Thursday, December 18, 2014

Seven Questions Gold Bears Must Answer

By Jeff Clark, Senior Precious Metals Analyst

A glance at any gold price chart reveals the severity of the bear mauling it has endured over the last three years. More alarming, even for die hard gold investors, is that some of the fundamental drivers that would normally push gold higher, like a weak U.S. dollar, have reversed.

Throw in a correction defying Wall Street stock market and the never ending rain of disdain for gold from the mainstream and it may seem that there’s no reason to buy gold; the bear is here to stay.
If so, then I have a question. Actually, a whole bunch of questions.

If we’re in a bear market, then…..

Why Is China Accumulating Record Amounts of Gold?


Mainstream reports will tell you Chinese imports through Hong Kong are down. They are.
But total gold imports are up. Most journalists continue to overlook the fact that China imports gold directly into Beijing and Shanghai now. And there are at least 12 importing banks—that we know of.
Counting these “unreported” sources, imports have risen sharply. How do we know? From other countries’ export data. Take Switzerland, for example:


So far in 2014, Switzerland has shipped 153 tonnes (4.9 million ounces) to China directly. This represents over 50% of what they sent through Hong Kong (299 tonnes).

The UK has also exported £15 billion in gold so far in 2014, according to customs data. In fact, London has shipped so much gold to China (and other parts of Asia) that their domestic market has “tightened significantly” according to bullion analysts there.

Why Is China Working to Accelerate Its Accumulation?


This is a growing trend. The People’s Bank of China released a plan just last Wednesday to open up gold imports to qualified miners, as well as all banks that are members of the Shanghai Gold Exchange. Even commemorative gold maker China Gold Coin could qualify to import bullion. Not only will this further increase imports, but it will serve to lower premiums for Chinese buyers, making purchases more affordable.

As evidence of burgeoning demand, gold trading on China’s largest physical exchange has already exceeded last year’s record volume. YTD volume on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, including the city’s free trade zone, was 12,077 tonnes through October vs. 11,614 tonnes in all of 2013.

The Chinese wave has reached tidal proportions—and it’s still growing.

Why Are Other Countries Hoarding Gold?


The World Gold Council (WGC) reports that for the 12 months ending September 2014, gold demand outside of China and India was 1,566 tonnes (50.3 million ounces). The problem is that demand from China and India already equals global production!

India and China currently account for approximately 3,100 tonnes of gold demand, and the WGC says new mine production was 3,115 tonnes during the same period.

And in spite of all the government attempts to limit gold imports, India just recorded the highest level of imports in 41 months; the country imported over 39 tonnes in November alone, the most since May 2011.

Let’s not forget Russia. Not only does the Russian central bank continue to buy aggressively on the international market, Moscow now buys directly from Russian miners. This is largely because banks and brokers are blocked from using international markets by US sanctions. Despite this, and the fact that Russia doesn’t have to buy gold but keeps doing so anyway.

Global gold demand now eats up more than miners around the world can produce. Do all these countries see something we don’t?

Why Are Retail Investors NOT Selling SLV?


SPDR gold ETF (GLD) holdings continue to largely track the price of gold—but not the iShares silver ETF (SLV). The latter has more retail investors than GLD, and they’re not selling. In fact, while GLD holdings continue to decline, SLV holdings have shot higher.


While the silver price has fallen 16.5% so far this year, SLV holdings have risen 9.5%.

Why are so many silver investors not only holding on to their ETF shares but buying more?

Why Are Bullion Sales Setting New Records?


2013 was a record-setting year for gold and silver purchases from the US Mint. Pretty bullish when you consider the price crashed and headlines were universally negative.
And yet 2014 is on track to exceed last year’s record-setting pace, particularly with silver…
  • November silver Eagle sales from the US Mint totaled 3,426,000 ounces, 49% more than the previous year. If December sales surpass 1.1 million coins—a near certainty at this point—2014 will be another record-breaking year.
  • Silver sales at the Perth Mint last month also hit their highest level since January. Silver coin sales jumped to 851,836 ounces in November. That was also substantially higher than the 655,881 ounces in October.
  • And India’s silver imports rose 14% for the first 10 months of the year and set a record for that period. Silver imports totaled a massive 169 million ounces, draining many vaults in the UK, similar to the drain for gold I mentioned above.
To be fair, the Royal Canadian Mint reported lower gold and silver bullion sales for Q3. But volumes are still historically high.

Why Are Some Mainstream Investors Buying Gold?


The negative headlines we all see about gold come from the mainstream. Yet, some in that group are buyers…..

Ray Dalio runs the world’s largest hedge fund, with approximately $150 billion in assets under management. As my colleague Marin Katusa puts it, “When Ray talks, you listen.”

And Ray currently allocates 7.5% of his portfolio to gold.


He’s not alone. Joe Wickwire, portfolio manager of Fidelity Investments, said last week, “I believe now is a good time to take advantage of negative short-term trading sentiment in gold.”

