Your Portfolio in These Uncertain Times: Gold Now?

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Is Your Portfolio Prepared for the Current Markets and the Next 3 to 5 Years of Economic Issues?

What You can Learn from the 2008 Liquidity Crisis:
How Gold Performed In and After the Market Fall

The global markets are in turmoil and seeking liquidity as a result of the current events. Perhaps now is the time you need to think about re-balancing your portfolio to weather these adjustments and set your course for the next 3 to 5 years. Today, more investors seek a balanced portfolio with all four asset classes: stocks, bonds, cash and Gold – the fourth asset class.

Gold is a global storehouse of value and prices can slide at times like these as some investors need to raise cash from one of their most liquid and most trusted assets, Gold, to cover losses and margin calls in other markets. Many advisors are commenting on the parallel of the current markets in Europe to the liquidity crisis that occurred in 2008 with U.S. markets and the Lehman collapse. In the 2008 crisis, Gold provided a source of liquidity as investors sold off some of their Gold holdings to meet their requirements.

Gold compared to S&P 500 from 2008 through 2011In this chart beginning three years ago, you can see how history demonstrates that Gold recovered from the crisis in September and October 2008 while the S&P 500 has continued in weakness as global economies have been mired in too much government debt. Now consider today: do you have a forecast for the next 3 to 5 years of the U.S. and world economies becoming stronger or weaker? Perhaps history can be a teacher.

With Gold now providing liquidity for those who need it, perhaps this is the opportunity for you to begin or add to your Gold holdings. As you consider the balance in your portfolio, it is important to keep your investment horizon, perhaps the next 3 to 5 years, as your guide.

Do you have questions? Our non-commissioned Account Managers are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time at 888-518-7464.

Our Most Popular Gold Investments

Gold American Eagle

1 oz. Gold American Eagles as low as $89.99 per coin over spot

Since the Gold American Eagle was introduced in 1986, it has been in high demand. Its stately appearance and proud symbolism make the Gold American Eagle one of the world’s most popular forms of personal Gold ownership.

Gold American Eagle

1 oz. Gold Canadian Maple Leafs as low as $69.99 per coin over spot

Gold Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coins are a great way to invest. Many consider the Maple Leaf to be one of the world’s most beautiful Gold coins. Each Gold Maple Leaf coin is legal tender, guaranteed by the Canadian government for its weight and .9999 fine purity.

Balance your portfolio with the 4th asset class of Gold today.

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7.29.11 WEEKLY RECAP

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The eyes of the world are on Washington while Gold spot prices are at record-highs.  Investors all over the globe have a stake in the outcome of the debt ceiling negotiations.  With each passing hour, the nation moves closer to a crisis and anxiety builds.  Markets reflected that anxiety this week. Precious metal prices are up due to safe-haven buying strategies and stocks are down sharply.  In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is set for its largest weekly decline in over a year, while Gold pushed to record high spot prices three times this week.

In Hong Kong earlier this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to Chinese investors. She spoke reassuringly that “political wrangling” is a part of democratic problem-solving. She explained that the U.S. is working towards resolving the disagreements and improving the country’s long-term fiscal outlook. She also framed the debt debate as a sort of bump in the road.

The partisan tactics being employed by U.S. political party leaders became clear on Wednesday when both President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner made televised addresses.  President Obama clearly showed that the two sides are no closer to an agreement that would allow the U.S. to raise the debt ceiling in order to avoid what most analysts describe as a devastating default. “For the first time in history, our country’s triple-A credit rating would be downgraded, leaving investors around the world to wonder whether the United States is still a good bet,” he said in remarks late Monday. Obama was quite critical of the Republicans’ unwillingness to compromise but he made it clear that he expects a compromise package on his desk this week.  

In his rebuttal, House Speaker John Boehner pointed the criticism back towards the President and the Democratic Party. He categorized the Democratic plan as “full of gimmicks.” There is still the expectation that an agreement will be reached, albeit a short-term one. Their concern is that the credit rating agencies may still downgrade the U.S. credit rating if they see no significant steps taken to reduce long-term debt.

Another concern is the Commerce Department data that reports any economic growth we were experiencing had actually started to wane late last year, not this year as a number of economists’ data implied. Previous reports had the economic growth at 1.9% during the second quarter, but in actuality it only grew 1.3%. According to Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics, “The economy essentially came to a grinding halt in the first half of this year…We did get side-swiped by some temporary factors which are fading, but it raises some concerns about the sustainability of the recovery.”

WEEKLY SPOT PRICES

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,600.60. The all-time record high was on Friday, July, 29th at $1,637.50, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, July 25th at $1,600.60. Gold ended the week up $27.40 at $1,628.00. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $40.16. Silver reached a high of $41.47 on Wednesday, July 27th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, July 29th at $39.30. Silver ended the week down $0.21 at $39.95. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,799.00 and ended the week down $17.10 at $1,781.90. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $807.90 and ended the week up $15.40 at $832.30. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

 

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½ oz Gold First Spouse Coins

In 2007, the U.S. Mint released the first four coins in a series of Gold First Spouse Coins. These coins are the government’s first  1/2  oz. 24-karat gold coins. They are also the first commemorative 1/2 oz. Gold coins. With a face value of $10, these .9999 fine Gold coins are minted and released annually in the order the First Ladies served in the White House. The First Spouse Coins are minted in Proof and Uncirculated condition. Each First Spouse Gold Coin will coincide with the release of the four annually circulating Presidential $1 Coins.

