Record Unemployment Claims and Oil's Best Day Ever
A head-spinning 6.6 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits this week bringing the two-week total to 10 million. That’s more than the combined populations of Los Angeles and Chicago.
These U.S. Companies Have the Highest Debt-to-Equity Ratios Right Now
U.S. companies have never had so much debt on their books as they do now.
Congress and the Fed Just Opened the Stimulus Floodgates
On Friday, Congress approved and President Trump signed into law a $2.2 trillion emergency stimulus package, the largest in U.S. history. Most American adults will be receiving a one-time payment of $1,200 in cash.
America Will Come Out of This Stronger Than Ever. It's Done It Before
This week, residents of San Antonio, Texas, home to U.S. Global Investors, were ordered to work from home, with some exceptions. Like countless people in other parts of the country and world, our team has had to quickly and nimbly adapt to a new normal, and to be innovative in the face of new challenges.
A $10 Trillion Response to the Global Pandemic
These extreme measures appear to be having great success, particularly in Asian countries. Whereas the number of cases continues to rise in Italy, Spain, Iran and elsewhere, the number has begun to stabilize, if not plateau, in Asian countries.
Keep Calm, Bear Markets Are Temporary
That was President Donald Trump on Monday, responding to a question on whether the U.S. economy could be sliding into a recession.
Should You Buy the Panic?
Compared to past viral outbreaks, COVID-19 appears to be less fatal, yet it has received far more media coverage. Paradoxically, that may be part of the reason why it’s had a much bigger impact on public health and the economy relative to those other diseases.
Warren Buffett Bets Big on Airlines
Warren Buffett boosted his stake in Delta Air Lines by 976,000 shares last week, raising his total holdings to 17.9 million shares. This was enough to bring Buffett’s ownership of Delta up to more than 11 percent.
Here's Why You Shouldn't Panic Over China's Factory Slowdown
Chinese manufacturing activity slumped to a record low in February as the coronavirus outbreak temporarily shuttered plants and factories and travel restrictions impacted the supply of labor.
Looking for Buying Opportunities After the Historical Selloff
Commodities look oversold right now, meaning there could be some potentially attractive buying opportunities. Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, traded below $50 per barrel on Friday for the first time since July 2017, while copper remained mostly range-bound.
Gold Set to Test $1,700 Resistance as U.S. Yields Fall to Record Lows
I don’t know about you, but I never thought I’d see the day when the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond dipped below 2 percent, let alone 1.8 percent.
Investors Are Piling Into Safe Havens on Coronavirus Fears
Gold mining stocks have broken out, with several hitting new 52-week highs this week. Gold royalty and streaming companies, including Franco-Nevada and Wheaton Precious Metals, also hit fresh 52-week highs.
Why We're Pivoting Into Renewable Energy
Bernard Looney, BP’s new chief executive, wants to cut his company’s greenhouse gas emissions down to zero by 2050. To do that, the world’s sixth-largest energy company is committing itself to massive investment in renewable energy, including wind, solar and biofuels.
Where to Get Income in a Low-Yield World
So far in 2020, the yield on the 10-year Treasury has averaged 0.01 percent when adjusted for inflation. Since the end of January, it’s actually dipped below 0 percent, trading as low as negative 0.14 percent on January 31.
Gold Projected to Beat the Market in 2020: CLSA
CLSA predicts that the price of gold will beat the S&P 500 in 2020. The Hong Kong investment firm has an impressive track record when it comes to making market predictions—last year it had a 70 percent hit rate—so it may be prudent to take this one seriously.
Putting the Coronavirus in Perspective: Hong Kong and Chinese Stocks
The number of confirmed infections of the coronavirus in mainland China crossed above 24,000 on February 5, having already surpassed the total number of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) cases from 2003.
Nontraditional Funds Took the Stage at World’s Biggest ETF Conference
Two topics seemed to dominate at this year’s Inside ETFs conference: the rise of ESG investing, and the emergence of so-called “nontransparent” ETFs. Both promise some big changes to financial markets.
Explore the World's 10 Busiest Airports
Although air travel isn’t off to a great start this year, largely due to airlines canceling flights on fears of the coronavirus spreading further outside China, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts 2020 to be strong in terms of travel demand.
New Beginnings With the Year of the Rat
Because it’s the first of the 12 zodiacs, the Year of the Rat is seen as a time of beginnings and renewals. That brings us hope, especially paired with the recent positive development in the U.S.-China trade war.
Bitcoin Has Its Best Start to a Year Since 2012
Among the biggest contributors to the bitcoin rally is the hope that 2020 could finally see institutional investors move into the digital field en masse, prompted by growing client demand and more attractive ways to get exposure.
"Buy-and-Hold" Has Historically Been a Winning Investment Strategy
One of the biggest concerns some investors might have right now is that the U.S. business cycle is maturing and possibly reaching its “natural end.”
Dollar Weakness Could Be the Catalyst Commodities Are Looking For
On Tuesday of this week, the U.S. dollar experienced a “death cross,” a bearish signal that takes places when an asset’s 50-day moving average crosses below its 200-day moving average. We haven’t seen this from the greenback since May 2017.
Tariffs Are Having a Bigger Effect on U.S. Manufacturing Than Initially Thought
The U.S. manufacturing sector contracted for the fifth straight month in December, with the monthly reading from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) hitting its weakest point in more than 10 years.
America Remains the Land of Opportunity. For Everything Else, There's Gold
I’m optimistic that the U.S. will stand as a beacon of freedom and opportunity in the 2020s and beyond, but with more and more younger Americans supporting socialism over capitalism, I believe it prudent to proceed with caution. That means making sure you’re holding some gold in your portfolio.
5 of the Biggest Financial Stories From 2019
What were the top financial news stories of 2019? To answer that question, Frank looks back at his five most visited articles from the year that was.
The U.K. Just Said No to EU Socialism. Will U.S. Voters Do the Same in 2020?
Imagine you wake up tomorrow from a three and a half-year coma. Everything that’s happened in the meantime—the election of Donald Trump, impeachment, Brexit and more—is a complete mystery to you.
The U.K. Just Said No to Socialism. Will U.S. Voters Do the Same in 2020?
Boris Johnson’s victory bodes well for Trump in 2020. The British PM’s Conservative party toppled the so-called “red wall,” winning seats across rural, working-class North and Midlands counties that had for decades been considered safe Labour territory.
Here's What the Trucking Industry Could Learn From Airlines
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times—for American trucking companies. This year alone, nearly 800 U.S.-based trucking companies have gone bankrupt. That’s almost three times the rate as in 2018, when things were looking remarkably positive.
Expecting a Market Downturn? Make Sure You’re Following the “Noah Rule”
Predicting a major economic or financial event—whether that’s a recession, market downturn or even your own retirement—requires that you also take action. Otherwise your prediction was meaningless.
Is the Fed Gearing Up for a New Round of Quantitative Easing? Here Are the Possible Signs
“This is not QE. In no sense is this QE.” That was Jerome Powell in early October, answering a reporter’s question on whether the Federal Reserve’s intervention in the overnight U.S. repo market constituted another round of quantitative easing (QE).
Supercharge Your Gold Position With Precious Metal Royalty Companies
One of the best ways to “supercharge” your gold position is with precious metal royalty and streaming companies. Think Franco-Nevada, Wheaton Precious Metals, Royal Gold and others.
Will the Real Manufacturing PMI Please Stand Up?
It’s the top of a new month, meaning we get to see the latest manufacturing purchasing manager’s index (PMI) readings. And if you follow both the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and IHS Markit’s reports on U.S. factory activity, you may be getting some mixed signals.
Need-to-Know Numbers You Might Have Missed This Week
As Thanksgiving comes to an end, and the busy holiday shopping season begins, here are some need-to-know numbers you may have missed from this past week.
This Economic Indicator Is Proving the Naysayers Wrong
Flying in the face of negative economic news, U.S. factories picked up steam for the third straight month in November.
This Economic Indicator Is Proving the Naysayers Wrong
Although the PMI report is encouraging, there’s still reason to remain somewhat cautious long-term. The latest accounting of global debt levels was just released, and the news might be so bad that it’s good—for gold prices, at least.
What's With All the Mass Protests? (Hint: It's Not About Income Inequality)
Quick! What do Hong Kong, Chile, Ecuador and Lebanon all have in common with one another?
What's With All the Mass Protests? (Hint: It's Not About Income Inequality)
The media’s inequality narrative completely ignores the fact that the global demonstrations are, at the end of the day, in response to government incompetence and failed socialist policies.
China's Ultra Wealthy Are Dominating the Global Luxury Market
It’s hard to believe now, but the very first Singles Day in 2009 generated only about $7 million for Chinese mega-retailer Alibaba. No one could have guessed then that, 10 years later, the 24-hour shopping event would see that sales figure surge to an all-time record of $38.4 billion, an unbelievable multiple of 5,471.
Should You Buy the Saudi Aramco IPO?
This is an absolute monarchy we’re talking about, after all, and so global investors should not expect to have any shareholder rights. Aramco’s board of directors will have a fiduciary duty to MBS and any future monarch, not to investors. This has some serious implications.
Australia May Be the Saving Grace for the Rare Earth Metals Market
When Colorado-based Molycorp Inc. filed for bankruptcy in 2015, the U.S. lost its sole remaining miner and producer of rare earth elements (REEs)—those inconspicuous metals with unpronounceable names like praseodymium, yttrium and gadolinium.
You’re Probably Underinvested in Gold
Investors may assume they have adequate exposure to gold because they’re invested in a commodities fund. But many of these funds have a relatively small weighting in gold, and so their gold exposure is much smaller than they realized.
3 Emerging Europe Stocks We're Bullish On Right Now
The U.S. stock market has been hitting new all-time highs thanks to lower rates, positive earnings surprises and optimism that a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war comes sooner rather than later. But don’t let that distract you from exciting things that are happening in overseas markets, specifically in Eastern and Emerging European countries.
This Legendary Commodities Fund Is Closing. Here's What That Could Mean for Investors
What was once the world’s largest commodities hedge fund is officially closing, creating new opportunities for some investors to get exposure to raw materials and mining using other funds. According to Bloomberg, Blenheim Capital Management’s CEO and chief investment officer, Willem Kooyker, is calling it quits after a 50-year money management career that made him a legend in oil, metals and agricultural markets.
The Opportunities Go to Those Who Can See Past the Negative Headlines
We focus on fundamentals such as moving averages and standard deviation. We follow leading indicators such as the purchasing manager’s index (PMI) and consumer confidence index. These factors are many times more effective than the headline news at shining a light on the right path.
This Legendary Commodities Fund Is Closing. Here's What That Could Mean for Investors
What was once the world’s largest commodities hedge fund is officially closing, creating new opportunities for some investors to get exposure to raw materials and mining using other funds.
If You’re Not Long, You’re Wrong
I remain bullish going forward despite signs that the world could be facing its worst economic slowdown since the financial crisis. The reason for my bullishness is simple: Bad news is good news.
The Barriers to Investing in Private Equity Are Too High
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and for that we can largely blame policies of envy that increasingly restrict investors’ access to wealth-building instruments.
