Three Major Reasons for Gold in 2016
Presented by: Advantage Gold
This year looks to be another one of increased volatility as the market see-saws in different directions. Here are three compelling reasons why 2016 may be the perfect time to add gold to your portfolio.
1: “Stay the Course”
Financial experts often mention that “buying and holding” stocks through good and bad times is the best way to guarantee returns.
Investors that bought equities before the Financial Crisis have had a 20.2% return up until January 25, 2016. They “stayed the course” and were rewarded with an eventual return.
However, those that held gold during that same time period until today have had a 48.6% return, which is more than double that of the general market. This is even true with gold declining roughly 40% from its peak since late 2011.
Does it make more sense to “stay the course” in 2016 with stocks, or gold?
2: Two-Term Presidents
The last four presidents to serve two terms have had stock markets rise significantly during their tenures.
However, the stock markets also suffered catastrophic losses in each of their final years as president.
For example, during George W. Bush’s tenure, the S&P 500 nearly doubled from a bottom of 801 during the Dotcom bust to a peak of 1,562. Then the Financial Crisis hit at the end of Bush’s second term and the market went down to 677 points.
Obama is now in his last year, and the market is up 178% from its bottom in 2009. Will the trend continue?
3: Oil vs. Gold
Oil and gold have a relatively strong historical relationship. They are hard assets that move similarly in inflationary environments.
However, gold and oil also have some major differences in how supply and demand tends to affect the price.
Oil: Every day the world consumes 93 million barrels of oil. However, over the last two years there has been an excess of supply coupled with weakening demand from China and a slowing world economy. This has led to oil falling from over $100 per barrel to $30. Despite this glut, OPEC continues to produce record amounts of oil to maintain market share. Oil is delivered and consumed, and these fundamentals of supply and demand closely apply. More supply + weakening demand = lower prices.
Gold: Meanwhile, gold miner production is expected to peak in 2015 or 2016, and to decrease from there. Since gold is mostly traded via paper markets and not delivered, the nearly five-year low price point for gold may not fully reflect its supply and demand fundamentals. Gold discoveries are rarer than ever, and the cost and risks to mine are very high. Yet, this declining output is not yet seen in the gold price.
Gold to Oil Ratio
Lastly, the ratio between these two goods helps to explain what is going on in the world. Gold represents a safe haven during times of financial stress, and oil represents the overall health of the economy and industry.
The gold to oil ratio is expressed in the amount of oil barrels that can be bought with 1 oz of gold. A lower ratio means that the economy is doing well. Meanwhile, history shows that whenever the ratio is above 20, there has been some type of market crisis.
Today, this ratio is higher than ever in history at 37.
Would you rather own oil or gold?
Animation: How Billionaires are Preparing for the Next Bear Market
No one likes to lose money, even if you have billions to spare. See how the world’s most elite investors – like Ray Dalio – are protecting themselves.
How Billionaires are Preparing for the Next Bear Market
No one likes to lose money, even if you have billions to spare.
It’s why the prospect of a bear market – a prolonged downturn which sees stock prices fall by at least 20% over two months or more – is something that keeps even the world’s most elite investors awake at night.
To hedge against this concern, the world’s billionaires use a variety of strategies and tactics to protect their wealth, including setting up their portfolios with specific asset allocations that can help soften any blow caused by an extended market downturn.
Today’s animation comes to us from Sprott Physical Bullion Trusts and it highlights a strategy being used by billionaires ranging from Ray Dalio to John Tudor Jones II.
Because market sentiment can change so quickly in the market, these elite investors protect themselves by having diverse portfolios that include uncorrelated assets.
While this sounds complicated, uncorrelated assets are simply investments that don’t move up or down in the same direction as the other asset classes in the portfolio. A small allocation to these uncorrelated items can help protect the value of a portfolio when market sentiment changes.
The King of Uncorrelated Assets
What kind of asset classes can be used for this kind of purpose?
While options like real estate, commodities, and cash can contribute to a more diversified portfolio beyond traditional stocks and bonds, many experts say that gold is the undisputed king of uncorrelated assets.
The price of gold doesn’t usually doesn’t move with the wider stock market – and often, because of its history, the yellow metal can even increase in price during the course of a bear market.