Then there are Japanese pension funds, which as recently as 2011 did not invest in gold at all. Today, several hundred Japanese pension funds actively invest in the metal. Consider that Japan is the second-largest pension market in the world. Demand is also reportedly growing from defined benefit and defined contribution plans.

And just last Friday, Credit Suisse sold $24 million of US notes tied to an index of gold stocks, the largest offering in 14 months, a bet that producers will rebound from near six-year lows.

These (and other) mainstream investors are clearly not expecting gold and gold stocks to keep declining.

Why Are Countries Repatriating Gold?


I mean, it’s not as if the New York depository is unsafe. It and Ft. Knox rank as among the most secure storage facilities in the world. That makes the following developments very curious:
  • Netherlands repatriated 122 tonnes (3.9 million ounces) last month.
  • France’s National Front leader urged the Bank of France last month to repatriate all its gold from overseas vaults, and to increase its bullion assets by 20%.
  • The Swiss Gold Initiative, which did not pass a popular vote, would’ve required all overseas gold be repatriated, as well as gold to comprise 20% of Swiss assets.
  • Germany announced a repatriation program last year, though the plan has since fizzled.
  • And this just in: there are reports that the Belgian central bank is investigating repatriation of its gold reserves.
What’s so important about gold right now that’s spurned a new trend to store it closer to home and increase reserves?

These strong signs of demand don’t normally correlate with an asset in a bear market. Do you know of any bear market, in any asset, that’s seen this kind of demand?

Neither do I.

My friends, there’s only one explanation: all these parties see the bear soon yielding to the bull. You and I obviously aren’t the only ones that see it on the horizon.

Christmas Wishes Come True…..


One more thing: our founder and chairman, Doug Casey himself, is now willing to go on the record saying that he thinks the bottom is in for gold.

I say we back up the truck for the bargain of the century. Just like all the others above are doing.

With gold on sale for the holidays, I arranged for premium discounts on SEVEN different bullion products in the new issue of BIG GOLD. With gold and silver prices at four-year lows and fundamental forces that will someday propel them a lot higher, we have a truly unique buying opportunity. I want to capitalize on today’s “most mispriced asset” before sentiment reverses and the next uptrend in precious metals kicks into gear. It’s our first ever Bullion Buyers Blowout—and I hope you’ll take advantage of the can’t-beat offers.

Someday soon you will pay a lot more for your insurance. Save now with these discounts.
The article 7 Questions Gold Bears Must Answer was originally published at casey research.


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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Russia and China’s Natural Gas Deals are a Death Knell for Canada’s LNG Ambitions

By Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment Strategist

In recent years, a number of Asian companies have been betting that Canada will be able to export cheap liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its west coast. These big international players include PetroChina, Mitsubishi, CNOOC, and, until December 3, Malaysian state owned Petronas.

However, that initial interest is decidedly on the wane. In fact, while the British Columbia LNG Alliance is still hopeful that some of the 18 LNG projects that have been proposed will be realized, it’s now looking less and less likely that any of these Canadian LNG consortia will ever make a final investment decision to forge ahead.

That’s thanks to the Colder War—as I explain in detail in my new book of the same name—and the impetus it’s given Vladimir Putin to open up new markets in Asia.

The huge gas export deals that Russia struck with China in May and October—with an agreed-upon price ranging from $8-10 per million British thermal units (mmBtu)—has likely capped investors’ expectations of Chinese natural gas prices at around $10-11 per mmBtu, a level which would make shipping natural gas from Canada to Asia uneconomic.

At these prices, not even British Columbia’s new Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act—which has halved the post payout tax rate to 3.5% and proposes reducing corporate income tax to 8% from 11%—can make Canadian natural gas globally competitive.

These tax credits are too little, too late, because Canada is years behind Australia, Russia, and Qatar’s gas projects. This means there’s just too much uncertainty about future profit margins to commit the vast amount of capital that will be needed to make Canadian LNG a reality.

Sure, there are huge proven reserves of natural gas in Canada. It’s just been determined that Canada’s Northwest Territories hold 16.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, 40% more than previous estimates.

But the fact is that Canada will remain a high-cost producer of LNG, and its shipping costs to Asia will be much higher than Russia’s, Australia’s, and Qatar’s. So unless potential buyers in Asia are confident that Henry Hub gas prices will stay below $5, they’re unlikely to commit to long-term contracts for Canadian LNG—or US gas for that matter—because compression and shipping add at least another $6 to the price.

Shell has estimated that its proposed terminal, owned by LNG Canada, will cost $40 billion, not including a $4 billion pipeline. As LNG Canada—whose shareholders include PetroChina, Korea Gas Corp., and Mitsubishi Corp.—admits, it’s not yet sure that the project will be economically viable. Even if it turns out to be, LNG Canada says it won’t make a final investment decision until 2016, after which the facility would take five years to build.

