Peter Krauth writes: Gold is currently extremely out of favor. But anyone who cautions you to let go of your gold is missing an unfathomably huge capital undercurrent - one that's forming right now.
What we're seeing - and what I will show you today - is the unstoppable chain-reaction of conditions that's about to unfold in the gold market.
It's time to move on this. This capital wave could lead to the biggest sustained moneymaking opportunity of your lifetime, if you know exactly how to play it.
When the gold price tanked $200 over two days back in April, that was by far the most extreme drop in bullion prices in the 5,000-year history of gold as money. And even today, nobody can say for sure what caused it.
Sound suspicious? Good.
It was market manipulation. A lot of bullion banks and trading houses made a lot of money on the gold price crash. (It's impossible to tell how much... but by our calculations, it could've been as much as $1.2 trillion.)
Because of that manipulation, we're now facing a chain reaction of conditions that could radically decrease global gold production, while radically increasing global gold demand at the same time.
This will lead to several lucrative investments...
Before we get to those, let's look at why gold will hit $2,500 within 12 months.
Gold Driver #1: Mining Hits Crisis Stage
A crash in prices can render many of the world's gold miners unprofitable overnight, which is what happened earlier this year.
Many cannot afford to mine gold below $1,250.
The truth is, some well-known global gold producers are facing the possibility of having to close down a number of their operations right now. That's putting a huge damper on gold mining in 2013.
And that stands in stark contrast to what's happening in global gold demand.
Gold Driver #2: China's Syndrome
I won't go into too much detail about the Chinese government's relentless gold hoarding over the last few years. Much has already been made of the fact that they've increased their gold imports every year since 2000.
In fact, 2012's total of a whopping 920 tons of imported gold nearly doubled 2011's 475 tons.
But all that was before the gold price crash in April.
Since then Chinese gold demand has been at an absolute fever pitch. The call for bullion in China and neighboring Hong Kong has been as much as 500% higher than normal.
There are no lengths China won't go to right now to get their hands on gold, including buying up gold miners left and right all around the world. In 2012 alone, China spent $2.9 billion on foreign gold mining acquisitions.
However, since bullion prices dropped, the action has been fast and furious. Here are just a few recent d
- The day after gold's biggest one-day drop in history occurred last April - Zijin Mining made an aggressive bid for Australia's Kalgoorlie Mining Company. Inside sources report that Zijin is also preparing a bid right now for three of Canadian giant Barrick Gold's mines.
- Then in May, China's Kingwell Group announced plans to make an offer for a controlling interest in Brazilian Gold Corp., a Canada-based miner with a major gold project in the northern territories of Brazil.
- Another Chinese miner - Shandong Qixing Iron Tower Company - agreed to purchase the gold assets of Australia's Stonewall Resources Ltd.
- Shandong is also in talks right now to invest in Chaarat Gold, a mining project in mineral-rich Kyrgyzstan.
The bottom line is that with gold at historic lows, and with gold miners beaten into the dumps, cash-rich China is going on a major shopping spree.
Gold Driver #3: India's "Yellow Fever"
Since gold tanked in mid-April, India's demand for both raw gold to manufacture jewelry, as well as demand for gold jewelry itself, has gone positively ballistic.
In fact, in just the three days following April's crash in gold prices, Indians bought as much as 16.5 tons of gold - that's 528,000 ounces. This is twice as much gold demand as a year ago. (That's despite the fact that India has some of the heftiest import tax on gold anywhere in the world... and that fact that the Indian government recently jacked up these taxes by 50%!)
In May alone, Indian gold imports topped 176 tons. That's nearly double the average monthly rate. And according to the World Gold Council, India's gold imports for the second quarter of 2013 could be 150% higher, year over year.
Finally, there's a "wild card" factor in the global gold demand equation that virtually no one's looking at...
Gold Driver #4: The Japanese Pension Paradox
A lot of people don't realize that Japan's government and private pensions are second in size only to the U.S. Together, there's the equivalent of over $3.36 trillion sitting in these funds, waiting to be disbursed to Japan's aging population.
Until very recently, none of these funds held any kind of gold or gold-related asset. But that's changing fast.
That's because Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has embarked on a program of radical spending increases and "unlimited easing measures." Abe has pledged to continue this course of action for at least two years, with the primary goal of fostering 2% inflation.
It's having the desired effect, too...
Since April 4, the yen has fallen against all 16 of the global currencies it's most commonly traded against.
