Precious Metals

     

 

 

Incrementum Advisory Board Meeting of 31 July 2019

At the end of July the Advisory Board of the Incrementum Fund held its quarterly meeting (a full transcript is available for download at the end of this post). The board was joined by special guest Simon Mikhailovich, a financial market veteran who inter alia co-founded the Toqueville Bullion Reserve. The title of the transcript and this post was inspired by his remarks.

 

Special guest Simon Mikhailovich

 

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An Era of Low Time Preference

Last week the price of gold moved up another $16, and the price of silver was up $0.14.

 

10-year treasury note yield since 1999 – it is almost back at the multi-decade low of 2016. The only other time in history when US treasury yields were this low was in 1944-1945, when the Fed was actively suppressing yields in order to provide cheap financing for the war effort. One year later (from mid 1946 to mid 1947) the CPI jumped to more than 17% per year. By 1951 it had reached 21%. At that point the Fed and the US Treasury finally agreed that the Fed should stop pegging long term treasury yields – which promptly proceeded to rise relentlessly for the next three decades. [PT]

 

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A Myriad of Reasons to Buy Gold – But Small Holders are Selling

Big moves occurred in the prices of the metals last week, with that of gold up $57 and silver $0.77. We have now reached a price of gold (if not silver) not seen since 2013, when it was on the way down. What is causing this sudden spike in price and renewed interest in gold?

 

A well-known depiction of investor emotions over a complete market cycle. Interestingly, it appears as though many retail gold holders who held on to their gold through the 2011-2015 bear market are now selling, just as the market has reached what is normally considered to be the “hope” stage. Ironically, this is actually good news from a contrarian perspective. [PT]

 

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A Record Amount of Bonds with Negative Yields to Maturity

Last week the price of gold went up $22, while the price of silver dropped ¢17. The big news last week was that the yield on all German government bond maturities is now negative. They are also all negative in Switzerland. And in Denmark, all maturities out to 20 years are negative. Interest rates are dropping rapidly in the US as well.

 

More than $14 trillion in bonds now trade at negative yields to maturity – with more than 25% of all “investment grade” bonds afflicted with this policy-induced malady. This is essentially ensuring accelerated capital consumption. As you can probably guess, prosperity is not going to increase as a result. [PT]

 

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Spoofers vs. the Underlying Trend

The price of gold fell seven bucks, but the price of silver was up $0.16. In other words, the gold-silver ratio did a little more reverting to that long-forgotten mean.

 

Launceston Castle in Cornwall, an example of a motte and baley fortification. The castle was built in 1067-1071 AD, either by the Count of Mortain (the half-brother of William the Conqueror) or Brian of Brittany. [PT]

Photo credit: P. Vincent

 

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Speculators Finally Wade Into Silver

Well, wasn’t this an interesting week! The price of gold was up a pedestrian $10, mere noise in the long-term signal. But in silver, we see plus one dollar. It was practically inevitable with the gold-silver ratio at an all-time high, after a big run up in the gold price with no corresponding run in silver.

 

1000 oz. good delivery silver bars – one COMEX futures contract refers to five of these shiny door stops. Recommendation: do not let them fall on your toes. [PT]

 

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Gold vs Other Assets

The prices of the metals went up +$15 and +$0.23. We will be brief this week, as Keith just got off a 17-hour flight from Perth to London.

Stocks continue their march upwards. And hence the gold price seems stalled—or is it? It may seem like gold goes up, when stocks go down and vice versa. That’s been the recent pattern. Why should people own money without return, when stocks are where the action is?

 

Gold-SPX ratio: in long-term gold bull markets, this ratio will trend higher. It has recently made a secondary, higher low, but not yet a higher high – which will be required to confirm a new bull market trend. In the short term, gold and stocks can be positively correlated, but in the long term they are antagonists (a rising gold price denotes rising demand for money, which usually coincides with falling demand for “risk assets” such as stocks). [PT]

 

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Too Much Excitement?

The prices of the metals fell last week, with that of gold -$9 and silver -$0.32. Of course, it was a week of stock market exuberance. Why would anyone want to own money, or seek safety when the Fed can seemingly push interest down / assets up indefinitely? As the old TV ad for Lotto proclaimed “you gotta be in it, to win it!”

 

“Stablecoin” Tether is used as a dollar stand-in on cryptocurrency exchanges that offer no fiat currency pairs. There has been a lot of speculation about the extent to which Tether is actually backed by US dollars. Despite these rumors and a recent admission by the company managing Tether that is is actually not fully backed with USD, it continues to be popular. It should be noted that BTC has a market cap of USD 224 billion and daily trading volume of USD 25 billion. [PT]

 

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Investments vs. Money

Last week the price of gold went up another $11, but the price of silver dropped 4 cents. The gold-silver ratio hit another new high, up another point, though down from Tuesday’s high water mark.

This obviously was not the week that wage-earners increased their money holdings or that institutions expressed a preference for the bargain of silver.

 

Prosperity is just around the corner… and so is the trade deal. [PT]

 

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Maurice Jackson Interviews Rick Rule

Rick Rule is a renowned investor in junior resource stocks. He is currently working for Sprott USA. Recently Maurice Jackson of Proven and Probable sat down with him for an extensive interview which you can watch below.

 

Rick Rule, legendary resource stock investor

 

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Buyers of Gold vs. Buyers of Silver

Wow! What a week for dollar! It dropped a whole milligram from 23.2 to 22.2mg gold. The dollar is now at its lowest level in years, and on the verge of breaking down.

 

Silver, the precious metal of the common man [PT]

 

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Silver Price Driven by Reservation Demand

The price of gold went up a buck last week, but the price of silver dropped back 13 cents. And the gold-silver ratio marches further upwards.

Keith spoke at a conference this week, about how to analyze the fundamentals of supply and demand in gold and silver. He talked about the basis of course.

 

Silver coins – silver prices are partly influenced by an industrial demand component, but the fact that they move most of the time with the price of gold indicates that the main price driver remains reservation demand by investors. [PT]

 

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