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Friday
Mar252011

SK OptionTrader Banks 38.66% Profit In 13 Days

Our premium options trading service, SK OptionTrader, today closed a trade banking a profit of 38.66% in just 13 days. This brings our trading record to 66 winning trades from 68, a 97% success rate, but more importantly our average return per trade is now 40.89% with the average trade being held for 41.32 days.

Subscribers to SK OptionTrader are able to see our model portfolio, where we give suggested capital allocations to risk in each trade. Our model portfolio is up 139.98% since inception in August 2009, without reinvesting profits.

This closed trade involved the purchase of SLV Jul 16 '11 $40 Calls for $1.19 on 10th March 2011, which we closed in trading today for $1.65, a 38.66% profit in 13 days.

Often potential subscribers are worried that there will not be time for them to execute their trades, or there will be selling by other subscribers that will give them a less favourable price. This is simply not the case.

The options that we trade are liquid and our signals do not have any significant or even noticeable effect on prices. The graph below shows the prices for SLV Jul 16 ‘11 $40 Calls throughout trading on the 23rd March 2011.


SLV Jul 40 Call Option Chart

As the graph shows there was plenty time for subscribers to also sell and in fact many of them would have got a better price than we did! If silver prices remain where they are between now and tomorrows open, it will probably be possible to get $1.65 for these calls tomorrow as well.

However in order to maintain our quality of service we are raising our subscription prices as of April 2nd 2011. Current subscribers, or those who subscribe before April 2nd, will be able to renew at the original prices of $99 and $179 and be unaffected by this price change. It is only those who subscribe after April 2nd that will have to pay our new rates of $199 per six months or $349 per year.

To subscribe now, please feel free to click one of the subscribe buttons below or visit our website www.skoptionstrading.com for more information.

Subscribe for 6 months - $499

 

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Wednesday
Mar232011

Investment Legends: “Dollar Collapse Inevitable”

Jeff Clark, BIG GOLD

What will happen to the U.S. economy and the dollar in the near term? Will inflation increase dramatically? What is the outlook for gold, and where should you put your money? BIG GOLD asked a world-class panel of economists, authors, and investment advisors what they expect for the future. Caution: strong opinions ahead...

Jim Rogers is a self-made billionaire, author of the best-sellers Adventure Capitalist and Investment Biker, and a sought-after financial commentator. He was a co-founder of the Quantum Fund, a successful hedge fund, and creator of the Rogers International Commodities Index (RICI).

Bill Bonner is the president and founder of Agora, Inc., a worldwide publisher of financial advice and opinions. He is also the author of the Internet-based Daily Reckoning and a regular columnist in MoneyWeek magazine.

Peter Schiff is CEO of Euro Pacific Precious Metals (www.europacmetals.com) and host of the daily radio show The Peter Schiff Show (www.schiffradio.com). He is the author of the economic parable How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes and the recent financial bestseller The Little Book of Bull Moves: Updated and Expanded. He’s a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox Business, and is quoted often in print media.

Jeffrey Christian is managing director of CPM Group (www.cpmgroup.com) and a prominent analyst on precious metals and commodities markets. CPM Group produces comprehensive yearbooks on gold, silver, and platinum group metals, and provides a wide range of consulting services. Jeffrey publishedCommodities Rising, an investors’ guide to commodities, in 2006.

Walter J. "John" Williams, private consulting economist and “economic whistleblower,” has been working with Fortune 500 companies for 30 years. His newsletter Shadow Government Statistics (shadowstats.com) provides in-depth analysis of the government’s “creative” economic reporting practices.

Steve Henningsen is chief investment strategist and partner at The Wealth Conservancy in Boulder, CO, assisting clients interested in wealth preservation. Current assets under management exceed $200 million.

Frank Trotter is an executive vice president of EverBank and a founding partner of EverBank.com, a national branchless bank that was acquired by the current EverBank in 2002. He received an M.B.A. from Washington University and has over 30 years experience in the banking industry.

Dr. Krassimir Petrov is an Austrian economist and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Ohio State University. He was assistant professor in economics at the American University in Bulgaria, then an associate professor in finance at Prince Sultan University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is currently an associate professor at Ahlia University in Manama, Bahrain. He’s been a contributing editor for Agora Financial and Casey Research.

Bob Hoye is chief financial strategist of Institutional Advisors and writes Pivotal Events, a weekly market overview. His articles have been published by Barron’s, Financial Post,Financial Times, and National Post.
                                 
BIG GOLD: A lot of economists, including the government, believe the worst is behind us economically. Do you agree? If not, what should we be on the lookout for in 2011?

Jim Rogers: It is better for those getting all the government largesse, but the overall situation is worse. More currency turmoil. State and local problems, plus pension problems.

Bill Bonner: None of the problems that caused the crises in Europe and America have been resolved. They have been delayed and expanded by more debt and more money printing and will lead to more and worse crises. Deleveraging takes time. 2011 will, most likely, be a transition year... not unlike 2010. But the risk is that one of these latent crises will become an active crisis.

Peter Schiff: To me, it's like watching someone walk into the same sliding glass door again and again. Wall Street must know by now that large infusions of liquidity from the Fed spur present consumption at the expense of investment for the future. We are an indebted family going out for an expensive meal to celebrate getting approved for a new credit card. It might feel good (at the time), but we're still simply delaying the inevitable.

Jeffrey Christian: We believe the worst is behind us economically, in the short term. The recession ended in late 2009, and 2010 saw U.S. economic growth in line with what CPM had expected, but higher than the more pessimistic consensus had been. In 2011 we expect continued expansion. We think some economists and observers are too enthusiastic about economic prospects right now.

For the U.S. in 2011, we are looking for real GDP of 2.5% - 2.8%, inflation to remain low, and for the economy to avoid deflation. Interest rates are expected to start rising, perhaps significantly in the second half of 2011. The dollar is expected to be volatile, rising somewhat against the euro but continuing to weaken against the Canadian and Australian dollars, the rupee, yuan, rand, and other currencies.

European sovereign debt issues will continue to plague financial markets, but market reactions will be less severe than they were regarding Greece in April 2010.

John Williams: An intensifying economic downturn – what formally will be viewed as the second dip of a double-dip depression – already has started to unfold. The problem with the economy remains structural, where household income is not growing fast enough to beat inflation, and where debt expansion – encouraged for many years by the Fed as a way to get around the economic growth problems inherent from a lack of income growth – generally is not available, as a result of the systemic solvency crisis. Accordingly, individual consumers, who account for more than 70% GDP, do not have the ability, and increasingly lack the willingness, to fuel the needed growth in consumption on which the U.S. economy is so dependent.

Steve Henningsen: The governments worldwide (I don’t pay much attention to economists) want us to believe that the worst is behind us because the financial system is built upon the foundation of trust and confidence. Both of these were battered badly when it was shown that much of the world’s prosperity over the past few decades was simply a mirage that, once dispersed, left behind only debt with no means of future production. Now they want us to believe that they fixed the problem via more debt.
 
What I will be watching for this year is sovereign and U.S. municipal debt corpses floating to the surface sometime in the months ahead. 

Frank Trotter: Right now I have a somewhat dark but not dismal outlook. I think that over 2011, we will continue to experience a Jimmy Carter-style malaise that combines continuing high unemployment, tentative business investment, rising prices, low housing numbers when looked at on an absolute basis, and creeping interest rates.

As a very large mortgage servicer, we are not seeing significant improvements in payment patterns that would indicate the worst is fully behind us, and with mortgage rates moving upward, we see less ability for current mortgage holders to refinance and reduce payments.
Krassimir Petrov: No, the worst is yet to come. No structural changes have been made, no problems have been fixed. Printing money, a.k.a. Quantitative Easing, is a quick fix that has postponed the problem, yet also made it a lot worse. I would say that we are still in the early stages of the crisis and have another 4-8 years to go.