The Optimist’s Guide to Airlines, Crypto Mining and Gold
Tourism has traditionally helped peace and understanding spread across borders, and we’re hopeful that it will do the same today. It’s also good for commerce, especially for airlines and the travel industry in general.
October Volatility Got You Spooked? Keep Calm and Don't Jinx Yourself
For reasons unknown, October has historically been the most volatile month for the stock market—by a goodly margin. Between 1950 and the end of 2017, the S&P 500 Index saw as many as 362 trading days during the month of October in which the market moved up or down more than 1 percent.
Here’s Why the Number of Conventional Oil Discoveries Just Hit a 70-Year Low
In the past three years, oil and gas discoveries made by conventional means have fallen to an incredible seven-decade low. What’s more, a “significant rebound is not expected,” says IHS Markit. Find out what’s driving discoveries lower!
70 Years Later, China's Factories Show No Signs of Slowing
As the People’s Republic of China (PRC) celebrates its 70th anniversary, manufacturing data shows that factories in the world’s second largest economy improved marginally in September, despite the impact of the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.
Gold: The Unimpeachable Commodity Investment
History shows that presidential impeachments have had minimal impact on markets. We believe there are bigger risks to consider, including a potential German recession and record global debt. Against this background, gold can help improve a portfolio’s risk-adjusted returns.
Pierre Lassonde Says Gold Could Hit $25,000 in 30 Years
“I think gold is in a good place,” Pierre Lassonde, co-founder of Franco-Nevada, said this week at the Denver Gold Forum. Looking ahead 30 years, Pierre believes the yellow metal could average $12,500 an ounce—and may even hit $25,000!
3 Reasons Why I See Further Upside Potential for Gold Prices
Gold may be off its 52-week highs, but the precious metal is still up more than 15 percent for the year through September 17. This appears to put gold on a path for its best year since 2010, when it gained just under 30 percent.
Look Which Precious Metal Is Beating Warren Buffett…
The price of gold has beaten the S&P 500 Index over a number of different time periods, even the century (so far!). The yellow metal, however, has also outperformed arguably the greatest living investor, Warren Buffett.
Top 10 Countries with Largest Gold Reserves
Beginning in 2010, central banks around the world turned from being net sellers of gold to net buyers of gold. In 2018, official sector activity rose 46 percent to 536 tonnes – the second highest level of demand this century.
Chinese Factories Beat Expectations as U.S. Manufacturing Lagged
The trade war between the world’s two largest economies entered its 18th month in September with the U.S. imposing fresh 15 percent tariffs on $125 billion worth of goods imported from China. China retaliated in kind, but a breakthrough could happen sooner rather than later.
Global Debt, Trade Deficits and the Psychology of Politicians
For fiscal year 2020, the federal budget deficit is expected to hit a massive $1 trillion—the first time in U.S. history that it will have expanded so rapidly in a time of peace and economic stability.
The Power of Scarcity
There are a number of lessons investors can learn from the sensation that is the Popeyes chicken sandwich. One of those lessons is that people often put a premium on scarcity.
Gold Stocks Have Shimmered With Gold's Rally
Gold has continued to hit new six-year highs and was trading at $1,544 per ounce as of August 29. The yellow metal has surged so far in 2019 in part due to global economic concerns like the U.S.-China trade war, record levels of negative-yielding debt globally and signs of manufacturing slowdowns in major economies – to name a few.
Are All Your Ducks in a Row? Positioning Your Portfolio for the Market’s Next Move
As the topic of recession remains top of mind for many investors, now is the opportune time to consider preparing your portfolio in the event of a pullback.
How Will Airports Keep Up With Travel Demand?
Carriers have added more capacity. With the exception of JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines, capacity as measured by seats on all domestic carriers is up from 2018. The big four airlines – United, Delta, American and Southwest – as seen in the chart below, account for more than 81 percent of domestic airline capacity.
Protect Your Wealth Against the Law of Unintended Consequences
More than a year after the start of the U.S.-China trade war, we’re finally starting to see consumer prices increase. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, rose to a six-month high of 2.2 percent year-over-year in July.
With Yields Sinking Everywhere, Gold Just Hit New All-Time Highs…
Gold headed for its best week in nearly two months as the value of negative-yielding debt touched a new record of $15 trillion. The 10-year Treasury yield fell below 2 percent, pushing gold above $1,500 an ounce for the first time since September 2013.
It's an All-Out Currency War! What Are Your Next Moves?
Be that as it may, China’s central bank on Monday allowed its currency, the renminbi, also known as the yuan, to weaken past 7.0 versus the dollar, a level unseen since 2008. A weaker currency gives China certain advantages over the U.S., including making its goods more competitively priced for foreign buyers.
Rate Cuts, Trade Wars and Gold: 5 Things Every Investor Should Know Right Now
Say what you will about this past week, it certainly wasn’t dull. The Federal Reserve, seemingly capitulating to President Donald Trump and Wall Street, became just the latest central bank to cut interest rates.
Follow the Trend Lines, Not the Headlines
I’m a firm believer that your thoughts manifest your future. It’s very hard to make money and be successful when you’re always expecting the worst to happen.
How Bank Closures Could Be Giving Rise to Digital Currencies
There may come a time, sooner than you think, when the world economy simply cannot operate to its full potential without bitcoin, Facebook’s proposed Libra or some other large-scale digital currency.
Gold Heats Up and Silver Joins the Race
Now that gold has broken through the $1,450 an ounce level, a six-high year high, the next big test is $1,500. And as I’ve said before, it can do this in the blink of an eye under the right conditions.
Oil Is Fueling the Commodities Rally: 2019 Halftime Report
Commodities were on mostly sound footing in the first half of 2019. The S&P GSCI returned more than 13 percent as of June 30, one of the best first six months in recent memory. It was not without its challenges, though.
Here’s What the Market Did EVERY TIME the Fed Cut Rates During an Economic Expansion
When the Fed began a new easing cycle while the economy was expanding, stocks went up 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months later
This Mining Company Is Back to Creating Value for Investors
As many of you know, I serve as interim CEO and chairman of HIVE Blockchain Technologies, the first publicly traded company involved in the mining of cryptocurrencies.
This Mining Company Is Back to Creating Value for Investors
I’m very pleased to say that a satisfactory agreement was reached between HIVE and its strategic partner, Genesis Mining, so that the company can once again return to creating value for its shareholders.
It's Time We Talked About Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)
Advocates of MMT insist that governments can and should print as much money as needed to fund massive public works, guarantee government jobs for the unemployed and much more. This is a recipe for runaway hyperinflation.
How to Get Access to Small-Cap Gold Mining Stocks
With the price of gold trading above $1,430 an ounce as of June 25, now might be a good time for generalist investors to consider getting exposure to the yellow metal.
Gold Just Breached $1,400. What’s Next for the Yellow Metal?
After breaking out of a five-year trading range this week, gold surged above $1,400 for the first time since 2013 on expectations of a U.S. rate cut. Meanwhile, the global pool of negative-yielding bonds hit a fresh record high $13 trillion.
Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency Is the Future of Fintech
Facebook, you’ve come a long way. From its humble beginnings as a platform to stalk your high school girlfriend, the social media giant has evolved to become one of the world’s largest and most influential advertisers, news aggregators and data gatherers.
Billionaire Investor: “Gold Has Everything Going For It”
Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones, founder of and hedge fund manager at Tudor Investment Corp., said this week that geopolitical disruptions have made gold his favorite trade for the next 12 to 24 months.
What a U.S. Rate Cut Could Mean for Gold Prices
Stocks surged last Friday following a U.S. jobs report that, to put it mildly, fell far below expectations. At first, this might seem counterintuitive. Shouldn’t signs of a slowing economy act as a wet blanket on Wall Street?
Put Your Trust in Gold
As an investor, I continue to have great faith in gold as a store of value during times of economic and geopolitical uncertainty. It’s behaved precisely as I expect it to.
What Tariffs and the NBA Finals Mean for Gold’s Rally
Americans’ trust in institutions, from the federal government to the news media, has been deteriorating for decades. But I continue to have great faith in gold as a store of value during times of economic and geopolitical uncertainty.
Global Manufacturers Just Shrank for the First Time in Seven Years
Perhaps surprising no one, global manufacturers are now in contraction mode for the first time since 2012. That’s according to the most recent reading of the sector’s health, the purchasing manager’s index (PMI), which headed lower for a record 13th straight month in May.
Will Trump Be a One-Term President Because of Mexican Tariffs?
Tariffs are paid by U.S.-based importing companies, which pass the extra expenses on to the end consumer. As such, tariffs are inflationary, and historically, that’s been good for gold
Should Investors Get Excited About Rare Earth Metals?
The 17 so-called “rare earth metals,” of which the three mentioned above are members, may not have household names like gold or copper, but they play strong supporting roles in many of the consumer electronics we enjoy on a daily basis, from our TVs to smartphones.
Double Whammy: Fed Policy and the U.S.-China Trade War
May’s “flash” index of U.S. manufacturers registered a sharp decline to 50.6. This is only a preliminary reading, but if it turns out to be accurate, it would mark the slowest growth in the domestic manufacturing industry since September 2009
How to Unrig the Gold Market, According to GATA's Chris Powell
In an earlier post, I gave you a sneak preview of my interview with Chris Powell, secretary/treasurer at Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA). For 20 years now, Chris and others at GATA have made it their mission to expose collusion by international financial institutions to control the price and supply of gold.
Yes, Gold Is Being Manipulated. But to What Extent?
Another day, another banking scandal. Last week the European Commission announced that it’s fining five big banks for rigging the international foreign exchange (forex) market.
Yes, Gold Is Being Manipulated. But to What Extent?
The suppression of the gold price is not just a conspiracy theory. It’s a well-documented phenomenon, with real actors and real ramifications. The best people to speak to about this subject are the folks at the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee.
These Three Charts Will Convince Investors That Time May Be Running Out
Stocks sold off this week on news of fresh U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, and are now officially in oversold territory. Our proprietary sentiment indicator fell to 20 percent, showing that the market is at its most oversold since July 2018.
How to Limit Your Exposure to the U.S.-China Trade War
The U.S. economy is growing at one of the fastest rates in the developed world right now, and unemployment hit a nearly 50-year low of 3.6 percent in April. Under normal circumstances, this should boost demand for domestic equities.
Copper Well Positioned to Lead the Next Resource Cycle
Global copper capacity could be short some 41,000 tons by as early as 2021, says one commodities research firm. Meaning: We could be looking at another commodities super-cycle, with the red metal leading the way.
Hard Truths in Resource Investing, According to Bob Moriarty
I’ve known Bob for many years, and if there’s one thing he’s proven about himself time and again is that he doesn’t mince words. Nor should he.
Three Things Driving Oil Prices This Week
The big energy news this week is that President Donald Trump moved to end all sanction waivers for nations that import Iranian oil. In response, Brent crude oil hit $75 per barrel for the first time in six months this past week.
Invest in Optimism: A Conversation With Keith Fitz-Gerald
If you’re as much a consumer of financial news as I am, chances are very good you’ve seen Keith Fitz-Gerald as a regular contributor on Fox Business, CNBC and elsewhere. That, or read his invaluable market commentary online.