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A Special Message from Michael Haynes, CEO of APMEX.

 

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 >>>WATCH THE VIDEO <<<

With the looming debt ceiling crisis, Michael Haynes, CEO of APMEX, offers his unique perspective about the global and U.S. economies in these uncertain times and highlights the importance of diversifying your investments. As CEO of one of the world’s largest and most trusted online precious metals dealers, his insight comes from more than 30 years in the precious metals industry.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Bullish On Gold?”

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Recently, Michael Haynes, CEO of APMEX, appeared for an interview on The Hays Advantage from Bloomberg Radio.  Kathleen Hays, the show’s host, mentioned the fact that the price of Gold had increased to over $1,600 per ounce. She stated that she reviewed presentation Michael’s recent presentation titled “Asset Alchemy in the Uncertain and Volatile 21st Century.” Listen to the entire interview here. Kathleen got the conversation rolling by asking a pointed question:

KATHLEEN HAYS: “Michael, you’re bullish on Gold. Why?”

MICHAEL HAYNES: “Well, actually, it’s not a question of being bullish on Gold. It’s a question of being bullish on asset allocation that would include Gold.”

“Bullish” is a word that often arises in discussions related to investing, but what does it actually mean?  The term “bullish” relates to a type of financial market trend known as a “bull market.”  In a bull market, investors feel confident that the market is rising. They believe the share prices will increase for the foreseeable future. This is in contrast to a “bear” market, which is characterized by a decline in both market prices and investor confidence over a sustained period of time. 

The confidence a bull market inspires tends to lead investors to… well, invest in the hopes of benefiting from potential future price increases.  Bull markets generally exist for a country at a time when economic growth is high and unemployment is low.  Therefore, to be “bullish” about something in the financial world is to be optimistic about it, and to believe that investing in it is a sound decision that will have a positive outcome.

With that in mind, why is Michael Haynes bullish on including Gold as part of asset allocation?  What makes him confident that buying Gold as part of an investment strategy is a smart choice? He explained later in the interview:

MICHAEL HAYNES: “Of course no one can predict the future.  No one knows if cash is better, stocks are better or bonds are better; there’s seemingly a need now for a fourth asset class.  Historically that asset class has included gold, oil and real estate; all of which have different elements to them.  But Gold seems to be the asset that has been performing both in – historically – inflationary periods as well as in periods of economic stress and uncertainty, much as we’ve had for the decade of the 2000s.”

So there you have it.  Michael is bullish on Gold as an asset because the market for Gold has been and will likely continue to be a bull market.

By Craig C. Calvin, APMEX Account Manager

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Forget 6,000 Years of History; Bernanke Says Gold Isn’t Money

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke took to the stand in Congress on Wednesday to defend the Fed’s Quantitative Easing programs.  Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) asked Bernanke point-blank whether Gold was money.  Bernanke responded with a simple, “No.”  For such a well-respected chairman to answer so flatly regarding Gold, one would imagine Gold prices had tanked.  Just the opposite occurred- Gold closed at a record high on Wednesday, over $1,580/oz.  So, maybe the question goes a little deeper.  What constitutes money?

Generally speaking, there are three main functions of money.  The first is as a medium of exchange.  Rep. Paul went on to explain to Bernanke that Gold has been used as a currency for some 6,000 years.  As economies developed throughout history, representative money such as the Gold standard gradually replaced commodity money.

The second function is as a unit of account.  Since the world went off the Gold standard in 1971, fiat currencies serve as the unit of account.  Central banks are permitted to print money as they see fit or as policymakers dictate.  They then use the paper money as a measurement of value for things like goods, services, and assets.

The third function of money is as a store of value.  According to the World Gold Council, “Gold has maintained its value in terms of real purchasing power … Despite price fluctuations, Gold has consistently reverted to its historic purchasing power parity with other commodities and intermediate products.”  In other words, Gold (historically) has protected wealth.  Central banks are seeing this.  In 2010, they became net buyers of Gold for the first time in over twenty years.  In the first half of 2011, they bought more than all of 2010.

Maybe Bernanke answered a question correctly.  Maybe he thought the question was something along the lines of, “Is Gold the same thing as the sheets of paper you and the Fed have decided to insert into the economy?”

