April 24 - Everyone today seems to think the U.S. dollar "will collapse", even though it has already retreated almost all the way back to its lows from 2008 and it is universally hated. I expect the U.S. dollar index to surge higher through 2013, moving back above 100 which it has not done since 2003. Whatever assets are most adored today will be the worst performers for the next two years, while the strongly disliked U.S. dollar along with long-dated U.S. Treasuries and their funds including TLT will be among the top global performers.
April 4, 2011 - Top corporate insiders during the past half year have demonstrated unusually high ratios of selling to buying of their own shares, which constitutes a nearly exact repeat of their behavior during the final months of 2007 and the early months of 2008. As global real-estate markets collapse, equities worldwide will again lose more than half their value. One of the few beneficiaries of the global economic contraction will be undervalued long-dated U.S. Treasuries and their funds including TLT.
March 7, 2011 - Investors are even more eager today than in early 1973 to crowd into the fewer and fewer risk assets which are continuing to set new highs, even as the rest of the financial world is transitioning from the most powerful two-year bull market since the Great Depression to a major bear market which could become as severe as the one we suffered through a few years ago.
February 21, 2011 - The yield spread between the 30-year and 2-year U.S. Treasuries set an all-time record [of 4.04% on January 28, 2011], as investors are irrationally willing to lend money in the relatively short term for almost nothing, while demanding an excessive risk premium for lengthier-duration Treasuries. This has provided an ideal buying opportunity in this sector.
January 31 - The media have become so routinely preoccupied with double-digit growth rates in China that most people take for granted that this will continue for several years or even several decades. However, I believe that the real-estate bubble has created a dangerously artificial prosperity which will be exposed once housing prices begin to decline, and will become a serious issue once housing prices plummet more dramatically.
January 19 - If you buy TLT at 92 dollars per share and it merely returns to its August 25, 2010 high of 109.34 in one year, then with reinvested dividends this would represent a total gain of about 23%. If you buy it at a slightly lower prices--it has dropped below 91 several times since the second week of December--or if TLT more closely approaches its all-time zenith of 123.15 on December 18, 2008, then your gains could be even higher. Treasuries may be "boring", but I think anyone would gladly accept such "dull" profits.
January 5, 2011 - The trading pattern during the past two months has been characterized by the increased eagerness for amateurs to purchase risk assets near their respective peaks, with top corporate insiders recording their highest-ever ratios of selling to buying in history for many subsectors during the fourth quarter of 2010.
December 29 - One loudly singing canary has been the U.S. dollar index, which has been in an uptrend since the morning of November 4, 2010--less than 20 hours following the Fed's "QE2" announcement. During any era of stagnation, a rising greenback is one of the clearest signals of an upcoming global economic contraction.
December 19 - As a rule, whenever global equities, corporate bonds, commodities, and real estate become as dangerously overvalued as they are today, U.S. Treasuries become a compelling bargain. This is exactly what occurred during the past week, as TLT, a fund of U.S. Treasuries averaging just over 28 years to maturity, slumped to its lowest point (90.47) since April 26, 2010.
December 5, 2010 - As forecasts for double-digit growth in China and elsewhere have to be revised sharply lower, we are almost certain to experience an approximate repeat of the last bear market.
November 28 - In a bear market, assets don't simply retreat to fair value and then stabilize; they continue to plummet until they have become absurdly undervalued and oversold.
November 18 - It always surprises me how few investors recognize that the financial markets repeatedly behave like Wile E. Coyote, following proven correlations over and over again--but usually only after an apparently irrational delay. It is the rare investor who respects and learns how to maximize the value of this delay.
November 8, 2010 - Top corporate insiders worldwide have been selling shares at their fastest pace relative to insider buying since the second half of 2007 in many countries including the United States, and at an all-time record pace in many countries including India.
October 31, 2010 - The paucity of new highs indicates that fewer and fewer assets are leading the broader market. The great global bull market of 2008-2010 is transitioning to a major global bear market.
September 26, 2010 - Another worrisome bubble currently exists in high-yield corporate bonds worldwide, which have received such powerful investor inflows from those unhappy with microscopic money-market yields that in many cases they yield less than municipal bonds of similar duration. Any extraordinarily popular investment inevitably performs poorly, and this will not be the first-ever exception to the rule.
