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  • Gold Investors Take Note That An Industry Report Shows Gold Production Dropping Precipitously  [View article]
    You have mentioned in the comments section that you recommend a 5 - 10% allocation to gold to your clients, and I agree with that figure as a point of diversification. That being said, the many logical arguments in recent years for gold being $2k and above still haven't worked. As far as costs going below production cost and miners/producers going bankrupt, that is a very real possibility that every commodity producer must face, and one the gold miners could very well face. What happens if the price goes lower and major ETF's and central governments start selling their stockpiles, exacerbating the downward fall? Many companies will go under, and production will indeed fall, while the extra supply that has been dumped on to markets is absorbed.

    You may ridicule chart usage, but then why put the charts up there in the first place? The chart you posted clearly shows the gold price more or less in line with production and discovery levels from 1990 - 2006, before taking off to incredible (relatively) highs. What is more likely at present: for producers to ramp up production and double their discoveries to re-establish the price/production relationship, or for the price to halve and fall back in line?
    Aug 3, 2014. 01:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold Investors Take Note That An Industry Report Shows Gold Production Dropping Precipitously  [View article]
    the graph you shows implies that the gold price still has a long way to FALL to get back to a normal relationship with the production and discovery levels. once we get back to the $800's, i'll think about buying and holding again. select miners might be an idea now, but gold itself is a terrible idea at this point in time.
    Jul 27, 2014. 03:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Something Big Brewing In Silver?  [View article]
    exactly - you held for 25 years. not my ideal time horizon. at least with a mining ETF you could collect dividends while you wait. maybe some miners will go bankrupt, but with a solid ETF or mutual fund you wouldn't lose your shirt - and might even make gains if another company bought up assets of bankrupt companies.

    your point proves as well as any that buying physical is NOT the way to get ahead. it CAN be a wise investment if you're patient, but not a basket to put all your eggs into.
    May 11, 2014. 04:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Something Big Brewing In Silver?  [View article]
    my bad: was looking at 6-month charts, not YTD charts. you're right - GLD has outperformed FB GOOGL and JPM on YTD basis.

    on the other hand, this proves my point about significant risk if you're trying to time things exactly: 1-month off can reduce or even lose all of your gains, such as would have happened if you had messed up that blip up in 1983. will the same thing happen in 2014? i'll let you know in 2015.
    May 11, 2014. 04:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Something Big Brewing In Silver?  [View article]
    if that's the case, then buy EBAY since it's the un-obvious choice. similarly, you could invest in security companies such as BCO that will make more money from safe demand or PM transport.

    otherwise that's a pretty humorous comment @dieuwer
    May 11, 2014. 04:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Something Big Brewing In Silver?  [View article]
    Some right, some wrong in this article.

    First off, the long-term graph you show is not very convincing. The little blip upwards in 1983 that corresponds with the MACD low was quickly followed by lower-lows and basing for nearly 20 years. Unless you have supernatural timing, this does not present good odds today, regardless of the MACD seeming to hit its low point. If you're off a month on either end - buying or selling - you'll miss if not entirely lose whatever potential gains you make.

    Second, all of the "Chinese demand" and "little guys snapping up eagles" theories have been around for years, and are still not profitable. According to these theories, we would have run out of silver years ago since it is used for jewelry, cell phones, industry, etc. The tide of selling by ETF's, commodities funds, and investors looking for any bit of yield in a zero interest rate environment continues to roll in. One day it will roll out again, but just as it has taken several years to develop, it will take several years to recede.

    Third, the recommendation to "buy physical" is, unfortunately, a losing strategy for the vast majority of people. When will you sell it? How will you sell it? Any idea how much in fees you will have to pay that dealer down the street to take your coins off of you? How will you protect it: are you willing to drop a few hundred dollars, even more, for an adequate safe? I have a few coins myself, but it is not my primary method of investing in PM's, just as buying up random internet domain names or aircraft parts is not my method of investing in technology or the aviation industry.

    Fourth, gold as one of the best investments YTD in 2014? Hardly. GLD has gone from ~115 in January to 124 today: a 7.8% increase. Not bad, and indeed that is 20% annualized, but will it continue? Hard to say - I think that we are in for at least one more sharp drop that kicks out the last holders-on, even Paulson. FB, GOOGL, or even old-manipulator JPM would have done better.

    I do think that the PM environment, silver in particular, is starting to turn corners. That being said, miners and miner ETF's continue to be the most appropriate method for most people to invest in PM's. Not only do you avoid the unfortunate 28% collectibles gain taxes, you can also pick up some dividends while you wait. I own a Vanguard Metals & Mining fund myself, and continue adding to it bit by bit (every time I buy XYX product, I put that amount of money into the fund - a slow but steady investment). GDX, GDXJ, SIL and other names look tempting too. Just do not fool yourself into thinking you can perfectly time the next surge in PM prices; markets tend to be good at creating disappointment when we get our hopes up.
    May 9, 2014. 08:03 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Twitter nears $70 again; shorts hard-pressed to find shares  [View news story]
    i hate to say it, but unless you're a late 20's / early 30's, exceptionally intelligent professional day-trader - and most likely male - you probably should not be touching TWTR. sometimes it's just best to walk away and let the pros fight it out until a clearer picture emerges.