But investors shouldn’t hold their breath. It seems like Korea Gas Corp. has already made up its mind. It’s planning to sell a third of its 15% stake in LNG Canada by the end of this year.

And who can blame it? The industry still doesn’t have clarity on environmental issues, federal taxes, municipal taxes, transfer pricing agreements, or what the First Nations’ cut will be. And these are all major hurdles.

Pipeline permits are also still incomplete. The federal government still hasn’t decided if LNG is a manufacturing or distribution business, which matters because if it rules that it’s a distribution business, permitting is going to be delayed.

And to muddy the picture even further, opposition to gas pipelines and fracking is on the rise in British Columbia and elsewhere in Canada. While fossil fuel projects are under fire from climate alarmists the world over, Canadian environmentalists are also angry that increased tanker traffic through its pristine coastal waters could lead to oil spills.

Canada is now under the sway of radical environmental groups and think tanks like the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, which take as a given that Canada should shut down its tar sands industry altogether. For these people, there’s no responsible way to build new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Elsewhere, investors might expect money and jobs to do the talking, but Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party, which has called for greenhouse gas limits on oil sands, is now leading the conservatives in the polls. (Just out of curiosity, does Trudeau plan on putting a cap on the carbon monoxide concentration from his marijuana agenda? But I digress.) If a liberal government is elected next year, it might adopt a national climate policy that would cripple gas companies and oil companies alike.

Some energy majors are already shying away from Canadian LNG. BG Group announced in October that it’s delaying a decision on its Prince Rupert LNG project until after 2016. And Apache Corp., partnered with Chevron on a Canadian LNG project, is seeking a buyer for its stake.

Not everyone is throwing in the towel. Yet. ExxonMobil—which is in the early planning phase for the West Coast Canada LNG project at Tuck Inlet, located near Prince Rupert in northwestern British Columbia—has just become a member of the British Columbia LNG alliance.

But Petronas was a key player. It was thought that the company would be moving ahead after British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment approved its LNG terminal, along with two pipelines that would feed it.

Instead, Petronas pulled the plug. We can’t know how many things factored into that decision nor whether it’s absolutely final. All the company would say is that projected costs of C$36 billion would need to be reduced before a restart could be considered. (That $36B figure includes Petronas’s 2012 acquisition of Calgary based gas producer Progress Energy Resources Corp., as well as the C$10 billion proposed terminal, a pipeline, and the cost of drilling wells in BC’s northeast.)

This latest blow leaves Canadian LNG development very much in doubt. In fact, most observers believe that Petronas’s move to the sidelines probably sounds the death knell for the industry, at least for the foreseeable future.
For more on how the Colder War is forever changing the energy sector and global finance itself, click here to get your copy of Marin’s New York Times bestselling book. Inside, you’ll discover more on LNG and how this geopolitical chess game between Russia and the West for control of the world’s energy trade will shape this decade and the century to come.



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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Investors That Do Not Understand The Power Of Seven Will Lose Money in 2015

Investors and traders around the world continually search to find or increase their edge in the financial markets to boost profits. The next few months are going to be critical for investors because the number seven is now in play for the stock market.
In magical lore seven is a magical number., While all numbers are ascribed certain properties and energies, seven is a number of power, a lucky number, a number of psychic and mystical powers, of secrecy and the search for truth. Seven is used 735 times in the bible and if you total up all words including “sevenfold” and “seventh” there is a total of 860 references.
The origin of seven’s power lies in the lunar cycle. The moon has four phases lasts about seven days. The Sumerians gave the week seven days. Life cycles on earth also have phases demarcated by seven, and there are seven years to each stage of human growth, seven colors to the rainbow, seven notes in the musical scale, seven petitions in the Lord’s Prayer, and seven deadly sins.
More importantly for investors the number seven and multiples of seven have a powerful influence on money. The U.S. stock market is now trading in the seventh year window and it should not be taken lightly. While I could go into a lot more detail about how I use seven in my algorithmic trading strategy to swing trade the S&P 500 index. This article focuses on the investing outlook.
I am fortunate enough that I have been trading since 1997 and have seen the how the stock market cycles affect human behavior and businesses specifically the financial newsletter industry which I have been involved in since the first day my trading career. The stock market appears to be nearing a critical turning point that will change the lives and behaviors of investors for years to come.
The good news is that I have experienced four of these turning points and human behavior shifts in my career before and we currently entering the fifth turning point. I feel obligated to share this valuable insight with those of you who read my work. The next major market move could have a dramatic impact on your wealth and retirement years.
Insight on Investor Behavior and Business
Being heavily involved in the financial newsletter industry I have not only seen but survived several of these major cycles which forced many newsletters to go out of business. The cycles at play here are the market trend and the behavior of traders and investors.
The combined forces of these two cycles are what cleanse the newsletter industry of poor quality services. It becomes almost impossible to obtain new clients without word of mouth/referrals from happy users and if the quality of the newsletter is poor, eventually they lack enough users to make it feasible to operate. Unfortunately it’s the brutal truth, and over the last couple years I am seeing newsletters and even to top trading magazines that have been around for decades closing their doors.
The business cycle can easily be explained by observing the chart below of the SP500 index. In short, when the stock market has been rising for six or more months investors start to become confident in that they can make money on their own. And in fact they can if they buy and hold during a bull market.
But what happens as the market continues to rise for many years is that more and more investors and traders realize they can make money on their own.  The longer the uptrend remains intact the less will need the help of a trading and investing newsletter making it difficult to get new customers in this highly competitive industry.
Currently investors are behaving almost identical to what I saw during 1999 – 2001, from 2006 – 2007, and now 2014 – 2015 market tops.
Let’s now take a look at the best times in the business cycle where traders and investors are in desperate need of help and start subscribing to multiple paid financial newsletter services. The strongest times for business took place during 2002 – 2003, and again in 2008 – 2010. This is when investor not only lost most of their wealth, but their faith in how they invest, who they invest with, and the stock market as a whole.
Did you notice any these also? They are 7 years apart also…
spx-7
 Investors 7 Year Financial Outlook
Those of you who follow me know that I do not pick market tops or bottoms. Rather I focus on identifying trends and cycles in the market and only trade and invest with the active confirmed trend.
You also know that trying to pick market tops and bottoms is a suckers game and a sure fire way to lose a lot of money and build a serious complex that the market is manipulated, not tradable, and that it may be time for you to give up on trading all together.
Well, I am here to say that the market is tradeable, and can generate traders and investors a boat load of money once you understand how and why it moves. Most importantly you need to understand money/position management and be patient for consistent long term gains.
Take a look at the chart below for a clear visual of 7 year cycle highs and lows at play.
 seven