The Hunger for Muni Bonds (And Gold!) Is Real
Tax-free muni bonds saw $8.8 billion in inflows in the first quarter, beating U.S. equity funds and international equity funds. Investors were seeking stability as well as a strategy to counteract the changes to the tax code.
What’s the Second Best Performing Asset Since 1999?
For the 20-year period, gold as an asset class had the second best annualized returns at 7.7 percent, according to JPMorgan. The S&P 500, by comparison, returned only 5.6 percent on an annualized basis, with bonds coming in at 4.5 percent.
What You Need to Know About Indonesia Ahead of Next Week's Election
On Wednesday of next week, the world’s largest presidential election will be held. Voters in Indonesia will go to the polls to decide whether to give incumbent president Joko Widodo another five years, or elect former general Prabowo Subianto.
What Ballooning Corporate Debt Means for Investors
Research group Metals Focus released its Gold Focus report this week forecasting that global gold demand will climb to its highest level in four years. Plus, economist David Rosenberg shares what he thinks ballooning nonfinancial corporate debt means for investors.
China's Factories Power On for the First Time in Four Months
A resolution to the China-U.S. trade dispute is still in the works, but China’s manufacturing sector just returned to growth for the first time in four months, a sign that its government’s economic stimulus appears to be working.
Retire Happy With Dollar Cost Averaging
Worried about retirement but don’t know how to start building wealth? Dollar cost averaging allows you to put a long-term plan in place and let compound interest work its magic.
Gold Mining Stocks Are Surging on Global Economic Fears
Bond yields are crashing in major markets all around the world as fears of a global economic slowdown have prompted investors to seek shelter in low-risk government debt. Both Germany and Japan’s 10-year bond yields are back below zero, marking the first time we’ve seen German yields turn negative since October 2016.
7 Market-Moving Charts Investors Need to See
Today stocks erased their weekly gains and bond yields fell. Chief among the contributors were a Treasury yield curve inversion, the first since before the financial crisis, and continued slowdown in the pace of U.S. manufacturing expansion.
The Retirement Crisis Is Much Worse Than You Think
Are you sitting down for this? According to a recent survey, one in five American adults have nothing saved for retirement or emergencies. A further 20 percent have squirreled away only 5 percent or less of their annual income to meet certain financial goals. Less than a third of all Americans have saved at least 11 percent or more.
Gold Glimmers as the Pool of Negative-Yielding Debt Surges
The value of negative-yielding bonds around the world has ticked up to more than $9.32 trillion. Although still below the 2016 high, this indicates that investors fear global economic growth is slowing. Is this gold’s time to shine?
Gold Miners Are Finally Making Some Interesting Capital Investments
Last week I was pleased to attend the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto. PDAC is one of the largest mining conferences in the world. More than 25,000 people turned out this year, many of them selling equipment services, exhibiting securities and investments, making presentations and much more.
Don't Be Fooled by the Politics of Envy
Extremism at either end of the political spectrum can raise huge obstacles for business and investors. The difference, though, is that hard-left legislation seeks to punish wealth and prosperity through politics of envy.
Can the Bull Market Run for Another 10 Years?
The current stock bull market, already the longest in U.S. history, turns 10 years old this month. It’s been a phenomenally profitable time to participate, especially if you’ve stuck to an investment strategy that favors dividend-paying stocks.
Getting In on the Ground Floor With World-Class Companies
The metals and mining industry could be undergoing some dramatic changes in the near future, and it’s important for investors to get in on the ground floor. I’m proud of our track record of getting in early with a number of successful companies.
AI Will Add $15 Trillion to the World Economy by 2030
A couple of weeks ago, I introduced you to an exciting new company called GoldSpot Discoveries,conceived and headed by mining visionary Denis Laviolette. GoldSpot is the world’s first exploration company to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the discovery process for precious metals and other natural resources.
Would You Do This to Pay Zero Income Taxes for Life?
Hungary has a problem. Like many Eastern European and former Soviet countries, its population is shrinking thanks to a plunging birthrate and outmigration as young workers seek better opportunities and fatter salaries elsewhere in the European Union (EU).
Will 2019 Be the Year of King Copper?
This week Morgan Stanley projected a 14 percent upside for copper in 2019, based on a widening supply deficit and the surge in global demand for renewable energy and electric vehicles, both of which require tons of the red metal.
Gold Love Trade Could Set New Valentine's Spending Record
Consumers are set to spend more than $20 billion on Valentine’s gifts for the first time ever, thanks in part to a surge in gold jewelry demand—specifically, yellow gold.
This AI Company Is the Future of Gold Exploration
“Some people call it ‘peak gold,’ but I tend to think of it more as ‘peak discovery.’” Meet the brains behind Goldspot Discoveries, a first-of-its-kind quant shop that aims to use AI to revolutionize the mineral exploration business.
Will the China Bulls Turn Out for the Year of the Pig?
Happy Year of the Pig! This week marks the start of China’s Spring Festival, during which an estimated 3 billion trips will be made using the country’s massive transportation network of roads and rail.
These Emerging Markets Could Soar If the Dollar Falls
Last year was admittedly a tough one for emerging markets. A number of currencies were under considerable pressure, with some of them falling to record or near-record lows against the strong U.S. dollar.
Central Banks Haven’t Bought This Much Gold Since Nixon Was President
Last year was a watershed in the size of official gold purchases, as central banks added 651.5 tonnes to their holdings. Not only is this a remarkable 74 percent change from 2017, but it’s also the most on record going back to 1971.
What Headwinds? Airlines to Book Their 10th Straight Year of Profitability
Domestic airlines weren’t exempt from the rout that hit stocks in December, the market’s worst month since the Great Recession. Shares of all four major U.S. carriers—American, Delta, United Continental and Southwest—saw double-digit losses. Delta ended December down 17.8 percent, its worst month since October 2009, when it gave back 20.3 percent.
What Headwinds? Airlines to Book Their 10th Straight Year of Profitability
Global airlines are expected to log their 10th straight year of profitability—an industry first. And with incomes expanding worldwide, air travel demand is projected to outpace economic growth for the next couple of decades.
Why This Billionaire Just Bought Gold for the First Time in His Life
Billionaire Sam Zell just announced that he bought gold for the very first time in his life because, as he puts it, “it is a good hedge.” In a recent Bloomberg interview, the Equity International founder and creator of the real estate investment trust (REIT) admitted to seeing an opportunity in gold’s increasing supply shortage.
Europe’s Strict Emission Standards Drive Palladium Past Gold
Diesel engines have found themselves in the crosshairs lately, with a number of European cities banning them outright. One of the beneficiaries of this policy has been palladium, used mostly in the production of pollution-scrubbing catalytic converters.
The Newmont-Goldcorp Deal Is Positive News for Gold Mining
Consolidation season has finally arrived in the goldfields, just as many experts and analysts have been predicting for some time now. With exploration budgets having been slashed since their 2012 peak...
Gold and Commodities Set to Soar in 2019
Goldman Sachs is bullish on commodities and gold, recommending an overweight position for both. The investment bank also raised its 12-month price forecast for gold up to $1,425 an ounce, a level last seen in August 2013.
Is the Fed Done Hiking Rates? Watch the Price of Gold
One of the possible implications of a less aggressive Fed in 2019 is a weaker dollar. And once the dollar starts to lose ground relative to other world currencies, the price of gold could rocket up to as much as $1,500 in the blink of an eye.
Revisit My 5 Most Popular Posts of 2018
Looking back over the past 12 months, I’m not surprised to see that my five most popular and widely shared posts of 2018 involve gold (with one exception). With many stocks falling into correction territory or worse, the yellow metal emerged as a standout asset in the fourth quarter on safe haven demand.
Gold Is Beating the Market for the Month, Quarter, Year and Century
With only one trading day left in 2018, the price of gold has so far beaten the S&P 500 Index for the month of December, the fourth quarter and the year. What might surprise some readers is that it’s also outperformed the market for the century.
Gold Miners Are Crushing the Market in the Face of Higher Rates
Gold is back! So far this quarter, the yellow metal has crushed the market, returning around 6 percent versus negative 15 percent for the S&P 500 Index. Gold miners, though, have been the top performer, climbing a phenomenal 12.3 percent.
The Gold Bulls Just Regained the Upper Hand
Commodity traders appear excited about gold again as stocks are on pace for their worst year since 2008, and their worst December since 1931.
Christmas Comes Early for This Precious Metals Streaming Company
Wheaton Precious Metals announced that it reached a settlement with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA), the equivalent of the IRS. “We expect the stock to react positively to the news given the tax dispute was an overhang,” Credit Suisse analysts shared in a note to investors today.
No One Ever Said Brexit Was Going to Be Easy
If you followed some of my posts from two years ago, you might recall that I was in favor of Brexit. I still am. One of British voters’ main grievances was the heavy burden of European Union (EU) regulations, many of which are decided by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.
A New Wrinkle in the U.S.-China Trade Dispute
Stocks plunged this week on concerns that trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are not running as smoothly as initially thought. Adding to the uncertainty was news of the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer.
The Yield Curve Just Inverted for the First Time in Years. Time to Reconsider Risk?
One of the most reliable indicators of an economic slowdown just flashed a warning sign this week. On Monday, the yield curve between the five-year Treasury yield and three-year Treasury yield inverted, or turned negative, for the first time since 2007.
This Holiday Season, Make It Silver and Gold
Just in time for Hanukkah and Christmas, silver is on sale, trading at a little more than $14 an ounce. That’s the most affordable the white metal’s been in three years. Gifting your kids and grandkids coins made of precious metals such as gold or silver could end up becoming a fun new tradition in your family.
What Thanksgiving Cranberries and Bitcoin Have in Common
Like cranberry growers, many bitcoin miners are choosing to limit supply as current prices are lower than operating costs. Bitcoin fell below $5,000 on Monday and was trading around $4,250 on Friday. The average of mining a single bitcoin, meanwhile, is estimated to be between $6,000 and $7,000, meaning miners are operating at a loss.
Freezing Temperatures Could Heat Up Natural Gas Prices
Natural gas storage in the lower 48 states was below the five-year average as of October 31, according to the EIA. This, combined with a stronger-than-expected start to winter, prompted traders to push prices to a four-year high of $4.84 per MBtu. Meanwhile, natural gas futures trading hit an all-time daily volume record of 1.2 million contracts.
Midterm Elections: Gridlock Was the Best Possible Outcome
Celebrated value investor Benjamin Graham, who mentored a young Warren Buffett, liked to say that the market is a voting machine in the short term, a weighing machine in the long term. This week the market voted to reward stocks in the aftermath of the midterm elections, which gave Democrats control of the House and left the Senate in the hands of Republicans. This all but guarantees that gridlock will be the status quo in Washington, at least for the next two years.
India's Booming Economy Expected to Firm Up Gold Demand
Starting today, the five-day festival known as Diwali—literally, “a row of lights”—will be observed by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains worldwide. A celebration of good triumphing over evil, the festival typically coincides with the Hindu new year.