Bob Hoye: The worst of the post-bubble economic adversity is not behind us.
 
BG: Price inflation is creeping up, but the enormous amount of money printing hasn't really hit the system yet. Does that happen in 2011, further down the road, or not at all?

Jim Rogers: It is happening. The U.S. and CNBC lie about it. Most other countries do not lie and acknowledge it is worsening.

Bill Bonner: Most likely, substantial consumer price inflation will not show up in 2011. The explosion of money printing is being contained by the bomb squad of deleveraging. That will probably continue in 2011. But not forever.
Peter Schiff: 2010 was the year that China began cutting back its Treasury purchases in favor of gold, hard assets, and emerging market currencies. The Fed has stepped in as a major purchaser of Treasuries. This represents a new phase on the path to dollar collapse, and it will manifest in 2011 in the form of more "unexplainable" inflation – as we are now seeing in the prices of everything from corn to gasoline.

Jeffrey Christian: We are now beginning to see some increases in monetary aggregates, suggesting that some of the monetary accommodations are beginning to filter into the economy. We expect this trend to accelerate over the course of 2011. This will bring some increase in inflation, but we expect the major manifestation will be through higher U.S. Treasury interest rates as the Fed and Treasury seek to sell bonds to sterilize the inflationary implications of the monetary easing and to finance ongoing massive federal deficits.

John Williams: The problems of the money creation will become increasingly obvious in exchange-rate weakness of the U.S. dollar. Related upside pricing pressure already is being seen on dollar-denominated commodities such as oil. There is high risk of consumer prices rising rapidly before year-end 2011, setting the stage for a hyperinflation. The outside date for the onset of a U.S. hyperinflation is 2014.
Steve Henningsen: My guess is further down the road, as the deleveraging cycle continues with deflationary-housing winds in our face and the banks still hoarding money like my 9-year-old daughter stockpiles American Girl doll paraphernalia. I still expect inflation to continue in areas such as energy, bread, circuses, and whatever else provides sustenance to the Romans – I mean people.

Frank Trotter: Most research has shown that over time the increase in money supply is not a short-term economic stimulus, but rather has a moderate effect in the 18- to 36-month range. In addition, this theory contends that a growth in the monetary base – which is what has happened so far – only increases economic activity when accompanied by a decent multiplier; this is not occurring. The real risk is that with rising rates and continued soft economy, the Fed will feel obliged to continue to QE3, QE4, and so on, all of which may have a significant inflationary impact.

I am more concerned about general price inflation here in the U.S. and the potential it has to reduce global growth.

Krassimir Petrov: This is a tough one. I would have thought that price inflation would have been raging by now, but this is obviously not the case. I have the feeling that 2011 will be a repeat of early 2008, with commodity prices (CRB) making new all-time highs. A falling dollar will trigger a rush into commodities as a hedge against inflation. I am really tempted to make a totally outrageous forecast that oil could make a run for $200 as QE3 unleashes another dollar scare, or maybe even a dollar crisis.

Bob Hoye: Massive "printing" has been widely publicized and is "in the market."
 
BG: The U.S. dollar ended 2010 about where it started; does it resume its downtrend in 2011, or are fears about its demise overblown?

Jim Rogers: No, but further down the road.

Bill Bonner: No opinion. But there is more risk in the dollar than potential reward. 

Peter Schiff: It's hard to pinpoint exactly when the dollar will collapse, but it will take a miracle to avoid that outcome in the near term. It really depends on when the creditors of the United States realize that they are not going to get their principal returned to them in real terms, but rather in grossly devalued dollars. We have already seen the average duration of U.S. Treasury debt drop below that of Greece. No one wants to buy a 30-year bond with negative real interest rates as far as the eye can see.

Jeffrey Christian: We expect the dollar to be volatile against most currencies in 2011, but that its demise has been prematurely predicted. The dollar may move sideways to slightly higher against the euro, yen, and pound, while continuing to deteriorate against the Canadian and Australian dollars, the rupee, yuan, rand, and other emerging economy currencies.

John Williams: There remains high risk of a dollar selling panic unfolding in the year ahead, as the U.S. economy tanks anew, as the Fed continuously expands its easing, and as dollar holders dump the U.S. currency and dollar-denominated paper assets. Such would be a precursor to the inflation problem.

Steve Henningsen: Similar to my thoughts last year, I still believe the dollar is headed down long-term, but it could bounce around over the next year. If sovereign debts become a problem again, like I think they will later this year, then everyone will go running back to “Mother Dollar” once again for one last hug before she lies back down on her sickbed.

Frank Trotter: As the economy waffles and the global investing community's attention is drawn from one crisis to the next, I expect the U.S. dollar to bounce up and down in the current range. After that, however, my analysis suggests that measured by the key factors of fiscal and monetary policy, combined with a significant trade deficit, the U.S. does not look as good as our major trading partners, and I thus expect the dollar to decline, perhaps significantly, in the intermediate term. Big geopolitical events may accelerate this or create a flight to U.S. dollar quality, so hold on to your hats.

Krassimir Petrov: I think the dollar resumes lower. I expect QE3 and QE4 – a dollar-printing fest that will eventually sink the dollar. Sure, all fiat currencies are in deep trouble and prone to overprinting, but the reserve status of the dollar actually makes it more vulnerable now. Whether the dollar sinks against other currencies is a fool's game not worth playing. It is like being in the hospital, where all patients are suffering from cancer, and trying to guess who will feel best at the end of next year, or trying to guess who will succumb first. That's why it is so much safer to play the dollar against gold.

Bob Hoye: Fears of the dollar's demise have been widely discussed and are "in the market." The dollar, itself, will not be repudiated – just the mavens that have been "managing" it.
 
BG: Gold has risen 10 years in a row, so some are calling it a bubble, yet it's roughly $1,000 below its inflation-adjusted high. What's your outlook for the metal in 2011?

Jim Rogers: It is hardly a “bubble” when very few own it still. Who knows? Overdue for a correction, but who knows?

Bill Bonner: The smart money is in gold. It will stay in gold until the bull market that began 10 years ago finally reaches its peak. It is extremely unlikely that the top will come in 2011; it's probably years in the future. In the meantime, gold is bound to have a losing year or two. Don't worry about it. Buy gold. Be happy.

Peter Schiff: The funny thing about a bubble is that when it's real, no one can see it. The same commentators who were blind to the tech bubble, the housing bubble, and now the Treasury bubble are quick to call gold a bubble. The truth is that many of them have a personal aversion to gold because they directly benefit from our fiat money system. Goldman Sachs was paid 100 cents on the dollar in the AIG bailout, which never would have happened in a gold-based system. It's a lot easier to print a billion paper dollars than dig up a million ounces of gold.
Gold will continue to climb in 2011 as the currency war continues and investors continue to seek stability. Unless there is a major sea change in the way the U.S. does business, I think the gold trade is a safe one.

Jeffrey Christian: A price of $1,550 is possible, although given the enormous investor buying pressure, prices could spike to almost anywhere. After that, we expect prices to fall back, initially to around $1,340 or $1,380. We expect gold prices to stay above $1,280 or so for most of 2011, and to average around $1,369 for the full year.

John Williams: As the U.S. dollar increasingly is debased, and where gold tends to preserve the purchasing power of the dollars invested in it, the upside to gold in the year ahead is open-ended, restricted only by any limits to the massive downside potential for the U.S. dollar. Any intermittent gold price volatility, extreme or otherwise, will be short-lived. There is no bubble – only increasing weakness in the U.S. dollar – with the gold price fundamentally headed much higher in the years ahead.

Steve Henningsen: I believe gold will once again prove the bubble-boys wrong and end the year positive (I have no idea by how much and don’t really care). However, I think this year will be more volatile and that Gold Bugs better remain seated on the precious metals express or they might get squished.

