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January 19 2018

moneymetals

Chinese Physical Gold Investment Demand Surges While Americans Pile Into Stock & Crypto Bubbles

Chinese demand for physical gold investment surged in the first three-quarters of 2017 while Americans ditched the shiny yellow metal for increased bets in the crypto mania and stock market bubble market. Even though China’s Hang Seng Stock Market outperformed the Dow Jones Index last year, Chinese citizens purchased the most gold bar and coin products Q1-Q3 2017 since the same period in 2013, when they took advantage of huge gold market price selloff.

According to the World Gold Council, Chinese gold bar and coin demand increased to 233 metric tons (mt) in the first three-quarters of 2017 compared to 162 mt in the same period last year. Furthermore, if we include Indian gold bar and coin demand, China and India consumed nearly half of the world’s total:

Global gold bar & coin demand q1 - q3 2017

As we can see, China and India consumed 338 mt of gold bar and coin products which accounted for 47% of the total 715 mt Q1-Q3 2017. German gold bar and coin demand of 81 mt took the third highest spot followed by Thailand (49 mt), Turkey (47 mt), Switzerland (31 mt) and the United States (30 mt). Chinese gold bar and coin demand of 233 mt nearly equaled the total demand by German, Thailand, Turkey, Switzerland and the United States of 238 mt.


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January 03 2018

moneymetals

How the Investor Fundamentally Changed the Silver Market

While silver investors continue to be discouraged about the low price, the market has experienced a fundamental change that needs to be understood. Ever since governments removed silver from official coinage, over 50 years ago, the market has been supplemented by several billion ounces of silver. The majority of that supply has been depleted.

The reason the United States and other countries stopped producing official silver coinage wasn’t due to any monetary conspiracy; rather it was based on a straightforward problem; supply versus demand. Because industrial silver consumption had skyrocketed after World War 2, the silver market would have suffered deficits if the U.S. Treasury didn’t sell silver into the market.

It was quite simple; there just wasn’t enough silver to go around. So, governments started to reduce, then eliminate silver from their coinage in the 1960’s. A lot of this silver, known as “junk silver,” was either purchased by investors or remelted and sold back as supply into the market. While there is no way of knowing how much of the older official junk silver remains in the market, the majority of it was recycled for much-needed supply.

We can see the dwindling down of government stocks and older official silver coinage in the following chart:

Global silver scrap supply & net govt. sales (chart)

The BLUE bars represent silver scrap supply, and the OLIVE colored bars show the amount of net government silver sales. From 2000 to 2013, governments sold 636 million oz (Moz) of silver into the market. Net government sales were from stockpiled silver and older official coins. However, in 2014, this supply totally dried up. For the past four years, there haven’t been any government silver sales.

Another interesting aspect of this chart is the declining amount of silver scrap supply. Even though the price of silver during the 2015-2017 period was much higher than from 2000-2007, scrap supply is considerably less. For example, the price of silver in 2000 was $4.95 while global scrap supply was 181 Moz. However, the silver price has been three times higher (2015-2017), but the average scrap supply has been 140 Moz.

Continue to the full article (source)

moneymetals

Don’t Look Now, but Gold Just Finished Its Best Year Since 2011

Metals investors may have missed it given the gloomy sentiment that plagued markets for much of 2017, but gold just finished its best year since 2011.

Perhaps in a year like the one just passed, 13% gains are simply not inspiring. U.S. stocks finished about 25% higher for the year, and crypto-currencies including Bitcoin left all other asset classes in the dust. Bitcoin gained roughly 1,400%.

Die hard gold bugs enter 2018 waiting for crypto-bugs and stock bulls to see the value of precious metals. Fortunately, precious metals have served reliably both as an inflation hedge and as a safe haven for most of recorded history. It looks less and less probable investors will get through another 12 months while ignoring both inflation and market risk simultaneously.

While other markets were finishing 2017 strong, the U.S. dollar ended the year with a whimper. The dollar fell 10%, its worst performance in more than a decade.

That weakness has yet to manifest itself as price inflation in consumer goods and services. It has instead shown up in asset prices.

Consumers have yet to feel their dollars getting weaker, which may explain much about why a traditional inflation hedge like gold isn’t getting a lot of attention. That may change in the months ahead, particularly if President Donald Trump can add his debt-financed infrastructure spending program to the tax cuts recently passed. Both initiatives represent fiscal stimulus for Main Street, and a shift from Wall Street oriented monetary policy including Quantitative Easing.