The “Black Swan” Author Just Issued a Powerful Warning About Global Debt
Speaking with Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker this week, Taleb said the reason why he has reservations about today’s economy is that it suffers from the “same disease” as before. The meltdown in 2007 was a “crisis of debt,” and if anything, the problem has only worsened.
Investing vs. Speculating: Why Knowing the Difference Is Key
As the stock market bull potentially nears the end of its run and we head into the last two months of 2018, many investors are making adjustments to their portfolios.
Take Advantage of Volatility with Active Management
Gold performed precisely as we would expect it to. The price of the yellow metal jumped above its 100-day moving average, a bullish sign that could mean further moves to the upside if market volatility persists. Today gold was trading at a three-month high of $1,246 an ounce.
6 Reasons Why Texas Trumps All Other U.S. Economies
As many of you reading this know, I’m what you would call a Tex-Can. I was born and raised in Canada, but I’ve called Texas home for nearly 30 years. I can’t picture U.S. Global Investors headquartered anywhere else, even after traveling to all parts of the country and, indeed, the world. Texas just “gets it,” ...
Here’s How Hungary Reduced Risk Without Forfeiting Returns
Hungary isn’t known today as one of the world’s top gold producing countries. There was a time, though, when it accounted for around three quarters of Europe’s entire output of the yellow metal, if you can believe it. According to historian Peter Sugar’s A History of Hungary, the central European country was a “veritable El Dorado” in the 14th century, and its gold pieces circulated widely across the entire continent, competing with those minted in Italy and England.
Take a Peek at What the Top 1 Percent Have in Savings
You’ve likely seen the reports: A whopping 44 percent of Americans wouldn’t be able to afford a $400 emergency expense without borrowing it or selling something. That’s according to the Federal Reserve’s findings in 2017. And earlier this year, financial services firm Bankrate reported that only 39 percent of Americans would be able to pay off an unexpected expense of $1,000 from their savings alone.
October Doesn’t Disappoint: Volatility Is Back After a Tranquil Third Quarter
According to the 2018 edition of the Stock Trader’s Almanac, October has been a “great” time to buy. Once ranked last in terms of stock performance, the 10th month has delivered relatively average returns since 1950. What makes it so attractive is that it’s followed by November and December, historically among the very best months for stocks. We’re also entering the three most bullish quarters of the four-year presidential cycle, based on 120 years of stock market data.
5 Charts That Show Why Gold Belongs in Your Portfolio Now
The annual “In Gold We Trust” report by Liechtenstein-based investment firm Incrementum is a must-read account of the gold market, and its just-released chartbook for the 2018 edition is no exception.
We Could See $100 Oil Again Soon, But Not for the Reason You Think
According to a recent Cornerstone Macro report, the three most influential macro trends this year have been 1) the strengthening U.S. dollar, 2) the flattening yield curve and 3) slowing global manufacturing expansion.
Gold’s Bottom Could Be Investors’ Lost Treasure
The price of gold fell back below $1,200 an ounce again this week as the U.S. dollar advanced following another federal funds rate hike. It’s now set to log its sixth straight month of declines, its longest losing streak since 1989.
Two Big Reasons Why I Believe China Looks Attractive Right Now
Emerging markets continue to decouple from the U.S. market, making them look attractive as a value play—particularly distressed Chinese equities. Below I’ll share with you two big reasons why I think China is well-positioned to outperform over the long term.
The Best Time to Prepare Is While the Bull Runs
In case you couldn’t tell from the ubiquitous political ads and yard signs, midterm elections are right around the corner—46 days from now, to be exact. Historically, volatility has increased and markets have dipped leading up to midterms on uncertainty, but afterward they’ve outperformed.
Is This Just the Calm Before the Storm?
Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina today, bringing with it destruction and calamity, the cost of which could top $170 billion, according to analytics firm CoreLogic. If so, that would make it the costliest storm ever to hit the U.S.
This Self-Made Billionaire Reminds Americans that Only Capitalism Creates Wealth
This week, I had the privilege to attend the Cornerstone Macro Conference in New York. Langone’s presentation, moderated by Omega Advisers CEO Lee Cooperman, stood out as one of the highlights.
5 World Currencies That Are Closely Tied to Commodities
This year, commodity prices have been under pressure from a strong U.S. dollar and trade war fears. This has made a huge dent in the balance sheet of many net exporters of resources, in turn weakening their currencies. However, commodities could be on the rebound and are flashing a massive buy signal.
Early-Stage Investing with Adam Sharp
For years, Adam Sharp has helped accredited and retail investors get in on the ground floor of some of the most promising early stage investment opportunities. These include not just venture capital but also equity crowdfunding and cryptocurrencies, which he added last year to his two research offerings, First Stage Investor and Crypto Asset Strategies.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative Opens Up Unprecedented Opportunities
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. A tale of two world leaders, U.S. president Donald Trump and China president Xi Jinping—both of whose countries have among the world’s best economies right now. But whereas Xi is playing Santa Claus to the rest of the world, doling out loans to finance-starved countries, Trump is playing Scrooge, waging an economic war with Canada, the European Union, China and others.
In the Blink of an Eye, Gold Spikes Higher
Gold prices moved up close to 2 percent today, and gold stocks climbed even higher following comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. During his speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, Powell reiterated the central bank’s commitment to raise interest rates gradually while the U.S. economy continues its strong performance.
Investing for the Long Term: A Conversation with Marc Lichtenfeld
My good friend Marc Lichtenfeld from the Oxford Club has always been savvy in following such strategies. I invite you to learn from his investment journey in this special Q&A.
It's Time for Contrarians to Get Bullish on Gold
Gold can’t seem to catch a break. The yellow metal normally acts as a safe haven in times of political and economic strife, but in the face of Turkey’s lira meltdown, investors have taken cover instead in the U.S. dollar. On Monday, the stronger greenback pushed gold to end below $1,200 an ounce for the first time since January 2017.
The Pool of Tradable Stocks Is Shrinking. Here’s What Investors Can Do
The number of publicly listed companies in the U.S. has fallen steadily since 1997. More companies have delisted, in fact, than gone public in every year of the past 20 years except one, 2013. Put another way, the pool is getting smaller even while the population and economy are expanding.
Wait Until You See the Price of Gold in Venezuela Right Now
Last month in Venezuela’s capital city of Caracas, a cup of coffee would have set you back 2 million bolivars. That’s up from only 2,300 bolivars 12 months ago, meaning the price of a cup of joe has jumped nearly 87,000 percent, according to Bloomberg’s Café Con Leche Index. And you thought Starbucks was expensive.
What Does It Take to Be in the Top 1 Percent? Not As Much As You Think
When you think of the top 1 percent of all income earners in American households, how much do you think this group rakes in? Millions? Tens of millions? What about the top 10 percent?
Bitcoin Miners See a Bullish Breakout on the Horizon
The price of bitcoin surged above $8,000 on Tuesday for the first time since May after the Group of 20 (G20) meeting in Argentina concluded last weekend with little urgency to take regulatory action on cryptocurrencies. In a communiqué, finance ministers and central bank governors expressed confidence that the technology underlying alt-coins “can deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy.”
Minute with the Analyst: Meet Juan León
Meet Juan León – a key member of the U.S. Global Investors’ investment team. Juan is responsible for researching companies, sectors and industries, in addition to constructing new investment strategies for several of the firm’s mutual funds and ETFs.
Overbought or Oversold? Let These Mathematical Signals Be Your Guide
Anticipate before you participate in the market. This is a classic piece of advice I like to give investors and have written about extensively in my CEO blog, Frank Talk. Financial markets are influenced by relatively predictable cycles and trading patterns, and by better understanding these we are able to react thoughtfully to headline noise or unexpected market developments.
Minute with the Manager: Meet Ralph Aldis
Meet Ralph Aldis – one of the longest standing members of the investment team at U.S. Global Investors. Ralph is responsible for analyzing gold and precious metals stocks in his role as co-portfolio manager for the World Precious Minerals Fund (UNWPX) and the Gold and Precious Metals Fund (USERX).
Oil Takes Center Stage: Commodities Halftime Report 2018
Of the 14 major commodities we track at U.S. Global Investors, oil was the standout performer, gaining roughly 23 percent, followed by nickel (up 16.76 percent) and wheat (16.51 percent).
From Mobile Games to Smart Cities: A.I. Leads Innovation
This week I had the privilege of meeting a young tech superstar in Palo Alto, California—Gabe Leydon, cofounder and now-former CEO of mobile game producer MZ. Previously known as Machine Zone, the Sunnyvale-based company is responsible for developing some of the highest-grossing mobile games of all time, including Game of War: Fire Age and Mobile Strike, both of which profited from high-dollar marketing campaigns worthy of some Hollywood films. You might have seen Game of War’s Super Bowl commercial featuring swimsuit model Kate Upton, or Mobile Strike’s, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Top 10 Countries with Largest Gold Reserves
Beginning in 2010, central banks around the world turned from being net sellers of gold to net buyers of gold. Last year official sector activity rose 36 percent to 366 tonnes – a substantial increase from 2016.
A Massive Windfall for China’s Fast-Growing Tech Giants
Stop buying Iranian oil or face the music. That’s the message the U.S. government shared with the world this week, giving importers until November 4 to cut their consumption of Iran’s crude to zero—or expect sanctions. The threat comes a month after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Obama-era nuclear deal.
How to Face the Next Bear Market with Confidence
We’re about nine years into the economic recovery following the Great Recession. It’s been an extraordinarily profitable period for the stock market—one of the best in U.S. history—and I hope you’ve participated.
Russia Is Defying Expectations
We’re a little more than a week into the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and so far Russia has surprised experts and fans alike. Expectations were low at best. Because of recent setbacks, including a disastrous performance at the 2016 UEFA European Championship and injuries sustained by key players, the federation ranked a dismal 66th place among Fédération Internationale de Football Association teams—its lowest position ever. The only reason it didn’t have to qualify to compete was because Russia is the host nation. (This is the first time in its 88-year history, by the way, that the World Cup has been held in Eastern Europe.)
Basic Materials Seem to Be on Sound Footing with Home Construction Boom
Thirty-year mortgage rates might have ticked up in the past 12 months, but for now that doesn’t seem to be weighing on new home demand. According to the Commerce Department, housing starts climbed to an 11-year high of 1.35 million units in May, a clear sign that the market has continued to improve following the subprime mortgage crisis a decade ago.
Take the Long-Term View in a Late-Cycle Market
The U.S. inflation story made further inroads this month, with year-over-year price growth for consumers and producers alike hitting multiyear highs. U.S. consumer prices expanded at their strongest pace in more than six years, climbing to an annual change of 2.8 percent in May. Prices for final demand goods, meanwhile, grew 3.1 percent, their strongest annual surge since December 2011.
Top 10 Gold Producing Countries
Gold is one of the rarest elements in the world, making up roughly 0.003 parts per million of the earth’s crust. But how much gold is the world digging up each year and what countries produce the most?