Here are some of the reasons billionaires turn towards an allocation in gold:
- Gold has acted as a store of value for thousands of years
- Gold can lower the volatility of a portfolio
- Gold can act as a hedge against inflation in some scenarios
- Gold is a traditional safe haven asset that investors flock to when the market goes astray
To kick off 2019, a new billionaire jumped onto the gold bandwagon – along with previous advocates such as Ray Dalio, David Einhorn, John Paulson, and John Tudor Jones II.
The newest entry to the club is Sam Zell, the pioneer behind real estate investment trusts (REITs). He bought gold for the first time in January, citing that it is “a good hedge” and that “supply is shrinking” as new mine discoveries dries up.
With market volatility back in the fray, it’ll be interesting to see how many more of the world’s elite investors also jump on the bandwagon.
A Brief History of Jewelry Through the Ages
Jewelry has been coveted for centuries by many different cultures. Here’s a look at the history of jewelry, and how it’s evolved into a $348B industry.
Jewelry has been an integral aspect of human civilization for centuries, but it was the discovery and subsequent spread of precious metals and gemstones which really changed the game.
In today’s infographic from Menē, we visualize how the uses and symbolism of jewelry have evolved across time and space to become the industry we’re familiar with today.
Antique, Yet Ageless
There isn’t a single corner of the world that’s untouched by the influence of jewelry.
- Ancient Egypt
Gold accompanied the affluent into the afterlife – the famous 1922 discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb was filled to the brim with gold jewelry.
- Ancient Greece and Rome
Jewelry was used practically, and as a protection against evil. The gold olive wreath design was highly popular during this time.
Both men and women in the Sumer civilization wore intricate pieces of jewelry, incorporating bright gems like agate, jasper, or lapis lazuli.
The aristocracy in Aztec culture wore gold jewelry with gemstones to demonstrate their rank. The jewelry also doubled up as godly sacrifices.
- Ancient India
The Mughal Empire introduced the combination of gemstones with gold and silver. Today, pure gold jewelry is often gifted to new brides for financial security.
- Ancient China
Both rich and poor wore jade jewelry for its durable and protective properties. Pure gold jewelry is making a fashion comeback, doubling as a form of investment.
Modern Jewelry: At a Crossroads
Today, jewelry is at once the very same and vastly different from what it used to be.
The industry is worth upwards of $348 billion per year, and it’s not hard to see why. As an alternative asset, jewelry has grown 138% in value over the last decade – only outperformed by classic cars, rare coins, and fine wine.
However, perceptions of jewelry vastly differ. It’s not a stretch to say that Western jewelry buyers are enamored with diamonds, given their enduring association with special occasions – but it’s interesting to note how that ideal was fabricated.
The Invention of Diamonds
The De Beers Group is well known for making diamonds great again. In the early 1900s, the company had already monopolized the diamond trade and stabilized the market, but they faced the challenge of marketing diamonds to consumers at all income levels.
The average American considered diamonds an extravagance, preferring to spend money on cars and appliances instead. The concept of engagement rings existed, but weren’t widely adopted. The #1 slogan of the century – “A Diamond is Forever” – transformed all that.
Even as more companies like Tiffany and Co and Cartier entered the playing field, De Beers had set a successful industry standard. But there’s a catch – diamonds are actually:
- Not all that rare in nature
- Intrinsically low in value
- Easily replicated in a lab
- Decreasing in sales
Despite these caveats, the popularity of diamonds illustrate how Western consumers do not approach jewelry in the same way as Eastern economies, where its function as a store of wealth persists.
The Eastern Gold Standard
In Eastern economies, jewelry often takes the form of pure gold. The reasons behind this difference are surprisingly pragmatic: gold is considered a secure and innate store of wealth that maintains its purchasing value over decades, allowing families to pass wealth from generation to generation.
The rich history of the precious metal has made it a sought-after commodity for centuries, and China and India drive more than half of global gold jewelry demand every year:
|Year||Share of Demand (India + China)||Total Global Jewelry Demand (tonnes)|
Source: Gold Hub – Values have been rounded up to the nearest tonne.
Why are Eastern cultures so attracted to the properties of pure gold?
Part 2 of this series will show why gold is the world’s most incredible metal, and why it’s coveted by billions of people.
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