July 12, 2010 - Since the S&P 500 index completed a 19-month peak of 1219.80 on April 26, 2010, there have been four days when this index gained over 3% on a single trading day. Powerful up days are very rare during bull markets, but are quite common during bear markets.
March 24, 2010 - Since commodity shares have led the market both higher and lower over the past few years, and will likely continue to do so for several more years, this is almost surely signaling that the recent alleged breakout for global equity indices is a patently false one. Chartists and momentum players have been chasing the breakout by buying just when they should be doing their most aggressive selling since the summer of 2008.
January 24, 2010 - Those like Ben Bernanke who are intimately familiar with financial history, but who believe that if they had lived in 1870 or 1930 then it would have turned out entirely differently, are living a delusional existence.
October 11, 2009 - Once the maximum possible number of investors are once again heavily committed to the stock market, we will naturally experience yet another crushing equity bear market. It is likely that such a retreat will begin in the first half of 2010, will continue for about two years, and will result in a total percentage decline which will be even greater than last year's total cumulative pullback.
August 25 - It will be critical to sell all of your stocks and corporate bonds this winter, as we will commence a severe bear market at that time of roughly two years in duration.
August 3, 2009 - Long-dated U.S. Treasuries and their funds, including TLT, have been forming a bullish pattern of higher lows since they completed high-volume 21-month nadirs on June 11, 2009.
June 24, 2009 - You can more than double your money by purchasing UNG, which will likely exceed 30 by next winter. This is my single favorite fund at this time for making money over the next eight or nine months.
May 25 - Practically every financial media outlet has explained in graphic detail why they don't like U.S. Treasuries. Anything which is that thoroughly despised must be worth buying, and therefore I am recommending purchase of TLT, a fund of U.S. Treasuries averaging 25 years to maturity.
May 3, 2009 - Once inflationary fears become paramount, gold mining shares will be among the top-performing sectors and GDX will be set to approximately triple by autumn.
March 8, 2009 - There are numerous positive divergences in the global equity markets which are pointing the way toward the strongest short-term stock-market rally since the Great Depression.
February 16, 2009 - Deflation is all the rage--and will be proven just as wrong as the previous two consensus opinions on this topic.
January 19, 2009 - Insider buying of commodity-related shares in the fourth quarter of 2008 was the most pronounced in many commodity-share subsectors since the early 1990s.
November 28 - Concerted global central-bank rate cuts and massive stimulus packages around the world will inevitably cause a huge rise in inflationary pressures.
November 9, 2008 - Commodity shares in particular have rarely been more undervalued than they have been in recent weeks. Gold mining shares traded at the same levels in late October 2008 as when gold had been $328 per ounce in 2002.
October 19 - Numerous closed-end mutual funds, which can trade at a discount or premium to their net asset values, showed all-time record high discounts that exceeded 20% for the majority of funds for the first time ever, and were greater than 30% for many closed-end funds. This shows a multi-decade aversion to equities by amateur investors, while professionals and insiders have rarely been more eagerly and intensively buying. The volatility index VXO reached a peak of 103.41 on October 10, 2008, which marked its highest level since October 1987.
October 7, 2008 - Take advantage of all pullbacks to add to your equity positions.
September 21 - The biggest bears will soon arrive--don't let them catch you unprepared.
September 7, 2008 - I have increased my holding in GDX to 10.5% of my total net worth, and will continue to gradually accumulate GDX and ASA on all dips over the next several weeks.
August 17 - Any price near 34 or below is a compelling buying point for GDX, and therefore I covered my entire short position and invested 5% of my net worth in GDX as a long position.
August 10 - The recently rising U.S. dollar will cause significantly lower profits for many U.S.-based technology companies which derive a substantial percentage of their total profits from overseas sales.
August 5, 2008 - Investors who listened to the media and "diversified away from equities into commodities" are suffering the same well-deserved fate which greeted those who diversified away from developed markets into emerging markets (and which have since plummeted by half).
July 27 - On Wednesday, July 23, 2008, VXO fell to an intraday low of 21.20! 21.20 is an incredibly long way from 55--and just goes to show how amazingly complacent most investors are toward the stock market.
July 13 - The stage is therefore set for a perfect reversal of fortune, in which stock markets enjoy a powerful short-term rebound, while commodities confirm their recent lower highs and plummet to the downside.
