Interesting how President Obama and the Federal Reserve programmed their meetings in, precisely, the same week. That was probably the only similarity, though. The President, on one hand, depicted the nation as getting back on track, while the Federal Reserve reminded us of their shift to 0, but now it will last for, at least, another two years. The reaction of gold was very positive as it stepped up to approximately $1,710 an ounce making gold investments a better alternative even before we feel the final effects of the Fed’s arrangement.
Gold has been going up and down within the last six months and investors have, thus, displaced their perception of the long term fundamentals supporting gold: the western world continues stalled by debt, and the painless way for governments to deal with this predicament is to maintain shallow interest rates while running the printing presses.
Gold investing should come second nature to those who are on the path to unveiling the certainty of the debt conspiracy that is occurring throughout the world. But do we truly comprehend the reasons gold has to go up and down? Most investors believe that gold is a hedge against dreary stock market performance as well as financial anxiety. It’s not a distortion that these assumptions could be true; it’s just that one must go further to appreciate what it is which incites the shift in gold. The yellow precious metal’s connection with stock prices and financial stress is just an incidental reaction. Indeed, notwithstanding the common premises, the price of gold can increase during bullish stock markets and plummet at some point during financial apprehension. Forget about all of that because what is really behind gold’s fluctuations is the significance that is placed upon paper money.
If we use that point of view and reflect a moment on the main secular tendencies of the last ten years, we note that three stand out. During the equity bull market from January 2003 to December 2007, the increases of the S&P 500 were of 69% and gold of 153%. The US dollar, on the other hand, declined a quarter of its worth. Amid the equity bear market from January 2008 to March 2009, the S&P 500 relinquished 52% and gold increased 9%. At the pinnacle of the financial crisis, gold only suffered a 16% loss while the US dollar index increased by 18%. During the final trend, the equity bull market, from March 2009 to April 2011, the S&P 500 rose by 86% and gold by 66%. The US dollar index descended by 18%. Gold has the propensity to do well opposite the dollar as can be noted from the first and last trends. The yellow precious metal is very successful as a hard currency and, as such, is a mirror against other ones. In reality, the same easy-money policies that are the reason that the dollar declines in value and for gold prices to go up are also likely to make the stock market go up, too. Technically-speaking, inflation has encouraged real interest rates to go so low that they are negative, nudging investors opposite the dollar. I am under the impression that this is common sense to most people at this time.
The problem is during an apprehensive monetary predicament. Looking at the second trend, while the S&P 500 lost 52%, gold only gained 9%. Indeed, during the worst point of the Lehman Brothers implosion, gold was, at one point, down 16%. Once more, the genuine propeller behind gold’s performance during this example was the US dollar, which gained 18%. The US dollar seemed to be best of the worst at that moment. Gold resonated with this and dropped. As such, gold priced in euros and Canadian dollars did not renounce as much.
But this assumption of the US dollar as a safe have will come to an end. In reality, from 1900-2010, the US dollar relinquished about 95% of its purchasing command. As $120 trillion of unfunded liabilities come knocking at the US Treasury’s door, insistent reliance upon the printing presses could ultimately take us to a hyperinflationary level. Whereas gold prices wane amidst financial stress and although it can be troublesome to gold investors, they should always keep in mind that the larger the financial disaster, the greater the monetary retort by central banks. In November 2008, the Fed’s answer to the financial crisis propelled gold prices in all currencies from the lows they all endured during that time.
Times of financial crisis should be perceived with the likelihood that central banks are more prone to disclose reports similar to the most recent zero-rate pledge which will have as one of its effects to propel gold’s ascension. One should be taking advantage of every dip in gold caused by temporary spikes in the US dollar throughout the extent of this gold bull market. Indeed, gold has currently increased over 10% due to the recent slip brought about by financial stress over Europe. As the US economy continues fraught with debt, real interest rates will stay negative for the projected outlook. Should the fundamentals change, then the long-term bull market for gold will change…until then, enjoy!