Why gold is turning into lead
The sudden plunge in prices has stumped many investors, but you can find any number of theories to explain it.
One thing is for sure -- gold's allure has been tarnished for many investors. Futures for June delivery settled at $1,361.10 an ounce on the Comex, a 9.3% decline on the day and the biggest drop since 1980. At one point, prices slid to $1,355.30, the lowest since February 2011.
Writing in Quartz, Matt Phillips offers five reasons for why gold has become so toxic, ranging from increasing supply to worries about a slowdown in China's economy to a call by Goldman Sachs (GS) to short the commodity. But he freely admits that he found none of them especially convincing.
Ira Epstein, the director of the Ira Epstein division at Linn Group, is quoted by The Wall Street Journal saying gold is losing its allure for investors as the stock market surges.
Peter Stanley, an analyst with Morgan Stanley in Australia, argued in a Bloomberg article that the market was reacting to the prospects that cash-strapped members of the eurozone would have to sell some of their gold holdings and flood the market.
Dominic Schnider, an analyst at UBS Wealth Management, told Reuters that panic selling is being triggered by indications from the Federal Reserve that it would reduce it quantitative easing program, which has helped fuel the recent run-up in gold prices.
Some, all or none of these theories may be proven right.
Gold's sell-off also underscores investing risks that people with gold fever often ignore. First, experts have long dismissed the idea that gold is a good long-term hedge against inflation or fluctuations in currency values. Many investors also don't realize that physical gold, including exchange-traded funds like the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) that hold gold, is considered a "collectible" for tax purposes and is taxed at a higher rate than other forms of investing.
Gold also has for years gone through periods of booms, such as the 650% rise between 1999 and 2011, and busts. Moreover, as investors become more convinced of their financial futures, they tend to look beyond traditional safe havens such as gold.
As Joe Weisenthal recently noted in Business Insider, this can be viewed as good news because "money flowing into gold-related assets represents a belief that rocks (however shiny they are) are a better place to invest than human endeavors (like stocks)."
Of course, gold bugs probably still see things differently.
Jonathan Berr owns gold through an exchange-traded fund. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
Our Seniors were born in a time where Jobs became more secure along with great pension plans for them. They had the benefit of a higher wage that comes with being on the job for a long long time. The new generations are facing entirely different issues. Facing them due to lack of enlightenment of planning for not just their(seniors) future but the future of their kids and their kids kids. It was all about how I got mine, not go get yours. That's hard to do when that generation didn't fight the outsourcing of Jobs nor stop the Money Printing when it first started. Aka the hit they now face due to Uncle Ben. They run out and rally for more guns but when Uncle Ben ran the Printing Presses, where were they?
The typical Senior has paid off their home and and if planned for retirement properly, collect at least two income checks. Sure, interest rates don't help savings but compared to those with none, they are much better off. The most likely derailment would be major health issues. Otherwise they are far better off than everyone else. Guess how Seniors would be doing if they invested early in Gold. Even if you only dollar cost Average over time. Now folks are stuck with Stocks that will have little value long-term when the Uncle Ben Gravy Train ends. If you never take profits, all you have is a worthless piece of paper.
Why the heck do people worry about gold?Just buy great stocks like I do and enjoy
my often dividend checks.
I can afford to wait for the upcoming international financial collapse, when I can assure you gold will be worth $100 thousand an ounce.
P.S. I blame Obama.
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