Home > Gold Could Be A Great Bet In 2016

Gold Could Be A Great Bet In 2016

January 8th, 2016

gold timeSteve Mauzy:  A couple of weeks back, I suggested nervous investors consider adding contra-investments to their portfolio. Inverse ETFs were the focus. When the stock market indexes move one way, inverse ETFs move the other, thus reducing portfolio volatility.

The ProShares Short S&P500 ETF (NYSEArca: SH) is negatively correlated with the S&P 500. My contra-investment article was published on Dec. 16. Since then, the S&P 500 has lost 3.8% of its value; ProShares Short S&P500 shares have gained 3.7%.

You could theoretically remove all portfolio volatility with contra-investment ETFs. If you did, you’d also theoretically remove all possibility of generating a portfolio return. You want to assume some market risk in order to generate some portfolio return. Lunches aren’t free.

gold investments

(For some of best-performing low-volatility stocks, click here.)

Gold is another contra-investment. Gold is imperfectly correlated with stocks. In fact, it’s frequently negatively correlated with stocks (like inverse ETFs) as the chart below revels. Gold removes portfolio volatility, but it also generates a return on its own that complements stock-market returns. Over the past 45 years, gold has produced a 7.7% average annual return.

gold investments

Of course, an average annual return isn’t the return of any specific year. Gold has been a lousy asset to own over the past three years. No one thumps his chest over a 47% loss at a cocktail party. But since Jan. 1, gold has been a good asset to own. Gold is up nearly 2%.

Gold has the opportunity to be a good asset to own beyond the nascent days of 2016. Gold is seen as a haven. Its value frequently rises during heightened geopolitical and financial uncertainty. We certainly have both these days.

News of North Korea’s resident maniac and tyrant-in-chief Kim Jong-un putatively blowing up hydrogen bombs follows heightened fears that Saudi Arabia and Iran could bomb each other. Concurrently, impending data releases from China are likely to show economic activity continuing to slow. China’s major stock market indexes are down over 10% in the past week. More investors fear that China could drag the world into a recession. The fears are not unfounded.

Meanwhile, China is adding to its gold reserves. In the second half of 2015, China bought more than 100 tonnes of gold. More purchases by the world’s sixth-largest official gold hoarder would at the least provide a price support for gold.

Gold Investments

If you want to accumulate your own gold hoard, you could buy and take physical delivery from a dealer. You could also buy a gold ETF like the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSEArca: GLD).

The Central Fund of Canada (NYSE: CEF) is another option, and one I prefer. CEF owns 1.7 million ounces of gold. It also owns 76.9 million ounces of silver. CEF has one mission: To provide a secure, convenient, low-cost, exchange-traded investment for investors interested in holding gold and silver bullion for long-term appreciation.

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  1. Stan
    January 8th, 2016 at 15:43 | #1

    “You could also buy a gold ETF like the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSEArca: GLD).”

    Note that GLD is marred by a number of red flags. Paper gold GLD claims to be fully backed by physical gold bullion but yet it refuses to give your everyday investors the right to redeem for any of these ‘claimed’ gold bullion. This fact alone would mean GLD shares are nothing more than paper at the end of the day. Furthermore, GLD’s prospectus is chalk full of weasel clauses and legal loopholes that allows the fund to get away without the full physical gold backing. One good example of this is the clause that states GLD has no right to audit subcustodial gold holdings. To this day, I have not heard of a single good reason for the existence of this audit loophole. There are other issues as well that I’ve verified and welcome everyone else to do the same:

    “Did anyone try calling the GLD hotline at (866) 320 4053 in search of numerical details on GLD’s insurance? The prospectus vaguely states “The Custodian maintains insurance with regard to its business on such terms and conditions as it considers appropriate which does not cover the full amount of gold held in custody.” When I asked about how much of the gold was insured, the representative proceeded act as if he didn’t know and said they were just the “marketing agent” for GLD. What kind of marketing agent would not know such basic information about a product they are marketing? It seems like they are deliberately hiding information from investors.

    I remember there was a well documented visit by CNBC’s Bob Pisani to GLD’s gold vault. This visit was organized by GLD’s management to prove the existence of GLD’s gold but the gold bar held up by Mr. Pisani had the serial number ZJ6752 which did not appear on the most recent bar list at that time. It was later discovered that this “GLD” bar was actually owned by ETF Securities.”

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