Hey all, we're mid week in a Holiday shortened market week. On Friday, the US markets are closed for Good Friday, and I'm happy about that. If we can close for significant people, we can certainly close for God and son.
Now I'm sure you looked at the headline of the article and figure that I lost my last marble. Deflation? Isn't that where prices of things come down? Indeed it is. And like the housing bubble of 2005 - 2007, this time will probably be no different. ( pay attention to that word probably, I'll come back to it later in this piece)
The biggest cure for high prices, is indeed high prices. When prices of things get too far out of whack, markets have an interesting way of putting them back in whack.
Naturally there's multiple mechanisms at work, but the bottom line is that there always comes a point, where "things" are just too expensive to be purchased. Then, things sit on shelves and ultimately have to be "marked down." This is going to happen again. But, and this is the big elephant... we probably have to endure something akin to a hyper inflation, before we get the big bust and everything falls down.
Right now, we've still got supply chain issues, manufacturing issues, etc. to deal with. Take China and their lockdown of tens of millions of people. NONE of those people are producing products that will end up on Wal-Mart's shelf. So, the products that are there or are in transit, will demand higher prices. No doubt.
But trees don't grow to the moon, and everything eventually reverts to the mean. Always and forever. The twist this time, is that the reasons for the hyper inflation, aren't rooted in the public doing incredibly stupid things. Think back to the "Tulip mania" of the 1600's. I don't know what kind of mushrooms they were snorting during that period, but people were giving up family farms for one tulip bulb. Peak insanity.
That's it, that's the story. Okay, so what am I going off about here? Let's chat...
As any of you who have read my rantings for any length of time knows, I still have a masochistic love for gold and silver. I say that jokingly, since in reality, both have done pretty darned well if your time horizon is long enough.
When we first started pushing the idea for gold, back in the early 2000's it was under 300 bucks an ounce. So seeing it 20 years later at 1800, isn't a bad return. I was later to the silver party, getting involved there in the 07-09 area. But there too, we've done pretty well.
Many of you longer term readers will remember the two "Vegas plays" we did. By using a ladder of silver miners, the first play took 30 grand to 1.2 million. The second one several years later took 19 grand to 246 thousand. They were nice and boy I'd sure love to see the silver situation allow for a repeat of those good times.
I am not at all suggesting we're ready to whip up another Vegas play here, not yet. But I do think the building blocks are being assembled as we speak. I want you to consider a few things.
First off, silver has indeed done fairly well over the past several months. It was trading in the 18's in September and has recently flirted with 24. So it's been fairly perky. But it isn't the price that's got me the most interested, no it's the demand. We'll get back to that in a minute....
Gold has also done well lately. In October gold was trading in the 1600's and has recently flirted with 1900. Now, gold is the one that always gets the catchy headlines. When it was reported that China had bought up a whopping 30 tonnes of the stuff in December, after buying 32 tonnes of it in November, it made headlines from Bloomberg to Forbes.
Why are they buying it? What's China's angle? Is China trying to make its yuan convertible to gold, etc etc. The articles were fast and furious.
I had way more responses to my article about silver the other day than I expected. Why? Well, it’s not like I haven’t written about the stuff like a zillion times in the past, so I figured most folks knew my stance on things, and why I still think it’s one of the most undervalued commodities on earth.
But, as I said I got a lot of emails, a lot of questions and so I think I’ll use today to talk about them.
First off, the silver/gold miner stocks. Yes I like them. But NEVER get it in your head that any stock is safe. I repeat, any stock. Companies blow up, CEO’s get caught fondling kids, probable ounces in the ground get proven to be less than thought, their debt could catch up with them, I could go on and on. We “TRADE” the mining stocks. But they are not the same as having physical metal. You don’t “set it and forget it” with the miners. For maximum safety, you want physical.
Which of course brought up another question.
I appreciate your emails/articles about finance, life and more. I read your recent email on silver and while I would like to have more silver in my portfolio my issue is where do I store it?
I am not comfortable keeping large amounts of silver in the house. Not comfortable having large amounts in a safety deposit box in a bank so where? I would prefer my home not be a target for thieves if I can prevent it.
Well Lewis, it’s like this. Anything you can’t stand over and protect with a gun in your hand…do you really own it? Safe deposit boxes are NO good. First off, most banks say you can’t store precious metals in them and secondly, what happens if the system goes down, and banks fold up? Did you know they’re legally allowed to go through your deposit box? Indeed.
Yes there are silver and gold storage companies, with mega high tech security, and each ounce you send there is registered, etc. But is that ideal? Do you want your silver sitting in a guarded establishment in say Nebraska, but you live in Florida? What if this whole world goes mad max, there’s no postal service/no UPS, no gasoline to drive there?
The secret to storing metals at “home” is you have to be concerned about 1) theft, and 2) especially if you have some cash along with your metals, is fire. So, how do we get around this? The theft part is relatively easy. First off, tell NO ONE that you own any. Why would anyone suspect that you’ve got enough precious metal, to want to come to your house? Don’t tell a soul you have metal at home. No one, including your kids. Secondly, consider shipping it to an elderly relatives place instead of yours. Even they don’t need to know what you’ve been sent, you can tell them it’s a heavy box of ammo or what have you. When it shows up, you go get it. That way, even if the UPS driver took note of a precious metal deliver and told his friends, it wouldn’t be “there.”