While I do not invest based on this major seven year cycle I do actively trade a smaller market cycle which provides roughly 35 – 65 trades per year. This strategy allows me to profit during these major bull markets and also during the multi-year bear markets when the majority of investors are losing boat loads of their hard earned money.
The reason I do not invest in the seven year cycle is because the market can still have 30+% price swings within bull and bear markets and that type of volatility is beyond what I am comfortable with. Also because I can actively invest with my automated trading system so I don’t need to lift a finger or watch the stock market each day, week or month.
I hope you found this report useful in some way, and I ask that you share it with others.


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Friday, November 21, 2014

Cut Trading Risk and Increase Reward with a Strategy I Know You're not Using

"Amazing insights...THANKS!"

"Whoa, completely changed my mindset on ETFs"

Those are two quotes from people who watched John Carter's latest video on trading options on ETFs: John's Favorite Ways to Trade Options On ETFs

He shows you how his strategy allows you to cut risk, increase rewards, and grow your account [of any size we might add] using options on ETFs.

Don't worry...it's VERY clear and easy to apply (Watch Video)

John also shows you....

   *  Why trading options on ETFs cuts your risk so you can sleep at night

   *  How you can profit with ETFs from the unexpected move in the dollar

   *  Why you avoid the games high frequency traders play by trading ETFs

   *  Why most analysts have the next move in the dollar wrong and how to protect your investments

   *  What are some of the markets that will be impacted by the dollars next move

This is crucial information that I highly recommend you take the time to review...it's FREE after all.

Stream the video HERE

See you in the markets putting this to work!


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Monday, November 17, 2014

Free Webinar: Why you Should Trade Options on ETFs

Our trading partner John Carter of Simpler Options is back with another one of his wildly popular free trading webinars. His focus this time is "Why you should trade Options on ETFs". John took the time to give us idea what he'll be walking us through step by step in this weeks webinar by producing this great video [just click here to watch]  that included how we can play the next big move in the dollar. A move that John predicts most traders will miss.

Just Click Here to get your Reserved Seat for the Webinar

This weeks webinar is Tuesday evening November 18th at 8 p.m. est

In this free webinar John Carter will discuss....

  *  Why trading options on ETFs are perfect for newbies, retirees, part time traders, and full time traders

  *  Why options on ETFs are safer than trading futures or forex while allowing you to hold on for bigger
       moves

  *  What ETFs should you trade options on and which ones should you avoid so you’re choosing the most
       consistent ETFs to trade

  *  The 5 reasons why you should learn how to trade options on ETFs and stabilize your trading account

  *  Why options on ETFs are ideal for small account traders who want to either safely grow their account
       or try for a home run trade

And much more….

Just click here to get your reserved space asap, John's classes always fill up and turn people away so sign up now and make sure you log in 10 minutes early so you don't lose your spot.

See you Tuesday evening!
Hedge Fund University


Here's a great primer for the webinar, watch John's FREE video he released this week....Just Click Here!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Video: How You Can Profit with ETFs from the Unexpected Move in the Dollar

You've seen us talking about a new Options strategy that John Carter was working on recently...and he is finally sharing it with us.

