Gold prices low and headed lower

Much like silver, gold prices are flirting with four-month lows. There’s a lot of reasons why. You just have to pick your favorite poison. Here are nine of them.

Much like silver, gold prices are flirting with four-month lows. There’s a lot of reasons why. You just have to pick your favorite poison:

1) October’s inflation numbers were extremely low at 1 percent.

2) There’s a perception that the Federal Reserve could taper its bond-buying program sooner than expected. In recent meeting minutes, officials seemed to support tapering even if the job market doesn’t improve substantially.

3) The job market’s holding up better than analysts thought. “Individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the U.S. last week fell by 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, beating expectations for a decline of 9,000,” Investing.com reports.

4) There’s a bull market in stocks. That makes it hard to hold cash in gold and silver when you’re watching other asset classes outperform – especially with the Nasdaq up more than 30 percent YTD.

5) China’s contributing to record gold production. “Mining production in the country surged by 4.9% to a good 253 tons in the first nine months of the year,” according to the China Gold Association (source).

6) The Venezuelan central bank is selling 45 tons of gold to Goldman Sachs through 2020. Look for that metal to hit the market further depressing prices (source).

7) ETFs are driving prices down faster than they might have otherwise fallen. Investors can move in and out of gold (via ETFs) faster than ever before. That creates a feedback loop in the physical markets. ETFs sell off and more gold floods the market driving prices down further and prompting more people to sell off their ETF holdings.

8) Gold selling was so heavy on Thursday that the Comex actually halted trading of the metal twice. Resource Investor reports that the exchange was hit with some $200 million in simultaneous sell orders.

9) Speculators could be moving into bitcoin as a proxy for gold and silver. Check out my post: “The case for bitcoin at $100,000.”

The bleeding will stop eventually, but I wouldn’t be “bargain-hunting” right now. Buying into falling prices is the easiest way to dig yourself into a hole. That’s called “catching a falling knife” for a reason. Wait until prices “base” or flatline to consider accumulating gold. In the meantime, take a look at bitcoin in my post Bitcoin inflation hedge: The new gold and silver.

Watch out below: Silver prices low and heading lower

At prices below $20 an ounce, silver is now flirting with 3 month lows. And it may have further to fall. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit new lows for the year and then target lows we haven’t seen since 2010.

At prices below $20 an ounce, silver is now flirting with 3 month lows. And it may have further to fall. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit new lows for the year and then target lows we haven’t seen since 2010. There are just too many headwinds out there. To name a few:

1) Inflation is anemic at 1 percent.

2) Stocks are outperforming other asset classes. They’re paying great dividends and carry much less risk. Why invest in precious metals and watch your capital shrink when you could buy shares in Wal-Mart (WMT), be up 15 percent on the year and be earning a 2.3 percent dividend?

3) The Fed surprised the market by signaling that tapering is “in the cards relatively soon.” That doesn’t sound very damning in and of itself, but officials took it a step further when their recent meeting minutes revealed they were willing to taper even if the job market wasn’t improving significantly.

That says one of two things to me:

a) The Fed is nervous about inflation.

b) The Fed trying to head off an asset bubble in stocks.

Inflation worries just aren’t here yet. That means, Option B is likely with two of the three leading stock indices at record highs. On the year, the Dow’s up 22 percent, the S&P’s up 25 percent and the Nasdaq is up 31 percent. We can’t keep that pace up without some assistance or some serious economic growth – and we’re definitely not seeing serious economic growth.

Silver price predictions

If the bearish trend continues, MIG Bank in Switzerland is predicting that we’ll test silver’s summer lows around $18.23 an ounce (per Bloomberg). That’s 8.7 percent below the current price of $19.98. If we do close below this summer’s low of $18.23, silver could tumble precipitously. Indeed, we might not find real support until we hit 2010 lows around $15 an ounce. That would be a plunge of 25 percent.

Of course, if we do see a big sell-off in silver, I don’t think it will be long-lived. Check out my post Silver price forecasts and predictions for 2014. I do however wonder if Bitcoin’s stealing some of the white metal’s luster, and I’m quite a bit more bullish on it than I am on precious metals right now. Check out my post Bitcoin inflation hedge: The new gold and silver to learn why. And, if you like that, you’ll love this: The case for bitcoin at $100,000.

Gold price forecasts and predictions for 2014

The yellow metal’s heading toward its first annual decline in 13 years. And has investors wondering when the bleeding will stop. The short answer? Don’t look to 2014 to solve gold’s troubles. Here’s a survey then of the leading gold price predictions for 2014.

Gold prices have been battered in 2013. The yellow metal’s heading toward its first annual decline in 13 years. And that has investors wondering when the bleeding’s going to stop (or if it even will). Let’s take a survey then of the leading gold price predictions for 2014:

  • $1,403 an ounce. That’s the likely average annual gold price in 2014 according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (per ArabNews), which is part of the Economist Group. The EIU expects prices to weaken further in 2015 to $1,350.
  • $2,000 an ounce within a year. Those are the words of gold bug Peter Schiff, a famed investor and manager of the Euro Pacific Capital Inc. gold mutual fund (which has lost 6 percent since it launched earlier this year). Schiff told Bloomberg “he would ‘be amazed’ if the U.S. dollar didn’t collapse and gold failed to skyrocket before President Barack Obama leaves office in 2017.”
  • $1,144 per ounce in 2014: That’s Goldman Sachs’s bearish prediction for the yellow metal. Goldman believes that trend will continue for years to come.
  • $1,050 an ounce: An even more bearish prediction from yet another gold bear at Goldman Sachs: Jeffrey Currie, the company’s global head of Commodities Research. He went so far as to call gold a “slam dunk” sell (Bloomberg).
  • $1,500 an ounce in the short-term: That’s from Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Head of Global Technical Strategy MacNeil Curry (source). So long as gold doesn’t close below $1,251 an ounce, Curry believes we’ve turned the corner from a bear market to a bull market in gold (he’s one of the few!).
  • $1,313 an ounce in 2014: That’s Morgan Stanley’s prediction for gold prices in 2014. They revised that down from $1,420, and they believe prices will continue to fall until 2018 (per the Telegraph).
  • $1,275 an ounce: That’s BMO Research’s gold outlook for 2014. That was revised up from from $1,181 (per AgMetalMiner).
  • $2,500 an ounce in 2014: The bull’s crown goes to Market Oracle, which lays out a lot of reasons why they believe gold prices will surge next year. Specifically, they cite closing mines, which will lead to a supply shortage, increased demand in India and Asia, inflation and a coming “gold mania.”
  • $1,322.50 an ounce in 2014: That’s from a poll of 22 analysts conducted by Reuters last month (per LiveMint). Physical markets, not investment markets, will likely drive gold prices analysts said.
  • $1,175 an ounce by Q3 2014: That’s according to a Bloomberg analysis of estimates from the “10 most-accurate precious metals analysts” the company tracks (per IOL).

Of course, there’s nothing that actually says gold prices have to move higher. The precious metals markets need a catalyst to fundamentally change the current direction (which is inexorably lower). If indeed we do see higher gold prices in 2014, look for some or all of the following precursors to foreshadow the move:

  • An increase in economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve or congress.
  • A sudden jump in inflation.
  • Short covering (traders who are betting against gold start covering their bets).
  • Growth in physical demand for gold bullion.
  • Aggressive buying by central banks.
  • A supply shortage due to mine closures.

Silver price forecasts and predictions for 2014

Silver prices have taken a beating over the past two years. Will 2014 be the year when they finally break free again?

2013 has been a rough year for silver. Prices for the precious metal have fallen nearly 30 percent when they opened trading in January around $31 an ounce to today’s price of roughly $22 an ounce. It’s the definition of a bear market. We’re seeing a series of lower higher and lower lows that’s best illustrated by looking at an annual chart for the white metal:

Numerous factors have been working against the metal this year. Specifically:

  • Lower-than-anticipated inflation.
  • Economic growth in the U.S.
  • The likelihood that the Federal Reserve will soon start tapering its aggressive bond-buying program.
  • Economic uncertainty in China and the Euro-zone, which strengthens the dollar.

And yet, I remain convinced that the U.S. faces significant inflation and higher interest rates in the future, and that could lead to yet another surge in the price of precious metals, commodities, and perhaps even Bitcoin (check out my post on How to buy Bitcoin). I’m not alone either. While there are bears out there, a lot of forecasters are predicting higher silver prices in 2014 and beyond. Let’s take a look at the top 2014 silver price predictions:

  • $60 an ounce in 2014: So says MoneyMorning writer Tony Daltorio who expects prices to close out 2013 somewhere near $40 an ounce (something I’m skeptical of).
  • $36 an ounce in 2014: Silver is undervalued at today’s prices says Steve Nicastro at SeekingAlpha. He bases his assessment on the gold-silver ratio. “A conservative estimate of the gold:silver ratio at 35:1 would put silver at $36 an ounce at the current gold price,” he writes. “With gold at $1,500, silver would sit over $42 an ounce. With gold back at the 2011 highs of $1,900 an ounce, we could see silver top $54 an ounce, or higher.” Look for next year’s gold prices to see if and when silver is over- or undervalued.
  • Look for “record silver prices within the next 10 years.” It’s not a very helpful forecast, but that’s what the CPM Group is forecasting. They’re staking their prediction on increased industrial demand for the metal.
  • $21 an ounce in 2014: That’s BMO Research‘s forecast for the average silver price in 2014. They even revised that higher from $18 an ounce in October. Wow. Talk about being bearish. It’s almost enough to turn me into a contrarian.
  • Look for a surge in metals prices “late in 2014” according to Thomas Paterson. Paterson argues that household deleveraging has kept inflation tame. Once the average American has paid down enough of their debt to start making substantial purchases, inflation will grow rapidly as money velocity speeds up. Gold and silver prices will surge as that happens, Paterson believes. He argues that late in 2014 will “be time to bet the ranch on gold.” I’m extending his argument to silver, too, though I would never say you should “bet the ranch” on any single investment.
  • $27 to $28 an ounce in Q2 2014: That’s the latest prediction from Victor Kerezov. Kerezov believes silver prices will remain muted through the first quarter of 2014.

Of course, there needs to be a reason for silver prices to move higher. Specifically, we need a catalyst – some pronounced trigger or indication that it’s time to start buying metals again. Those triggers could include:

  • An increase in economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve or congress.
  • A sudden jump in inflation.
  • Short covering (buyers who are betting against silver start covering their bets).
  • Growth in physical demand or a supply shortage due to mine closures. The solar industry, for example, could drive increased demand for physical silver.

Once any of those triggers are hit, the rest could follow quickly and we could see a surge in silver prices reminiscent of 2011.

Top 10 gold price predictions for 2013

My personal opinion? Gold likely bottomed at $1,200 recently, but don’t expect spectacular gains through the end of the year. Precious metals need a big catalyst to move higher aggressively.

-Posted by Alejandro Guillú Mendoza

Introduction
Many people around the world want to know the answer to the question, where are gold prices going?

I invested many hours browsing the internet searching for answers to this question to save you time and money because time is money.

Have another question? Drop me a line. I only answer questions regarding money. Please don’t ask me where your lost dog is or why your boss fired you.

Here are my findings when I searched for the Top 10 gold price predictions for 2013:

1) $1,487 Morgan Stanley

The 15th-leading investment services company in the world downgraded its forecast 16% to $1,487, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Peter Richardson said speculation of selling by European Central Banks and nervousness over the possibility that the United States of America Federal Reserve will end its QE earlier than December 2013 are also top contributing factors.

2) $1,530 David Morgan

David Morgan is the publisher of The Morgan Report and creator of silver-investor.com which has been featured on CNBC and Fox Business.

Bernice Napach of the Daily Ticker has written more about this. You can watch the seven-minute video here.

3) $1,550 Goldman Sachs

The second-leading investment services company in the world downgraded its six months forecast to $1,600 from $1,805 and its twelve months forecast to $1,550 from $1,800, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The recent sell-off was “likely excessive,” and it has “exposed a quickly waning conviction in holding gold positions, especially ETFs.”

4) $1,637 Deutsche Bank

The bank lowered its forecast last month 11.8% to $1,637, according to Fox.

“Given our forex strategist’s expectations for continued strength in the U.S. dollar and our U.S. economist’s forecasts for an acceleration in gross domestic product growth going forward, we expect that gold will struggle to appreciate meaningfully against the U.S. dollar.” – Daniel Brebner

5) $1,700 HSBC

The bank lowered its forecast 3.5% from $1,760 to $1,700, according to Reuters.

“Later in 2013, we expect monetary easing, escalating currency wars, and geopolitical tensions to support gold prices up to $1,800 an ounce.”

“Increased inflationary expectations should buoy gold.”

“Any price drop below $1,600 per ounce may stimulate jewelry, coin and small bar retail demand in price-sensitive economies.”

“Further ETF or Comex liquidations could put additional pressure on gold prices.”

6) $1,880 Aubie Baltin

Check out this article: 5 reasons Gold Will Set an All-time Record in 2013. I’m not sure I agree, but the title’s pretty bombastic…

7) $2,200-$3,000 Jason Hamlin

Jason Hamlin is the President and Founder of GoldStockBull and more importantly, one of the Opinion Leaders in the Gold & Precious Metals category at Seeking Alpha.

Pent-Up Potential For Precious Metals in 2013 is an interview by The Gold Report where he discussed his prediction.

8) $10,000 Societe Generale

“With some rare exceptions … analysts don’t like to stand out from the crowd. It is dangerous and career-challenging. In that vein, we repeat our key forecasts of the S&P Composite to bottom around 450, accompanied by sub-1% US 10-year yields and gold above $10,000.” – Albert Edwards

Read more in Doomsday? SocGen Predicts S&P to 450, Gold at $10,000 by Sam Mamudi.

9) Franklin Templeton

The tenth-leading investment services company in the United States of America does not offer a specific numeric forecast. However, they believe the price of gold will go up. You can read their recent financial analysis here.
Keep in mind only eight investment services companies in the world make more money than them.

10) Hebba Investments

Hebba Investments is one of the Opinion Leaders in the Gold & Precious Metals category at Seeking Alpha and although he does not offer a specific numeric forecast, he believes the price of gold will go up. You can read his recent financial analysis here.

My personal opinion? Gold likely bottomed at $1,200 recently, but don’t expect spectacular gains through the end of the year. Precious metals need a big catalyst to move higher aggressively.

How low can gold prices go? Has the rebound arrived?

On April 15th, the price of gold dropped $140 in one day when Goldman Sachs drastically reduced its average price forecasts and recommended a short Comex gold position for their clients. Things have been shaky ever since.

Introduction

For many years, people have relied on gold as being a stable and worthwhile investment in an otherwise constantly fluctuating market. Back on Sept. 5th of 2011, gold reached an all-time high of $1,900.30 per ounce and was considered a mandatory component in every investor’s portfolio. Unfortunately, it dropped drastically to $1,690 the following year and is currently being sold at only $1,340 an ounce. The price of gold has been dropping quickly since it hit its peak two years ago, but most investors are more interested in the question: How far will it fall before it starts to rebound again?

Gold Fell to $1380 in Mid-April

On April 15th, the price of gold dropped $140 in one day when Goldman Sachs drastically reduced its average price forecasts and recommended a short Comex gold position for their clients. This immediately brought the price down to $1395 per ounce, which dropped even further the following day to $1380. Fortunately, less than two weeks later, Goldman Sachs decided it was time to close out the gold shorts that were previously recommended and the price of gold has been wobbling between $1,200 and $1,400 an ounce since.

Lower Price Expectations for Gold

The recent collapse in gold prices, however, caused the UBS investment bank to downgrade its price expectations for all precious metals. Gold has displayed great resilience at these lower levels in the past, which has prompted several long-term holders to actually add to positions. There are also some strong signals of converting ETFs and metal accounts into allocated holdings. For additional information on the views of the UBS in regards to the decline in gold prices; please read “Gold market needs time to heal.”

Gold Should Go Up from Here

Forecasted gold prices for the end of the year range between $1,480 and $1,700 per ounce. HSBC has the most optimistic estimate for the year at $1,700, and Mitul Kotecha (Credit Agricole’s head of foreign exchange strategy) is predicting that gold will finish the year at $1,480 and drop to $1,318 in 2014. Most experts feel gold has dropped as low as it will go in the near future, and a MarketWatch survey of ten different forecasts shows that all predictions for the average price in 2013 are higher than its current price. In the same survey, over a half of the 2014 price predictions are also above the current price of gold.

Although gold is down almost 25% since it reached its peak in 2011, there are several indicators that it won’t drop much further. It has been rebounding the last few weeks and should continue on an upward trend for the remainder of 2013. It may drop back down again in 2014, but not as low as it reached in the middle of April.

Why silver investors should stay away from silver coins

There is nothing wrong with collecting coins if you ARE ALREADY A MILLIONAIRE. If you are not then you need to sell your coin collection right now to the highest bidders.

-Posted by Alejandro Guillú Mendoza

Introduction

This article tries to explain in a simple way to readers without a college degree in economics or finance some macro economic factors that are currently changing the global supply and demand of silver.

Ground rules

Silver coins ARE NOT INVESTMENTS. Silver coins are still minted by countries to satisfy the unlimited demand for numismatists around the world. When you acquire a silver coin you are not only paying for the precious metal itself but also for the graphic design and for the minting.

Countries make billions of dollars each year buying silver by the ton and reselling it as coins.

There is nothing wrong with collecting coins if you ARE ALREADY A MILLIONAIRE. If you are not then you need to sell your coin collection right now to the highest bidders.

The problem with silver coins is that you need to pay for insurance each year and that cost eats some of your profits.

If you want to invest in silver then you need to buy either a silver mine or the ETF SLV. There are other financial instruments for more sophisticated investors that I am not going to cover in this article. If you want me to write about them then drop me a line.

Does Apple buys a lot of silver?

Silver is the best conductor for electricity, and in some cases the cost is not as important and it is used instead of copper which is cheaper (i.e. for small, complex electronics). One easy way to predict if we will buy more technologically advanced things made with silver is to closely watch the global GDP. If the world is expanding then it is likely that we will build more expensive things made with silver.

You can read the World Economic Outlook published by the IMF.

If you want to invest in silver, then you need to keep an eye on the price of copper because this metal is used only because silver is too expensive. If the price of copper starts to rise too much, then some companies may just decide to switch to silver.

Obviously, this is just a theoretical point. In reality, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico won’t let that happen, and they will just lend billions of dollars to publicly-traded copper mining companies to keep the price of copper low.

Digital cameras for everybody

Silver nitrate has always been used for photographs, and over half of all the silver mined was used for this before the digital camera was invented. This number is getting smaller and smaller every year, and one day we won’t use silver nitrate anymore. That would increase the number of silver available for other industrial uses bringing down the price of silver in the future.

If you are a politician in a country with a very limited supply of silver, then you need to reduce the demand for silver nitrate in your country as much as you can with the expansion of access to digital cameras to the general population.

Let companies like Nikon, Olympus and Canon import digital cameras without paying any taxes.

Allow these companies to issue Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, UnionPay and JCB credit cards to buy their digital cameras insured by the government.

More than 90% of the world’s silver is produced in Mexico, Peru, China, Australia, Russia, Chile, Bolivia, Poland, the United States and Canada. If these countries reduce their own consumption in silver nitrate, then they will have more silver for export.

As you can see, the price of silver is not really about finding more silver mines but about finding smarter ways to use LESS SILVER.

What is the Protect our Silverware Act?

Most people with silver jewelry, silverware or silver coins are wealthy, and they don’t lose any money every time a burglar enters their house because they’re reimbursed by insurance. The rest of us are hurt by the insurance companies because every time they write a check to pay for these crimes, they increase the bill for all of us.

If less silver is stolen then the prices we pay to protect our homes will be reduced over time.

It is a known fact that burglars only steal from you when you are not home. A very popular trick among thieves is to call everybody until you get an answering machine. I strongly suggest you to get rid of your answering machine and just reroute your old telephone to a cell phone answered by one of your employees in China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia or Mexico.

You can hire one on Elance for just a few cents per hour.

I propose a new law that will force any silver seller to register every silver buyer into a national database and each silver holder will be forced to hire a silver sitter when they are not home.

Let’s say that you are going to leave town for a few days on business. You call the Silver Police and they will send you an employee that will stay in your home for a few days until you return. Each silver holder will pay a “Silver Police Tax” each time he buys something made of silver to pay for this new Police Department.

This will reduce crime among families holding silver and will also reduce unemployment.

Conclusion

I believe these 10 countries will enact new smarter laws to keep the domestic supply of silver very tight and will also increase silver exports to other least developed countries with more loans to small businesses exporting jewelry and mirrors and other clever measures like a silver stamp that you can use to ship any item made of silver to an eBay or Amazon buyer in another country.

Has the gold market bottomed in 2013?

Several little-know macroeconomic factors are changing the global supply and demand of gold. Read on to find out what they are.

-Posted by Alejandro Guillú Mendoza

Introduction

This article tries to explain in a simple way to readers without a college degree in economics or finance some macroeconomic factors that are currently changing the global supply and demand of gold. They’re not often talked about, but they are very important to understanding the precious metals market!

Ground rules

Gold coins ARE NOT INVESTMENTS. Gold coins are still minted by countries to satisfy the unlimited demand for numismatists around the world. When you acquire a gold coin you are not only paying for the precious metal itself but also for the graphic design and for the minting.

Countries make billions of dollars each year buying gold by the ton and reselling it as coins.

There is nothing wrong with collecting coins if you ARE ALREADY A MILLIONAIRE. If you are not, then you need to sell your coin collection right now to the highest bidders.

The problem with gold coins is that you need to pay for insurance each year, and that cost eats some of your profits.

If you want to invest in gold then you need to buy either a gold mine or the ETFs IAU or GLD.

There are other financial instruments for more sophisticated investors that I am not going to cover in this article. If you want me to write about them then drop me a line.

Mexico is now a bullion superpower with a little help from Carlos Slim Helú

Only ten countries in the world produce more gold than Mexico. However, the annual gold production has grown at double-digit rates in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011.

Unlike other countries, in Mexico you don’t own the gold in your own land. If you find gold in your backyard then the government takes it. There is no such thing as a Mexican prospector.

There is no point in using modern technology to search for gold mines in Mexico and buy the land to make literally a ton of cash. As you can imagine, there is little demand for a geologist in Mexico because you cannot monetize the natural resources.

After over 300 years of gold mining, the United States of America, Peru and Canada remain the third, sixth and seventh largest gold producers in the world. Mexico is very similar to those countries from a geological point of view but nobody has mined that gold yet. In other words, there are mountains of gold in Mexico.

The supply of gold in the continent of America is too vast and unlimited if you consider the current global demand. We have enough gold to pay the entire debt of every country in the continent of America to the rest of the world.

Each year we find faster and cheaper ways to extract gold. Innovation also applies to the extraction of gold. One very important factor that you need to consider is that gold is usually found in very remote locations very far from civilization. Gold mines invest a lot of money in diesel to transport the precious metal to the nearest DHL, UPS or Federal Express location.

Electric cars will only increase the profits of gold mines in the coming years.

After the 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, experts were hired to avoid another economic crisis in the future, and one of the suggestions was to allow billionaires and foreign, publicly-traded mining companies to extract the gold and save it for a rainy day.

Fresnillo (London: FRES) is now a FTSE 100 company and the 30th-largest diversified metals and mining company in the world, according to Forbes. Annual profits are over $700 million. It is not a bad idea to set up a limit order to buy this company at $1,000 in case the price drops from current levels due to a panic sell-off.

Mexico currently holds over 125 tonnes of gold, and they will keep buying gold from Fresnillo and other mining companies currently operating in Mexico until the gold reserves are over 365 tonnes, which is what Venezuela currently holds.

Mexico is one of the richest countries in the world, and with over $170 billion in foreign exchange reserves, they certainly can afford to buy more gold. This “I will buy any amount of gold that you can extract” will attract a lot more gold mining companies. They don’t even have to invest any capital. Mexico will lend them any cash they may need to install the mine, and they can pay for the loan in gold.

You cannot even pay for your MasterCard at Bank of America with a gold coin, let alone a billion-dollar syndicated loan if you are a mining company. Unless Russia, South Africa, Peru, Canada, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Ghana start a Golden Arches Bank where foreign publicly-traded mining companies like BHP Billiton (BHP) and Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) can apply for a billion-dollar loan to build new gold mines, everybody will just move to Mexico.

What is a Gold Mart?

India likes gold jewelry a lot. In fact, they buy more gold jewelry that anybody else with the exception of China.

One smart way for China, Australia, the United States of America, Russia, South Africa, Peru, Canada, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Ghana and Mexico to increase exports of gold jewelry is to simply lend money to young entrepreneurs in Pakistan, Nepal, Buthan, Burma, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives to open a Gold Mart franchise.

The fictional Gold Mart franchises will be strategically located in cities near the border with India to encourage small business owners to buy gold jewelry and sell it to consumers in India.

Each Gold Mart will include a large selection of jewelry from small companies that just don’t have the infrastructure to export small quantities of gold jewelry to India. Each country will handle the logistics to ship their products near the largest market for gold jewelry. This will create a lot of jobs in the gold jewelry industry and a lot of tax revenue.

Obviously, I am not a consultant for any of the countries previously mentioned, but I am sure they hired people way smarter than me to help them keep the demand for gold high and they will come up with a lot more clever solutions to export more gold jewelry to India.

I am just a regular guy. Countries have entire armies of consultants just thinking how to solve their problems all day long.

Conclusion

India cannot force their people to stop wearing gold jewelry, but they can systematically sell their gold reserves every time the price of gold goes up more than usual until their reserves are depleted.

Gold stored in vaults does not produce any cash (unless of course, you lend the gold)

You can also lend shares in gold mines. Perhaps it is time for India to invest in the Ghana Stock Exchange, the Uzbekistan Stock Exchange and the Indonesia Stock Exchange. Just a thought.

As always, be prepared for volatility in the gold market, no matter what you do, and never allocate more than 30% of your portfolio to precious metals. Remember, gold is a hedge against a currency collapse, and no one can guarantee there will actually be a currency collapse. Preserving your capital should always trump the desire to make large profits!

Photo by TheRivo

Top 10 silver price predictions for 2013

Where have all the silver bulls gone? Price predictions for the white metal are all over the board in 2013.

Posted by Alejandro Guillú Mendoza.

Many people around the world want to know the answer to the question, “Where is silver going?”

I invested several hours browsing the Internet searching for answers to save you time and money (because time is money, after all). Have another financial question? Drop me a line. Please don’t ask me where your lost kitten is or why she left you. Ask me about topics that can make you money, like silver!

Here are my findings on the latest silver price predictions for 2013, 2014 and beyond. The prices are sorted from low to high:

1) $26 Barclays according to CommodityOnline

Barclays believes strong production growth in mining will knock silver prices down and keep them low in 2013. “We expect it to grow to 25.2kt in 2013, with the slowdown in output from Australia and Europe being offset by strong growth across South America and Asia. We expect modest growth from the major producers, with Mexico retaining its pole position.”

2) $30-$32 Neil Meader (Head of Precious Metals Research and Forecast) according to Forbes

“For the moment, we would expect to see a continuation of the price volatility that we’ve seen of late.

“The unknown for the longer term is inflation.”

“It would be wrong to assume that a year-on-year price fall automatically presages an end to the multi-year rally; that occurred in 2009 and yet prices (based on the annual average) then more than doubled in just two years.”

3) $31 Deutsche Bank

The bank lowered its forecast last month 16.5% to $31 according to Fox because the demand for stocks over commodities is rising and the growth in the United States of America is improving. The 2014 forecast was also significantly reduced.

Excluding major banks currently in the red. Deutsche Bank is the fifth least profitable major bank in the world with barely $400 million in profits. It appears they are no longer qualified to give financial advice to anybody. Perhaps they should hire me. I can easily turn a profit of $40 million. I am just a regular guy. They have 100,000 employees.

4) $33 HSBC

The bank increased its target for silver from $32 based on four factors driving prices higher: industrial demand, investor appetite, strong coin and bar purchases and a bottoming out of jewelry demand according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Greater industrial silver consumption is one of the most compelling arguments in favor of higher prices.”

5) $34.10 BNP Paribas

The bank reduced its silver 2013 forecast a few months ago to $34.10 from $39.05 according to Reuters.

6) $35 Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is very bullish on silver and selected the precious metal as one of the Top Picks for 2013 according to BusinessWeek.

“Gold, silver and corn will outperform other raw materials next year as a weaker dollar and rising investor demand bolster precious metals while supply curbs aid grains.”

7) $38 Commerzbank according to the Wall Street Journal

Silver is “establishing itself as a precious metal with an industrial character, setting itself significantly apart from gold.”

8) $40.25 Michel O’Brien

Silver To Gain 29% in 2013 – Analysts, Traders and Investors.

“The silver market remains a very small market and this continuing global investment and store of value demand should lead to silver reaching a real record high, inflation adjusted, of over $140/oz in the coming years.”

9) $50-$60 Ge Christenson according to SilverSeek

“This is not a prediction based on wishful thinking and hope, but a best estimate based on rational analysis of data stretching back to 1975.”

“Silver (and gold) will continue to rise, doubling every 3 – 4 years, until our government manages to tame the deficits, the borrowing, and the inevitable inflation.”

10) $91 Equity Management Academy

Silver Doctors started recently in 2011 and they are visited by over 750,000 each month. The video analysis by Steve Roy is only 9 minutes long.

This was the highest forecast I could find at the time of this writing – a time when, admittedly, silver prices are extremely low. It’ll be interesting to see which of the predictions above come the closest to the truth by the end of the year.

The real reason 2013 Silver Eagles hit an all-time high in January

The U.S. Mint probably isn’t the best gauge of market demand for silver. It’s too easily overwhelmed by demand, and that pushes sales forward into months when demand could otherwise have been low.

Because the silver investment market is so small, it’s particularly vulnerable to hype. That’s exactly what the commodities research firm CPM Group thinks is happening now as investors trumpet the “incredible” demand for silver coins in January. While the U.S. Mint did announce all-time sales records for 2013 silver eagles in January (with 7,498,000 coins sold), CPM Group argues that’s just a hold-over of pent-up demand from earlier in the winter.

“All of this talk about a shortage of silver is irrational and not supported by readily available market data,” CPM Group says in its latest report.

Specifically, the company cites worries over the Fiscal Cliff in November and December as driving up demand for American Eagles. Since the Mint sold-out of coins in both November and December, that demand rolled forward into January driving sales up to record levels.

CPM Group’s been painting a pretty bleak picture of silver prices going forward. The commodities research firm believes prices will head lower over the next decade (through 2022) rather than higher as most silver price prognosticators would have you believe.

I’m not ready to make that assumption, but there are lessons to be learned from CPM Group. Mainly that the U.S. Mint isn’t the best gauge of market demand for silver. It’s too easily overwhelmed by demand, and that pushes sales forward into months when demand could have otherwise been low.