Needless to say, Japan's throngs of elderly pensioners aren't happy about this, since yen deflation gives them stronger purchasing power - which stretches their pension dollars farther.
Now, to combat this coming inflation, Japan's pension funds are increasingly looking toward gold. This is happening fast.
For instance, the Okayama Metal & Machinery Pension Fund - which manages retirement assets for 260 small and medium-sized Japanese companies - has already pumped as much as $600 million worth of yen into gold holdings. That's an asset allocation of 1.5%.
A number of other local pension funds have recently put 2.1 billion yen into the Mitsubishi UFJ Trust, a gold-backed ETF. That's a 2% - 3% allocation.
And another 200 Japanese pension funds have signed on for a new program offered by the Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. That program includes a 3% allocation in gold.
But here's the part that's going to blow your mind.
If every Japanese pension fund moved into just a 1% allocation in gold to combat yen inflation over the next two years, that one factor alone would send the price of gold up 29%, to $1,552 an ounce.
And if they all went to a 3% allocation in gold, it would send bullion rocketing to $2,258 an ounce!
Gold Driver #5: You Can't Ignore Inflation
Demand for gold as a store of value has surged amid speculation that inflation will inevitably pick up as the Fed, the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank continue buying more debt. This new level of worldwide money printing has raised inflation expectations and follows a pattern established from December 2008 to June 2011.
Then gold soared 70% following the $2.3 trillion created in the first two rounds of quantitative easing. Even if the Fed winds down QE3 some point next year it will have still injected another $1.25 trillion into money supply, which will undoubtedly send gold and commodities in general higher.
The reason?...With each round of printing, the U.S. dollar becomes worth less and less, driving up prices on the wholesale level.
In fact, since Nixon closed the "gold window" in 1971 the worth of a single 71' dollar has declined to 17 cents. And, in the 100 years since the Fed was enacted in 1913 the dollar has lost 96% of its purchasing power.
As Milton Friedman once said, "Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless."
So, don't let the potential of more gold price weakness deter you. Instead, work it to your advantage.
By buying gold now, and in regular increments over the next several months, you can dollar-cost average your way into gold and lower your cost and your risk.
Remember, none of the fundamentals supporting gold prices have gone away. Instead, they've only become even more entrenched.
The truth is signs the yellow metal's bull market will soon end are scarce. Meanwhile, breakeven costs continue to rise among gold producers, meaning the price floor keeps rising.
That's why I expect gold prices to set an all-time record price in the coming years. Smart investors will embrace this trend.
And it gets better...
We've Yet to Reach the Mania Stage
Every bull market in gold has three stages:
- Stage One: Currency Devaluation.
- Stage Two: Investment Demand.
- Stage Three: A culminating Mania-Buying Spree.
Where are we now?...
At the moment we are nearing the end of stage two which means the mania stage isn't far behind.
Stage Three is when all the stops get pulled out. That's when the public finally becomes aware of gold's progressive rise. It's when we will see a market bubble akin to what we saw with "dot-com" stocks back in the late 1990s, or U.S. stocks in late 2007.
As the mania sets in and higher prices, by themselves, beget higher prices, with gold now rising in the kind of near-vertical climb that is the hallmark of a speculative mania - a bubble forms.
This is where a $5,000 price point could even be reached.
Despite the fact that we've been in a powerful gold bull market for more than a decade already, the best is yet to come for gold prices.
The mathematical result is almost guaranteed: Gold will increase in price dramatically to reflect its true value.
There will plenty of ways to profit from gold's imminent rise.
You can start with the fund that pays investors double their money for every increase in gold.
Cash In on the Gold Doubling Effect
In fact, we've dubbed this unique investment our "Gold's Double Reward Program" because it pays double the gains that gold makes.
In other words, a 5% gain pays you 10%... a 25% gain pays you 50%... and so on.
It is the Deutsche Bank Gold Double Long ETN (NYSEArca: DGP).
It is a leveraged (2X) fund based on the price of gold, that holds some physical gold but primarily employs futures and options in a bid to produce percentage gains double that of gold itself on any up move.
For investors with a bullish short-term outlook for gold, DGP certainly delivers a hefty punch with its 2x long-leveraged position. This powerful tool has gained significant popularity since its inception in 2008 and has accumulated just under $200 million in total assets.