July 1, 2008 - In a few months, stock markets around the world will return close to their respective support levels from 2005 and 2006.
June 26 - Projected double-digit growth rates for emerging markets are far too optimistic. As the world continues to struggle with declining real-estate prices and tighter lending standards, this will cause the formerly hottest economies to experience the most severe slowdowns.
June 15 - U.S. Treasuries represent a terrific bargain across the yield curve. Of all the possible Treasury investments that are available at this time, my favorite is TLT, which is an exchange-traded fund of U.S. Treasuries averaging 25 years to maturity.
June 1, 2008 - Over the next several months, the continued rise in the U.S. dollar, which completed a historic nadir on March 16, 2008, will put substantial downward pressure on all commodities and their shares.
May 26 - Since India remains by far the world's largest physical buyer of gold and silver, constituting 30% of the entire physical gold sales per year, the weaker rupee will make it more expensive for Indian consumers to buy gold.
May 11 - Always beware the eye of any hurricane. That is when the most amateurs end up getting badly hurt, by thinking that the worst is over just as the next major danger zone is about to commence.
May 4, 2008 - Long-dated U.S. Treasuries appear to be building a critical base of support at their respective 200-day moving averages. This generally occurs just before a major equity pullback. Meanwhile, top corporate insiders have sharply increased their selling.
April 27, 2008 - The very few commodities which are still touching new multi-decade highs have gotten so much media attention that they have completely crowded out the true story, which is that more than 80% of all commodities have been moving substantially lower over the past several weeks.
March 31 - The greenback's rally will likely continue through the first quarter of 2009, and will see a total gain of at least 20% and perhaps even more than 30% against most currencies.
March 3, 2008 - Even the non-financial media have been promoting the myth of unlimited potential gains in commodities, which is one very reliable sign of a major peak.
February 18 - In a rather amazing coincidence that I have not seen mentioned elsewhere in the media, it happens to be the case that several of the most important swing states have had the most serious problems in the housing market.
February 12, 2008 - Actual U.S. growth over the next year is likely to be very close to expectations, whereas growth in other countries--especially in emerging markets--is likely to fall several percent short of the current consensus levels. This will lead to a continued rally in the U.S. dollar, as currency fluctuations are primarily a function of actual growth rates relative to expected ones.
January 21 - A lot has happened in the past five months, but I'm absolutely sure that people aren't eating 50% more food now than they were then.
January 8, 2008 - Media sentiment has become so frenzied against Hillary Clinton that any rebound in her chances will come as a real surprise, and like any truly unexpected event (such as a rising U.S. dollar) will therefore create a significant change in public perception. It's a marathon race, so don't be fooled by whoever is ahead after the first mile or two.
December 28 - Whenever the dominant economic power of the day has gone into decline, the rest of the world has gone into an even greater contraction.
December 16 - 2007 will be known as the year of the false upside breakout. 2008 will become the year of the false downside breakout.
December 9, 2007 - Whenever any major asset class is selling at a price which is either far above or far below fair value, it is an inevitable fact of the financial markets that sooner or later it will be selling at fair value. Trying to prevent this is like trying to repeal snow in Minnesota in the winter, or trying to legislate against hurricanes in Florida.
November 26 - The prices of everything from crude oil to gold mining shares to emerging-market equities to Chinese art to Dublin real estate are all making the same basic assumption: that the U.S. dollar will continue to decline in value. While this appears to be the safest bet imaginable, it also seemed to be a "sure thing" in December 2004, just before the U.S. dollar staged a strong rebound which lasted for nearly a year and which had a profound effect on the global financial markets.
November 19 - I began last week to sell short several emerging-market equity funds, as shown under my "current asset allocation" that always appears near the bottom of each update.
November 11, 2007 - A narrowing of the bullish rotational pattern is a reliable omen of trouble for global equities.
October 28 - Semiconductor funds and indices such as the exchange-traded fund SMH recently broke below their August 16 lows, and currently stand at their most depressed valuations in more than a half year. This is one of the clearest early-warning signs that equity markets around the world are set for a substantial pullback that will probably persist (with periodic minor upward bounces) until the spring of 2008.