Texas Gold Investors Just Got Their Own Fort Knox
If you live in Texas and have any extra gold bars, coins and/or jewelry lying around that need safekeeping, you’re in luck. The Texas Bullion Depository, the first of its kind in the U.S., officially opened to the public in Austin this week, putting a cap on three years of planning and construction. The private firm managing the facility, Lone Star Tangible Assets, calls it the “world’s most advanced depository.”
Gold, World War II and Operation Fish
I recently had the opportunity to see the excellent 2017 film Darkest Hour, about British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s struggle to keep the United Kingdom in the fight against the Nazis, even as members of his own government pressured him to capitulate. Gary Oldman’s portrayal of the tough-as-nails leader is at turns tender and rousing—and very well deserving of the Best Actor Oscar.
GO GOLD! Inflationary Tariffs Could Supercharge the Yellow Metal
Prices will rise—for producers and consumers alike—which is good for gold but a headwind for continued economic growth.
Spinning Italy's Distressed Debt into Gold
Serious gold investors know that May has historically been a weak month for the price of the yellow metal. For the 10-year and 30-year periods, the month delivered negative returns.
Building a Better U.S. Economy
This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but public trust in the federal government is eroding. Sixty years ago, 75 percent of Americans expressed faith in the government to do the right thing “most of the time” or “just about always.” Seventy-five percent! You can’t get 75 percent of people to agree on anything now, as the recent “Laurel or Yanny” video proved.
Yields Look Overextended and Ready for Mean Reversion
The 10-year Treasury yield has been the topic of conversation lately among fixed-income investors. Earlier this month, the T-note closed above 3 percent for the first time since July 2011, prompting some market watchers to call time on the three-decade Treasury bull market. (Bond prices fall as yields rise, and vice versa.) For other investors, these concerns might extend into the $3.8 trillion municipal bond market.
Blockchain Will Completely Revolutionize How We Mine Gold and Precious Metals
This week I had the pleasure to attend Consensus 2018 in New York, the premiere gathering for the who’s who in blockchain, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Attendance doubled from last year to an estimated 8,500 people, all of them packed in a Hilton built for only 3,000. Ticket sales alone pulled in a whopping $17 million, while event booths—the largest of which belonged to Microsoft and IBM—generated untold millions more.
This Oil Rally Could Have Much Further to Go
For more than a week now, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has been trading north of $70 per barrel, a level we haven’t seen since November 2014. Gas prices are likewise trending up, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.
My Conversation with Bitcoin Visionary Marco Streng
This week I had the opportunity to sit down with Marco Streng, the wunderkind bitcoin visionary behind Genesis Mining. Genesis, as many of you reading this might know, is the world’s largest cloud bitcoin mining company, with over 2 million customers worldwide. It calls Iceland home, whose cool climate and affordable green energy are ideal for mining newly minted virgin cryptocurrencies. Last year, Genesis helped connect the blockchain sector and traditional capital markets by partnering with HIVE Blockchain Technologies, the first publicly traded digital currency mining firm.
Gold Love Trade Looks Promising in India and China
Gold was up half a percent year-to-date through last Friday. This doesn’t sound very exciting, but over the same period, the S&P 500 Index was in the red—the first time in nearly a decade that stocks have been negative for the year through the beginning of May.
South Korea Courts Investors with Unbelievable Payouts
Call it the news of the year, perhaps even of the decade. For the first time since the Korean Peninsula was divided in 1948, leaders of the two warring nations met late last week in what had the look and feel of a jovial reconciliation between two estranged family members. Kim Jong-un of North Korea and President Moon Kae-in of South Korea made a number of important, though tentative, breakthroughs, including an agreement to denuclearize the peninsula and a pledge to revisit several infrastructure projects that would help bring some economic unity to the two Koreas.
4 Big Reasons Why You Might Want to Consider Gold Stocks Right Now
The price of gold has been feeling the pressure lately from a stronger U.S. dollar, which is at a four-month high, and rising Treasury yields. Nevertheless, the yellow metal eked out a positive March quarter, returning close to 1.3 percent, while the S&P 500 Index posted its first negative quarter since 2015.
How Long Till Bitcoin Replaces Cold Hard Cash?
I’m bullish, but I don’t expect bitcoin to test $20,000 again in the short term, especially before July. That’s when G20 finance ministers are scheduled to present their recommendations on how cryptocurrencies should be regulated.
Commodities Are Flashing a Once-in-a-Generation Buy Signal
The investment case for commodities, gold and energy is more compelling than at any other time in recent memory.
Which Has the Bigger Economy: Texas or Russia?
You’ve no doubt heard that everything’s bigger in Texas. That’s more than just a trite expression, and I’m not just saying that because Texas is home to U.S. Global Investors.
Seeking an Antidote to Global Trade Jitters? Check Out These Buying Opportunities!
After being mostly absent in 2017, volatility has made a comeback. The S&P 500 Index closed down for the first three months of 2018—the first time it’s done so in 10 quarters. It also had its worst start to April since 1929. Gold performed as expected during the quarter, serving as a safe haven and delivering positive returns, while the price of oil surged more than 5 percent on U.S. dollar weakness and news that OPEC and Russia could be cooperating to limit output for a long period.
The 6 Fastest Growing Countries in Emerging Europe
With volatility returning to domestic equities, it might be time for investors to consider increasing their exposure to foreign markets, specifically emerging Europe.
U.S. Energy Is Breaking All Kinds of Records — Are You Participating?
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates the U.S. will become a net exporter of energy by as early as 2022, and the agency recently shared fresh data that supports the narrative that America is on the cusp of taking the throne as the world’s leading energy powerhouse.
Looking Ahead to $20,000 Bitcoin
In last week’s Investor Alert, our investment team shared with you a report from Morgan Stanley that says bitcoin’s price decline since December mimics the Nasdaq tech bubble in the late 1990s. This isn’t earth-shattering news in and of itself. The main difference is that the bitcoin rout happened at 15 times the rate as the tech bubble.
Could the Stars Be Aligned for $1,500 Gold?
As I told Kitco News’ Daniela Cambone this week, I stand by the $1,500 forecast. Before this week, investors might have been slightly disappointed by gold's mostly sideways performance so far this year. But now, in response to a number of factors, it's up close to 3 percent in 2018, compared to the S&P 500 Index, down 2.4 percent.
Worried About Rising Rates? I Believe this Strategy Could Be the Answer
With interest rates continuing to creep up, there’s a changing of the guard at the Federal Reserve. In my travels and during conferences, I’ve spoken with many fixed-income investors who wonder how they can best prepare for the uncertainty these changes might bring.
With Rollback, Dodd-Frank Is Now Officially a Dud
You can be forgiven, for missing what I believe is the most significant development of the past few days. On Wednesday, the Senate, in a bipartisan vote, quietly approved plans to roll back key banking rules in 2010’s Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank).
The Many Uses of Gold
As our loyal readers know, at U.S. Global Investors we carefully monitor the price of gold. We pay close attention to the macro drivers moving the yellow metal, like government policy and cultural affinity spurring demand globally. We also monitor the micro drivers, like company management and quant factors that make one gold stock superior to the next.
The White House has announced a new set of broad tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The measure is surprising in its scope, its targets and its break from the long-prevailing trends of international trade.
The Historic Bull Market Faces Off Against Steel Tariffs
No doubt you’ve heard before that bull markets don’t die of old age. I can’t say for sure what will end this particular business cycle—no one can—but we’re seeing huge shifts in monetary and fiscal policy right now that investors can’t afford to ignore. As I often say, government policy is a precursor to change.
4 Big Reasons Why Short-Term Muni Bonds Should Excite You
Municipal bonds might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a sexy investment. They don’t typically command news headlines like the stock market or bitcoin. That doesn’t mean investors should disregard short-term munis. In fact, munis play a very important role in any serious portfolio. Below are four big reasons why you should get excited about muni bonds.
Are Trump's Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Good for America?
President Donald Trump’s proposed tariff on imported steel and aluminum, at 25 percent and 10 percent, is much more than a shot across the bow. Indeed, this could be the official kickoff of the trade war we all anticipated. The protectionist trade policy, announced this week as the president met with metals executives, raised fresh inflation worries and had an immediate impact on capital markets.
The World's Cobalt Supply Is in Jeopardy
Let’s focus on cobalt for a moment. Global demand for the brittle, bluish-white metal has skyrocketed in recent months, exceeding 100,000 metric tons for the first time last year, according to mining consultant CRU Group. Over the next 10 years, it’s projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6 percent.
Gold and the Global Ticking Debt Bomb
Looking long-term, there are mounting risks involving debt that make gold appear very attractive right now as a safe haven and portfolio diversifier.
5 Things Investors Should Know About China this New Year
Today marks the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, China’s most important holiday. The fire rooster struts off-stage, clearing the way for the loyal earth dog. According to CLSA’s tongue-in-cheek Feng Shui Index, health care, consumer and paper products are favored to outperform early this year, followed by internet, utilities and tech leading into the summer.
Is American Energy on the Verge of a New Golden Age?
The U.S. has been a net importer of energy since 1953, but that’s set to change early next decade, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its highly anticipated Annual Energy Outlook 2018, the agency forecasts that the U.S.
An Olympian's Guide to the Market Selloff: Seeking Rewards In High-Risk Situations
Today I’d like to share a few words about the Olympics, but first, two words: Don’t panic.
Fear Creeps Back into Stocks, Shining a Light on Gold
Monday’s monster stock selloff is exhibit A for why I frequently recommend a 10 percent weighting in gold, with 5 percent in bullion and jewelry, the other 5 percent in high-quality gold stocks, mutual funds and ETFs.
A $1.5 Trillion Opportunity You Don’t Want to Miss!
On the campaign trail, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump pledged to invest as much as $1 trillion in U.S. infrastructure if he were elected. This week during his first State of the Union address, now-President Trump added half a trillion dollars more to that figure.
What Do Quincy Jones, Serena Williams and Blockchain Have in Common?
Disruption was definitely top of mind during many of the presentations and interviews at Inside ETFs, including that of producer and composer Quincy Jones, who was at the conference to promote a new stock index that tracks music and entertainment companies
Another Positive Year Ahead for Gold, Says the World Gold Council
In a year when the S&P 500 hit all-time highs, gold also held strong, finishing 2017 up 13.5 percent, according to the World Gold Council. Gold’s annual gain was the largest since 2010, outperforming all major asset classes other than stocks.
You'll Want to Read This Living Legend's Thoughts On Copper
This week the U.S. Global Investors office was visited by a living legend in the junior mining industry, billionaire founder and executive chairman of Ivanhoe Mines, Robert Friedland. In case you don’t know, back in the mid-1970s, Robert was caretaker of an apple orchard south of Portland that one of his buddies from Reed College would often visit. That buddy’s name was Steve Jobs, who later went on to found a little company he named—what else?—Apple.
Recipe Calls for a Broad Commodities Rally in 2018
At the beginning of every year, we update what’s typically one of our most popular pages, the Periodic Table of Commodity Returns. I encourage you to explore 10 years’ worth of data on basic materials such as aluminum, zinc and everything in between. A word of warning, though—the interactive feature makes the table highly addictive.
