Subscribe for 12 months with recurring billing - $199

Buy 12 months of subscription time - $199

 

Search Gold Prices
Gold Price
[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]
Our RSS Feed

Gold Updates by Mail

Enter your email address:

Follow Us on Twitter
« 85th Trade Takes SK OptionTrader’s Model Portfolio to Gains of 396.58% | Main | Exiting the Eye of the Storm - Doug Casey »
Wednesday
Aug242011

Fear Mania Comes to Gold

By Jeff Clark, Casey Research

Is the mania here?

When most investors hear the word “mania” they think of a runaway market induced by greed. You know, that animal-like instinct we all occasionally feel, the one promising riches from a market on a rip-roaring tear.

Gold is up 28% since July 1, a mostly one-way rocket ride that’s transpired in just 36 trading days. It’s up 35% year-to-date, and it’s still summer. But it isn’t greed driving our runaway gold price.

Welcome to the Fear Mania.

Pick your headline – the downgrade of US debt, solvency concerns with European banks, the sudden negative outlook for the global economy, or crashing stock markets. While none of those are exactly shocking developments to most readers here, it caught much of mainstream off-guard, driving them to safe havens. Gold has responded.

Here’s some evidence that we’re in a fear mania. First, as economic fears suddenly took a turn for the worse, investors didn’t rush into stocks. They didn’t even really pursue other precious metals.

Here’s a look at how the four primary precious metals have performed as fear in the marketplace increased. Notice how the returns shifted as the gloom ratcheted up.

What Metal Performs Best in a High Fear Environment?

casey what metals 25 aug 2011.JPG

Since industrial and jewelry uses comprise roughly 93% of all demand for both platinum and palladium, a reasonably positive economic outlook is required for these metals to perform their best. We don’t have that right now, and when a strong economy will return is highly debatable.

Silver started the year with a bang – but even it lagged gold as negative economic news made bigger headlines. Industrial use alone comprises 52% of all demand for silver, so it, too, is vulnerable in a slowing economy. (The price will soar again, though, as we’ve seen the past few days, when bad economic news leaves the front page and investors once again pursue it as an alternative currency.)

There are more clues we’re in a fear mania. Many U.S. investors don’t realize this, but only 8% of bullion and jewelry demand comes from North America. A full 92% of the critical drivers of physical demand originate elsewhere. Gold in these countries (China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, etc.) has been intertwined in culture, religion, and economy for 2,000 years. We can thus garner hints about the gold market from these regions, where the metal is a longstanding and ingrained part of the financial makeup.
First, are they pulling back on their purchases in light of rocketing prices? Or perhaps even selling to grab a profit? The World Gold Council reported last week that “signs of strength in the market remain concentrated in India and China… It is quite hard to see what is going to dent strength of demand at the moment.” And this from the UK: “Even at these elevated price levels, interest in physical gold remains excellent,” said Ross Norman, CEO of Sharps Pixley.

A second clue from this large group comes from scrap sales. One would think now is the optimal time to cash in your old gold jewelry, with prices reaching such unexpected highs. So scrap sales are up, right?

From the Wall Street Journal yesterday: “Scrap sales are down by 50%-60%. People are feeling that gold is the only safe place left for investments,” said Pawan Chokshi, an Ahmedabad-based bullion dealer. “There are hardly any scrap sales happening and I think that’s a phenomenon cutting across India. Even at these prices, people are feeling that it’s better to invest in gold rather than sell their old gold.”
Martin Grubb of the WGC said this to Reuters last week: “The price elasticity of recycling seems to be changing. Normally, you would see a lot of recycled gold coming back into the market at such a high gold price – but recycling was very muted in the second quarter, and so far the evidence is that there isn’t a lot of recycling coming back now, either.”

According to Grubb, these regions have adjusted to the current price environment and expect the upward price trend to continue. If fear were muted, scrap sales would be rising at these price levels, not falling dramatically.

And last, don’t forget central banks. South Korea just disclosed a big bullion purchase, buying 25 tonnes last week, more than doubling its holdings. Mexico, Russia, and Thailand have already been major buyers this year. In fact, year-to-date, governments have almosttripled their net gold purchases over 2010, increasing their holdings by 203.5 tonnes this year, up from a 76-tonne rise last year.

Central banks have “fiat fear” and are diversifying their reserves away from the dollar and other afflicted currencies. And this is not a trend that will change on a dime, as most of these countries have a tiny percentage of their reserves denominated in gold. They’ll be buying for quite some time. Remember, they were net sellers of gold for 23 years, becoming buyers just last year.

The bottom line is that gold is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do. Global fear is high, and these are the exact circumstances where gold fulfills its ultimate role.

There are direct investment implications here. First, if you believe there is further shock-and-awe type bad news ahead, you’ll want to favor gold over most other assets and even other metals. Second, prices in a mania tend to go higher and further than what most expect. I certainly wouldn’t chase it here, but I wouldn’t be without some exposure either. Last, high levels of fear also increase volatility. Expect big swings in gold going forward, and that includes corrections. The next one could be a doozy.

In the big picture, think about this: The relentless rise we’re witnessing is just the beginning. We haven’t even hit an inflation-adjusted price from 1980 yet; we’re at least 21% away from that, and that’s assuming the government measures inflation correctly. Here’s an excellent video demonstrating that we’re not yet in a bubble; it also shows just how high the price could climb.

You might not think the price will fetch the high four-digits in this Fear Mania. But don’t forget what comes next.

The Greed Mania.

[Owning physical gold is good protection from the sinking value of the US dollar; investing in the right gold miners can yield even higher returns. BIG GOLD focuses on the larger miners that have strong profit potential, and will help you build your wealth. Give it a ninety-day risk-free trial.]



Regarding www.skoptionstrading.com.

For those subscribers who are too busy to trade their own accounts we are now able to offer an Autotrading program with our SK OptionTrader service, as we are pleased to announce that we have entered into a partnership with GlobalAutoTrading and therefore auto trading is now available for SK OptionTrader signals


Our model portfolio is up 396.58% since inception

An annualized return of 119.04%%

Average return per trade of 42.21%

85 closed trades, 82 closed at a profit

Average trade open for 45.41 days


sk chart return on SK OptionTrader Model Port 22 aug 2011.JPG



The above progress chart shows our performance when profits are re-invested, however, to see exactly how it is going, please click this link.

So, the question is: Are you going to make the decision to join us today.

Stay on your toes and have a good one.

Got a comment then please add it to this article, all opinions are welcome and very much appreciated by both our readership and the team here.



To stay updated on our market commentary, which gold stocks we are buying and why, please subscribe to The Gold Prices Newsletter, completely FREE of charge. Simply click here and enter your email address. (Winners of the GoldDrivers Stock Picking Competition 2007)

For those readers who are also interested in the silver bull market that is currently unfolding, you may want to subscribe to our Free Silver Prices Newsletter.

For those readers who are also interested in the nuclear power sector you may want to subscribe to our Free Uranium Stocks Newsletter, just click here.








PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (3)

In the article entitled "Fear Mania Comes to Gold", there is a video referenced. Just wondering if you could please send or post the link to that video? I'd like to see it and pass it along.

Thank you kindly -
Tom Mayhew

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Mayhew

Thomas,

I'm trying to obtain the link and hope to have it shortly, thanks for letting us that we missed it.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGold Prices

Thomas,

The link has now been restored, once again many thanks for the heads up.

Bob

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGold Prices

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>