Saturday, November 1, 2008

Why is gold a hated asset?

A recent article on ( is typical of mainstream investment advice related to gold. I couldn't help but notice that this article has been a "headline" article on the site for almost two weeks now. I have never seen an article stay in this position on the bloomberg site for this long. I have put original quotes from the article below in italics and my comments below in bold:

"Gold May Pay Only in Case of Maximum Despair: Jane Bryant Quinn"

(You mean like the 250% gain for the gold price since 2001 versus the 30% loss for the S&P 500 since 2001?)

"Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Gold is for rich guys -- buying physical gold, that is. The metal's highest and best investment use is as insurance policy against a currency collapse. For that purpose, you need a lot of it, stored around the world. Owning 20 or 30 coins is nice but won't protect your standard of living in a world where dollars are dust."

(Let's see. If someone has 20-30 one ounce gold coins and the currency collapses, this means the price of gold would reach infinity in that currency and you could use the gold to trade for goods or services while those who put their faith in the government would have absolutely nothing. Gee, where can I sign up for more fiat currency, since I'm just a stupid non-rich guy who would rather have my life savings turn to dust than be worth something in a crisis...)

"Gold isn't even a reliable hedge against inflation. It reached $850 an ounce in January 1980, a price not seen again until January 2008. During those intervening 28 years, gold plunged and reared but lost more than half of its purchasing power. For a 1980 investor to break even after inflation, gold would have to reach $2,200."

(Stocks aren't even a reliable hedge against inflation. The Nikkei Japanese stock index reached 7000 in 1981 and was back at the 7000 level in October, 2008. During those 27 years, the Japanese stock market bucked and gyrated and lost more than half its purchasing power. For a 1981 investor to break even, blah, blah, blah...)

Gold probably hasn't bottomed yet, but it's close. The stock market, on the other hand, isn't even close to its pending multi-year wicked deflationary bear market bottom. The secular investment pendulum has swung against general stocks and people with no clue like Ms. Jane Bryant will lead the sheeple to yet another slaughter. I don't intend to be part of her flock.

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