October 22 - Many broad-based domestic equity indices including the Russell 2000 (RUT), the S&P Midcap 400 (MID), the S&P Smallcap 600 (SML), and most U.S. domestic equity mutual funds, never surpassed their highs from mid-July 2007. A double top is a classically bearish chart pattern.
October 8, 2007 - Notice that recently, commodity shares have almost always performed best in the first hour of trading--this is when most amateurs participate, while professionals as a rule generally wait until the markets have been open at least one hour before taking action.
September 23 - Here is a one-sentence reason why the greenback will rise substantially: the U.S. dollar will rally because expectations of growth outside the U.S. will suffer a significantly greater disappointment than anticipated growth within the U.S.
September 9, 2007 - It has always been the case that when the U.S. begins to experience a slowdown, most other parts of the world suffer an even more severe reduction in their anticipated rates of growth. This will cause the U.S. dollar to rally over the next several months relative to these other currencies [with the exception of those which are artificially pegged, of course], rather than plunging to new all-time lows.
August 25 - Check out an auction of Christie's or Sotheby's and compare the prices with what they had been a decade ago, or at any time in the past. The word "ridiculous" is one of the kinder ones which comes to mind.
August 14 - Many investors believe that gold is a safe haven in times of economic uncertainty. The fact is that the U.S. dollar, rather than gold, is always the safe haven of first choice.
August 5, 2007 - It is amazing how many in the media have been insisting for the past two years that the U.S. residential real-estate decline is "nearly over" or "will bottom next year". The problem is that it will continue to be "next year" for several more years.
July 23 - The global equity market, at a historic peak of complacency, is set for a typical cyclical correction, which will put additional downward pressure on all equity sector groups including gold mining shares.
July 8, 2007 - On top of a paltry 1% annualized return, an investor in real estate today stands the risk of losing half or more of his or her money within the next several years.
June 27 - I will be sure to update this web site in a timely manner when it is time to jump in with both hands and both feet to buy gold mining shares. For now, those who profit most will be those who do absolutely nothing.
June 17 - They say "the bell doesn't ring at the top", but all three of these events happening simultaneously are warning that Goldilocks is likely to soon be followed by the three bears.
June 10, 2007 - A rising U.S. dollar has preceded every global economic slowdown since the greenback was delinked from gold in 1971.
May 28 - The U.S. dollar has been steadily rallying since the first day of May, and as important technical resistance levels have been steadily broken one after the next, this rally is likely to accelerate into a major surge in the very near future.
May 8, 2007 - With technical strength and such a gloomy viewpoint, one can be certain that the U.S. dollar will rise sharply in value over the next half year, if not longer.
April 11, 2007 - There will be an increased demand for U.S.-denominated time deposits and the safe haven of U.S. Treasuries and their funds such as TLT. At relatively low valuations, these make for a compelling purchase at this time.
March 19 - In case you missed the housing bubble, don't worry--it will soon be out on video. The sequel is being written right now; unfortunately, it's likely to be rated R or worse, as it's turning quite grisly.
March 4, 2007 - Which is the abnormal occurrence: millions of working-class people in China speculating for the first time with their accumulated life savings, or a 10% decline in a market which had risen nearly 170% in one year?
February 19 - With the fewest people of participants in the financial markets expecting a worldwide market correction at this time, combined with the lowest level of cash being held by fund managers in anticipation of such a downturn, we have the ideal recipe for what is likely to be a punishing worldwide equity market pullback in 2007.
February 6, 2007 - The greater fool theory states that any ridiculously priced asset should still be bought, because someone else will be willing to pay an even more absurd price for it in the near future.
January 29 - If you've given that buyer a negative-amortization loan on a $700,000 house, and meanwhile the mortgage balance is now $800,000 while the house price has fallen to $650,000, and you have no down payment from that buyer, then it's not the buyer who will suffer, except for his or her credit rating. It's you--the banker--who's the patsy! Because now you have a $150,000 loss, even assuming that you can sell the house immediately, which is not so easy these days.
January 16 - What all of these have in common is that people are paying extraordinarily inflated prices for assets, partly because they are completely indifferent to what is supposed to be the prime principle behind investing, which is the likely return on those assets over the next several years. It's liquidity gone amok.
January 1, 2007 - The most important development in the financial markets in the past two months has been the progressive deterioration of base metals prices.
December 21 - Nickel and zinc still have an incredibly long way to decline before they reach anything resembling support levels.
December 8, 2006 - One thing on which everyone seems to agree is that the U.S. dollar will decline. Whenever there is a virtually unanimous consensus on anything in the financial markets, the opposite inevitably occurs.
November 28 - Some measures of implied equity volatility plunged last week to extremes not seen since 1993. When the fewest number of participants in the equity market fear a significant downturn, that is precisely when it is most likely to occur.
November 19 - For the first time since 2000, euro-zone government bonds are showing an inverted yield curve, which is an even more rare event that an inverted U.S. Treasury curve. Therefore, the upcoming recession is likely to be a worldwide event.
November 12 - Gold mining share indices and funds attempted to break and hold above their 200-day moving averages in the past week. This false "breakout" will soon be reversed sharply to the downside.
November 5, 2006 - Over the next several years, there will be fewer and smaller government spending bills passed, less money pumped into the Iraq war, and higher taxes. All three of these mean a lower budget deficit, and therefore a higher U.S. dollar. Since precious metals have historically moved in the opposite direction of the greenback, this means that once the financial media finally wakes up to this reality, gold and silver prices will decline.
October 23, 2006 - One very unusual feature of 2006 is that it has seen so many failed breakouts across asset classes. Most of these have been failed upside breakouts. A failed breakout is defined as any security surging to a new multi-year high, then collapsing to a level below where it was when the rally originally began.
September 10, 2006 - I sent an e-mail in the morning of Monday, May 22, 2006, recommending that subscribers switch from being short precious metals shares to being short the precious metals funds GLD and SLV.
August 27 - Banks and mortgage companies promote negative-amortization loans as "freedom loans"--obviously meaning freedom from actually having to ever pay off one's mortgage. Is anyone a fan of the great TV show 60 Minutes? A year from now, one can easily imagine a half-hour special report interviewing "innocent" homeowners who took out freedom loans from "greedy" mortgage companies, and who are now losing their homes to foreclosure.
August 14 - A 61.8% Fibonacci retracement of the entire gain in HUI from its nadir of 165.71 on May 16, 2005, to its peak of 401.69 on May 11, 2006, would put HUI at 255.85. Interestingly, the initial resistance level for HUI, from December 2, 2003, which was not exceeded for about two years, was 258.60.
August 4, 2006 - Equity markets worldwide have had a "hard landing", right on schedule, every four years since World War II. Notice the years of all major worldwide equity bottoms in recent years: 1974, 1982, 1990, 2002--each one is an even-numbered year which is not an exact multiple of four.
July 27 - When the level of fear remains constant as the market moves systematically lower, with a clear pattern of lower highs and lower lows, this is what constitutes a true bear market.
July 11, 2006 - As market liquidity contracts, the huge asset bubbles in everything from real estate to art to racehorses to smallcap equities will collapse. This downturn has already begun in earnest for some sectors, such as emerging-market equities, and will soon be apparent in all of these sectors.
June 27 - Be a true contrarian and buy Treasuries, such as the exchange-traded fund TLT.
June 11, 2006 - Most investors probably think that the financial markets are going from average volatility to extremely high volatility, but as measured by any historic yardsticks, they are still well below their average volatility of the past century, even after the past month's sharp market moves.
May 29 - Equities are entering their strongest time of the month, but once that passes next week, they are likely to plunge to new lows. SMH, an exchange-traded fund of semiconductor shares, has already broken below major support, while QQQQ, an exchange-traded fund of the top 100 stocks in the Nasdaq, is just above its recent 7-month low.
May 23 - For the first time that I can remember, there is more downside potential in gold and silver bullion than in gold and silver mining shares, in absolute percentage terms.
May 19, 2006 - The great worldwide asset bubble is now transitioning to a great worldwide asset collapse.
April 25 - The world has nearly universally accepted the thesis of rising inflation, whereas declining inflation is probably a much more likely outcome.
April 12 - In recent days, equities and commodities worldwide are making the slow turn from an uptrend to a downtrend, while U.S. long-dated Treasuries such as TLT are similarly making a critical turn, but in the opposite direction. It is likely that, once these reversals are complete and the acceleration begins in the opposite direction, that these trends will persist on average for a half year, roughly until October 2006.
April 3, 2006 - The cause for concern is that the Presidential cycle has been by far the most reliable cyclical stock market pattern since the end of World War II.