    these days i feel boring and/or beaten-down is best: GDX, HE, WU, etc.
    Jan 4, 2014. 11:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eric Parnell Positions For 2014: The Payoff In Precious Metals Has Enormous Potential  [View article]
    getting into the weeds philosophically, but i see it as a spectrum with buy&hold investing on one end (the type Mr. Parnell alludes to with PM investors) and day-trading / speculation on the other. any move you make will inevitably contain influences from both sides: a mix you're comfortable with can only be found over time and many successes & failures.
    Jan 4, 2014. 11:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eric Parnell Positions For 2014: The Payoff In Precious Metals Has Enormous Potential  [View article]
    Mr. Parnell: respect his opinions and logical arguments over the years here on SA, but PM longer-term timing is nearly impossible, even among the greats (Buffett, Paulson, Soros).

    Investing vs. Speculating: you've got common-sense/rational folks vs. the careless in any market, not just PM's vs. stocks. PM's may indeed shine again in coming years: I am indeed upping my portfolio allocations to miners. When it comes to making money though, which is at heart a human construct, I trust stocks over rocks to produce long-term capital appreciation and dividends.

    My 2 cents - happy investing & trading in 2014.
    Jan 3, 2014. 09:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • USGS Show Gold Mine Supply Dropping Every Single Month In 2013  [View article]
    while you claim the "fundamentals" are a reason to buy, in fact these very fundamentals are telling you there is still a supply overhang that needs to be drawn down: hence the miners refraining from production (because it remains unprofitable to produce). there has been too much PM's stuffed in ETF vaults, too many people earlier were buying Am. Eagles instead of buying stocks (guilty), etc. i agree that the picture is improving for PM's, but there is still a ways to go.

    according to the nature of cycles and humans' imperfections, by the time the overhang is corrected, there will be a surge in demand that quickly puts things out of whack the other way. i still believe we have lower to go in gold & silver before all the weak hands release their supplies on to the market (i.e. large hedge funds dumping their supplies). looking for another 10% downside before considering staggered PM purchases.
    Oct 2, 2013. 09:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Huge Ecosystem Blunder  [View article]
    James -

    This time I didn't even bother reading the article. Regardless of whether or not you're right or my propensity to agree with you (looking at the title - actually quite likely!), I posit that this type of article - focusing on one company, i.e. being a stock analyst - is not your forte.

    I say this with utmost respect and high regard for your writing. Nonetheless, would much prefer to see you returning to where you excel - the macro / policy / big picture pieces.
    Sep 16, 2013. 09:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Loser Strategy  [View article]
    James -

    Always have enjoyed your articles - and the ensuing commentary - regardless of whether you're "right" or "wrong." Your articles make for good reading because they force one to consider, think, and question.

    In this article, I largely agree with you - but have to wonder why you, of all people, would write an article about a particular company? Are you changing your approach? Usually you're the "big picture" guy, writing about the clashing of the world's macro economic / financial / political / social forces ... not the investment bank analyst penning independent articles on the side.

    As an avid J.A.K. fan, my humble suggestion is to let this be a one-off, and go back to your own strategy of writing "big picture" articles.
    Sep 12, 2013. 10:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Silver Is Getting Ready To Make A Big Move Higher  [View article]
    thanks for the article. someone who finally explains more about the Comex and implications of open interest. interesting tidbit about PAAS too.

    timing is always finicky with metals, particularly silver, as this morning's selloff corroborates. nonetheless, i think your overall thesis is correct: that we're approaching major lows in silver and gold. will be scaling into positions soon - to avoid those ridiculous "collectibles" taxes, i'll be eyeing SLW and CEF.
    Sep 12, 2013. 09:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Steve Ballmer Departure Not Worth $20 Billion  [View article]
    cigarettes will always be sold - that's not my point. my point is simply that IT & software are particularly strong, growing industries in aggregate, and particularly for American companies. the ever growing need for data and data management points to that. cigarettes - not so much growth. you might keep on pumping more sales out of emerging markets, but face reality: tobacco does not have - nor will it likely ever have - the exponential growth of data that we're currently in the midst of.

    MSFT - love it or hate it - is one of the world's premier software companies, and well positioned to get a substantial piece of the growing data management pie. if i were to place bets on industries, IT and software win hands down versus tobacco, and MSFT trumps MO easily as a result. we're not talking about riskier 100+ P/E's or 15+ P/B valuations, which change the dynamic entirely. the odds simply favor MSFT over MO, in my opinion overwhelmingly so.

    not such a ridiculous comment after all - if you're willing to put a bit of thought into it.
    Aug 29, 2013. 10:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Steve Ballmer Departure Not Worth $20 Billion  [View article]
    so many unfounded, ridiculous comments in this article: impossible to take your recommendations seriously. while MSFT may not be experiencing the growth of old, no company does that - ever. simply part of the process. have you ever considered that investors may be right, i.e. a new CEO - whoever he/she will be - might shake things up, sell off unprofitable lines, and bring back some growth?

    worst of all calls: your recommendation of MO over MSFT. really?!? in an industry that has been regulated down to utility status, perhaps being regulated out of existence entirely - you're going to take growth in cigarette sales over growth in a leading American software and IT company? not a wise call.
    Aug 28, 2013. 07:39 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment