Author Archives: USAGOLD
The story of the year in financial markets
“One could be excused for wondering if gold can maintain its pace,” writes Jeff Clark in a Strategic Wealth article, “but how many of the risks that pushed it higher in the first place are gone? Check out the risks that remain around the world and see if it’s really time to reduce exposure – or instead make sure one has enough ounces.” These days, the name of the game is maintaining wealth under extraordinarily difficult economic circumstances. The Stein cartoon above is from another time but it still resonates today.
An argument can be made that the difficulty we’ve encountered has yet to manifest itself entirely on Wall Street and in other financial centers. On the other hand, it has certainly begun to manifest itself in the gold market. “I think [gold] is the story of the year in financial markets,” said Sprott’s Peter Grosskopf in a recent Financial Times article. “Gold has finally come on to Main Street as an asset people actually need to have.”
Gold in six easy lessons
1. Don’t buy it because you need to make money; buy it to protect the money you already have.
2. Don’t look at price as a barrier; look at it as an incentive.
3. Don’t buy the paper pretenders; buy the real thing in the form of coins and bullion.
4. Don’t fall prey to glitzy TV ads; do your due diligence instead.
5. Don’t allow naysayers to divert your interest; allow yourself the right to protect your interests as you see fit.
6. Don’t forget the golden rule: Those who own the gold make the rules!
“A customer of mine who is 55 years old recently asked if it was not too late for him to get into precious metals. The answer is no – it is not too late to invest in gold and make a profit at any age. Quite the contrary, with the market showing the early signs of a correction, it is, in my humble opinion, a perfect time to invest in precious metals.” – Oliver Garret, Forbes
Time to diversify?
How to hedge market uncertainty in your
retirement plan with gold and silver
As the ultimate asset preservation vehicles, gold and silver are also important retirement investments especially in these precarious times. Find safe harbor –– and some retirement peace of mind.
2010-2020 – a profitable decade for gold investors
Investors who purchased gold anytime over the past ten years (since September 2010) could have sold it at a profit in September 2020 – in some instances at a significant profit.
10-Year Chart (as of September 18, 2020)
Chart courtesy of the St. Louis Federal Reserve
Soource: ICE Benchmark Administration • • • Click to enlarge
Daily gold and silver price history
1968 to present
Our Daily Gold and Silver Price History pages are among the heaviest traffic pages at the USAGOLD website. The archived data is licensed from the ICE Benchmark Administration and the London Bullion Market Association and Netdania Creations and run from 1968 to present. FOREX prices for the day are posted as a live feed and then frozen at the end of each trading day. These pages are frequented by data gatherers of all descriptions from professors and their students to market professionals and investors – all interested in gold’s price performance both over the long run and within specific time constraints for their own research purposes.
Daily Gold and Silver Price History is another of the quiet pages at USAGOLD that garners significant global interest particularly when the market is moving or breaking news warrants more than average interest. We also invite you to return here regularly – to this Live Daily Newsletter page – for up-to-the-minute gold market news, opinion, and analysis as it happens.
We invite your visit. We encourage your bookmark.
Daily gold and silver price history pages
Government spending is a tailwind for gold
The problem with monetary stimulus is that it requires takers, i.e., people and businesses willing to borrow and spend. Private borrowers, though, are not as prolific as the Fed or federal government would like at this juncture. Governments, on the other hand, are ready borrowers and big ones at that. In fact, as Manhattan Institute’s Brien Riedl recently pointed out in a National Review article, the Fed has already financed roughly half of government spending to combat the economic hit from COVID-19. How is all of this a ‘tailwind’ for gold? The overlay chart below showing the federal debt and gold tells the story at a glance. With the rest of the world worried about financing its own debt, the buyers of U.S. debt are likely to become scarcer and that is where the Fed steps in by monetizing those obligations. When all is said and done, that is perhaps the most basic reason why gold has behaved as it has since March of this year when it sold for $1470 per ounce.
Sources: ICE Benchmark Administration, U.S. Treasury, St. Louis Federal Reserve
The trendline (graphed quarterly) does not reflect the current $26.5 trillion national debt figure.
Every once in a while we rummage around USAGOLD’s creaky old attic and dust-off a golden vignette from our storied past. Most first appeared in our monthly client letter, but this one comes from the first chapter of The ABCs of Gold Investing – How To Protect and Build Your Wealth With Gold by USAGOLD’s founder Michael J. Kosares. First published in 1996, it is a timeless story about gold’s ultimate value ……
Why Americans need gold
“The possession of gold has ruined fewer men than the lack of it.”
Thomas Bailey Aldrich
The incident is one of the most memorable of my career. Never before or since has the value of gold in preserving assets been made so abundantly clear to me. It was the mid-1970s. The United States was finally extricating itself from the conflict in South Vietnam. Thousands of South Vietnamese had fled their embattled homeland rather than face the vengeance of the rapidly advancing Communist forces.
A couple from South Vietnam who had been part of that exodus sat across from me in my Denver office. They had come to sell their gold. In broken English, the man told me the story of how he and his wife had escaped the fall of Saigon and certain reprisal by North Vietnamese troops. They got out with nothing more than a few personal belongings and the small cache of gold he now spread before me on my desk. His eyes widened as he explained why they were lucky to have survived those last fearful days of the South Vietnamese Republic. They had scrambled onto a fishing boat and had sailed into the South China Sea, where the U.S. Navy rescued them. These were Vietnamese “boat people,” survivors of the final chapter in the tragedy of Indochina. Now they were about to redeem their life savings in gold so that they could start a new business in the United States.
Their gold wrapped in rice paper was a type called Kim Thanh. These are the commonly traded units in Hong Kong and throughout the Far East. Kim Thanh weigh about 1.2 troy ounces, or a tael, as it is called in the Orient. They look like thick gold leaf rectangles 3 to 4 inches long, 11⁄2 to 2 inches wide, and a few millimeters deep. Kim Thanh are embossed with Oriental characters describing weight and purity. As a gesture to the Occident, they are stamped in the center with the words OR PUR, “pure gold.”
It wasn’t much gold—about 30 ounces—but it might as well have been a ton. The couple considered themselves very fortunate to have escaped with this small hoard of gold. They thanked me profusely for buying it. As we talked about Vietnam and their future in the United States, I couldn’t help but become caught up in their enthusiasm for the future. These resilient, hardworking, thrifty people now had a new lease on life. When they left my office that day, there was little doubt in my mind that they would be successful in their new life. It was rewarding to know that gold could do this for them. It was satisfying to know that I had helped them in this small way.
I kept those golden Kim Thanh for many years. They became something of a symbol for me—a reminder of the power and importance of gold. Today, when economic and financial problems have begun to signal deeper, more fundamental concerns for the United States, I still remember that Vietnamese couple and how important gold can be to a family’s future. Had the couple escaped with South Vietnamese paper money instead of gold, I could have done nothing for them. There was no exchange rate for the South Vietnamese currency because there was no longer a South Vietnam! Wisely, they had converted their savings to gold long before the helicopters lifted U.S. diplomats off the roof of the American Embassy in 1975.
Over the years, I have come to understand and appreciate the many important uses of gold—artistic, cultural, economic, and industrial. Gold is unsurpassed for jewelry and as a high-tech conductor of electricity. Gold has medical applications in dentistry and in treating diseases from arthritis to cancer. Gold plating is used in computers and in many other information-age technologies. In nanotechnology, it is used in a variety of cutting-edge medical diagnostic devices. As for its engineering uses, gold can be found in automobile anti-pollution devices, in jet engines, in architectural glass, and in a number of space applications. All of these pale, though, when compared to gold’s ancient function as money, as an asset of last resort and an unequaled store of value.
– Michael J. Kosares
Recent Better Business Bureau Five-Star Client Review
Scorecard: 30 five-star reviews. Zero complaints.
A+ rating. Accredited since 1991.
USAGOLD Recommendation: The precious metals industry is unique in the financial industry in that it is not subject to oversight or regulation by third-party government entities like the SEC or CFTC. As such, marketplace forums and feedback sites often serve as a replacement for investors attempting due diligence. While several options can be found, by far the most impartial and least susceptible to vested influence is the Better Business Bureau. When looking at a company’s BBB profile, don’t focus solely on the rating. To be honest, pretty much everybody has an ‘A’ or ‘A+’ rating. What is far more important to assess is the number and nature of complaints, number and caliber of positive and negative reviews, longevity with the BBB, as well as the number of ‘stars’ given a company through the actual customer review system.
Reliably serving physical gold and silver investors since 1973
Yap stone money inflation
Monetarily speaking, everything progressed smoothly on the island of Yap where large stones weighing hundreds of pounds were transported around to serve as money. That is until something unforeseen happened to the value of the money. For centuries, the stones served in exchange because there wasn’t much of this type of rock on Yap itself. The depreciation of the stone money began when an enterprising Western businessman realized he could produce stone money cheaply and in copious quantities on a neighboring island and transport it to Yap, where it could be used to procure goods in demand elsewhere. In other words, this oceanic cousin of John Law printed Yap stone money to buy his wares at what might be called a “favorable” discount. By this process, the yap stone money was debased until it became worthless. Little did the citizens of Yap know that they were deprived of their wealth, and their money destroyed, by the process of monetary inflation.
How to choose a gold firm
A quick guideline for beginning investors
It is surprising how many prospective investors simply dive into gold and silver investing without much in the way of a consumer inquiry. That lack of simple due diligence has ended up costing a good many investors thousands of dollars, and sometimes even hundreds of thousands before the damage is detected.
Here you will find some brief but useful guidelines to help
you choose the right gold and silver company.
Reliably serving physical gold and silver investors since 1973
Only real intrinsic money survives the test of time
Here is a timeless observation from the now-deceased Richard Russell (Dow Theory Letter):
“Paper money is now being created wholesale throughout the world. Stated simply, all paper currency is now valued against each other. But more important, ultimately ALL paper is ultimately valued against the only true, intrinsic money – gold. In world history, no irredeemable paper currency has ever survived. Since all the world’s currency is now irredeemable (in gold), this means that in the end, the only form of money that will survive is real intrinsic money – gold. It’s not a question of whether gold will survive, it’s a question of when the world’s current paper money will deteriorate and finally die. I can tell you that irredeemable paper will not survive – but obviously I can’t tell you when it will die. The timing is the only uncertainty.”
The chart below from the World Gold Council speaks to Russell’s point. It shows the performance of various currencies – past and present – against gold over the long term. When the end comes, as the chart illustrates, it can come abruptly and without warning. For those who stick to the proposition that gold is not really an inflation hedge, or that it is not really a safe-haven against currency debasement, the chart offers instruction. For those who already own gold as a safe-haven, it provides justification. For those who do not own gold, it serves as an incentive. As the old saying goes: All is well until it isn’t.
Chart courtesy of the World Gold Council