Earlier this week, we shared some of Jim Rogers’ insights from his recent interview with Real Vision Television.
Jim is a legendary investor, best-selling author and Guinness World Record holder. So when he speaks, smart investors listen.
Today, we’re sharing a few more of Jim’s insights… on fear in the market, how to buy gold and the one sector Jim is bullish on today…
Millennials (or, for that matter, young people – regardless of the generation) often get a bad press. But, in a bull market, Jim Rogers believes that under-35s can make serious gains because of their fearlessness.
“When things are going right, we all need a 26-year-old. There’s nothing better than a 26-year-old in a great bull market, especially in a bubble, because they’re ’fearless‘. To youthful investors, a bull market will never end…”
Now, that’s great in a bull market. But in stormier weather when things are going south, Jim thinks that older (and perhaps wiser) heads should take the helm because fearlessness can be very dangerous in a bear market.
As Jim says, most of these under-35s don’t know why they made money in the first place. So they don’t know why they lose money.
“The most dangerous time is when you’ve had a great success because you really think you’re smart, and you’re immediately looking for what’s next. And that’s when you should close the windows and go to the beach or do anything to get away.”
In short, during uncertain times, sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. And part of doing nothing is holding what’s maybe one of the most-hated assets of all: Cash. It doesn’t earn anything, inflation eats away at it, central banks can’t stop printing it, and you’re denying yourself the magic of compounding if you’re holding cash.
But cash is the perfect hedge. You don’t have to worry about the market crashing if you have a lot of cash.
Now, we don’t recommend ever pulling out of the market completely, as we’ve written before. But if the market starts looking uncertain, think about raising a little cash.
Markets are more predictable than most people think. Stocks, sectors and markets rise and fall over time on repeat. For investors, it’s tempting to think that because a sector has been rising for some time… it will keep going up. Or that because another has been bearish for a while… that it won’t ever improve. This is called “status quo bias” – and it’s one of the most dangerous emotions in investing.
One sector that has been bearish for a long time is agriculture. It is down around 30 percent over the last two decades. But what goes up must come down (and vice-versa). Jim understands this, and that’s why he’s bullish on agriculture.
“Often throughout history if you find things that are disasters and you buy them, you may lose money first or you may go bankrupt first, but usually you make a lot of money in the end. It’s not the first time we’ve had big cycles in agriculture, in real assets, and probably not be the last time either.”
We’ve said something similar before: Often the best time to invest is when things are at their worst. That’s because shares are cheap when market confidence is low. And, since markets move in cycles, those cheap shares are bound to rise in value sooner or later.
If you want to follow Jim’s lead and buy into agriculture, he recommends the ELEMENTS Rogers International Commodity Agriculture ETN (New York Stock Exchange; ticker: RJA).
Jim has been a long-time gold holder. And he believes everyone should hold gold – at least as an insurance policy.
“Everybody should have coins, physical coins, as an insurance policy, as an emergency, if nothing else. You hope you never need them. But you’ve got to start by owning gold coins, coins that are recognized all over the world.”
History has proven time and again that gold is one of the best ways to hedge your portfolio – that is, to protect it when stock markets everywhere fall. And, unlike paper money, gold is a permanent store of value. Gold has withstood history and maintained its inherent value. It’s durable, easy to transport, looks the same everywhere, and it’s easy to weigh and grade. In short, gold is insurance against financial calamity.
But what about investing in gold today? Jim says he’s not selling, but he’s not buying right now either.
“I’ve owned gold for many, many years. I’ve never sold any gold. I haven’t bought any serious gold since 2010. Before this is over, gold is going to turn into perhaps a bubble. It’s certainly going to get very, very, very overpriced. I’m not buying it now. But short of war, I expect another opportunity to buy gold and silver. And if it happens, I hope I’m smart enough to buy a lot.”
When the time comes, Jim believes gold coins are the best way to buy gold. But if you want to make big profits, look at gold futures and miners.
“You should have physical possession of some gold coins. After that, gold futures are the best way if you want to make money and you’re a good trader. Gold futures, that’s where you can get the most leverage, unless you can find the right gold mine. But there are hundreds of gold mines. So if you find the right gold mine, do it. But otherwise, have some gold coins in your closet or in your safety deposit box or both. And then learn about gold futures because that’s the way to make a lot.”