Frank Trotter: I still think that with price inflation on the rise and big political events occurring, there may be room to continue to rise. If stock markets take off, then there will be a reduction in appreciation or even a significant decline, but based on the factors I mentioned above, I don't see that as highly likely.

Krassimir Petrov: Gold still has outstanding fundamentals. I believe that over the course of 2010, the fundamentals have strengthened significantly: (1) "No Exit [Strategy] for Ben" as he unleashed QE2, and will likely unleash QE3, QE4, etc., (2) no more central bank selling of gold, (3) more central banks become buyers of gold, and (4) trial balloons for a global gold-backed currency.

I have no idea how people could even claim that gold is in a bubble – barely 1 out of 100 people have any idea about investing in gold. During the real estate bubble, every second person was involved in it. Maria "Money Honey" Bartiromo has yet to report from the COMEX gold pits; gold fund managers and analysts have yet to obtain rock-star status; and glamorous models are not yet dating the gold guys. Who is the Henry Blodget [co-host ofTech Ticker] of the gold sector, do we have one yet?

Yes, gold will eventually become a bubble, but that feels 5-8 years away.

Bob Hoye: In 2011, gold's real price will resume its uptrend.
 
BG: What's your best investment advice for 2011?

Jim Rogers: Buy the rmb [renminbi, the Chinese currency].

Bill Bonner: We are in a period much like the period following WWI, in which the great debts and losses of the war had to be reckoned with. It is an era of great risk. The U.S. faces many of the same challenges faced by Germany and England after WWI. Like England, it has huge debts. It is a waning imperial power. And it has the world's reserve currency. And like Germany, it is attempting to fix its problems by printing more money. This is not a good time to be long either U.S. stocks or U.S. bonds. 
Peter Schiff: Don't be suckered into the idea that recovery is just around the corner. The current climate is like living in a hurricane or earthquake zone; it's important to stay vigilant because you never know when disaster will strike. Physical gold is the financial equivalent of a flashlight, first-aid kit, and store of canned goods. It's a basic way to protect yourself from any eventuality. From there, if you're looking for returns, there are plenty of foreign markets with strong fundamentals, as well as commodities that feed those markets. 

Investing in the U.S. is now driven largely by force of habit. It's a habit you should resolve to break.

Jeffrey Christian:Do not invest based on what you believe, but on what you know. Gold is a market, like other markets. It rises and falls. You probably want to stay long gold on a long-term basis, but may want to cull the weaker gold assets from your portfolio in the first quarter, and put some hedges in place to protect a long-term core long gold position against the potential of significant price weakness over the next two years or so. Such a period of weakness would be an excellent time to add to one’s gold assets.

John Williams: As an economist, I look for the U.S. dollar ultimately to lose virtually all of its current purchasing power. Accordingly, for those living in a U.S. dollar-denominated world, it would make sense to move to preserve wealth and assets over the long-term. Physical gold is a primary hedge (as is silver). Holding some stronger currencies outside the U.S. dollar, as well as having some assets outside the United States, also may make sense.

Steve Henningsen: Dramamine (for volatile markets), a stash of cash (for potential investment opportunities), and move some of your assets offshore if you haven’t already.

Frank Trotter: My advice is first to look at the other side of your balance sheet – the liability and risk equation – before seeking out absolute gains. What are your goals, what resources do you already have to meet those goals, and what events (health, income stream, upheavals) might impact these risks? Place some assets to hedge these risks directly, then look to diversify globally into markets with higher growth potential than we see here at home, and that may balance your global purchasing power risk. Almost like a religion, we have had the phrase "Stocks are the only legitimate hedge against inflation" beaten into our heads. I say, look at assets that define inflation like commodities and currencies and evaluate where these fit into your risk portfolio.

Krassimir Petrov: Last year I recommended silver, and I would stick to silver again, despite the phenomenal run in 2010. Then it gets tricky. I usually don't recommend diversification, but now I would again recommend a broad portfolio of commodities. Investing in 2011 should be easy: stay out of real estate, out of bonds, out of fiat currencies, and out of stocks; stay fully invested in commodities, overweight gold and silver.

What to watch in 2011: stay focused on the sovereign debt crisis and bond yields. Spiking yields will trigger the next stage of the crisis.

Bob Hoye: Once past the early part of 2011, the best returns are likely to be obtained from the junior gold exploration sector.

[These world-class experts are right to bank on gold and silver – because the U.S. dollar keeps losing more and more of its value. Watch this eye-opening video on how China and Russia are plotting to dump the dollar… why you should be worried… and what to do about it.]








PS: Today we have just closed another winning trade in the options market.

Our model portfolio is up 138.05% since inception, Average return of 41.27% per trade, 68 closed trades, 66 closed at a profit, or a 97% success rate. Average trade open for 43.21 days.

A gentle reminder for those of you who are still thinking about it, prices will double as of 2nd April 2011, but will remain as is for existing subscribers, join us now while this bargain lasts.


SK model portfolio 14 March 2011.JPG



The above progress chart is being updated constantly. 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, before we decide to cap membership.

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)

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Sunday
Mar202011

Why Gold Is No Longer An Effective USD Hedge

During the first nine years of this gold bull market, gold prices moved with a near perfect inverse relationship to the US dollar. Indeed, in the early years gold was only really moving up against the greenback, it was only after a few years that it began to appreciate against all currencies. The game plan was simple; the dollar is going down, so gold in USD terms is going up with some leverage factor. Gold worked well as both a USD hedge and as a tool to speculate on a USD decline. This is no longer the case.

USD Gold 2001-2009 SK Options Trading

Nothing lasts forever and over the past two years or so this inverse relationship has broken down significantly. The gold story is no longer simply a USD devaluation play.

USD Gold 2009-2011 SK Options Trading

As the above chart shows, although there are times when the inverse relationship remains intact, there are long periods where gold and the USD move together.

The most significant reason for this is that the Euros are a lot less desirable than they were a few years ago. Since all currencies trade on a relative basis, it doesn’t matter if the USD has poor fundamentals; if the picture for the Euro is worse relative to the USD, then the greenback will make gains against the Euro. During periods where the Eurozone debt crisis has been the focus of market attention, gold and US dollars have been bought since both are preferable to Euros and provided a safe haven.

The key point of this article is not to say that gold will not rise is if the US dollar falls, it is to point out that gold is no longer as effective as a USD hedge. To show this we present a scatter plot of the closing prices for the USD index and gold over the last 2 years.

Gold USD Closing Scatter

Although the trend line has a slightly negative slope it is hardly convincing, and the R-squared value of 0.0188 further diminishes the creditworthiness of gold as a USD hedge. For those unfamiliar with this, the R-Squared value is a statistic that indicates how good one variable is at predicting the other. For our purposes it is a measure of how good a decline in the USD index is at predicting a rise in gold. If the R-Squared value is 1 then given the value of one variable, one can exactly predict the value of the other. If R-squared is 0 that means that knowing the value of one variable does not help you predict what the other variable will be. So the higher the R-Squared value the better one variable is at predicting what the other may be and therefore the stronger the implied relationship is between them. An R-squared value of 0.0188 is extremely poor, and almost indicates no predictive abilities between the movements in the USD and gold.

However to get a fairer picture we should look at the relative returns of the USD and gold.
Gold USD Daily Returns


This does give us a higher R-squared value at 0.0946, but it is still very low and hardly convincing that gold has been an effective hedge against declines in the USD over recent years. Repeating the above exercise for silver and the USD index yields similar results, with R-squared values of 0.0844 and 0.1269. Although these are slightly higher than gold is it is still nothing to write home about, let alone base a trading or investment strategy on.

Silver USD Closing Scatter

Silver USD Daily Returns

To give you an idea of what a strong relationship between two assets should look like, we have repeated the above exercise for gold against silver, a relationship which is much stronger.

Gold Silver Closing Scatter

Gold Silver Daily Returns

Although gold and silver obviously have a positive correlation versus the negative correlation between gold and the USD and silver and USD, we are not looking at whether the relationship is positive or negative, we are only concerned with the strength of any such relationship.