By Ryan Schwimmer, APMEX Account Manager

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Gold As An Insurance Policy

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Are you intrigued about the reasons why investors are purchasing more Gold? A primary reason for this interest in Gold is its role as an insurance policy. Possibly because no one has ever defaulted on Gold, it is considered an insurance policy that will pay out when needed.  The following are examples of how Gold reinforces that belief and how it provides financial security and protection against uncertainty:

  • The fragile economic recovery we are experiencing in the U.S.
  • The high level of debt in our cities, states and federal government.
  • The fragile economic recovery in the European Union, Russia, Japan and many other parts of the world.
  • The sovereign debt crisis in Greece, Portugal and Ireland that threatens to spread into Italy and Spain and eventually the entire European Union.
  • The geopolitical tensions in the Middle East; India and Pakistan; North & South Korea and elsewhere
  • The volatile currency markets. Even Central Banks are becoming less reliant on paper money and trading it for gold.
  • The devaluation of the U.S. dollar.
  • Investors try to deal in financial markets which move at the speed of light, and where “flash crashes” occur and one year later can still not be explained.
  • Inflation in the U.S. and other countries where governments choose to print more money to cover their debts.
  • Black Swan Events. The recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor problems devastated Japan. Unexpected events with severe negative consequences cannot be predicted. We know they will come but we cannot anticipate the time and locations.

Gold holds value in times of uncertainty where your other investments do not. There is an old saying, “Put 5-10% of your money in Gold and 90-95% into the three primary asset classes; then every night go to bed and hope Gold prices go down because that means everything else just went up.” 

Geoff Varner, APMEX Account Manager

Market Recap 6/10/11

Sovereign debt trouble in the U.S. and Europe were the running theme this week. The U.S. experienced a hangover from last Friday’s disappointing economic news.  On Monday, Jim McCaughan, CEO of Principal Global Investors, said that the U.S. might be recovering from their financial collapse of 2008, but Europe has not seen theirs yetIn Portugal, Prime Minister Jose Socrates was soundly defeated in weekend elections by the opposition party, led by Pedro Passos Coelho. Portugal’s parliament had already blocked austerity measures proposed by Prime Minister Socrates for being too severe. Now Portugal has a new party to lead them through a difficult future.

On the heels of the U.S. dollar falling to a one-month low,  Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman, answered questions at his press conference on Tuesday.  “Until we see a sustained period of stronger job creation, we cannot consider the recovery to be truly established,” he said. After the press conference, both metals and stocks lost ground that was gained early in the day.  President Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and spoke out against rumors of a double-dip recession.

Wednesday brought about an important meeting which was touted as “…one of the worst meetings OPEC has ever had.”  The point was to bring production up, but this dissolved quickly.  Oil prices soared on the news.  In other news from the Middle East, Muammar Gaddafi’s reign in Libya is expected to come to an end.  NATO’s chief is appealing to the UN to help Libya transition to a democratic state.  NATO’s airstrikes are still in placeIn Syria, a number of civilians were killed in clashes between demonstrators and the government’s security forces.  The  situation in Yemen was similar as protestors rallied at the Capitol of Sanna.

The weekly jobless claims report in the U.S. was expected to show a modest dip of around 7,000 claims; however, it ended up swelling by 1,000 claims.  The stock market broke its six-day losing streak on Thursday but lost momentum, closing well off the day’s earlier highs.  The European Central Bank (ECB) met Thursday, and kept interest rates the same, as expected, but indications are that there will be a rate hike in July.  Estimates of a new bailout package for Greece now top 120 billion euros.

Mario Blejer, an Argentine economist wrote an article for Marketwatch titled “Why a Greek Default is Inevitable.”  It explains how the European Central Bank is making the Greek dilemma worse and there is no alternate ending available for Greece.  When that occurs, will it push other debt-troubled countries closer to default, such as Portugal and Ireland, who hold some of Greece’s debt?

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,543.00. The high during the week was on Monday, June 6th at $1,555.00, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, June 10th at $1,526.70. Gold ended the week down $11.00 at $1,532.00. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $36.22. Silver reached a high of $37.86 on Friday, June 10th while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Wednesday, June 8th at $36.07. Silver ended the week up $0.02 at $36.24. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,817.40 and ended the week up $1.70 at $1,819.10. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $785.30 and ended the week up $24.50 at $809.80. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product: Australian Lunar Coins – Series 2

The most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, the Chinese New Year, also known as the Chinese Lunar New Year, is a much-celebrated event in China and in countries all around the world. Beginning on the first day of the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar, the festival of the New Year is a centuries-old celebration which includes red decorations, presents, food, clothing and corporate family preparations for luck and good fortune in the upcoming year.  2011 is the Year of the Rabbit in the traditional Chinese calendar. According to Chinese tradition, the Year of the Rabbit will be a welcome change after the Year of the fierce Tiger in 2010. The Rabbit, an emblem of longevity in Chinese mythology, represents grace and kindness and will usher in a period of peacefulness and wise counsel in 2011.

In order to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, APMEX offers Year of the Rabbit Lunar Coins which commemorate this event in the Chinese calendar. The Lunar Coins are a great addition to any coin collection since the theme of the coin’s design draws its inspiration from China’s ancient Lunar Calendar. The stories indicate the twelve calendar animals have profound influence over those born under their ‘rule.’ Offered in both Gold and Silver, the Year of the Rabbit Lunar Coins commemorate the Rabbit’s place in the lunar calendar.   

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