March 19 - The all-time record inventory of U.S. homes for sale is almost surely going to lead to lower housing prices, which when it occurs will have a massive deflationary impact, far exceeding any possible inflationary effects from commodities and wages combined.
March 12 - Be sure to take out a negative-amortization mortgage on your house, your kids, and your pets--yes, including Fifi--to buy the exchange-traded fund TLT and other long-dated Treasury securities.
March 5, 2006 - U.S. residential real estate prices had a fabulous boom, but it's been over for months. The real estate bull market essentially ended in June 2005, as proven by the official data from the National Association of Realtors.
February 26 - Market Vane, in its February 1 survey, showed 90% of traders bullish on gold, one of the highest readings ever recorded. Whatever long-term positive fundamentals exist for gold mining shares, the next few months are likely to see a significant downside correction.
February 19 - With U.S. real estate inventory at a new all-time high, new housing construction reported in the past week also set a record, thus bringing even more supply online when it is least needed. Projects scheduled for completion later in 2006 are also at an all-time zenith.
February 12 - It's one enormous, glorious global party, but no one wants to admit that everyone is drunk, and no one dares to consider what the hangover is going to bring the next day.
February 5, 2006 - It is interesting to observe how many e-mails I received within a few hours, and one dozen literally within a few minutes, of the January 31 peak in HUI--more than I have ever received in a single day. The language used in most of the correspondences was mostly similar to that which one might experience on a lengthy sea voyage, and I don't mean on the QE2. I am therefore convinced that HUI has seen its final high for the cycle, and will be experiencing a substantial decline.
January 29 - Volatility indices have plummeted sharply in just a single week. Investors, having virtually no fear, are buying those companies which have the most questionable and overrated prospects, just to get in on the action at any price. The behavior is not quite as stark as the all-time record divergences seen in March 2000, but they have exceeded those at other significant market peaks such as July 1990 and January 1973, and are amazingly similar to the readings seen at the market peak in the summer of 1929. Investors should be aggressively selling equities, rather than accumulating them.
January 22 - As oil shares have historically correlated very closely with gold mining shares, especially in recent years (for instance, both bottomed on May 16, 2005), they are likely to soon begin a sharp move lower in tandem.
January 16 - If one looks at a 34-year chart of HUI and compares it with the Nasdaq, the dates of intermediate-term and short-term bottoms are remarkably similar; in some cases coinciding exactly; in almost all other cases, varying by less than two weeks. That is true even given the fact that the Nasdaq has declined by more than half in the past five years, whereas HUI has risen by a multiple of almost nine.
January 8 - Many folks have simply and blindly purchased those shares and funds which were the best performers last year.
January 5 - If money is continuing to move into Treasuries, then to pay for them, sooner or later other assets will have to be sold. When Treasuries "disagree" with equities, almost always Treasuries have the last word.
January 1, 2006 - The U.S. dollar has completed a head-and-shoulders peak (the head was on November 16) in classic fashion, and should stage a more pronounced and persistent decline throughout the remainder of the winter.
December 28 - The big story of the day on Tuesday, by far, was the fact that the yield on the 2-year U.S. Treasury became greater than the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury. This condition, known as an inverted yield curve, is historically one of the most reliable indicators of an upcoming recession within the next six months. Analysts will be falling all over themselves during the next several weeks explaining why "it's different this time". There are two kinds of people: those who believe that it really is different, and those who know better.
December 26 - In the past few months, as HUI has struggled to gain an additional 8%-9%, this sector group has gotten easily ten or twenty times as much media adoration.
December 15 - If any U.S.-traded financial asset is frequently peaking at 10:30 a.m., it signifies that amateurs are buying, while institutions and insiders are selling. The reason is that most market professionals intentionally do not trade in the first hour. The same behavior applies in reverse: when any financial asset is frequently bottoming at 10:30 a.m., as gold mining shares did on the vast majority of trading days in May, it indicates that insiders and institutions are heavy net buyers.
December 8 - It is currently unpopular to be bearish on the stock market, and extraordinarily unpopular to be bearish on gold mining shares, but that is all the more reason that it is the only correct course of action.
December 3, 2005 - Seasonally, gold and its shares have peaked at this time of year in 2002, 2003, and 2004, so it looks as though we will get four in a row as 2005 continues this pattern.