Furthermore when we calculate the correlation coefficients for gold and the USD we get -0.137 and for the USD and silver we get -0.290; both of which imply a very weak negative correlation. Compare this with the very strong positive correlation between gold and silver of 0.905.

Therefore statically speaking, over the past two years gold has been a very poor hedge against a declining USD. Of course this situation may change, and just because the relationship has been weak over the last couple of years doesn’t mean that there were not periods where the USD and gold exhibited strong negative correlations. If the USD index were to fall out of bed we would be expecting gold prices to rise, however over a broader horizon or when moves are more moderate or contained within a range, don’t count on gold moving the opposite direction to the greenback.

In our opinion, if you hold a view that the USD Index is going to fall, then short the USD index rather that taking a long position on gold. You are running the risk that gold and USD could move together, and you are not being compensated for that risk by any leverage factor in gold. If you cannot trade futures, there are ETN’s that allow you to gain exposure to the USD index, such as the PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish Fund (Symbol: UUP) and the PowerShares DB US Dollar Bearish Fund (Symbol: UDN). Options are traded on these funds as well if you wished to use options to play a move in the USD index.

In conclusion we hope to have shown that gold simply isn’t a clean hedge against the USD any more. When trading one should aim to tailor positions to match your view and optimize the risk/reward dynamics. If you think that the USD is going to fall, short it. If you think gold is going to rise, then buy gold. Taking a long position on gold purely since you think the USD index is going to fall is not really statistically justifiable due to the weakness of the relationship between the two. At SK Options Trading we are constantly refining trading techniques to ensure we are optimizing our risk/reward and tailoring our position using options to fit our view. Our model portfolio is up 138% since inception so if you would like more information on subscribing to our premium options trading service SK OptionTrader feel free to visit our website www.skoptionstrading.com

On April 2nd our prices are increasing:

The price of a 6 month subscription will increase from $99 to $199.
The price of a 12 month subscription will increase from $179 to $350.

You can still subscribe below at our original prices, however these prices will not be available after April 2nd 2011.

Subscribe for 6 months - $499

 

Subscribe for 12 months - $799

 

Thursday
Mar172011

The World’s Best Gold Experts: “Buy and Hold!”

Jeff Clark, BIG GOLD

In January, Jeff Clark of Casey Research’s BIG GOLD advisory set out to get opinions from some of the smartest, most accomplished investors in the gold industry – where is the gold price going to go, how volatile will the markets be, what’s the outlook for precious metals stocks? Read on for some of the most insightful answers you’ll see anywhere…

Rick Rule is the founder of Global Resource Investments (www.gril.net), now part of Sprott, one of the most acclaimed and sought-after brokers in the natural resource industry. Rick has spent 30 years in the sector and is a regular speaker at investment conferences in the U.S. and Canada. He and his staff have an extraordinary record of success in resource stock investing.

James Turk is the founder and chairman of GoldMoney.com. He’s authored two books on economic topics, published numerous articles on money and banking, and is co-author ofThe Collapse of the Dollar. He’s a widely recognized expert on precious metals.

John Hathaway is portfolio manager of the Tocqueville Gold Fund, the third best-performing gold mutual fund in 2010. He is a Harvard grad with 41 years of investment management experience.

Charles Oliver is senior portfolio manager of the Sprott Gold and Precious Minerals Fund (and several others). Charles led the team at AGF Management that was awarded the Canadian Investment Awards’ “Best Precious Metals Fund” in 2004, 2006, and 2007.

Adrian Ashruns the research desk at BullionVault, one of the world's largest online gold ownership services. A frequent guest on BBC News in London, his views on the gold market are regularly featured in the Financial Times, The Economist, and many others.

Ian McAvity has been writing the Deliberations on World Markets newsletter since 1972. He was a founder of the Central Fund of Canada (CEF), Central Gold Trust (GTU), and Silver Bullion Trust (SBT.U).

Ross Normanis co-founder of TheBullionDesk.com, an online provider of precious metals news, analysis, and prices. Ross has won several awards from the London Bullion Market Association for his price forecasting, winning in 2002 and 2006.He now runs Sharps Pixley (www.sharpspixley.com), which sells bullion in the UK and continental Europe.
 
BIG GOLD: Gold was up 30% in 2010; to what do you attribute its rise?

Rick Rule: Gold is unique, in that both primary investment psychology motivators – greed and fear – drive the price. Gold markets ricochet between greed and fear buying, and we are starting to see that in the markets now. The fiat currency weakness, both the dollar and the euro, are the motivators for the fear buyer, and the momentum caused by fear buyers is the motivation for the greed buyer.

James Turk: Two things. First, policies like zero interest rates and quantitative easing are eroding the purchasing power of all the world's currencies, so it is no surprise that commodity prices – which are always sensitive to currency problems – are soaring.

Second, as people increasingly recognize the difference between owning paper gold and physical gold, the demand for physical continues to climb. Given that it is a tangible asset, physical gold does not have counterparty risk and therefore protects wealth when stored properly. It is the ultimate safe haven.

John Hathaway: Growing distrust of fiat currencies. 

Charles Oliver:In reality, the true value of gold does not change. What has changed is the decrease in value of the fiat currencies used to measure the gold price. In 2009 and 2010, the U.S. debased its currency via direct money printing and a massive quantitative easing program where the government purchased $1.5 trillion of mostly its own bonds. 

The U.S. government will buy another $600 billion of its bonds in 2011 concurrent with running the largest deficit in its history. With this in mind, it is no surprise that the gold price rallied.
Adrian Ash: Last year's eurozone debt crises gave only a foretaste of the sharp spikes in physical demand we could see as the single-currency experiment unravels, while the Fed's fresh dose of debt-monetization (aka QE) lit a fire under institutional gold buying. China's surging demand continued to make gold a strong emerging-Asia play, too.

The underlying cause, however – boring but true – was negative real interest rates. Cash in the bank now means certain losses, failing to keep pace with inflation as badly as in the late 1970s. So once again, cautious savers are choosing hard assets instead of government-controlled currency, and gold is the stand-out alternative because it's tightly supplied, indestructible, debt-free, and truly stateless.

Ian McAvity: I believe gold's rise should be recognized as a devaluation of the three major currencies in gold terms – the U.S. dollar, euro, and yen. That focused global attention on gold as the oldest and most credible currency in its traditional role of a store of value. This trend is now a decade old and may be entering the phase for acceleration, now that the major currencies and sovereign debt issues are both coming under the microscope.

Ross Norman: Really, it was more of the same from the previous 10 years – but particularly so the economic-related issues from the last two. The gold price fundamentally reflects the debasement of currencies – gold is not expensive, but the currencies you buy it with are worth less simply because we are printing so many of them. If you genuinely believe that global growth is established, that debt repudiation will be carried through (the public will willingly take their fiscal medicine), and that economic stability will be restored without a hiccup, then don't buy gold. The trouble is, few believe that story, and hence the 30% gain in gold.
 
BG: What forces will move gold this year? And what's your price projection for 2011? 

Rick Rule: I suspect that this year will give us extraordinary volatility across all markets, including bullion. I think the eventual direction is higher, because of the well-catalogued failures of collectivism. But I suspect we will have some event-driven spike in metals prices, although I couldn't forecast which of many possible events will occur.

I have no earthly idea where gold will close, but to be a good sport and play the game, I'll say $1,750.

James Turk: The same forces will move gold higher this year, which I expect will reach $2,000, probably in the first half.

John Hathaway:A reversal of spreading distrust of government policies, central bankers, and paper currencies can only be accomplished by high real interest rates. The secular direction of the gold price will remain higher, and conversely, the valuation of paper currencies will trend lower, without a restoration of respectable real interest rates, which in my opinion, would be in the neighborhood of 4% on a sustained basis. In the absence of such a change, there is no telling where the price of gold, in U.S. dollar terms, could go.