Video: My Favorite Way to Trade Options on ETFs

This strategy is the "sleep at night as you trade options" strategy. And we ALL need that!

Here's just a taste of what John shows you in this video:

*  Why trading options on ETFs cuts your risk so you can sleep at night

*  How you can profit with ETFs from the unexpected move in the dollar

*  Why you avoid the games high frequency traders play by trading ETFs

*  Why most analysts have the next move in the dollar wrong and how to protect your investments

*  What are some of the markets that will be impacted by the dollars next move

Here's the link to watch the video again

Enjoy the video,
Hedge Fund University


Reserve your seat now for John's next FREE webinar "Why You Should Trade Options on ETF's"....Just Click Here!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Madness of the EU’s Energy Policy

By Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment Strategist

The stakes couldn’t be higher. Vladimir Putin has launched a devastating plan to turn Russia into an energy powerhouse. And Europe, dependent on Russian natural gas and oil for a third of its fuel needs, has fallen right into his hands: Putin can bend the EU to his will simply by twisting the valve shut.

Considering how precarious Europe’s economic security is, one would have thought that now would be a good time for the EU to reassess its energy policy and address the effect crippling energy costs are having on its struggling economy. But the EU is never going to agree to a rational reappraisal of its policies, because eco-loons like its new energy commissioner, Violetta Bulc, have taken over the asylum.

A practicing fire walker and a shaman, she’s the sort of airy fairy Goddard College type who only believes in the power of “positive energy.” What will guide us in this frightening new era is, according to her blog, the spirit of the White Lions:

The Legend says that White Lions are star beings, uniting star energy within earth form of Lions. The native ancestors were convinced that they are children of the Sun God, thus embodying Solar Logos and legends say that they came down to Earth to help save humanity at a time of crisis. There is no doubt that this time is right now.

With the European Commission stuffed with green anti capitalist zealots, it’s not surprising that the EU’s response to the challenges of a resurgent Russia is a complete break with reality.

The EU has come up with an aggressive climate plan—just like Obama’s. In defiance of all logic—if not Putin—it’s agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and make clean energy, like wind and solar, 27% of overall energy use by 2030. Instead of guaranteeing the “survival of mankind,” this would cause the extinction of Europe’s industry—unless there’s a secret plan to massively expand nuclear power.

Fortunately for Europe, its leaders haven’t yet lost all their marbles.

These climate goals are just a bargaining chip in the runup to next year’s UN climate summit in Paris. They’re not legally binding. Unless the whole world commits to an equally radical policy of deindustrialization—which seems rather unlikely to say the least—the EU will “review” its climate targets.

This is just as well. In trying to meet the so-called 20:20 target—a 20% reduction in emissions by 2020—Germany and the UK have already discovered that renewable energy is too costly to maintain a competitive industry. As electricity prices skyrocket, Germany’s industrial giants are either having their power costs subsidized or are relocating to the US.

Both countries are struggling with the inability of wind and solar energy to provide reliable baseload power, which is threatening to cause blackouts.

The UK is putting its faith in fracking—and has managed to head off any EU legislation to ban shale-gas. But Germany and its fellow travelers, who have no qualms about reverting to coal, are simply overriding the EU Commission and its zero emissions utopia.

Knowing that EU climate policy would destroy international competitiveness and crush their economies, Poland, which depends on coal for 90% of its energy needs, and other low-income countries have taken a different approach. They've forced the Commission to give them special exemptions from any emissions reduction plan.

Unlike in the U.S.—where Obama is taking executive action to wipe out the coal industry—lignite, or brown coal, is set to become an increasingly important part of Europe’s energy supply, as it is in much of the rest of the world. There are 19 new lignite power stations in various stages of approval and construction in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Germany, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia. When completed, these will emit nearly as much CO2 as the UK.

Which is ironic. The UK is the only member of the EU to have been insane enough to impose a legally binding carbon dioxide reduction target intended to take it to 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. It’s also the only modern industrial nation where there’s serious talk of World War II style energy rationing.

As you’ll discover in my new book, The Colder War, Europe and America need to wake up. They’ve never been so economically vulnerable. The time for indulging environmental fantasies and putting one’s faith in White Lions is over—unless, that is, you want to see Putin controlling the world.

Click here to get your copy of my new book. Inside, you’ll discover exactly how Putin is orchestrating a takeover of the global energy trade, what it means for the future of America, and how it will directly affect you and your personal savings.

The article The Madness of the EU’s Energy Policy was originally published at casey research


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Blood in the Streets to Create the Opportunity of the Decade

By Laurynas Vegys, Research Analyst

Gold stocks staged spring and summer rallies this year, but haven’t able to sustain the momentum. Many have sold off sharply in recent weeks, along with gold. That makes this a good time to examine the book value of gold equities; are they objectively cheap now, or not?

By way of reminder, a price to book value ratio (P/BV) shows the stock price in relation to the company’s book value, which is the theoretical value of a company’s assets minus liabilities. A stock is considered cheap when it’s trading at a historically low P/BV, and undervalued when it’s trading below book value.