November 28 - Market Vane, among the most respected of financial surveys, showed 88% of investors bullish on gold as of their most recent official weekly survey of Tuesday, November 22.
November 27 - Short-term strength is still possible, but over the next several months, gold mining shares will likely decline an average of 20% from current levels.
November 20 - The most reliable historic indicator of an upcoming U.S. recession is an inverted U.S. Treasury curve. This is defined as a situation in which the yield of the 2-year U.S. Treasury exceeds the yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury.
November 13 - The traders' commitments for the U.S. dollar index are at an all-time bearish extreme, while media coverage and investor sentiment toward the greenback has reversed from where it was at the end of 2004.
November 7 - From a technical point of view, one need only look at a chart of TLT, which looks almost exactly like a chart of HUI in May 2005, completing a very bullish double bottom.
November 1, 2005 - Usually, South African gold mining shares peak and bottom last, coincident with or slightly ahead of gold itself, while North American shares bottom a few weeks earlier.
October 30 - Gold and silver are set for a brief, sharp pullback.
October 25 - Impatient goldbugs should go to a deserted island for the next few weeks, so they are not tempted to overpay for their favorite gold mining shares.
October 23 - Foreign government bonds, including the fund BEGBX (the American Century International Bond Fund), remain very attractive for purchase. The traders' commitments for many currencies are near multi-year extremes, while the traders' commitments for the U.S. dollar index have one of the greatest ratios of commercials short to commercials long in history. The U.S. dollar itself recently completed an important double top, and is likely set for a very substantial decline over the next twelve months.
October 16 - Government bonds of all first-world nations, including the United States, look especially attractive at this time. U.S. Treasuries can be bought directly from the U.S. Treasury itself, or else via the exchange-traded fund TLT.
October 9 - When Katrina arrived on August 28, 2005, the Federal Reserve immediately added huge reserves to the money supply, in order to preemptively counteract any potential recessionary implications of the hurricane. Once it became increasingly clear to the Fed that Katrina, in spite of its massive dislocation of human lives, had no long-term recessionary implications, it began to reduce the money supply accordingly, in order to work off the massive infusion from late August.
October 2, 2005 - Gold mining shares often make an important low shortly before the American Thanksgiving holiday, which falls this year on November 24, 2005.
September 28 - Many commodity shares, including oil and other energy producers, appear to be completing their own bearish topping patterns, as the entire group of commodity-producing equities should see marked weakness over the next two months.
September 20 - Investors who were closely tracking the HUI/GLD spread should have already begun to either sell their gold mining shares, or sell covered calls against their positions, in anticipation of a period of weakness between now and November.
September 18 - Readers have surely already noticed the huge supply of new housing which will be coming on board just in and around their neighborhood over the next year or two.
September 12 - Investors in gold mining shares have probably noticed that the HUI/GLD spread has been falling sharply in recent days. When this is occurring simultaneously with a gold price rise, it represents a positive divergence, indicating that a continued move higher for both gold and its shares should be expected.
September 5, 2005 - History has not dealt kindly with the aftermath of protracted periods of low-risk premiums. --Alan Greenspan, August 26, 2005
August 21 - Although oil has been getting most of the headlines in recent months, it will be the collapse of the real-estate bubble that will be by far the strongest lasting legacy of the coming decade.
August 15 - If the inevitability of a collapse in U.S. coastal real estate occurs, as the ratios of housing prices to rents inevitably return to normal levels, the resulting pullback in consumer spending will likely cause U.S. indices to once again approach their nadirs of October 10, 2002.
August 8, 2005 - In case you missed the bull market in real estate, don't worry; it will soon be out on video.
July 25 - The U.S. dollar has completed a head-and-shoulders top, and is set for a sharp decline just as optimism toward the greenback is at its highest level in four years.
July 17 - As with the Nasdaq bubble articles in 2000, the more intense media coverage of real estate today does not signify a bearish tilt by the press. It is the exact opposite: a typical attempt at a market peak by the media to comfort those who are nervous about recent sharp price increases, and to provide ample assurance that a serious price decline is not going to happen.