Continue to the full article (source)

December 22 2017

moneymetals

David Smith: Cryptos Bringing Broad Attention to All Dollar Alternatives

Well now, without further delay, let’s get right to this week’s exclusive interview.

David smith

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome back David Smith, Senior Analyst at The Morgan Report and regular contributor to MoneyMetals.com. David, Merry Christmas, and thanks for joining us again. How are you?

David Smith: Very good Mike, and thank you and the very same to you and yours.

Mike Gleason: Well, as we start out here, David, let's talk first about the setup as we finish up 2017 and move into the new year. There are a lot of similarities to last year, maybe the year before. We've had the Fed just announce a rate hike. The move was well telegraphed and all the selling in the metals happened prior to last week's FOMC meeting. Open interest in the futures got pretty extended about a month ago, and as often happens in that scenario, the speculative long buyers were taken out to the wood shed and punished as the bullion banks cashed in on their shorts. Now we're seeing a bit of a rally in the metals, so the situation in these regards is very similar to a year ago. What are you expecting from the metals markets in the weeks and months ahead? Are you looking for a rally to match last year's?

David Smith: I really think that we could be looking at a very similar set up to 2016 where the metals actually bottomed in December, and the mining stocks tried to put a lower low in in mid-January. And I'll never forget it, January 19th, and on an inter-day basis, they turned around, and then it was up and away for the metals and the miners for the next six months.

Then between then and now they gave back about 50% of it, which is what you'd expect on a retracement, and nobody can predict the future exactly, but I really feel pretty strongly that we're going to see a very strong, right out of the box, in January, on the metals and miners, and it may even turn before the new year, but there's so many technical indicators themselves, that when you add them all up, they become something larger, and so I think if a person is waiting to purchase their metal, they shouldn't be waiting too much longer if they had the same view I do.

And not only that, as you know, when the demand starts ramping up pretty quickly, the premiums go up too, so you would have a double whammy against you, buying at a higher price and paying a higher premium if you wait until a lot of other people kind of get the same idea.

Mike Gleason: Yeah, certainly a buyers’ market right now, both in terms of low spot prices, and also the premiums, as you mentioned. And the last couple years, we have had pretty strong, right of the gate, moves there in the metals and the miners, and maybe 2018 is going to have the same thing.

Now in your most recent article that we published this week in MoneyMetals.com, you make the case for physical metals and cryptocurrencies to coexist. Now we think that is a vitally important idea right now as people are working through questions about what the advent of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will mean for gold and silver. It would be pretty easy for people to look at price charts and leap to the conclusion that metals are quickly becoming irrelevant. The reality is that the times we live in are desperately calling for honest money and that both cryptocurrency and metals both have important roles to play. They have very different strengths and weaknesses, however, so talk for a minute, David, about how these two asset classes are likely to coexist.

Read/Listen to the entire podcast here: (source)

December 21 2017

moneymetals

December 20 2017

moneymetals

Be a Precious Metals' Winner with a Mind Like Water

We're in the midst of a massive, transformational change that will redefine where we are, what we think is true, and where we believe the future is headed.

With sensory input from across the political and economic spectrum of the Internet bombarding us 24/7, it's understandably difficult to follow through on a decision once made, even if you've researched carefully and thought things through beforehand.

Nowhere is this more difficult right now than the decision of whether or not to invest in – or add to – one's position in the physical gold and silver space.

Not only that, but when you add all the noisy arguments from competing investments which seem to be doing much better while the precious metals slumber, it's understandable why some long-term information-overloaded investors have decided to sell their metal.

I'd like to suggest that those who hesitate to buy, or worse, decide to sell what they already have are going to experience considerable remorse – and soon.

A potent way to avoid such a struggle and stick with your original decision is to practice developing mizu no kokoro – Japanese for a "mind like water."

In this state, thinking is minimized, listening/watching emphasized. To get an idea of the clarity that can be achieved, look at the picture below.

I took this photo during a rare moment when all the elements necessary to build such a scene were present. The water is dead calm; the sky is so full of more-or-less stationary cloud formations that it's difficult to see where one begins and the other ends. At the same time, nothing is distorted. The glassy water "mirrors" the clouds exactly as they look in the sky.

Mind like water

Being in the moment mostly involves paying attention.