From the perspective of an investor, low price to book multiples imply opportunity and a margin of safety from potential declines in price.

We analyzed the book values of all publicly traded primary gold producers with a market cap of $1 billion or more. The final list comprised 32 companies. We then charted book values from January 2, 2007 through last Thursday, October 15. Here’s what we found.


At the current 1.20 times book value, gold stocks aren’t as cheap as they were when we ran the numbers in June, 2013, successfully pinpointing the all-time low of 0.91 (the turning point before the period in gray). Of course, that P/BV is hard to beat: it was one of the lowest values ever. And while the stocks not quite as cheap now, the valuation multiple still lingers close to its historical bottom. Remember, we’re talking about senior mining companies here—producers with real assets and cash flow selling for close to their book values.

In short, yes, gold stocks are objectively selling cheaply.

The juniors, of course, have been hit harder. It’s hard to put a meaningful book value on many of these “burning matches” with little more than hopes and geologists’ dreams, but valuations on many are scraping the bottom, making them even better bargains, albeit substantially riskier ones.

What does this mean for us investors?

It’s no surprise to see that every contraction in the ratio was followed by a major rally. In other words, the cure for low prices is low prices:
  • The August, 2007 bottom (2.2) and the momentary downtrend that preceded it were quickly erased by a swift price rally leading to a January, 2008 peak (3.8).
  • The bull also made a comeback in 2009-2010, fighting its way up out of what seemed at the time to be the deepest hole (1.04) in October, 2008.
Stocks have been on a long slide since the ratio last peaked at 3.24 in October, 2010, with the downturn in 2013 pushing multiples to previously unseen lows.

No one—us included—has a crystal ball, and so it’s impossible to tell if the bottom is behind us. We can, however, gauge with certainty when an asset is cheap—and cash-generating companies selling for little more than book value are extraordinary values for big-picture investors.

Now let’s see how these valuations look against the S&P 500.


Stocks listed in the S&P500 are currently more than twice as expensive as the gold producers. That’s not surprising given how volatile metals prices can be and how unloved mining is—but is it rational? Note that despite the downtrend in the last month, the multiple for the S&P500 remains close to a multiyear high.

In other words, yes, the S&P 500 is expensive.

This contrast points to an obvious opportunity in our sector.

So is now the time to buy gold stocks? Answer: our stocks are good values now, and, if there is a larger correction ahead, they may well become fantastic values, briefly. Either way, value is value, on sale.

As the most successful resource speculators have repeatedly said: you have to be a contrarian in this sector to be successful, buying low and selling high, and that takes courage based on solid convictions. Yes, it’s possible that valuations could fall further. However:

The difference between prices and clear-cut value argue for going long and staying that way until multiples return to lofty levels again—which they’ve done every time, as the historical record shows.

With a long term time frame in mind, whatever happens in the short term is less of a concern. Building substantial positions at good prices in great companies in advance of what must transpire sooner or later is what successful speculation is all about. This is how Doug Casey, Rick Rule, and others have made their fortunes, and it’s why they’re buying in the market now, seeing market capitulation as one of the prime opportunities of the decade.

That’s worth remembering, especially during a downturn that has even die hard gold bugs giving up.
Bottom line: “Blood in the streets” isn't pretty, but it’s a good thing for those with the liquidity and courage to act.

What to buy? That’s what we cover in BIG GOLD. Thanks to our 3 month full money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose and the potential for gains that only a true contrarian can expect.




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Monday, October 27, 2014

Is Gold as Dead as Florida Hurricanes?

By Dennis Miller

It’s been over 3,280 days since a hurricane hit Florida. As hurricane season comes to a close next month, only Mother Nature knows how long the streak will last.

Like many Floridians, my wife and I stayed home and rode out a hurricane—once! We’d built a home on Perdido Key, a barrier island west of Pensacola. It was engineered to withstand 150 plus mph winds, and it was a beautiful home with a master bedroom spanning the entire third floor, looking out across the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Danny hit the Gulf shortly after we moved in. It was a fast moving Category I with winds gusting in the 75 - 80 mph range. Full of confidence and a bit curious, we decided to hunker down and ride it out. At the speed it was traveling, it should have been over in a matter of hours. Then, Danny caught everyone by surprise and stalled in Mobile Bay, pounding us for three days.

The waves on the Gulf were terrifying. We watched the rising tide bang boats against the rocks and sink others. Our front door had a double deadbolt with a keyhole on each side. Water shot through three feet into the room for 24 hours straight. Newly planted palm trees strained against support wires and toppled onto their sides.

We tried to get some sleep in our bedroom, but we could feel the house move with each gust of wind. We watched bits and pieces of our neighbor’s tile roof fly off and smash a few feet from our house. We were trapped and terrified for three days.