In my opinion, gold is no different than any other market in that it assesses current fundamentals and discounts the future. Just exactly what it is reflecting at any given moment is the real challenge. In my opinion, the gold market has only partially reflected the monetary debasement that has taken place since the credit implosion of 2008, and it has not yet begun to assess the damage yet to come. 

Without knowing what further convoluted and extreme measures yet to be implemented by this administration and the Fed, it is impossible to place a number on the future price.

Charles Oliver: Global currency debasement will continue in 2011.  The European sovereign debt crisis continues to unravel in slow motion, and it looks highly likely that the Europeans will magically create lots of money to backstop the debt of the next European government that finds itself on the verge of bankruptcy. I expect this backdrop will help propel gold to around $1,700 by yearend. 

This level is supported by an upward trend channel that commenced in 2008 with a 2011 yearend range of $1,550 to $1,750. I also believe gold could break through the upper boundary of these trend-lines should some unexpected event occur.

Adrian Ash: Headline debt crises aside – Portugal, Spain, California, take your pick – 2011 will see negative real interest rates force ever more cash savers to choose gold (and also silver) instead. Simply extrapolating the current bull run's annual gains would see 2011 end with gold some 20% higher at $1,695 per ounce, averaging $1,450 across the year. Even on the official CPI measure, U.S. savers have now been underwater for 24 of the last 36 months after inflation.
But no one at the Fed, not even sole dissenter Thomas Hoenig (no longer a voting member in 2011), wants to see positive real returns paid to cash. The ECB, Bank of Japan, and Bank of England all look stuck near zero interest rates, too. And while Beijing might hike Chinese lending rates, it fears sucking in yield-hungry money from the West. With China's deposit rates left untouched at barely half the pace of inflation, the early gold-demand spike around Chinese New Year (Feb. 3rd) could prove dramatic.

Ian McAvity: I don't do specific forecasts in my work, but I think there's a prospect of gold pushing into the $2,000-$2,400 range this year, or perhaps 2012. This presumes an element of monetary panic relating to the U.S. dollar or euro during the year. A gold price of $2,400 would be the CPI-adjusted equivalent of 1980's $850 in current dollars, so this is not an unrealistic number.

Ross Norman: After 10 successive years of price strength during which gold rose fivefold, it is tempting to ask if prices are now peaking; we think not, and fresh all-time highs of $1,850 are in prospect. The list of forces on the buy side remains as long as your arm. But on the sell side there are potentially miners reentering hedging/forward-selling programs, central bank disposals, and possibly some contrarians – these are unlikely to be significant and, in short, with few sellers the scales should continue to weigh very significantly in favor of the bulls.

With gold’s entrenched trend line to draw on, the adage "The trend is your friend" seems likely to hold true. A twenty-something percent increase looks likely for the year, and the gold chart should maintain a steady 45-degree climb after a period of consolidation during Q1.
Our outlook for gold in 2011: Average $1,513; high $1,850; low $1,350.
 
BG: How volatile do you expect gold to be? What's your low price that would present a good buying opportunity? 

Rick Rule: Volatile on steroids! If we have a replay of the liquidity crisis of 2007-2008, gold could crack $1,000 on the downside. I don't time these things; I build cash when values in other sectors are not available, and bullion for me is a form of cash.

James Turk: I do not expect gold to be volatile. It looks to me that the gold price is ready to accelerate to the upside, and I do not expect there to be any significant price corrections because the demand for physical metal is just too strong. There is always a lot of money on the sidelines ready to buy any dip. 

Any price below $1,500 represents a good buying opportunity because I do not expect gold to remain below that price much longer.

John Hathaway:If the Fed announces an end to quantitative easing, gold could drop $200. In the greater scheme of things, such an announcement would change nothing.

Charles Oliver: I expect volatile currencies and governments for the next several years. Which means that gold and other hard assets priced in U.S. dollars will remain volatile. The current bottom of my gold trend channel is $1,300, so if it dropped that low, I think it would make a great buying opportunity. If gold broke below $1,300 (which I do not expect), then you might see it test the $1,000 level. That level was resistance for several years, but now it is a major support level, one I believe may never be breached again.

Adrian Ash: Gold volatility actually fell in 2010, hitting 5-year lows even as the dollar price took out new record highs above $1,400. So while gold keeps making headlines, it's more overreported than overinvested, and that's likely to keep any dips shallow, especially as larger investment institutions in the West look to steadily build their positions. Demand from Indian households – the world's No.1 physical buyers – is again adjusting to new rupee highs, too.
That said, keep an eye on the start of new quarters (April, July, Oct.) as investment funds will hold on to winning positions to impress their clients, only to take profits the very next day (witness July 1, 2010 and New Year 2011 already).

If you're trying to pick the bottom of a pullback, it's worth noting that gold hasn't fallen vs. the dollar for more than two months running since 2001.

Ian McAvity: Volatility will be much greater. India paid $1,045 for 200 tonnes of gold from the IMF – that's a critical level and would be a great crash-scenario buy point, but I doubt we'll see it. The last important breakout occurred at $1,260 and should be support and an attractive buy level; below that, $1,160 to $1,200, if it's part of a general market wipeout. I'd bet that gold comes screaming back from such a decline if Bernanke and the ECB proceed with QE3 or QE4 to fight it.

Ross Norman: Fear and uncertainty are running high, and that should almost certainly translate into greater price volatility. I think we are close to the low for the year (we see that at $1,350), and it is quite healthy to see some of the excessive speculative froth being blown off the market just now. It makes a more compelling case a month or so from now.
 
BG: Gold stocks as a group did not outperform gold in 2010 – will that change in 2011? And if the broader markets sell off, will gold stocks fall along with them or trade on their own? 

Rick Rule: Interesting point; the stocks did not outperform bullion, even as the companies actually began to feel the positive impacts of higher gold prices and massive capital programs.
I do think select stocks will broadly outpace the bullion markets in 2011. The senior producers are doing something they have not done for decades – earning good money! Their reinvestment options are constrained because most of them have already launched and funded major capital programs for whatever internal growth is available to them. Surplus capital can go to increasing dividends, buying back stock, and to acquisitions. Juniors who make attractive discoveries that can reduce depletion charges and lower a major's overall cash costs will be bought at startling prices.

If broader markets decline as a consequence of an event, particularly a liquidity-driven event, the gold stocks will decline with them. If a broader market decline occurs as a consequence of debt and equity overvaluation and earnings disappointments, the markets will decouple as they did in the late 1970s.

James Turk: The mining stocks will continue to outperform in 2011, but by a much larger margin than last year, and are still relatively cheap compared to bullion. Remember, the mining stocks were in a bear market from the collapse of Bre-X in 1997 to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. After Lehman, even the best quality mining stocks were unbelievably cheap. It was a capitulation low, where emotion prevailed over logic, which is how all bear markets end. This new bull market will drive the mining shares to what will probably be unbelievable heights when we look back a few years from now.

John Hathaway:Gold stocks are generally cheap relative to bullion. The XAU [Philadelphia Gold/Silver Index] trades at roughly 15% of the bullion price vs. a historical norm of more than 20%. Gold stocks could do fine even if gold is flat, something I don't expect. If we have another 2008 style sell-off, gold stocks will be hurt again in the short term, but the stage would be set for much higher highs for the metal and the stocks.

Charles Oliver: In 2010, the large-cap stocks that dominate the weighting in most gold indexes underperformed the gold price. However, the mid-cap stocks had a great performance in the first part of 2010. In the latter part of the year, the small-caps roared to life and outperformed most other groups. 

I expect that 2011 will initially be similar to the end of 2010; however, in the second part of the year, I am concerned that the general stock market may be due for a correction that could impact all stocks and sectors. If there is a modest, orderly pullback, gold stocks could rally (much like they did in 2002), though you may see an increased focus on the bigger, more liquid names first. With this in mind, and the relatively cheap large-cap stocks, I have been increasing my weighting of larger-cap names.