It holds some physical gold but primarily employs futures and options in a bid to produce percentage gains double that of gold itself on any move up. (Of course, losses on pullbacks are also magnified.) Be aware, however, that this fund is more thinly traded - usually less than 50,000 shares daily.
The most popular gold fund is the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSEArca: GLD).
The price of GLD shares, which are backed by physical gold and issued in blocks of 100,000, generally tracks the price of one-tenth of an ounce of gold, usually trading at a slight discount.
Another option would be the iShares Gold Trust ETF (NYSEArca: IAU).
Its shares are also backed by physical gold, but they're priced at just 1/100th the price of an ounce of bullion, also typically trading at a small discount. The fund has a market cap of about $7.3 billion and a daily trading value of around a quarter-million shares.
Beyond that there's always the traditional approach - holding the physical metal itself.
How to Buy Physical Gold
Purists feel this is the only true hedge against global turmoil and declining values in the dollar and other fiat currencies.
For smaller investors, this typically means buying gold bullion bars, rounds (unadorned coin-shaped pieces) or minted gold bullion coins.
Bullion bars come in an assortment of sizes to suit the needs and means of every investor.
The smallest bars weigh just one gram, while the largest weigh 400 ounces.
Gold rounds are produced by the same private refiners, as well as some government mints, and are also available in a variety of sizes, typically ranging from one-tenth of an ounce to five ounces.
Prices range from as little as $15 per round over the spot price of gold at the time of the order for smaller pieces to $40 over the spot for larger specialty pieces.
Jewelry-type pieces, such as pendants, are also available, but generally carry slightly higher premiums.
Minted bullion coins come in a far greater variety, being produced by most of the private refiners as well as a number of the world's leading government mints.
Examples of the latter include the American Gold Eagle, American Gold Buffalo, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, the South African Krugerrand, the Chinese Gold Panda and the Mexican Gold Libertad.
Specialty bullion "commemorative" coins are also available from both private and government mints, honoring everything from African wildlife to the spouses of American presidents.
Sizes range from one-tenth of an ounce to two ounces, with the one-ounce size being most popular and readily available. Bullion coin prices typically track the spot price of gold, plus a premium of 5% to 6% for the one-ounce issues, which covers the cost of refining, minting and marketing. Premiums on smaller coins can run as high as 15%.
Beware, however, that the premiums for all sizes will be considerably higher if you buy in small quantities or want to pay by credit card rather than with a bank draft or funds transfer.
The most important rule, whether you're buying gold bars, rounds or minted bullion coins - or any other physical metal, for that matter - is to deal only with trustworthy dealers with proven experience and clearly stated policies and warranties. This is especially crucial if you're purchasing by phone or online.
Reputable Gold Dealers
Several well-regarded, long-standing dealers in the U.S. include:
- American Precious Metals Exchange This Oklahoma City-based firm offers both bullion and collectible metals products, as well as storage facilities. Quotes are updated every 15 minutes during trading hours. Purchase online or call 1-800-375-9006.
- Asset Strategies International This Rockville, MD, firm has a large inventory of gold coins, bars and other bullion products, and also offers regular metals markets commentary and analysis on its website. Sales representatives are available at 1-800-831-0007.
- Goldline International Inc. - Based in Santa Monica, CA, this company has been in business more than 50 years and offers a full range of gold coins and bars from mints around the globe. You can purchase online or through a sales rep by calling 1-800-963-9798.
- The Tulving Co. - Based in Newport Beach, CA, Tulving provides 24-hour sales and service, tracking trading and price quotes in markets around the globe. U.S. and Canadian investors can call 1-800-995-1708.
Physical gold provides a long-term store of value, but it does carry one added risk - the potential for confiscation, much like what happened in 1933.
That possibility is quite real. As such, if you're seriously considering gold as a hedge against future U.S. political or economic uncertainty, you might consider a storage site for your coins or bars in Canada or elsewhere offshore.
One added note for coin buyers: If what you want is a true hedge against turmoil, inflation and a weakening dollar, stay away from "collectible" gold pieces.
While such coins are beautiful and their value will no doubt increase along with gold bullion, those values are subjective, they carry far higher premiums than bullion coins and they're much harder to sell on short notice.
However you choose to invest, gold's drivers indicate it is ready to make the next surge up.
One gold catalyst that I didn't mention is the threat of another stock market crash. In fact, the next one will make 2008's look mild. Bernanke knows that he's responsible for our fiscal situation, which is why he's making plans. He's hitting the exits right as the next crisis approaches.
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