The no-hurricane record has been all over the Florida news, highlighting concern that people are becoming complacent. They don’t understand what adequate preparation entails. The storm itself can be horrific, but the aftermath can be equally disastrous, leaving people without food, water, power, and access to basic services for several days. Homes that survive a storm often have to be gutted because of mold and mildew. Without power, sewage immediately becomes a problem.

Plus, if your flood, wind, and homeowners insurance is not up to date, say hello to serious financial hardship. Many Floridians discovered too late that their policy limits had not increased with inflation and wouldn’t cover the cost of rebuilding.

Are You Crazy?—Part 1


Just for fun, I told a friend that I was thinking about selling my generator and dumping our emergency supplies. He looked at me in disbelief and finally uttered, “Are you crazy? When the next one hits, don’t try to mooch off of us. It’s every man for himself.”

Exasperated, he explained that hurricane-causing conditions had not gone away. Until the sun no longer heats the water, we no longer have large and fast temperature changes, and there are no trade winds, a hurricane is a constant threat. He was red in the face when he finished. I told him I was kidding and wanted to discuss something else: economic hurricanes.

Food, Water, a Generator, and Gold


Many financial pundits are shining the all clear signal, saying that our economy is fine. People are bailing on gold and mining stocks because they’ve dropped so low. To paraphrase my colleague, Casey Research Chief Economist Bud Conrad, gold sentiment has dropped to zero.
Take a look at the price of gold over the last decade:


Precious Metals Fall into Two Camps


High inflation (Hurricane Danny) and hyperinflation (Hurricane Katrina) are two potential threats to all of our lives. While we hope neither hits, we should still prepare.

At Miller’s Money, we put metals into two categories. The first is core holdings. This is pure insurance against a catastrophe—much the same as our hurricane survival package. Not all storms are category V. Even if we don’t have hyperinflation, during the Jimmy Carter era we experienced double-digit inflation that devastated a lot of retirement nest eggs. Investors holding long-term 6% certificates of deposit would have lost 25% of their buying power during a five-year period, even after they collected the 6% interest.

What if the storm intensifies into hyperinflation and its inevitable aftermath? Many of the items we keep for hurricane emergencies may come in handy if the food supply is interrupted, electricity is cut off, or the currency collapses. Metals will protect us from the rising tide of inflation and protect our purchasing power.
The second category for metals and metal stocks is investment. These holdings are bought with the express intent of selling down the road for a nice profit. There is quite a debate going on in this arena. Some experts are touting the terrific buying opportunity. Others say gold is an ancient relic and there are a lot of better investment opportunities available. Should you take advantage of the buying opportunity or unload?

We set strict position limits in the Money Forever portfolio. When you’re investing money earmarked for retirement, which is our focus, the speculation portion is limited because preserving capital is the overriding consideration.

Gold stocks fall into two general categories. The first is established mining companies and the second is exploration and development companies. Stock in the first group is more directly related to the current price of gold. Every dollar fluctuation in the price of gold adds or subtracts from their net profit as their costs are primarily fixed.

For exploration and development companies, it’s a combination of the price of gold, their ability to raise capital, and a heavy emphasis on the economic viability of their discovery. In a large number of cases a major mining company buys them out and takes them into the production phase.

In both cases, there are certain events that can produce spectacular results; however, the risk is also high. The real question is do you have room to invest any more capital in the speculative portion of your portfolio? That’s up to the individual investor to answer. If you do have room, there are some incredible bargains in the market today. Our metals team travels the globe and has identified many candidates selling at true bargain-basement prices.

What about your core holdings? Should you buy or lighten your portion of metals? The first question to answer is: do you have ample core holdings at the moment? We recommend holding 10% - 20% of your net worth in core holdings, depending on your comfort level. (Mining stocks are generally not core holdings; they are speculative.) A lot of investors are slowly building to that target. If you think you should add more, then the current prices present a terrific opportunity.

Once you add to these core holdings, then the daily price fluctuations are no more relevant than the price of the case of beef stew we have stored in our closet. It’s insurance for a catastrophe we hope never happens. When the big one hits, we could probably sell our stew for an astronomical sum, but we won’t because it will help us survive. We would use some of our metal holdings, priced at current value, to buy things we need.

Are You Crazy?—Part 2


The same friend who was flabbergasted by my pretend plan to dump our hurricane supplies asked if I planned to sell any of our gold. I looked at him and asked, “Are you crazy?” Then I explained that the conditions that spawn inflation have not gone away either.

The reasons to own gold have compounded over the last decade. The U.S. government has printed trillions of dollars, our country’s debts are out of sight, and the Chinese and Russians are doing everything they can to oust the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. When the world no longer needs or wants to hold dollars, they will fly out the door faster than any hurricane wind mankind has ever seen. The value of the dollar will drop like a two-ton anchor and the price of gold will soar.

Precious metals are insurance against the ultimate financial hurricane. Fiat currencies eventually collapsed; the U.S. dollar will not get a free pass. Just as sure as the sun heats the water, we have large and fast temperature changes, and there are trade winds, an overly indebted government will experience a currency collapse.