Adrian Ash: So long as deflation (i.e., default) threatens credit markets, unencumbered gold is going to appeal more than geared production, especially to those cautious savers now being forced out of cash by negative real rates. Yes, you've got to expect the kind of gold mania that Doug Casey has long forecast to light a fire under the broader gold mining sector. But another broad sell-off in world equities in 2011 would only compound the last decade's disillusion with risk investments.

Ian McAvity: The major gold stocks have not performed well against gold since 2003. They will get decent spurts, but long-term reserve replacement and premium-priced M&A [Merger and Acquisition] takeovers dilute their shareholders. The lows for gold stocks may be governed by the magnitude of any crash-like decline in the stock market. If the S&P or Dow falls 20% or more within a 3-month or less window, the margin clerks will sell every bid on anything. I prefer the metal to the major miners.

Ross Norman:I would not anticipate a broader equities sell-off. It does seem that most asset classes are performing strongly, and that may be a secondary consequence of QE. Broadly, I take a similar, and positive, view of mining equities as I do for gold. Should there be an equities correction, then in all likelihood mining shares will also retrace to some extent in the same way that a rising tide lifts all boats.
 
BG: Silver was up 81.9% in 2010, but is still below its 1980 nominal high. What's your outlook for silver in 2011?

Rick Rule:The near-term outlook for silver is very bullish, as a consequence of physical supply shortages. Longer term could be problematic as a consequence of Indian dishoarding, an event last seen in earnest in 1997.

James Turk: I expect silver to reach $50 in Q1 2011. It may then take a breather, but eventually – and probably later in 2011 – silver will climb above $50.

John Hathaway:More volatility than gold.

Charles Oliver: In the earth's crust, the ratio of silver to gold is 17:1. For most of the last 650 years (except the last 100) the monetary exchange rate was also around 17:1. In fact, when the United States was on a bi-metallic reserve standard, the U.S. government mandated "The Coinage Act of 1834," putting the gold/silver ratio at 16:1. In 2010, the ratio moved from around 60 to below 50. I expect this trend to continue in 2011 and think the metal could trade up to and beyond $50 in the not-too-distant future.

Adrian Ash: Silver's primary use is industrial, rather than as a store of wealth like gold. So it should be more vulnerable to the economic cycle (see the post-Lehman price collapse), and you could argue it's simply tracking the huge rally in base metal and energy prices. But looking at that 1980 high – forced by the Hunt brothers' speculative corner, rather than a jump in use – I think something else is going on, and silver is being remonetized by private wealth in the same way gold has been remonetized since hitting "trinket" prices in the late 1990s.

A much smaller and tighter market than gold, silver is both more attractive and responsive to sudden inflows of cash. As with gold, silver's volatility fell in 2010, but it was more than twice the average level (daily basis) of the last four decades. Price-wise, another year like 2010 would see the $50 peak taken out. The biggest surprise is that the mainstream press hasn't stoked the idea of a "silver bubble" like it has done for gold since 2009.

Ian McAvity: If gold runs above $2,000, I expect the silver/gold ratio to reach the 36:1 level, which would mean a price somewhere between $55 and $66. I view that ratio as a material driver of the silver price, trading off its long monetary metal history, apart from its attractive supply/demand profile. The 1980 spike to $50 was a very brief spike that isn't really a meaningful measuring point, in my view. The monthly average London Fix for January 1980 was $39.27, and gold's monthly average peak was $675.31; those are more realistic prior peak levels to measure against.

Ross Norman: After the 2010 rally, it might seem churlish to expect much more in 2011 for silver. Early 2011 profit taking has seen silver decline more than most assets, underlining the strong speculative element in the recent price run, and this also confers some weakness to its case. However, the investment community has taken silver to heart, and contrary to its modestly attractive fundamentals, the market prices are likely to overperform again. Unlike in 2010, we expect silver's price action to conform more closely to that of gold – firmer, but a little more rational.

Our outlook in 2011 for silver: Average $37; high $44; low $27.
 
BG: What's your best advice for precious metal investors in 2011?

Rick Rule: Be prepared for the most volatile market of your life, and use that volatility to your best advantage.

James Turk: It is the same advice I have been giving for more than a decade; continue accumulating the precious metals, and if you are inclined to take the investment risk, the mining stocks as well. We need to recognize one salient fact: national currencies are being destroyed and their purchasing power eroded by misdirected government policy. Consequently, gold and silver are safe havens and the best way to protect your wealth.

John Hathaway: Have at least 10% of your liquid assets in precious metals and related mining stocks. Keep your bullion outside the U.S. A good way to do so is through Gold Bullion International, which can be accessed through their website. Unless you want to spend a lot of time researching the gold mining industry, consider investing in a well-managed precious metals mutual fund. There are a number, but I am partial to the Tocqueville Gold Fund, one of the top performers last year.

Charles Oliver: All the fundamentals – excessive government debt, high budget deficits, runaway healthcare costs, growing Social Security payments, demographic trends – lead to one conclusion: Governments are bankrupt and are going to debase their currencies via money printing, quantitative easing, off-balance-sheet transactions, and whatever other tricks they can pull off. The bull market in gold is alive and well and has a heck of a lot further to go. Buy it. 

Adrian Ash: Next to overtrading, the biggest profit killer in gold this last decade has been to trust clever hedge funds trying to beat the metal. Sure, the best mining stock funds have delivered fantastic returns, but they struggled to outperform gold in 2010, and there's no certainty that will continue. But if you're right to buy gold for defense, then it’s best to simply buy and hold until the prime drivers – abysmal monetary and fiscal policy across the West – are reversed. Oh, and of course, be sure to visit BullionVault for a free gram of gold, too!

Ian McAvity: For individual investors, don't go crazy with leverage or portfolio concentration. No matter how much of a gold bug you are, keep in mind we're in a period where the mistakes (QE2 is one of them) will compound the second half of the ongoing financial disaster that started in 2007. 

Ross Norman: For followers of cycles, 2011 looks like the year that the Kondratieff Winter begins to bite – a period normally associated with debt repudiation, trade wars, and firm commodity prices. A winter that puts Europe into hibernation, and the smart money acquires a protective coat. This is to say, buy gold, including the leveraged 2:1 ETFs.

[These world-class experts are right to bank on gold and silver – because the U.S. dollar keeps losing more and more of its value. Watch this eye-opening video on how China and Russia are plotting to dump the dollar in the near term… why you should be worried… and what to do about it.]



Many thanks to those of you who have recently signed up for options trading service, its very much appreciated. We are also finalizing our new pricing structure which we will publish shortly, however, if you are already a subscriber then we will do our best to hold your subscriptions as is, the new prices will only apply to the new members.



Our model portfolio is up 138.05% since inception, Average return of 41.27% per trade, 67 closed trades, 65 closed at a profit or a 97% success rate. Average trade open for 43.21 days.


SK model portfolio 14 March 2011.JPG



The above progress chart is being updated constantly. 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, before we decide to cap membership.

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.

Thursday
Mar172011

SK OptionTrader: New Pricing Structure

This is a quick note to inform that a new pricing structure is being introduced and will come into effect on the weekend of the 2nd April 2011. For those of you who are already subscribers we will do our best to hold your subscriptions as is, the new prices will only apply to the new members. This is due to the great demand we have had for the service and we are raising prices to limit numbers and ensure that we maintain our high level of service to each and every subscriber.

The price of a 6 month subscription will increase from $99 to $199.
The price of a 12 month subscription will increase from $179 to $350.

You can still subscribe below at our original prices, however these prices will not be available after April 2nd 2011.