There's a lot to be said for "planning your work"; then "working your plan." At some point you've taken your position and set aside money to buy more metal, either at certain intervals or into declining prices.

Then just let things be. Try not to be swayed by counter opinions, even if they seem to make sense. If this is difficult, don't feel so bad about it. Even the investing greats have to remind themselves from time to time.

​Continue reading here: (source)

December 18 2017

moneymetals

A Bit of Tax Planning Can Turn Lemons Into Lemonade

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The IRS classifies bullion coins and bars which carry zero collectible value the same way it categorizes a collection of baseball cards. Because of the IRS’s dishonest interpretation of tax law, gold and silver bullion is currently subject to the higher 28% long-term capital gains rate for “collectibles.” By comparison, the rate for Wall Street and government approved assets – just about everything else – is 15-20%, depending upon the taxpayer’s income.

Investors might as well use this punitive long-term capital gains rate to their advantage. Metal purchased more than a year ago at a higher price can be sold to unlock losses and reduce taxes. Individuals can claim up to $3,000 in losses against ordinary income, and more if they have capital gains on another asset. (Check with your own tax advisor.)

Tax breaks

Now is certainly not a great time to exit the metals markets, in our opinion. Fortunately, realizing capital losses can be done without relinquishing a position in metals for more than a few seconds. Investors can immediately buy replacement metals without having the transaction classified as a wash sale (wash sale rules do NOT apply to precious metals – only to securities).

Read more: (source

December 05 2017

moneymetals

December 04 2017

moneymetals

Gerald Celente: Middle East Wild Cards Could Bring Down Markets, Drive Up Gold

Well now, without further delay, let’s get right to this week’s exclusive interview.

Gerald celente

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome Gerald Celente, publisher of the renowned Trends Journal. Mr. Celente is perhaps the most well-known trends forecaster in the world and it's always great to have him on with us.

Gerald, thanks for taking the time and welcome back.

Gerald Celente: Thanks for having me on.

Mike Gleason: Well, Gerald, to start off here, we still have the equities markets ripping and roaring and there is seemingly no news that can derail the train. So, as we head into the end of the year, what does your forecast show for the crowd on Wall Street? Is the party going to end anytime soon?

Gerald Celente: Well, as they go through with this tax deal, it's just going to bring more money to the bigger corporations and you saw what the corporations have done with the profits from the past, what do they do with them? They reinvested them into the stock market rather than building their companies and investing in capital improvements.

So, giving them more money will give them more stock buybacks. The more stock buybacks, the higher the market goes. I mean that's the reality of it. So, if the tax breaks go through the way they're being planned, we're going to see more stock buybacks, more cheap money to reinvest back into the markets.

Again, we're looking at a very small segment of the population that's really playing the markets. For example, only 10% of Americans are in the markets at the range that makes any difference, so that 10%, for example, that's playing, they have about in equity about $350,000 (on average). The rest of society that has money into it, the so called middle class, of those that have any money in it, and again the 10% own over 90%. For the rest of the society, they only have about $15,000 in equity.

So, the markets are just going to keep going up if the cheap money keeps existing. Again, that's going to also see what happens when they raise interest rates, which are about a 99% sure shot now, later in December. And if the cheap money flows stop, then the markets stop. It's as simple as that, but we don't think a 25 basis point increase is going to have much of an impact.

Mike Gleason: Clearly the world has a problem with crooked bankers and corrupt politicians. We talked about this a bit when we had you on back in August. The two aren't unrelated, of course. Bankers and politicians have a very long and dark history of collusion.

On one hand, if history is a guide, there isn't much reason to expect anyone will be held to account for their crimes. "They are too big to jail," as former Attorney General Eric Holder might say. On the other hand, we can't help but be a little bit hopeful. It looks to us like some of these crimes, such as the Uranium One deal, are getting harder to ignore.

What do you make of the recent news? Are you feeling any more optimistic about some of these crooks actually going to prison?

Gerald Celente: No, quite the opposite. Look at the new Fed chair that's coming in. He's already saying that the banking regulations in place now are too tough and tough enough. So, if under the current regulations nobody went to jail and they soften them, they could steal more, and get fined, and also accused of less crimes.

So, no, it's going in the opposite direction. Under the new administration, they're not draining the swamp, they’re just filling the swamp with different swamp creatures. I mean look at the Trump White House. Who's running it? Mnuchin and Cohn on the financial end and those are both Goldman Sachs guys. It's just more of the same.

