“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
You couldn’t exactly call yesterday “Black Friday” the way financial pundits like to do, but that traditional “safe haven”, gold, certainly lost a lot of its shine.
In fact the price of gold went into freefall, plunging the best part of $100 an ounce in a massive selling spree and ending up below the magic $1500 mark for the first time in a while.
I don’t think anyone is sure yet just what triggered the almost panic sell off on the Comex, but my gut feeling is that, once started, the computer generated trading gizmos used by the big hedge funds etc., kicked in big time and made matters go from bad to worse.
These automatic trading monsters trigger sales when a pre-chosen stop loss figure is reached, one stop loss sell off triggers the next and so on until there is a massive market plunge, as happened yesterday. The same could just as easily happen on the stock market.
What most ordinary folks don’t realize is that the majority of traders in the financial markets are idiots. They just hang around looking at their screens and then follow whatever they see happening. It’s the herd mentality syndrome. When the big boys start to sell then the little boys follow suit and the whole thing goes from bad to worse, often without anyone really knowing who started it or why it is happening.
That seems to have been the case yesterday as there were no catastrophic economic indicators, like major inflation fears, currency collapses, etc., to trigger a significant movement one way or the other.
Whatever caused it, it is a warning to investors to be cautious. It could be a blip or the harbinger of turbulent times ahead.
Although there are many doom-and-gloom merchants with their “the end is nigh” web sites urging their followers to dump paper money, fiat currencies they call them, and stock up on gold, the truth is that gold has not been a good investment in recent months and years.
By definition the very worst a good investment should do is hold its value in line with inflation – if it doesn’t you are losing value.
For almost two years now gold has been steadily falling in value. Anyone who bought, for example, in August or September 2011 has seen their investment fall significantly in value – down by more than twenty percent in fact. You put $10,000 in, you get less than $7,900 out, and the dealers take their cut both ways.
So will the bear market for gold continue or was Friday just a glitch? Well, if you could answer that one for certain you would be able to make a lot of money.
My feeling, for what it’s worth is that the price will probably fall further. Maybe not so dramatically as yesterday, but it could easily trickle downwards to the $1200 region.
That assumes no dramatic sell offs by bankrupt governments and banks, because that is definitely a last resort measure that they would be most reluctant to take. If or when it does happen it means BIG financial trouble for everyone.
So will gold ever be a good investment again?
Warren Buffet never thought so, but it could be. Possibly a very good investment. But probably not a long term hold. Many western economies are just hanging together at the moment. The amount of debt and insolvency has to mean that at some stage the normal investment vehicles like currencies, stocks, bonds etc., will start to suffer and people will turn back to “safe havens” like gold.
IF you buy at the right time, and remember that you need to get rid of it and fast when the cycle turns again, you could do very well. But I wouldn’t jump in and buy it just yet.
Take it away Shirley….