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Data Wrap Up – November 2014

Gold extended its losing streak this month, falling 4.3% on the heels of a strengthening dollar and a winding down of the Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus. Although gold prices have been buoyed at least in part by the announcement of a massive quantitative easing program in Japan, the US dollar has continued its ascension. This is most apparent when you look at the US dollar index, which has appreciated 3.5% over the last 30 days and nearly 10% year to date.

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Demystifying Gold Backwardation

There are two types of backwardation: money and commodity. Both affect gold. Unlike oil, lumber, or any other commodity, gold carries an interest rate, known as a lease rate. This rate reflects real costs associated with holding gold, including storage, insurance, and forgone interest. Commodities experience backwardation fairly regularly, but it’s considered a phenomenon when it happens to gold—until recently, that is.

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Why Would I Want to Own Gold?

That’s the question most Americans ask when the topic of gold comes up in conversation. And it’s the wrong question.  What they should be asking is, “How much gold should I have in my portfolio?”

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Data Wrap Up – October 2014

After a weak performance over the last month, gold was helped last week by a slight slowdown in the US dollar’s momentum, which left the metal’s price flat for the month. All in all, gold once again confirmed its safe-haven status, as it remains flat even though the S&P 500 was down 5% over the same period.

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What If Deflation Wins?

It’s hard to argue that high debt levels are deflationary. And with the current expansion based largely on debt, we can’t expect sustainably higher economic activity to be generated. So what happens if deflation wins? Even if we eventually get inflation, what happens to our gold investments if we first go through a deflationary bust?

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Data Wrap Up – September 2014

On the whole, precious metals had a tough month. Although improved physical demand in Asia and safe-haven buying ahead of the two-day US Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting have helped buoy prices as of late, a strengthening US dollar pushed both gold and silver down 6.4% and 6.8% respectively over the last 30 days.

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These Two Words Will Soon Invade Your Life

Keep in mind that gold tends to move in anticipation of inflation. That means the best prices on precious metals are now, before the CPI moves decisively higher. By the time inflation makes front page headlines, the big moves in gold and silver will have already occurred.

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Portugal: A(nother) Central Bank Story

The Greenspan put, the Bernanke put, the Yellen put, the Draghi put? Easy money causes people to take risks that they otherwise wouldn’t. And the result is always the same—a boom followed by a bust. Will the retail investor ever learn? Probably—but it won’t last because the emotions of greed and fear are too strong.

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Data Wrap Up – August 2014

Weakness in the silver market has been reflected in everything from silver coin demand to exchange-traded silver funds. Much of this downward pressure is stemming from the Federal Reserve winding down its quantitative easing program, along with improving labor market data.

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Obama and Bernanke Saved the Economy! Hooray!

Almost every day we are told the economy is improving. Whether it’s the government or Goldman Sachs, the message is the same: things are getting better. So is that all there is to it? Print a bunch of money, run up your debt, and suppress interest rates—and all the problems are better?

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