Posts Tagged ‘Gold Bullion’
By Mike Getlin
September 29, 2011 1:18 PM EDT
International Business Times
We gold bulls have been licking our wounds over the last few weeks. This summer’s intense upward price movement set the stage for major volatility on the precious metals markets, and long term gold investors are stuck riding out the storm, at least for the moment. Yesterday however, something was brought to my attention by someone out on our trading floor. One of his clients who bought a diversified investment grade coin position early in the month was actually dead even on his overall position. While gold had tumbled by over $300 per ounce, his coins had stayed right where they were showing him no loss whatsoever. Needless to say, this needs a bit of explaining.
Let’s take a look at gold’s correction versus the price movement in a variety of $20 Liberty certified coins. Gold closed at $1895 on September 6th. Over the course of the next 20 calendar days, it shed $297 to close at $1598 on September 26th. That is an overall correction of 18.58% in 14 trading days. The certified $20 Liberty coins fared much better. See the chart below for the comparison.
Click Image for Larger View
The major difference between raw gold bullion and certified coins is the premium (which is often significant) that the coins carry over the spot price of gold. For example, the $20 Liberty in Mint State 66 condition is a coin that sells for well above $15,000. Most investors look at that and wonder why in the world anyone would buy a one ounce coin for over 15 grand! Yet this month, the one who did would be laughing all the way to the bank while the rest of us dream longingly of weeks gone by and $1900 per ounce.
Now this is not to say we should all rush out and dump all our bullion in favor of certified coins. That said, there is clearly an advantage to be gained by owning some of these products that help insulate investors from these volatile markets. The real question is what causes certified coin premiums to change, and what place do these products have in a healthy and diversified gold portfolio.
The debate over whether to buy bullion or certified coins (also referred to as numismatics) has been raging for decades and will probably continue to produce spirited cocktail hour conversation for a long time to come. Some people swear by investment grade numismatics, while others think only a fool would buy anything other than bullion. So who’s right? Both of course. As with most arguments like this, there is a lot of truth to both sides, and each strategy has significant advantages and disadvantages.
On the bullion side, the main argument against certified coins is that they are too expensive. Why pay $3000 per ounce or more for a gold coin when you could buy a Gold Eagle or a bar for $1800? The premium, as well as the dealer’s bid/ask spread is much higher on certified coins as they are more difficult to source and procure. The other argument against them is they tend to move more slowly than bullion coins. For investors who need instant liquidity, or are trying to pop in and out of the markets with some frequency, certified coins present some major drawbacks.
In contrast, numismatists (people who study coins) never forget one simple fact: value comes from scarcity. If you purchase a gold bar this year and sell it in 2015, there will have been millions upon millions more produced and sold between now and then. If you purchase a certified $20 Liberty, you can sleep well at night knowing that never again will a single $20 Liberty coin be produced. It’s hardly even a question of supply and demand, because there really is no supply. Thus when you look at the $20 Liberty MS66 in the graph above, you see it actually increase in value during gold’s worst month in 20 + years. The premiums on certified coins can move quite independently from the gold market and often times increase when gold goes down. This provides strong buoyancy during gold market corrections; something a lot of gold buyers would have loved over the last few weeks.
All in all, there is no real “right” answer as to whether investors are better off with bullion or certified coins. As such, we’re strong believers in owning both. Ideally, a healthy gold portfolio would have both bullion and certified coins. The bullion will move more quickly, provide more gold per dollar invested, and can be bought and sold at lower margins. The certified coins may have higher long term profit potential, benefit from strong demand and scarcity, and can provide stability in a gold market that is likely to become increasingly volatile in the coming years. As with most arguments, the best answer probably borrows a bit from both sides. As with most investments, the best strategy is probably a diversified one.
Read the entire article HERE.
THIS IS HUGE! If you are wondering where you can make a profit for your gold and silver, APMEX is actually paying YOU an overspot price so you will make a hefty profit for your metals. That is of course if you are willing to part with something that will go up in price. Expect other dealers to do the same as shortages continue.
by Tyler Durden
04/25/2011 19:22 -0400
Over the past hour Zero Hedge has been inundated with reader comments notifying us that Ampex has, validating the earlier post speculating about a possible silver shortage at the metals distributor, launched a “reverse ïnquiry” in which it will pay “you $3.00 over the current spot price of Silver for your Silver American Eagles. ANY year, ANY quantity!” and “We will pay you $38.00 over the current spot price of Gold for your Gold American Eagles. ANY year, ANY quantity!” So aside from this first public confirmation that one of the biggest wholesale retailers of precious metals is now inventoryless [sic], we can certainly see why Asia has decided to take silver down in the afterhours electronic session.
Read the original article HERE.
By Doug Casey
Chairman, Casey Research
Monday, April 18, 2011
A meme is now circulating that gold is in a bubble and that it’s time for the wise investor to sell. To me, that’s a ridiculous notion. Certainly a premature one.
As you listen to the current blather from talking heads about where gold is going, keep in mind most of them are just journalists, reporters that are parroting what they heard someone else say. And the “someone else” is usually a political apologist who works for a government. Or a hack economist who works for a bank, the IMF, or a similar institution with an interest in the status quo of the last few generations.
You should treat almost everything you hear about finance or economics in the popular media as no more than entertainment.
So let’s take some recent statements, assertions, and opinions that have been promulgated in the media and analyze them. Many impress me as completely uninformed, even stupid. But since they’re floating around in the infosphere, I suppose they need to be addressed.
