last little while, equity investors have had to endure tremendous shocks to the system: sovereign debt problems in Europe; the downgrade of U.S. sovereign debt; natural disasters in Japan; no improvement in housing prices; and no improvement in employment…the list goes on. I think it’s fair to say that the equity market has held up quite well all things considered.

What we know is that mature economies are now in a period of very little to zero growth over the next 12 months. We also know that developing economies are slowing down and the probability of another recession is going up. The trading action in financial and commodity markets reflects falling expectations for economic growth and an expansion in the time horizon for recovery. Predicting outcomes in this environment is a crapshoot—nobody knows how or when the economy will get better.

With belt-tightening going on at the individual consumer level and at the government level in virtually all mature economies, we should be in a slow growth environment for quite a long time.

The Best Bet in Town—Resources—Getting Ready for the Big Squeeze

By Mitchell Clark, B.Comm.

The key in this bear market with stocks is to stick with resource stocks if you’re a speculator. I like large, blue-chip companies that pay high dividends for long-term investors. For risk-capital equity traders, the best action remains with gold stocks, and some of the best value now is in oil.

There isn’t much wind at your back in this market. Lately, the shorts have been winners. The trading action is choppy and trendless, reflecting investor sentiment that doesn’t have high expectations for the future. The current stock market malaise should be with us for a while longer, but the market is developing some decent values and the earnings outlook remains solid.

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I’d be a buyer of new gold investments as the spot price corrects. There’s just too much strength in the fundamentals for gold for it to be ignored. In a world without growth, producing gold mines are some of the best businesses around. If you have a mining company with growing production and unhedged exposure to the spot price of gold, you have the makings of a very profitable enterprise…and the kicker is that business will just get better and better as the underlying spot price of the commodity rises.

We’ve been harping on gold for a number of years now and the trade has worked big-time. But, I also think it’s fair to conclude that the trade will keep on working with the growing likelihood of increased price inflation around the world. Global investors, even central banks, are looking for a store of value and there isn’t much in the way of anything that pays a decent return. Treasury yields are very low. The returns on cash are negative if you factor in the rate of inflation. The gold sector remains one of the best for speculators. The trading action in technology, biotech and most other stock market sectors just isn’t as good.

I mentioned oil because I like to consider investments when prices are down. Oil and natural gas are now trading at levels that I think are highly stimulative to the economy. Some exposure to this sector is warranted. And, as we see the commodity price cycle migrate into agricultural commodities, a couple of positions in this sector should also do well over the coming years.

As I say, I think equity speculators should have solid exposure to real resources going forward. Economic growth in most of the world’s mature economies is at a standstill. But emerging economies like China and India still have burgeoning appetites for raw materials. When mature economies start to accelerate, there is going to be a big squeeze on commodities and prices should skyrocket. Think of the state of the domestic economy now and consider the current prices for gold, copper, oil, corn, soybeans and sugar. Then consider the demand side of the commodity price equation when things get better. The supply side is quite stagnant. In my mind, the resource bet makes a lot of sense.

Inflation at Almost 5%…Is It Any Wonder Dollars Buy Less and Less?

Gold prices rising for 10 years straight…the money supply greatly expanded…the printing press for dollars running overtime…am I the only one concerned about rapid inflation?

I rarely read or hear a report talking about today’s rising prices or the hyperinflation we may sustain in the years ahead. We all know prices are rising—only housing prices have remained low. Inflation is real and it is here now.

The U.S. consumer-price index (CPI) increased 0.4% in August. That’s an annual inflation rate of 4.8%! Why are we not hearing and reading more about this? The only vocal entity on inflation has been gold bullion. The rise in the price of gold is shouting, “Inflation ahead!”

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By keeping interest rates so low, by increasing the money supply, the Fed is spurring inflation. And that’s what we all want: inflation, not deflation. So the Fed has us pointed in the right direction. The trick for the Fed will be eventually bringing interest rates up ever so gently when inflation starts to get out of control.

Unfortunately, consumers are suffering from inflation today. Retirees who will not accept risk with their investments are stuck with 10-year Treasuries paying a measly two percent. With inflation at 4.8%, consumers’ money is losing 2.8% of its value over 12 months.

Inflation is a problem today, my dear readers, and it will be a bigger problem tomorrow. Keep the gold investments. They’ll be even more valuable as time passes and inflation really takes hold in this country.

Michael’s Personal Notes:

Jobless claims rose by 11,000 to 428,000 last week—the highest level since June, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Wow! Jobs continue to be a big economic problem in this country. Bank of America (NYSE/BAC) is the latest large company to announce major layoffs plans.

Until employment in this country gets back on track, the housing market will not recover. And until the housing market recovers, the economy will continue to be anemic. That’s simple economic analysis.

I’ve been thinking more and more about Obama’s American Jobs Bill and I don’t believe it’s the answer. It will just add billions to our debt burden.

The answer, my dear reader, the answer to creating old-fashioned jobs in this country, is capitalism and entrepreneurship. That’s what created this great country in the first place.

Drastically lowering taxes will create jobs. A flat tax across the board—say 20% or 25%—with a valued-added sales tax on the purchase of items, like they have in countries such as Canada, is the only way to really get the economy going and to create jobs. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has never put forth any such proposal.

Where the Market Stands: Where it’s Headed:

We are in a bear market rally that started in March of 2009. While 30 months’ old and tired, this bear market rally has more life left in it. I believe that the rally will push stock prices even higher, as the bear lures more investors back into the stock market.

What He Said:

“As investors, we need to take a serious look at our investment portfolios and ask, ‘How will my investments be affected by an American-grown recession?’ You should take what precautionary steps you can right now to protect yourself from a recession in 2007. Maybe you need to cut your own spending or maybe you need to sell some stocks that will take a beating during a recession. You know what tidying up you need to do. Don’t procrastinate…get to it now. And please remember: Recessions can happen quickly, stock markets don’t go up during recessions, and the longer the boom before the recession, the longer the recession. Just based on my last point, we have plenty to worry about in 2007.” Michael Lombardi in PROFIT CONFIDENTIAL, November 13, 2006. Michael was one of the first to predict a U.S. recession, long before Wall Street analysts and economists even thought it a possibility.