Like Jim, we’re fans of owning physical gold. But if you can stomach the volatility, my preferred way to invest in gold stocks is through a gold-mining ETF like the Sprott Gold Miners Fund (New York Stock Exchange; ticker: SGDM).
As I told you earlier, it pays to listen to Jim. So I hope his latest ideas will serve you well. – M
Jim Rickards is on record forecasting $10,000 gold.
But is China about to provide the catalyst to send gold even higher? And by how much?
Today, we fare forth in the spirit of speculation… follow facts down strange roads… and arrive at a destination stranger still…
China — the world’s largest oil importer — struck lightning through international markets recently.
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, China has plans to buy imported oil with yuan instead of dollars.
Exporters could then exchange that yuan for gold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.
Not only would the plan bypass the dollar entirely… it would restore gold’s role in international commerce for the first time since 1971, when Nixon hammered the last nail through Bretton Woods.
If the rumors hold true, China’s plan could enter effect by the end of this year.
Billionaire business magnate and sound money advocate Hugo Salinas Price ran China’s plan through his calculator.
It turned up a basic math problem that spells drastically higher gold prices — if the plan is to work.
Details to follow.
But first some background on oil and gold… a brief detour down Bretton Woods Lane…
By 1970, it was evident to those running the U.S. that it would very soon be necessary to import large quantities of oil from Saudi Arabia. Under the Bretton Woods Agreements of 1945, the immense quantities of dollars that would shortly flow to Saudi Arabia in payment of their oil would be claims upon U.S. gold, at the time quoted at $35 an ounce. Those claims would surely deplete the remaining gold held by the U.S. Treasury in short order.
Washington found itself on the sharp hooks of a dilemma…
Dramatically raise the price of gold to limit redemptions — and devalue the dollar in the process — or repudiate its commitments under Bretton Woods.
Dishonor, that is… or dishonor.
It chose dishonor.
To continue under the Bretton Woods monetary system would have meant that the U.S. would have been forced to raise the price of gold to an enormous figure in order to reduce the amount of gold payable to the Saudis to a tolerable level. But raising the dollar price of gold in that manner would have constituted a great devaluation of the dollar and collapsed its international prestige; that in turn would have ended the predominance of the U.S. as the No. 1 power in the world. The U.S. was not willing to accept that outcome. So Nixon “closed the gold window” on Aug. 15, 1971.
If China is willing to trade gold for oil under its latest plan, a similar dynamic enters play.
China takes aboard some 8 million barrels of oil a day.
That’s 2.92 billion barrels per year — nearly 3 billion in all.
But China holds only a few thousand metric tons of gold (officially about 1,850. Some estimate the true figure much higher).
You see the problem, of course.
China rapidly depletes its gold reserves if too many oil exporters choose to exchange yuan for gold.
If the plan’s to be sustainable at all, gold must rise — drastically — in order to balance the vast amounts of oil it’s supporting.
As Price explains, “To balance the mass of oil received by China against a limited amount of available gold… it will be necessary for gold to skyrocket upward in yuan terms and, necessarily, in dollar terms as well.”
Price crunched the numbers…
One ounce of gold (about $1,300) currently fetches 26 barrels of oil (about $50 per).
One barrel of oil is worth 1.196 grams of gold.
Price calls this ratio “an unsustainably low purchasing power of gold vis-a-vis oil.”
Only a drastically higher gold price would render the plan plausible.
How far would gold have to climb before the relationship was stable in Price’s estimate?
Ten times. Thus, Price arrives at a reasonable gold price:
$13,000 per ounce.
At $13,000 per gold ounce, one barrel of oil, at $50, will be bought with 0.1196 grams of gold; perhaps we may see $13,000 per oz gold in the not distant future.
Here, a road map to $13,000 gold.
We don’t know if Price’s figure is correct.
But if not $13,000, it seems gold would have to rise dramatically if Price’s thesis is correct — or else China’s plan collapses.
We can only conclude that China knows the implications of the math.
$13,000 gold also means a massive devaluation of the yuan.
China prefers a weak yuan to goose exports. But a worthless yuan?
The plan may prove a mirage in the end for all we know.
But if the plan does proceed… Jim Rickards’ $10,000 gold prediction might be vindicated — fully and then some. – Brian Maher
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