2018 Could be Another Knockout Year for Emerging Europe
Domestic stocks were a great place to invest in 2017, but hopefully you didn’t overlook opportunities overseas. Emerging markets had a gangbusters year, surging more than 37.5 percent with dividends reinvested, as measured by the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
It’s Time for the Fear Trade to Move Gold Prices
I believe these forces behind the fear trade will only intensify in 2018. With inflation finally showing green shoots and President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax reform law expected to increase deficit spending, this year could provide the right conditions to spur gold prices higher.
Best of the Year: Top 5 Frank Talk Posts of 2017
As we head into the New Year, I want to share with you the five most popular Frank Talk posts of 2017. One common theme you’ll see in these posts is they all center on the topic of gold. Although we specialize in educating investors about gold and managing gold funds, it’s worth noting that our gold posts garnered more interest than our bitcoin and blockchain posts in this year of cryptocurrency craze.
10 Charts That Show Why Gold Is Undervalued Right Now
With the year quickly coming to a close, it might be time to start thinking about rebalancing the gold holdings in your portfolio. That includes bullion, jewelry, gold stocks and well-managed gold funds—all of which I recommend giving a collective 10 percent weighting. Because it’s been such a strong year for stocks—they’ve advanced more than 20 percent as of today—it’s likely that most investors will need to add to their gold exposure to meet that 10 percent weighting as we head into 2018.
Coming Housing Boom Could Mean It's Time to Add Raw Materials
In its November report, mortgage security firm Freddie Mac called 2017 the “best year in a decade” for the housing market by a variety of measures. These include low inflation, strong job growth and historically-low mortgage rates. This assessment is very encouraging, not just for homebuyers and builders and the U.S. economy in general, but also for commodities, resources and raw materials as we head into 2018.
5 Big Questions for 2018
Below are five questions to help guide your thinking when making investment decisions in the new year.
Visit the Top Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Power Hubs of the World
The revolution might not be televised, but it will most certainly be digitized. That’s the message, at least, of my friend Jonathan Roth’s short film on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, titled “Cryptocurrency Revolution: On the Frontlines of the World’s Hottest Tech Opportunity.”
This Week in Bitcoin: The IRS Targets Coinbase, Venezuela to Mint Its Own Cryptocurrency
Writing about blockchain and bitcoin right now is a little like buying a new computer in the 1990s. The tech was advancing so fast in those days that as soon as you brought the thing home, it was sorely outdated. Similarly, the cryptocurrency world is changing so rapidly at the moment that even before “the ink dries” on one of my posts, some important new development has already surfaced.
Gold Looks Like a Bargain Just in Time for Christmas
“Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is,” Warren Buffett famously said. “The time to get interested is when no one else is.” The same logic applies to Christmas decorations, gold and mining stocks.
Move Over, Tesla! China Holds the Keys to Electric Vehicles
Earlier this month, I shared with you a quote from Arnoud Balhuizen, chief commercial officer of BHP Billiton, the largest mining company in the world. In a September interview with Reuters, Balhuizen called 2017 the “revolution year [for electric vehicles], and copper is the metal of the future.”
Gobble, Gobble: Thanksgiving Dinners Stuffed with Savings Despite Rising Fuel Costs
A helpful way to look at inflation is the changing cost of a typical Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people. For the second straight year, the cost actually declined from the previous year’s holiday, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). This year’s feast, including staples such as turkey, rolls, sweet potatoes and more, fell $0.75 to a five-year low of $49.12. On an inflation-adjusted basis, that’s down more than $10 from 30 years ago. The turkey alone cost about 1.6 percent less than last year.
Synchronized Global Growth May Have Arrived
Nearly 10 years after the financial crisis brought the global economy to its knees, conditions have finally improved enough to crystallize my conviction that synchronized global growth is currently underway. Revenue and earnings growth are up year-over-year, not just in the U.S. but worldwide. Despite President Donald Trump threatening to raise tariffs and tear up trade deals, global trade is accelerating. World manufacturing activity expanded to a 78-month high of 53.5 in October, with faster rates recorded in new orders, exports, employment and input prices.
My Conviction in Gold Royalty Companies and Bitcoin
It should be clear by now that something is changing in financial markets, and this is what inspired me to allocate part of our capital in a company with first-mover advantage in the cryptocurrency space, just as we did with Silver Wheaton years ago. As the “Parable of the Talents” teaches us, no reward can come to you without some risk-taking. Doing nothing is not an option.
Oil at Two-Year Highs as Saudi Arabia Engages in Its Own “Game of Thrones”
Recently I identified five agents of change that I believe investors should know about right now. I’d like to add one more to the list: Mohammad bin Salman. The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, 32, was little known outside the region before this past weekend when he jailed members of the royal family, presumably in an attempt to consolidate power ahead of taking the throne.
5 Agents of Change Investors Need to Know About Now
The world is changing fast right now in ways that many investors might not easily recognize or want to admit. This could end up being a costly mistake. If you’re not paying attention, you could be letting opportunities pass you by without even realizing it. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of five agents of change that I think investors need to be aware of and possibly factor into their decision-making process.
Holidays Come Early for Investors as Consumer Spending Surges from Previous Year
American consumers were more willing to open their wallets in September, an encouraging sign of what Santa might bring for investors this year. According to the latest Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data, consumer spending in the U.S. rose a robust 1 percent between August and September, the largest month-to-month gain since 2009.
The World Is Running out of Gold Mines—Here’s How Investors Can Play It
So few new large mines are being discovered today, mostly because companies have had to slash exploration budgets in response to lower gold prices. Earlier this year, S&P reported that total exploration budgets for companies involved in mining nonferrous metals fell for the fourth straight year in 2016. Budgets dropped to $6.9 billion, the lowest point in 11 years. Although we’ve seen an increase in spending so far this year, it still dramatically trails the 2012 heyday.
Are ICOs Replacing IPOs?
My keynote address on Tuesday focused on quant investing in gold mining and the booming initial coin offering (ICO) market. I’m thrilled to share with you that the presentation was voted the best, for which I was awarded an ounce of gold. I want to thank the London Bullion Market Association, its members and conference attendees for this honor.
Car Manufacturers Are Electrifying Copper, “The Metal of the Future”
As many of you know, copper is often seen as an indicator of economic health, historically falling when overall manufacturing and construction is in contraction mode, rising in times of expansion. That appears to be the case today. Currently trading above $3 a pound, “Doctor Copper” is up close to 24 percent year-to-date and far outperforming its five-year average from 2012 to 2016.
Germans Have Quietly Become the World’s Biggest Buyers of Gold
When I talk about Indians’ well-known affinity for gold, I tend to focus on Diwali and the wedding season late in the year. Giving gifts of beautiful gold jewelry during these festivals is considered auspicious in India, and historically we’ve been able to count on prices being supported by increased demand.
Here’s Why Bitcoin Won’t Replace Gold So Easily
I don’t think for a second that cryptocurrencies will ever replace gold, for a number of reasons. For one, cryptos are strictly forms of currency, whereas gold has many other time-tested applications, from jewelry to dentistry to electronics.
Manufacturers Just Had a Gangbuster Month
American manufacturers grew at their fastest pace since May 2004 in September, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). Manufacturing activity, as measured by the ISM Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), expanded for the 100th straight month, climbing to a 13-year high of 60.8. The higher above 50, the more rapid the acceleration.
This Could Be a No-Brainer Gold Buying Opportunity
Last week I was pleased to be the keynote speaker at the Denver Gold Show in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado. Attendance was strong, sentiment was up and my presentation on quant gold investing was very well received.
Here’s Why China Region Stocks Are in the Spotlight Right Now
Between escalating tensions with North Korea and a U.S. Congress in gridlock, it can sometimes be challenging to stay positive. That’s why I’m pleased to share with you this good news.
The Biggest Global Tax Break Ever Bubbles Up from Texas Oil Industry
Oil prices continue to remain low, however, thanks in large part to the ingenuity of Texas fracking companies. As I told Liz, this has served as a multibillion-dollar “peace dividend” that has mostly helped net importing markets, including “Chindia”—China and India combined, where 40 percent of the world’s population lives—Japan and the European Union.
The Blockchain Could Potentially Be as Disruptive as Amazon Was in the 1990s
With its ability to validate all transactions in an immutable electronic ledger, the blockchain has the potential to be as disruptive as Amazon was in the late 1990s. When the company went public in 1997, there were serious doubts whether people would willingly give up their credit card information just to buy a book. Since then, Amazon stock is up 8,000 percent, and founder Jeff Bezos briefly overtook Bill Gates in July to become the world’s wealthiest person.
Natural Disasters Have Not Caused a Single Muni Default: Moody’s
For the first time since we’ve been keeping track, two separate Category 4 hurricanes struck the mainland U.S. in the same year. It should come as no surprise, then, that the combined recovery cost of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is expected to set a new all-time high for natural disasters.
Gold and Bitcoin Surge on North Korea Fears
China put a halt to new ICOs and crypto transactions. In response, ethereum tumbled as much as 15.8 percent on Monday, or $55 a unit. Bitcoin lost $394 a unit.
The (Investing) World According to Geoffrey Caveney
The best call financial writer Geoffrey Caveney ever made was in December 2015. Gold hit a multiyear low of $1,050 an ounce, and he was convinced that the metal had found a bottom. It was time to make a trade, he thought, not just in bullion but precious metal miners, specifically the juniors and some micro-cap names.
We Looked into the Effects of Hurricane Harvey and Here’s What We Found
Below are some key data points and estimates that help contextualize the severity of Harvey and its aftermath.
Got a Bully Problem? Send in a Bully
Here’s a news flash for you: Donald Trump is controversial and caustic. He says exactly what’s on his mind, no matter how incendiary, and he’s not afraid to make enemies, even with members of his party. ‘Bully’ is a word many people use to describe the 45th U.S. president.
Are You Prepared for These Potentially Disruptive Economic Storms?
I hope investors have taken steps to prepare for some potentially disruptive economic storms, including this weekend’s central bank symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the possibility of a contentious battle in Congress next month over the budget and debt ceiling.
Exclusive Interview (Part II): Alex Green on the Biggest Threat We Face
The second and final part of my exclusive interview with distinguished financial writer Alex Green of the Oxford Club and Investment U.
Exclusive Interview: How Alex Green Beat the Market 16 Years Straight
For more than a decade and a half, my friend Alexander Green has been educating and entertaining investors as editor of numerous popular newsletters, many of which I’ve cited in my own writing.
Gold Was Chemically Destined to Be Money All Along
I think most of you reading this right now are aware that gold is unlike any other metal, certainly any other element. It doesn’t play by the same rules as iron or tin or aluminum, and its value has nothing to do with its utility—or lack thereof.
Is this the Start of a Hot New Metals Bull Market?
Dalio’s not the only one recommending gold right now. Speaking to CNBC this week, commodities expert Dennis Gartman, editor and publisher of the widely-read Gartman Letter, said that he believed “gold is about to break out on the upside strongly” in response to geopolitical risks and inflationary pressures. Gartman thinks investors should have between 10 and 15 percent of their portfolio in gold.