Subscribe for 6 months - $499

 

Subscribe for 12 months - $799

 

Tuesday
Mar152011

A Chance to win 20 ozs of Endeavour Silver

EXK Logo 16 Mar 2011.JPG

That’s right! Its competition time and Endeavour Silver Corporation (NYSE:EXK) have very kindly donated the prize of 20 ozs of 99.9% pure silver coins, so get your thinking hats on.

All you have to do is calculate, estimate or guess the last traded price on Friday, 25th March 2011, of the Endeavour Silver Call Options, with a strike price of $10.00 of the May 2011 series.



To gain an understanding of this silver producer you are advised to visit their web site by clicking this link: Endeavour Silver Corporation.


Endeavour Silver Corporation is a small-cap silver mining company focused on the growth of its silver production, reserves and resources in Mexico. Since start-up in 2004, Endeavour has posted six consecutive years of aggressive silver production and resource growth. The organic expansion programs now underway at Endeavour's two operating silver mines in Mexico combined with its strategic acquisition program should help Endeavour achieve its goal to become the next premier mid-tier primary silver producer.

exk chart 15 March 2011.JPG



For an interesting read to bring you up to speed its worth spending a few minutes reading about the history of silver, its industrial and health applications and its longevity as a currency going back to 2500 BC, please click this link:

Facts and History.

For disclosure purposes we do own this stock.

The rules are as follows:

1. All entries must be entered in the comments box under the post on www.silver-prices.net, please click here: ENDEAVOUR SILVER

2. Entries will not be accepted after the closing date of Sunday 20th March

3. If there are identical entries then the entry which we received first will take precedence.

4. There is only one prize and that is for the winner

5. As judges our decision is final

6. Do not email your entry to us as it will be disregarded.

7. Only one entry per person please.

This is a link to the Options page that might also help you: Endeavour


As a guide the chart below shows a recent closing price for the May Call Options recently.

EXK Options chart 15 March 2011.JPG


Our hearty thanks go to Hugh Clarke, Vice-President Corporate Communications of the Endeavour Silver Corporation for his generosity in donating such a valuable prize.

Hugh Clarke.JPG
Hugh Clarke

Endeavour Silver Corporation is traded in Canada, USA and Europe on the following three stock exchanges:

(TSX: EDR)

(NYSE-AMEX: EXK)

(DB-Frankfurt: EJD)



So they have plenty of exposure to the investment market.

EXK Silver Coins 15 March 2011.JPG


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Many thanks to those of you who have recently signed up for our options trading service, its very much appreciated. We are also finalizing our new pricing structure which we will publish shortly, however, if you are already a subscriber then we will do our best to hold your subscriptions as is, the new prices will only apply to the new members.



Our model portfolio is up 138.05% since inception, Average return of 41.27% per trade, 67 closed trades, 65 closed at a profit or a 97% success rate. Average trade open for 43.21 days.


SK model portfolio 14 March 2011.JPG



The above progress chart is being updated constantly. 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, before we decide to cap membership.

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.
Sunday
Mar132011

Richard Russell: Gold is the Safest Currency

Richard Russell.JPG




Speaking at the Casey Research Gold and Resource Summit, Richard Russell told the audience, “I’d feel much better holding everything I own in gold. Holding dollars means holding a depreciating asset and I feel much more confident holding gold.” He went on to say, “The good part about gold is it can’t go bankrupt and it’s very hard to manipulate gold because it’s international. I know the Fed would love to manipulate gold but it can’t control it because it’s traded all over the world, every hour of the day and night.” We’ve got these highlights and more from a Q&A with Richard Russell in the video below.

Please click here.


Are you satisfied with the amount of gold you own if monetary and fiscal circumstances deteriorate? Are you prepared to profit from the mania in precious metals that Doug Casey projects is ahead? If not, start the year right with a risk-free trial to BIG GOLD, where we list the safest dealers to buy physical metal and the best stocks to profit from the ongoing bull market. Check it out here.
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Many thanks to those of you who have recently signed up for options trading service, its very much appreciated. Please be patient as we have a number of new trades on the drawing board and as you are aware the timing of them is critical to their success.

Our model portfolio is up 138.05% since inception, Average return of 41.27% per trade, 67 closed trades, 65 closed at a profit or a 97% success rate. Average trade open for 43.21 days.


sk chart 19 Feb 2011.JPG



The above progress chart is being updated constantly. 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, before we decide to cap membership.

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.

Saturday
Mar122011

A Comeback for Gold-Backed Money?

gold money.JPG


By Andrey Dashkov, Casey Research
Several legislative initiatives caught our attention recently. All of them are related to the monetary role of gold and range from proposals to return to the gold standard, to minting gold and silver as an alternative currency, to having all state transactions carried out in gold and silver coins, to permitting citizens to run their own mints.

Do these proposals signal a significant attitude change among politicians and mainstream economic institutions toward gold? No. They are largely regarded as fringe ideas and dismissed out of hand. The third link above is written in a condescending tone that implies everyone knows that the gold standard is bad for an economy and it caused the Great Depression. Still, it’s quite telling that opinions that gold can be incorporated into a modern economy are becoming numerous, and actually making it onto the legislative agenda in various jurisdictions.

Last November, clearing house ICE Europe began accepting gold bullion as initial margin for crude oil and natural gas futures. This year, JPMorgan Chase announced that it wouldaccept physical gold as collateral for a number of transactions. According to the Wall Street Journal, stock exchanges in New York, Chicago and Europe recently agreed to accept gold as collateral for certain trades, too. The World Gold Council is gaining traction in its push to have the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision accept the precious metals as a Tier-1 asset for banks, along with government bonds and currencies. Private and public institutions alike are clearly rethinking their attitude toward gold.

Perhaps most telling of all, the world’s central banks were net buyers of gold in 2010and in 2009, after being net sellers for the previous 20 years. As World Bank President Robert Zoellick said last November, gold has become the "yellow elephant in the room" that needs to be acknowledged by policymakers of major economies.

No one can predict exactly how this will all shake out, but Doug Casey has long said that areturn to a gold standard, or some modern equivalent, is almost inevitable. That’s because, for the reasons Aristotle outlined 2,000 years ago (it’s durable, divisible, consistent, convenient, and has intrinsic value), gold is hands-down the world’s best money.

Now, Gresham’s Lawtells us that bad money drives out good, but that’s only true when legal tender laws hold sway (incentivizing people to hoard what’s perceived to be “good” money and spend the “bad” money as fast as they can). When people give up on the local legal tender, Gresham’s Law goes into reverse, and good money chases out bad. The dollarization of third-world economies is an example of this, the dollar being perceived as being good when compared to many shakier currencies.

So, what happens if fiat currencies as a class start to be perceived as bad money? Gresham, and history, tells us that they’ll eventually be abandoned, unless made good (put back on some acceptable standard of value, like gold).

The key point here is that it can’t happen just a little bit, just as you can’t get a little bit pregnant. Once it starts, the good money will drive out the bad, and in today’s wired global economy, the phenomenon will be worldwide, fast and devastatingly thorough.

The investment implications, broadly, are obvious; you want to own gold for safety andspeculate on gold stocks for profit. The details on how best to do this are the current raison d’être of our metals publications.
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[In light of the information above, it seems that the Mania Phase of the gold bull market is getting closer every day. You’ll want to stock up on gold, silver and sound large-cap mining stocks before the investing crowd catches on. There’s still time, but it may be running short. To learn everything about prudent precious metals investments, give BIG GOLD a try today.Read our reporton how Jeff Clark managed to boost his mom’s IRA – and his subscribers portfolios – by 90.4%... and how, for only $79 per year, you can do the same…]

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Many thanks to those of you who have recently signed up for options trading service, its very much appreciated. Please be patient as we have a number of new trades on the drawing board and as you are aware the timing of them is critical to their success.

Our model portfolio is up 138.05% since inception, Average return of 41.27% per trade, 67 closed trades, 65 closed at a profit or a 97% success rate. Average trade open for 43.21 days.


sk chart 19 Feb 2011.JPG



The above progress chart is being updated constantly. 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, before we decide to cap membership.