Mike Gleason: The rise of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin in particular, is making waves in the precious metals markets. Some of the demand for gold and silver has been diverted to Bitcoin. People see it as another form of honest money and there is plenty of excitement over the huge price gains. Lots of people are wondering what the rise of Bitcoin might mean for precious metals over the longer term.

Now, our take is that Bitcoin offer hope as honest money and we are certainly fans of anything that can circumvent central bankers. Gold and silver, on the other hand, are proven stores of value with a track record extending back thousands of years and they are totally off the grid. Physical metals work with or without electricity or an internet connection and they can be used without leaving digital tracks behind.

What are your thoughts on the relationship between Bitcoin and bullion?

Read/Listen to the full podcast here: (source

November 30 2017

moneymetals
moneymetals

How to Choose a Firm to Set Up Your Precious Metals IRA

Self directed IRAs are increasingly popular as investors discover they can use them to escape the ring fence represented by traditional IRA accounts.

Banks and brokerages successfully cultivated the idea that IRAs should contain only conventional securities – stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. The truth is that they get paid handsomely for selling those paper assets, so that is all they put on the menu.

But word is getting out that it is perfectly legal and easy to own tangible assets, including real estate and precious metals, in an IRA. Investors just have to leave Wall Street and find a custodian which specializes in self-directed IRA plans. Today, there are a number of firms offering this sort of plan, so it is worth covering how an investor might go about choosing one.

Secure Your Retirement with a Precious Metals IRA | Learn More  />

You’ll want to start by evaluating the basics. Choose a firm with a reputation for providing great service at competitive fees. You might give extra points for a firm which is well established in the industry. There has been a fair bit of consolidation and changes in the space recently.

We would not recommend custodians charging more than $150 in annual fees or those charging more than $50 for each transaction. There are some very good firms with fees significantly below those levels.

The capability to enroll, view and manage transactions online should be a big consideration if you prefer the convenience of managing affairs electronically. Those people who prefer to deal in person should inquire by phone to see if you can reach a service rep easily and get good care.

Continue to the full article (source

November 29 2017

moneymetals

November 28 2017

moneymetals

Gold's Global Supply Artery: Heading for Cardiac Arrest

Inline image 1

An oceanic-scale demand push from "all parts Far East" is building, as the desire to own gold and silver promises to place an increasingly solid foundation for years to come.

China, India, and Southeast Asia have historically accumulated precious metal as a savings vehicle, a hedge against political uncertainty (e.g. India's surprise call-in last year of 80% of the country's paper currency), and as an expression of affection. China's newly-emerging affluent middle class alone is set to become larger than the population of the U.S. Frank Holmes collectively refers to these elements as "love and fear trades".

China's One Belt-One Road (OBOR) Initiative – the world's largest-ever construction project – is designed to link 60% of the world's population in a cooperative financial and economic matrix. Taken together, the continued migration of gold supply from West to East is baked into the cake.

For a deeper understanding of how and why China is leading the charge – and going about capturing an outsized portion of the global gold supply – see my essay from last summer, titled China's Get the Gold Plan: Part II.

Even as the West ships much of its remaining gold eastward (largely via Swiss refineries who "repurpose" it into .9999 fine gold), countries like Germany and Turkey have stepped up to the plate, becoming noteworthy demand drivers in their own right.

Fund managers are finally realizing that gold deserves to be a permanent portfolio asset holding category. In The Morgan Report and in Riches in Resources, David Morgan has written extensively about this for both individual investors and institutional clients. Just one more "silent lever" by which a long-term, rock-solid foundation is being built under gold's demand... and price.

Continue to the full article (source)

November 27 2017

moneymetals

November 22 2017

moneymetals

Retail Silver Investment Demand Is Down, But Still Double Pre-2008 Crash Levels

While retail physical silver investment demand experienced a pronounced decline this year, the volume is still much larger than the level prior to the 2008 U.S. Housing and Banking Crash. Investors frustrated by a silver market plagued with lousy sentiment and weak demand, may not realize that silver bar and coin demand is projected to be double what it was in 2007.

Thus, long-term precious metals investors continue to acquire silver on price dips while others may be selling out and placing their bets into the bubble stock market or cryptocurrencies. It’s not the larger precious metals investor who is worried about the short-term price, rather its the smaller investor.