How to Invest in China’s New High-Tech Economy
There have been recent fears among economists and investors alike that China’s debt-fueled economy would contract as it transitions from old-school manufacturing to services, but the Asian giant has been far more resilient than most anticipated.
Storm Advisory—What You Need to Know Now
In July, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Non-Manufacturing Index fell to an 11-month low of 53.9, 3.5 points below its June reading of 57.4. The index measures the non-manufacturing, services industries such as food services, education, real estate, health care and more.
Surprise! Gold Prices Have Beaten the Market So Far this Century
Spot gold finished July up more than 2 percent, its best month since February, when it returned 3.7 percent. The yellow metal responded to a struggling U.S. dollar, which has lost more than 10 percent so far this year relative to other currencies and is currently at a 15-month low.
Venezuela on the Brink—An Opportunity for Oil Investors?
Venezuela is sliding closer and closer toward the brink, and things look as if they’ll get worse, unfortunately, before they improve.
“Mother of All Bubbles” Keeps Gold in Focus
Today I want to discuss reports that global debt levels are at all-time highs, and what this means for your investment decisions going forward.
How to Get a Better Bargain on Your Investment with Emerging Europe
American equities have been a good place to invest during the current bull market, now in its eighth year. Since the November election, the S&P 500 Index has surged close to 16 percent.
Russia Collusion Story: A Big “Nothing Burger” or a Case for Gold?
Markets seem not to care what the media or polls have to say. The Dow Jones Industrial Average continues to hit new all-time highs. Even though it’s stalled a few times, the “Trump rally” appears to be in full-speed-ahead mode, more than eight months after the election.
Commodities Halftime Report: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff
Of the 14 commodities we track closely at U.S. Global Investors, wheat rose to take the top spot for the first half of 2017, returning more than 25 percent. The grain was followed closely by palladium—used primarily in the production of catalytic converters—which gained 24 percent.
The Top Six Things You Should Know About Royalty Companies Now
I think that now is a good time to take another look at royalty companies. Here are the top six things I believe investors should know about this specialized sector.
San Francisco Named a Global Leader in Disruptive Innovation
When people think of San Francisco, they might think of the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Chinatown, the 49ers or Giants. I’m a fan of all of those things, but what usually comes to mind when I think of San Francisco is Silicon Valley, the world’s premiere hub for innovation and entrepreneurialism.
Brexit One Year Later, in Five Charts
Although the British economy is showing signs of slowing down, the country has not contracted or imploded as many Brexit opponents had predicted. In fact, certain British sectors such as exports and manufacturing continue to expand.
Does Coal Stand a Chance Against Renewable Energy?
You might have heard the news that the first new coal mine in a decade opened this month in a small Pennsylvania town called Friedens. The Acosta Mine—the output from which will be used in the production of steel—is expected to employ between 70 and 100 people over 15 years, with salaries ranging between $50,000 and $100,000.
Small-Cap Mining Stocks, Big-Time Opportunity
Last month I told you about the upcoming rebalance of the hugely popular VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), and how it would distress shares of junior, small-cap mining stocks. I said then that the rebalance could create some excellent opportunities for astute investors to accumulate high-quality, well-managed producers at discount prices. That day has finally arrived.
One Easy Way to Invest in the “Asian Century”
The 19th century belonged to the United Kingdom, the 20th century to the United States. Many market experts and analysts now speculate that the 21st century will be remembered as the “Asian Century,” dominated by rising superpowers such as Indonesia, India and China.
Hope for the Best but Prepare for the Worst (with Gold and Munis)
You could say I’m hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. I advise investors to do the same. No one can say what the future holds, and it’s prudent to have a portion of your portfolio in gold, gold stocks and short-term, tax-free municipal bonds, all of which have a history of performing well in volatile times.
Trump Bids Adieu to Paris Climate Agreement. What Does this Mean for Energy Investors?
Surprising no one, President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement this week, highlighting the depth of his commitment to keep “America First.” Also surprising no one, the media is making much of the fact that the U.S. now joins only Nicaragua and Syria in refusing to participate in the accord.
Five Things You Need to Know from this Week (Look What Gold Just Did!)
It’s been a whirlwind week. After attending two big conferences, I landed in Vancouver today where I’ll be presenting at the International Metal Writers Conference. Markets continue to close at record highs, even as political uncertainty remains and the threat of terrorism looms large over Western nations. On Monday, gold flashed a bullish signal we haven’t seen in over a year. There’s much to talk about! Below are five things you need to know from the week now behind us.
Here’s Why I Think Renewable Energy Is Finally Living up to Hype
Global markets have steadily been adding renewables such as wind and solar to their energy mix for several years now, but according to a handful of new reports, 2016 might have been the tipping point.
Hedge Fund Managers Pour SALT on U.S. Stocks, Look to Europe
Europe is back on the map. That was one of the main takeaways this week from the SkyBridge Alternatives (SALT) hedge fund conference in Las Vegas, where $3 trillion in assets was represented. Speaker after speaker touted European equities for their attractive valuations and as a means to diversify away from the volatile American market in light of rising U.S. geopolitical risk. France’s election of centrist Emmanuel Macron over far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen this month has especially eased investors’ fears that antiestablishment forces would challenge the integrity of the European Union (EU).
The 5 Costliest Financial Regulations of the Past 20 Years: A Timeline
Last year, the Federal Register—the U.S. government’s depository of rules and regulations—hit an all-time high of 81,640 pages. Among the industries that bear the greatest regulatory oversight is financials, which has seen a disproportionate amount of scrutiny in recent years, especially following the 9/11 attacks and subprime mortgage crisis.
3 Factors that Are Changing the Oil Trade
For the last five years, crude oil has been behaving a little differently than it has in the past. At least that’s the takeaway from the chart below, based on the Moore Research Center’s analysis of oil’s seasonal trading patterns.
An Unexpected Change In Gold’s Seasonal Trade Pattern
As you can see in the chart below, based on data provided by Moore Research Center, the five-year pattern, represented by the orange line, is diverging from the longer-term trends. Note that the index on the left measures the greatest tendency for the asset to make a seasonal high (100) or low (0) at a given time.
The Case of the Missing U.S. Stocks
In the last 20 years, the U.S. stock market has undergone an alarming change that too few people are aware of or talking about. Between 1996 and 2016, the number of listed companies fell by half, from 7,300 to 3,600, according to a recent report by Credit Suisse. This occurred despite the U.S. economy growing nearly 60 percent over the same period.
Can Too Much Money Go Into One ETF?
When billions of dollars flow into an ETF, it’s safe to assume this is because of its popularity among investors. The VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), which invests heavily in junior gold miners around the world, can attest to this kind of popularity, with some $1.5 billion flowing into it this year alone. Total assets jumped 60 percent in 2017 to over $5 billion.
Let’s Talk About Tax, Baby
If Trump gets his way—and let’s be clear, it’s going to be an uphill fight—U.S. corporate taxes will decline from being the highest among fellow Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) economies to just a few degrees north of Ireland’s highly favorable 12.5 percent.
Nearly 100 Days In, Is Trump Any Closer to Fiscal Reform?
Trump’s 100th day arrives next Sunday, April 29, and it would be disingenuous to describe his tenure so far as smooth sailing. He’s faced a number of significant setbacks and distractions, including federal judges’ smackdown of his two travel bans, a failure to repeal and replace Obamacare and an ongoing investigation into his administration’s possible collusion with the Russian government in the months leading up to the November election.
China’s New Special Economic Zone Evokes Memories of Shenzhen
Forty years ago, Shenzhen, China, was a sleepy fishing village of 30,000. But in 1980, then-Communist Party leader Deng Xiaoping designated the southern town as one of four special economic zones (SEZs), thereby giving it special tax benefits and preferential treatment to foreign investment.
Get Ready for Inflation! Lumber Logs a 12-Year High
As if you need more proof that inflation is finally starting to pick up, lumber prices rose to a 12-year high this week, supported mainly by expectations that steep duties will soon be levied on cheap softwood imports from Canada. Lumber futures rose to nearly $415 per thousand board feet on Monday, a level unseen since March 2005, soon after homeownership peaked here in the U.S.
No Trade War Between the U.S. and China… Yet
Crisis averted—for now. Last week President Donald Trump met for the first time with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his luxury Palm Beach estate Mar-a-Lago, where the two leaders discussed North Korea and trade, among other topics.
Amid Global Uncertainty, Pay Attention to this Manufacturing Index
Fresh purchasing manager’s index (PMI) readings for the month of March were also released, showing continued manufacturing sector expansion in the world’s largest economies, including the U.S., China and the eurozone. All of Zurich was under construction, it seemed, with cranes filling the skyline in every direction. And when I flew back into San Antonio, sections of the international airport were also under heavy construction. This all reflects strong local and national economic growth in Switzerland and the U.S.
Gold Finds Strong Support from Negative Real Rates
In case you haven’t already noticed, inflation has been steadily creeping up since July. In February, the most recent month of available data, consumer prices advanced at their fastest pace in five years, hitting 2.7 percent year-over-year.
Can Trump Dig Coal out of Its Slump?
Flanked by coal workers, President Donald Trump signed the American Energy Independence Executive Order this week, directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the Clean Power Plan, former President Barack Obama’s signature environmental policy. Unveiled in August 2015, the plan is intended to reduce carbon dioxide emitted from U.S. power plants 32 percent by 2030.
7 Reasons to Be Bullish on Emerging Europe
For the month of March, the preliminary purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for the eurozone reached 56.7, its highest reading since April 2011. Significant gains were made in new work and backlogs of work, employment and service sector job creation.
Strategist: Keep Calm, Tax Reform Is On Its Way
Regardless of its failure to be repealed, tax reform is on its way. Just today, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reassured Americans that we could still expect “comprehensive” tax reform by August. It’s also worth recalling that, even though he failed to reform health care during his eight years in office, President Bill Clinton still managed to tackle tax reform with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.
Lithium Suppliers Can’t Keep Up with Skyrocketing Demand
Near the extinct volcano known as Monte Pissis, high in the Andes on the Chile-Argentina border, the air is thin and animal life scarce. It’s also a prime location for lithium, the silvery-white metal used in the production of lithium-ion batteries.
America’s New Emphasis on Fiscal Policy
For the third time in two years, the Federal Reserve lifted interest rates 0.25 percent last week following the previous week’s phenomenal jobs report. The move was seen as more dovish than many market analysts had anticipated. BCA Research went so far as to call it an “unhike,” citing a number of factors, including forecasts of only three rate hikes in 2017 instead of four.
America’s New Emphasis on Fiscal Policy
Investor exuberance is being supported by proposed fiscal policy such as lower corporate taxes, deregulation and historically large budget cuts to help finance the rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure and military.
America’s Infrastructure Shortfall Could Be an Investor’s Best Friend
Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) releases its report card on the condition of America’s infrastructure, and for the second time since 2013, our nation’s roads, bridges, waterways, airports and more scored a barely-passing D+.
The Bull Market Just Turned Eight. What Now?