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.

Friday
Mar112011

Gold and Silver Still Dollar Dependent

USD Chart 11 March 2011.JPG


Despite the troubles in the Middle East and its ramifications for oil prices the real driving force behind both silver and gold prices is still the US Dollar. The inverse relationship remains intact and as the dollar tries once again to get some traction, gold and silver prices are capped. This raises the question of just why is the dollar popular at the moment, well, as we see it the downgrading of Spain’s debt has cast another shadow over the stability of the Euro. When the Euro dithers and sags, the dollar becomes a beneficiary for those looking elsewhere to place their cash. The stay of execution for the dollar arrives in the nick of time as it flirts dangerously close to the '76' level as depicted on the above chart.

Oil prices appear to be softening as WTI eases back towards the $100.00/bbl level thus lessening the pressure on inflation and supposedly lessening the need to hold gold.

The USD has managed to bounce at the '76' level, for now, however, both the 50mda and the 200dma are forming a steeper curve as they head south. The technical indicators are climbing out of the oversold zone, with the RSI, MACD and the STO all heading north. A short term rally could be on the cards but we doubt that it will have the legs to make any real progress.

GOLD

Gold Chart 11 March 2011.JPG

A quick look at gold shows a recent new all time high which bodes well for gold prices despite the pullback. The 50dma and the 200dma are moving up in support of gold prices, with the RSI, MACD and the STO having peaked and turned negative for now. In the short term we must expect the unexpected with severe oscillations in both directions, however, longer term this bull market is intact and heading for much higher ground.

SILVER

Silver Chart 11 March 2011.JPG

Physical silver continues to be difficult to obtain and has led to silver prices being chased ever higher. We may see some sideways consolidation here, however, its a tiny market and could rocket at any given time as both the industrial and investment demand increases. The technical indicators are on the ceiling at the moment suggesting a breather, but don't count on it, they can stay that way for prolonged periods of time.

In conclusion we would suggest that a core position is held regardless of what day to day, or week to week events arrive to rattle everyone's cage. Keep some metal in your own hands and certainly outwith the banking system, the troubles that we see on our screens today could be ours tomorrow. When choosing stocks go for the quality producers as many of the names you see today will not make a cent in this bull market. Finally, if you have the stomach for it and are comfortable with the inherent risks involved, a few well thought out option trades could boost your portfolios performance, but keep it low level.


Many thanks to those of you who have recently signed up for options trading service, its very much appreciated. Please be patient as we have a number of new trades on the drawing board and as you are aware the timing of them is critical to their success.

Our model portfolio is up 138.05% since inception, Average return of 41.27% per trade, 67 closed trades, 65 closed at a profit or a 97% success rate. Average trade open for 43.21 days.

sk chart 19 Feb 2011.JPG



The above progress chart is being updated constantly. 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, before we decide to cap membership.

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.

Tuesday
Mar082011

The Driver for Gold You’re Not Watching

casey 1 09 march 2011.JPG
Jeff Clark, BIG GOLD

You already know the basic reasons for owning gold – currency protection, inflation hedge, store of value, calamity insurance – many of which are becoming clichés even in mainstream articles. Throw in the supply and demand imbalance, and you’ve got the basic arguments for why one should hold gold for the foreseeable future.

All of these factors remain very bullish, in spite of gold’s 450% rise over the past 10 years. No, it’s not too late to buy, especially if you don’t own a meaningful amount; and yes, I’m convinced the price is headed much higher, regardless of the corrections we’ll inevitably see. Each of the aforementioned catalysts will force gold’s price higher and higher in the years ahead, especially the currency issues.

But there’s another driver of the price that escapes many gold watchers and certainly the mainstream media. And I’m convinced that once this sleeping giant wakes, it could ignite the gold market like nothing we’ve ever seen.

The fund management industry handles the bulk of the world’s wealth. These institutions include insurance companies, hedge funds, mutual funds, sovereign wealth funds, etc. But the elephant in the room is pension funds. These are institutions that provide retirement income, both public and private.

Global pension assets are estimated to be – drum roll, please – $31.1 trillion. No, that is not a misprint. It is more than twice the size of last year’s GDP in the U.S. ($14.7 trillion).

We know a few hedge fund managers have invested in gold, like John Paulson, David Einhorn, Jean-Marie Eveillard. There are close to twenty mutual funds devoted to gold and precious metals. Lots of gold and silver bugs have been buying.
So, what about pension funds?

According to estimates by Shayne McGuire in his new book, Hard Money; Taking Gold to a Higher Investment Level, the typical pension fund holds about 0.15% of its assets in gold. He estimates another 0.15% is devoted to gold mining stocks, giving us a total of 0.30% – that is, less than one third of one percent of assets committed to the gold sector.

Shayne is head of global research at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. He bases his estimate on the fact that commodities represent about 3% of the total assets in the average pension fund. And of that 3%, about 5% is devoted to gold. It is, by any account, a negligible portion of a fund’s asset allocation.

Now here’s the fun part. Let’s say fund managers as a group realize that bonds, equities, and real estate have become poor or risky investments and so decide to increase their allocation to the gold market. If they doubled their exposure to gold and gold stocks – which would still represent only 0.6% of their total assets – it would amount to $93.3 billion in new purchases.
How much is that? The assets of GLD total $55.2 billion, so this amount of money is 1.7 times bigger than the largest gold ETF. SLV, the largest silver ETF, has net assets of $9.3 billion, a mere one-tenth of that extra allocation.

The market cap of the entire sector of gold stocks (producers only) is about $234 billion. The gold industry would see a 40% increase in new money to the sector. Its market cap would double if pension institutions allocated just 1.2% of their assets to it.

But what if currency issues spiral out of control? What if bonds wither and die? What if real estate takes ten years to recover? What if inflation becomes a rabid dog like it has every other time in history when governments have diluted their currency to this degree? If these funds allocate just 5% of their assets to gold – which would amount to $1.5 trillion – it would overwhelm the system and rocket prices skyward. 

And let’s not forget that this is only one class of institution. Insurance companies have about $18.7 trillion in assets. Hedge funds manage approximately $1.7 trillion. Sovereign wealth funds control $3.8 trillion. Then there are mutual funds, ETFs, private equity funds, and private wealth funds. Throw in millions of retail investors like you and me and Joe Sixpack and Jiao Sixpack, and we’re looking in the rear view mirror at $100 trillion.

I don’t know if pension funds will devote that much money to this sector or not. What I do know is that sovereign debt risks are far from over, the U.S. dollar and other currencies will lose considerably more value against gold, interest rates will most certainly rise in the years ahead, and inflation is just getting started. These forces are in place and building, and if there’s a paradigm shift in how these managers view gold, look out!

I thought of titling this piece, “Why $5,000 Gold May Be Too Low.” Because once fund managers enter the gold market in mass, this tiny sector will light on fire with blazing speed. 
My advice is to not just hope you can jump in once these drivers hit the gas, but to claim your seat during the relative calm of this month's level prices.

Jeff Clark is the editor of BIG GOLD, Casey Research's monthly advisory on gold, silver, and large-cap precious metals stocks. If this is the kind of in-depth information you’d like to utilize for your investments, give BIG GOLD a risk-free try with 3-month money-back guarantee.



PS: Just in case you missed it we have just closed an option play on www.silver-prices.net with an average profit of 96.5% on Silver Wheaton Call Options. Click here to read more.

Many thanks to those of you who have recently signed up for options trading service, its very much appreciated. Please be patient as we have a number of new trades on the drawing board and as you are aware the timing of them is critical to their success.

We now have 65 winners out of 67 options trades, or a 97.00% success rate If you have any questions regarding these trades please address them through their site where they will be handled quickly and I hope efficiently.

sk chart 19 Feb 2011.JPG



The above progress chart is being updated constantly. 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, before we decide to cap membership.

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.