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Thursday, 5 June 2008

Gold

What is the biggest mistake you can make with your money in 2008? Ignoring gold, silver and their related inflation hedges can lose you more money than all the other mistakes you can make put together, except for playing the roulette table in Vegas.

Once in a lifetime, there comes a chance to turn a relatively small amount of money into a fortune, and this is one of them. We are in the early stages of a massive multi-year bull market in the metals. The supply-demand situation beggars belief. This is as close to riskless as anything I have ever recommended in 31 years of publishing The Ruff Times. You can put a list of mining stocks on the wall, throw a dart at them, invest in the holes and make a lot of money, in effect creating your personal mutual fund. When the wind blows, even the turkeys fly. Of course you can make lot more money picking the sheep from the goats, and that is what the Ruff Times is for, separating the biggest winners from the holes in the ground surrounded by liars.

A word of caution: all my words of advice are for the long term only. In the short term, gold and silver can do anything, go anywhere. In the last bull market of the ‘70s-‘80s gold went from $120 to $850, but there were discouraging retreats of as much as 30% several times along the way. It was attacked by speculators, central banks, and even Uncle Sam through Jimmy Carter. But gold and silver prevailed, even though chickens bailed out from time to time. I was new to the advice business back then, and even I got scared out once for a little while.

Actually, this is “déjà vu all over again,” as said the master of malapropism, Yogi Berra. It’s an eerie repeat of the 1970s, only more so. All the same factors that drove that historic 1970s bull market are back, only a lot more so; an explosion of money creation by the Federal Reserve that is so great they have even stopped publishing a monthly report on M-3, the most trustworthy measure of changes in the money supply. I guess they no longer know, or don’t want you to know, the embarrassing numbers.

Actually, it’s worse than that. Did you know that the phrase “printing press” no longer means much when it comes to money? Actually, less than five percent of the money is actually minted, printed or coined! The rest of it is in cyberspace, created at the Federal Reserve, or by commercial banks. The amount is beyond comprehension. This process is called “monetary inflation,” and that is what ultimately drives price inflation and drives gold and silver. The more money is created, the higher go the precious metals.

Also, they react to the prospect of war, or actual war itself, and America has never been more threatened by war that will affect us at home than we are now, by terrorism and nuclear proliferation by rogue nations.

History tells us that ever since the invention of Guttenberg’s movable type press, and the subsequent development of paper currency. The average time each currency lasts is 50 to 75 years before the world is littered in dead paper currencies, and until we invent a new one, gold and silver coins reign supreme, but not before they soar to the moon in value. There is not a time in human history when gold and silver have not been considered real wealth and instinctively turned to when paper decorated with ink has become so much confetti.

How long will it take us, and are we near the brink? No one knows. We have become immensely sophisticated at postponing the inevitable. It might be five years, ten years, or twenty-five or fifty years before the inevitable drama plays out. But play out it will.

In the meantime, we will make a bundle in the metals and their derivatives. In fact, they will be a new way for the middle class to in effect print money, and in dollar terms, the metals are going to the moon. $2500 gold or $125 silver anyone? And what about 500% to 2000% profits in the next few years. That is written in cement over the next few years – or in gold or silver.

By Howard Ruff
The Ruff Times

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