Regardless, according to the Silver Institute’s 2017 Interim Report, global silver bar and coin demand are projected to fall to 130 million oz (Moz) in 2017 compared to 206 Moz last year. Even though physical silver investment demand will drop by 37% this year, it will still be more than double the 62 Moz in 2007:

Global silver bar & coin demand (2007-2017f)

Furthermore, silver bar and coin demand in 2012 was only 29 Moz higher than the estimate for this year, but the price was nearly double at $30 an ounce. As we can see, precious metals investors continued to purchase record amounts of silver bar and coins in 2013, 2014 and 2015 with the hope that prices would eventually start to head higher. However, the majority of the market’s funds since 2012 flowed into STOCKS, BONDS, and REAL ESTATE.

Continue reading (source

moneymetals

November 21 2017

moneymetals

Will the Tax Reform Debate Impact Precious Metals?

November 20, 2017 -- Precious metals got a boost last week as investors were reminded that stock prices move in two directions -- up and down. The S&P 500 and the Dow both finished the worst two weeks they have seen since August.

The selling certainly wasn’t dramatic (both indexes remain within about 1% of their all time highs), but it does represent the recent negative correlation between stocks and metals. Absent the return of an inflation trade, any sustained rally in metals will likely have to be fueled by investors fleeing the stock markets. We’ll see how the equity indexes fare this week. 

Taxes

Wall Street is focused on the debate over tax reform. Whether Congressional Republicans will muster the majority needed to pass a tax bill remains too close to call. We remain skeptical given the combined animosity of the Republican leadership and Democrats towards the president.

At least metals investors who would like some tax relief may get higher gold and silver prices as a bit of a silver lining. Should tax reform fail, it will likely hurt the stock markets and prompt some flight to safety. Trading figures to be lighter this week given the Thanksgiving holiday, but there is some significant economic data due out. We’ll see reports on existing home sales, durable goods, and the FOMC minutes from the Nov. 1st committee meeting. 

Source

November 13 2017

moneymetals

The Dangers of Zero

Inline image 1

Zero is an important number in the psychology driving demand for bullion. There are periods when investors find the argument that gold or silver prices “will never go to zero” compelling.

The 2008 financial crisis and the years immediately following it are the most recent example. The fear of conventional securities and even the fiat dollar becoming worthless was palpable for many in the metals markets. Bullion demand hit record levels.

Left behind

Investors have chased bull markets
for fear of being left behind.

While demand for gold ETFs and futures contracts has been strong in 2016 and 2017, some investors in the physical market for coins, bars, and rounds seem to have overlooked the modest gains of the past two years and are anxious instead to participate in bull markets elsewhere. If they are worried about anything, it is the possibility of missing out.

Gold and silver’s appeal as a safe haven is in temporary eclipse.

The metals markets are awaiting the moment when investors lose their conviction about ever higher stock prices and once again grapple with the idea that prices do fall.

Indeed, the value of some securities can, and does, fall all the way to zero. Companies miss expectations or fail outright. Bond issuers occasionally default and fiat currencies eventually die. Investors discount risk in the euphoria of a bull market.

Continue reading: (source)

November 06 2017

moneymetals

November 03 2017

moneymetals

Bitcoin or Gold: Which One's a Bubble and How Much Energy Do They Really Consume

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If you are investing in either Bitcoin or Gold, it’s important to understand which asset is behaving more like a bubble than the other. While it’s impossible to understand how the market will value these two very different assets in the future, we can provide some logical analysis that might remove some of the mystery associated with the market price of Bitcoin vs Gold.

I’ve read some analysis on Bitcoin profitability and energy consumption that seemed unreliable, so I thought I would put my two cents in on the subject.

For example, many sites are using the Digiconomist’s work on Bitcoin energy consumption. However, I believe this analysis has overstated Bitcoin’s energy consumption by a large degree. According to the Digiconomist, Bitcoin’s annual electric use is approximately 24 TerraWatts per year (TWh/yr):

Digiconomist bitcoin energy consumption

In a recent article that was forwarded to me by one of my readers, How Many Barrels Of Oil Are Needed To Mine One Bitcoin, the author used the information in the chart above to calculate the energy cost to produce each Bitcoin. He stated that the average energy cost for each Bitcoin equals 20 barrels of oil equivalent. Unfortunately, that data is grossly overstated.

Read the full article: (source)

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