Eight years ago this week, President Barack Obama gave investors a surprisingly hot trading tip. In office less than two months, he commented that we were at “the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal if you’ve got a long-term perspective.” Obama couldn’t have known then how accurate his call was. The market found a bottom that very week, and investors who took the president’s advice managed to get in on the absolute ground floor.
Why Commodities Could Be on the Verge of a Massive Surge
After finishing 2016 up 25 percent, commodities are getting another boost from bullish investors. Investment bank Citigroup forecasts commodity prices will increase this year on strengthening demand in China and mounting inflation inspired by President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies.
Disrupt… Or Get Disrupted
40 percent of companies now in operation around the world will not exist “in a meaningful way” sometime within the next two decades. To survive, companies will need to reinvent themselves by integrating digitization into the fabric of their business strategy.
The Diversification Benefits of Gold
Gold posted its second straight monthly gain in February, the first such time it has done so since the summer, when Brexit-fueled uncertainty shook world markets.
This Natural Gas Opportunity Is Years in the Making
This week I was in beautiful Argentina with a diverse team of investors and mining executives. Together we toured various natural gas and crude oil mining projects in Tierra del Fuego, Mendoza and Santa Cruz, where we had the opportunity to speak with Governor Alicia Kirchner, elder sister to former Argentinian president Néstor Kirchner.
5 Charts That Show 2017 Could Be a Banner Year for Retailers
Thursday morning, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that we could expect “significant” tax reform by August, including tax cuts for middle-income Americans and corporations. Like clockwork, the major stock indices rallied to all-time highs in intraday trading.
Gold Gets a Shot in the Arm from Inflation and China
Inflation just got another jolt, rising as much as 2.5 percent year-over-year in January, the highest such rate since March 2012. Led by higher gasoline, rent and health care costs, consumer prices have now advanced for the sixth straight month. In addition, January is the second straight month for rates to be above the Federal Reserve’s target of 2 percent.
Want to Find the Opportunities? Follow the Sentiment
On Monday I had the opportunity to attend a conference at Goldman Sachs’ Dallas office. Among the dozens of money managers and investors who attended, a combined $1 trillion in assets was represented.
Investors Brace for a Storm of Uncertainty with Gold
Back in November, I wrote that domestic carriers are likely to see the new president—himself the former owner of the now-defunct Trump Airlines—as a strong partner in several key areas. Although a couple of airline CEOs have recently expressed strong opposition to some of Trump’s protectionist immigration policies, yesterday’s meeting appeared to be constructive, with the president telling the group he would soon be announcing something “phenomenal in terms of tax and developing our aviation infrastructure.”
Trump’s Tax Plan Could Cost You. Here’s What to Do About It
Top earners have traditionally been attracted to municipal bonds for their tax-exempt status at the federal and often state and local levels. In the wake of President Donald Trump’s stunning upset victory, however, muni investors were forced to readjust their expectations of fiscal policy going forward.
Investors Shift Back into Gold as Trump’s Honeymoon Period Ends
After little more than two weeks, President Donald Trump’s honeymoon with Wall Street appears to have been put on hold—for the moment, at least—with major indices making only tepid moves since his January 20 inauguration. That includes the small-cap Russell 2000 Index, which surged in the days following Election Day on hopes that Trump’s pledge to roll back regulations and lower corporate taxes would benefit domestic small businesses the most.
What These Four Global Leaders Have in Common with Trump
President Donald J. Trump was elected on promises to “Make America Great Again,” and since January 20 he’s already signed a number of executive orders to tighten border security and ease regulations.
China Sets the Stage to Replace the U.S. as Global Trade Leader
Tomorrow marks the Lunar New Year, the most important date in the Chinese calendar. It’s also the start of the longest holiday at two weeks, during which the largest mass migration of humans occurs every year as families reunite and go on vacations, both domestic and overseas.
It Might Be Time to Grab the Commodities Bull by the Horns
Commodity investors have had to endure a dry spell for a while now, but those days are starting to look as if they might be behind us. We see encouraging signs that a bottom has been reached and a new commodities super-cycle has begun...
“America Works… Never Bet Against America”
Take Warren Buffett. He backed Hillary Clinton throughout the primaries and general election. And yet just yesterday, on the eve of Trump’s inauguration, he said he supported the new president and his cabinet “overwhelmingly,” adding that he’s confident America “will work fine under Donald Trump.”
American Small Businesses Party Like It’s 2004
Look at what President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to lower taxes and slash regulations is doing to business optimism here in the U.S. Last month, the Index of Small Business Optimism soared a phenomenal 7.4 points to 105.8, its highest reading since 2004. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which conducts the survey, reported that attitudes toward capital spending and job creation in particular surprised to the upside. Research firm Evercore ISI called it a “blowout report,” and I have to agree.
Ringing in the New Year with a Bullish Case for Gold
I find it curious that many in the financial media continue to have a bias against gold, even though it generated better returns in 2016 than 10-year Treasuries and the U.S. dollar, which performed half as well. And when it was up as much as 28 percent in the summer, they still didn’t have anything positive to say, arguing it had gone up too much.
Hope for the New Year
Consider the DOL’s new Fiduciary Rule. When it goes into effect in April 2017, it will inevitably limit the number of investment products available to retail investors. The ruling states that all retirement planners, advisors and broker-dealers must now “act in the best interests of clients” and charge only “reasonable” fees. This all sounds fine, but what’s naturally going to happen is financial professionals—in an effort to remain compliant with the rule—will recommend only the least expensive products, regardless of whether they’re a good fit. Many mutual funds—which might be better performing but have higher expenses than other investment vehicles—will fall off of brokerage firms’ platforms.
Gold Technically Oversold, Ready for a Price Reversal
In more ways than one, 2016 was a roller coaster year. One need only look at gold’s performance to confirm this.
Holiday Edition: Here Are the Top 6 Frank Talk Posts of 2016
As we head into the New Year, I want to share with you the six most popular Frank Talk posts of 2016. Before I do that, however, I think it’s important to note one recurring theme I write about that continues to help our investment team and shareholders better understand the movement in commodities and energy: the purchasing managers’ index (PMI).
What Are the Risks of a U.S.-China Trade War?
In the fight for American jobs, we could be “risking” a trade war with China right on our southern doorstep. Though the stakes might not be as high as total global domination, they come pretty close. With rates moving up and the world resetting to less quantitative easing, inflation might accelerate. To avoid a global recession, Trump will need to make streamlining regulations a top priority.
These Factors Show Why Buffett Likes Airlines Again
Last month we learned that Warren Buffett bought shares of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, according to Berkshire Hathaway’s third-quarter regulatory filings. He also confirmed that he purchased Southwest Airlines stock as well. If we look at the Dow Jones U.S. Airlines Index year-to-date, these allocations appear to have been well-timed.
Inflationary Expectations in 2017 Keep the Polish on Gold
Inflation can be understood as the destruction of a currency’s purchasing power. To combat this, investors, central banks and families have historically stored a portion of their wealth in gold. I call this the Fear Trade.
Time to Take Trump Seriously on Infrastructure Spending?
Earlier I shared with you that when it comes to President-elect Donald Trump, the media takes him literally but not seriously. His supporters, on the other hand, take him seriously but not always literally.
Here’s What Oil Did the Last Time OPEC Cut Production
It finally happened. For the first time since 2008, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to a crude oil production cut this week, renewing hope among producers and investors that prices can begin to recover in earnest after a protracted two-year slump, one of the worst in living memory.
Modi’s Demonetization Is a Cure Worse Than the Disease
Next Tuesday will mark four weeks since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his surprise demonetization announcement that has sent shockwaves throughout the South Asian country’s economy.
Fidel Castro’s Cuba vs Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore: A Tale of Two Economies (UPDATE)
On Friday, November 25, Fidel Castro died at age 90. The former revolutionary and hardline dictator of Cuba was among the 20th century’s longest-serving leaders, third only to Elizabeth II and Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand, who passed away in October.
The Great American Splurge
The question now is whether Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will put the brakes on the so-called Trump rally. She asserts that Fed policy is not politically motivated, but I wonder how many people actually believe that. She’s already criticized Trump’s plans to tear up or at least significantly weaken Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform.
Small-Cap Investors See Big League Growth Under Trump
I’ve been in the financial industry a long time, and I’m continually amazed at the market’s astuteness in making reliable, actionable forecasts.
Surprise! Buffett Books a Flight on Airline Stocks
After years of deriding the airline industry, Warren Buffett confirmed this week that his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, has invested nearly $1.3 billion in four big-name domestic carriers: American, Delta, United and Southwest.
Muni Bonds a Key to Making America Great Again
Ever since he made his presidential bid in June 2015, Donald Trump has vowed to “make America great again.” Part of that promise includes rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, a monumental task that will require the financial backing of tax-free municipal bonds.
What Trump’s Stunning Upset Means for Markets
Like their British counterparts, who voted in June to cut ties with the European Union (EU), American voters resoundingly rejected globalism this week, calling into question the United States’ involvement in military alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—which is 72 percent funded by U.S. tax dollars--and international trade deals, from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Manufacturing Activity in China Just Shifted into Overdrive
A wave of positive economic data suggests the Chinese economy is stabilizing and that business confidence is improving. The country’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which measures the health of its manufacturing industry, rose to 51.2 in October, handily beating economists’ estimates of 50.3.
The Season for Consolidation
Last year saw a record number of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), altogether valued at a monumental $4.78 trillion worldwide.
Forget Everything You Know About Presidential Elections
As of October 27, stocks are up more than 6 percent year-to-date. Although slightly below the average, this is much higher than returns in the last two election cycles when a new president had to be selected: In 2008, the market plunged nearly 40 percent; in 2000, it ended down 9 percent.
Manufacturing Activity in Europe Surprises to the Upside
Manufacturing activity in the eurozone strengthened sharply in October, beating expectations, according to “flash,” or preliminary, purchasing manager’s index (PMI) data.
Is Weak Productivity to Blame for Sluggish Consumer Spending?
Although bad for your pocketbook and savings, the possibility of higher taxes is expected to increase interest in tax-free municipal bonds, especially among top earners. For over a year now, muni bond funds have seen positive weekly inflows, with $147 million going in during the week ended October 17. I expect this trend to continue as we head closer to the election, and beyond.
Indian Gold Jewelry Sales Set to Hit a Four-Year High
Just as April showers bring May flowers, plentiful monsoon rains in India tend to drive up demand for gold jewelry among rural, income-flush farmers, who make up a third of the country’s consumption of the yellow metal. It’s a relief to hear, then, that India just had its best monsoon season in three years, with heavy rains washing away people’s fears of yet another drought.
What We Look For When Picking Superior Gold Stocks
The ability to filter through hundreds of gold stocks, choosing those with the best relative value, among other things, is a skill that our portfolio management team at U.S. Global Investors has over 30 years of experience in.
No Love for Gold
There’s no other way to say it: Gold had a bad week. On Tuesday alone, the yellow metal fell more than 3 percent, shuffling off $43, in its biggest one-day loss in three years. It broke below the psychologically important $1,300 mark and touched the 200-day moving average before rising again today.
We Believe Congress Is About to Give this Asset Class a Huge Promotion
It appears there’s no shortage of investor love for municipal bond funds.