We have all had ample warning and should be prepared. Don’t be fooled by the short term thinking.

For more up to date economic analysis and time-tested tips for protecting your nest egg, sign up for our free weekly e-letter, Miller’s Money Weekly

The article Is Gold as Dead as Florida Hurricanes? was originally published at millers money


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The 10th Man....What a Correction Feels Like

By Jared Dillian


Back in the summer of 2007, when I was working for Lehman Brothers, I had a vacation to the Bahamas planned. This was unusual for me. Up until that point, in six years of working for Lehman, I had taken about five vacation days—total. But my wife and I were going to a semi primitive resort on Cat Island, the most desolate island in the Bahamas. Interesting place for a vacation. Suffice to say that it’s plenty hot in the Bahamas in August.

The market had been acting funny for a while, and I had a hunch that there was going to be trouble while I was gone, so I bought the 30 strike calls in the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX). I was betting that volatility was going to go up a lot in a short period of time. In fact, these options—which I spent a little over $100,000 on—would be worthless unless there was outright panic. I gave instructions to my colleagues to sell the call options if the VIX went over 35. (Note: my memory on the details of the trade, like the strike of the options and the level of the VIX, is a little hazy. The specifics might have been different, but you get the general idea.)

So there I was, sunning myself at this primitive resort on Cat Island and the world was melting down, and I was completely oblivious to what was going on back on Wall Street. Coincidentally, the local Bahamas newspaper had a picture of black swans on the cover one day. I staged a photo of me in a hammock reading the newspaper with the black swans on it. I still have that photo.

I got back to civilization and checked the markets. I saw the chart of the VIX. I could hardly contain myself. If my colleagues had executed the trades properly, I would have had a profit of over $800,000. But when I got back to work and opened my spreadsheet, I found that I’d made less than $100,000. What I had failed to consider was that if the world actually was blowing up, the guys would have been too busy to execute my trade.

So there is this whole idea of state dependence that we have to consider when we’re talking about the market. Like, you might have a plan to buy stocks when the index gets below a certain level, but when the market gets to that point, you: a) may not have the capital; and b) might be panicking into your shorts. It’s nice to have a plan, but, paraphrasing Mike Tyson, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

I remember reading Russell Napier’s book about bear markets, called Anatomy of the Bear. It talked about all the big bear markets in the US, including the granddaddy of them all, the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. One of the things that I learned from this book was that if you can time the bottom exactly right, you can make a hell of a lot of money in very short order. For example, if you had bought the lows in 1932, you could have doubled your money in a matter of months.

I wanted to do that. I prayed for a bear market, so I would get my chance.

Little did I know that I would get my chance just two years later—and blow it.

When the market is down 60%, it’s scary as hell to buy stocks. Hindsight being 20/20, you can say, “What, did you think it was going to zero?” Actually, yes—in March of 2009, people thought it was going to zero.
But for those people who: a) had capital; and b) weren’t terrified, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

A Thousand Days with No Correction


So let’s talk about a). Does everybody have capital? Remember, the hard part of this is not picking bottoms. Many people can do this quite capably. Panic/liquidation is very easy to spot. But few people have the ability to take advantage of it, because they’re fully invested.

As for b), you tend not to be terrified if you have capital.

Everyone knows by now that the stock market is correcting. The price action is pretty terrible. Will it get worse? I think so. We’re seeing excesses (corporate credit, growth stocks, IPOs) that we haven’t seen in many, many years. It’s been over 1,000 days since we’ve had a correction of any magnitude. With the market down about 5%, nobody is particularly worried, because every other time the market was down 5%, it ended up going higher.

Back to state dependence. What is it going to feel like if the market goes down further? How will people behave if the S&P 500 gets to, say, 1,700?

I can tell you what it will be like if the S&P gets to 1,700. It’s going to be like it was in August of 2007 when my coworkers forgot to sell my VIX calls because they were buried under an avalanche of panicked sell orders from institutional money managers. Pre-algorithmic trading, the trading floor used to get pretty noisy. I used to be able to tell you what the market was doing just from listening to the floor. At SPX 1,700, trading floors will be very noisy.

It’s been so long since we’ve had a correction, I’m guessing that most people have forgotten what a correction feels like. When you go that long in between corrections, people are sitting on a mountain of capital gains. And unless the capital gains really start to disappear, there is little pressure to sell. But if you’re the owner of, say, airline stocks, and you’ve watched them evaporate to the tune of 30%, that tends to focus the mind a little bit.

As with any steep correction, there will be fantastic opportunities, but they will only be available to those who have capital. Remember, bear markets don’t just destroy the bulls’ capital, they destroy the bears’ capital, too.

Bear markets destroy everyone’s capital.
Jared Dillian
Jared Dillian

The article The 10th Man: What a Correction Feels Like was originally published at mauldin economics


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