“Gold is expensive.”
This objection is worth considering – for any asset. In fact, it’s critical. We can determine the price of almost anything fairly easily today, but figuring out its value is as hard as it’s ever been. From the founding of the U.S. until 1933, the dollar was defined as 1/20th of an ounce of gold. From 1933 it was redefined as 1/35th of an ounce. After the 1971 dollar devaluation, the official price of the metal was raised to $42.22 – but that official number is meaningless, since nobody buys or sells the metal at that price.
(More importantly, people have gotten into the habit of giving the price of gold in dollars, rather than the value of the dollar in gold. But that’s another subject.)
Here’s the crux of the argument. Before the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, a $20 bill was just a receipt for the deposit of one ounce of gold with the Treasury. The U.S. official money supply equated more or less with the amount of gold.
Now, however, dollars are being created by the trillion, and nobody really knows how many more of them are going to be shazammed into existence. It is hard to determine the value of anything when the inch marks on your yardstick keep drifting closer and closer together.
“Gold is risky.”
Risk is largely a function of price. And as a general rule, the higher the price, the higher the risk, simply because the supply is likely to go up and the demand to go down – leading to a lower price. So yes, gold is riskier now, at $1,400, than it was at $700 or at $200. But even when it was at $35, there was a well-known financial commentator named Eliot Janeway (I always thought he was a fool and a blowhard) who was crowing that if the U.S. government didn’t support it at $35, it would fall to $8.
In any event, risk is relative. Stocks are very risky today. Bonds are ultra risky. Real estate is in an ongoing bear market. And the dollar is on its way to reaching its intrinsic value.
Yes, gold is risky at $1,400. But it is actually less risky than most alternatives.
“High gold prices will bring on huge new production, which will depress its price.”
This assertion shows a complete misunderstanding of the nature of the gold market. Gold production is now about 82.6 million ounces per year and has been trending slightly down for the last decade. That’s partly because at high prices, miners tend to mine lower-grade ore. And partly because the world has been extensively explored, and most large, high-grade, easily exploited resources have already been put into production.
But new production is trivial relative to the 6 billion ounces now above ground, which only increases by about 1.3% annually. Gold isn’t consumed like wheat or even copper. Its supply keeps slowly rising, like wealth in general. What really controls gold’s price is the desire of people to hold it, or hold other things – new production is a trivial influence.
That’s not to say things can’t change. The asteroids have lots of heavy metals, including gold. Space exploration will make them available. Gigantic amounts of gold are dissolved in seawater and will perhaps someday be economically recoverable with biotech. It’s now possible to transmute metals, fulfilling the alchemists’ dream. Perhaps someday this will be economic for gold. And nanotech may soon allow ultra-low-grade deposits of gold (and every other element) to be recovered profitably. But these things need not concern us as practical matters in the course of this bull market.
“Gold sentiment is at an all-time high.”
Although gold prices are at an all-time high in nominal terms, they are still nowhere near their highs in real terms – of about $2,500 (depending on how much credibility you give the government’s CPI numbers) – reached in 1980. Gold sentiment is still quite subdued among the public. Most of them barely know it even exists.
Some journalists like to point out that since there are a few (five, perhaps) gold dispensing machines in the world, including one in the U.S., there’s a gold mania afoot. That’s ridiculous, although it shows a slowly awakening interest among people with assets.
Journalists also point to the numerous ads on late-night TV offering to buy old gold jewelry (generally at around a 50% discount from its metal value) as a sign of a gold bubble. But this is even more ridiculous, since the ads are inducing the unsophisticated, cash-strapped booboisie to sell the metal, not buy it.
You’ll know sentiment is at a high when major brokerage firms are hyping newly minted gold products, and Slime Magazine (if it still exists) has a cover showing a golden bull tearing apart the New York Stock Exchange. We’re a long way from that point.
These are some of the more egregious arguments against gold that are being brought forward today. Most of them are propounded by knaves, fools, or the uninformed.
The bottom line is that gold and its friends are no longer cheap, but they have a long way – in both time and price – to run. Until they’re done, I suggest you be right and sit tight.
Editor’s note: Doug Casey, chairman of Casey Research, is a best – selling author, international investor, and entrepreneur. He travels the world looking for the best real estate and natural resource investments. His work is required reading here at DailyWealth.
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The world of institutional investors received a stark message over the weekend regarding the legitimacy of gold as an asset class. The University of Texas Investment Management Company, which manages the endowment for the Texas teachers pension fund, has placed 5% of its assets in gold bullion. This represents a purchase of $1 billion of gold bullion; in excess of 650,000 ounces at today’s prices.
Of note was the fact that the entity chose to place its investment not in gold ETFs, but rather in physical bullion due concerns regarding counter party risk. The request to take physical delivery from the COMEX also casts light on risks of a COMEX default since gold in COMEX vaults only amounts to approximately 5% of the outstanding gold contracts.
In the 1970s, asset allocation recommendations from U.S. brokerage houses and European banks routinely included a 5-10% allocation to gold. Despite gold’s rise, the yellow metal still represents sub 1% of the global market cap of all assets. The news of this $1 billion purchase over the weekend sends another strong message about gold’s re-emergence as a legitimate asset class.
It is somewhat ironic that these events are occurring after a nearly six-fold rise off gold’s $250 per ounce low at the turn of the millennium. Investors will be watching closely to see if this move triggers similar reallocations among other large pension funds.
Read the entire article HERE.