July 10 - What the wise man does in the beginning, the fool does in the end. --Sy Jacobs, Barron's (in reference to people buying houses for top dollar in 2005)
July 4, 2005 - The difference between 1929 and today is that in 1929 people bought houses on 50% down and stocks on 10% margin, whereas today is the reverse. Actually, if you pay 10% down on a house, the bank will say, "Why so much cash?"
June 26 - Gold itself is likely to decline about $17 over the next few weeks to $423, its key resistance level from 1988-1996, as previous strong long-term resistance becomes new strong support.
June 19 - With the Nasdaq set for a sharp decline, weakness in equities in general is likely to carry over into gold mining shares, as the two usually correlate with each other in the short run. Instead of selling gold or gold mining shares, however, it is recommended that readers add to their short positions in Nasdaq- and semiconductor-related indices such as QQQQ and SMH.
June 15 - The U.S. dollar index saw a new all-time record commercial short position on the New York Board of Trade, thus providing an excellent opportunity to sell short the greenback.
June 5, 2005 - HUI should make a higher low than 181 over the next few weeks. This will be the last very good buying opportunity for these shares in 2005.
May 30 - In spite of these deteriorating fundamentals for the U.S. dollar, the rally in the greenback is likely to continue in the short run, as those who sold short the U.S. dollar as part of the nearly unanimous anti-greenback consensus in late 2004, or "because Warren Buffett is doing it and he knows what he is doing", and who have not yet covered or been stopped out, will likely use the French vote and any other anti-EU votes or public anti-EU pronouncements by politicians as an excuse to cover their short positions, thus putting additional upward pressure on the U.S. dollar.
May 23 - As the gold price has fallen five dollars in the past week, HUI has risen 10 points. The HUI/GLD spread is likely to contract to around 216 within a month or so as gold continues to move lower, while gold mining shares continue to move higher.
May 15 - The most difficult time to buy is at the low of the year, since that is when everyone is telling you why the price is certain to go lower.
May 8 - Obviously gold mining shares are not quite as good a bargain as when I did my last update, but should continue to be purchased into all pullbacks, especially early in the day, and whenever HUI is below 180.
May 2, 2005 - Assume that there will be a significant SHORT-TERM rally in gold mining shares, and let the long term take care of itself.
April 27 - The only difference between a gambler in a casino and an "investor" in U.S. real estate is that the gambler knows he can lose money.
April 18 - The Nasdaq is at a key support level which has held for 1-1/2 years, with the exception of a brief downside move in the midsummer of 2004, when it fell to its first Fibonacci retracement level of 1750. That, combined with unusually heavy media coverage of the recent modest pullback in worldwide equities, could lead to a brief bounce in the Nasdaq.
April 10 - The Nasdaq is set for a sharp short-term collapse to 1900, its most consistent support level of the past 1-1/2 years. Short-term speculators should immediately purchase short-dated puts on QQQQ and SMH.
April 3, 2005 - Commodities are also likely to decline, including crude oil, which will also put downward pressure on precious metals.
March 27 - As HUI prepares to make another in its series of higher lows dating back to November 2000, it is once again time to slowly purchase gold mining shares.
March 20 - Notice that the greenback continued to make higher lows throughout the past several trading days.
March 13 - Is anyone besides myself wildly bullish on the U.S. dollar over the next several months?
March 6, 2005 - It is likely that semiconductor shares are pointing the way lower for the Nasdaq, and in turn, the Nasdaq is pointing the way lower for the broader market over the next several months.
February 27 - Gold itself has probably not yet made its final bottom of 2005, but should do so over the next two months.
February 6, 2005 - The risk/reward scenario for being long gold mining shares has become roughly as favorable as the outlook for being short the Nasdaq, so investors should consider gradually establishing substantial positions in both over the next several weeks, while keeping a substantial amount in cash to make additional purchases in the future.
January 17 - It appears as though gold mining shares have completed a left shoulder in a head-and-shoulders bottom. The price of 200 for HUI, the Amex goldbugs index of unhedged gold-mining shares, is an important minor support level, which is likely to be seen once again as a support level in March or April after the first big bounce from the inevitable bottom runs into profit taking at the neckline. The trading action of Wednesday, January 12, 2005, in which gold rose 1% while gold mining shares fell 1/2%, confirmed that the current downward trend is not yet over.
January 2, 2005 - In science, each generation builds upon the knowledge of all previous generations. In finance, each generation repeats the same mistakes of all previous generations. --Steven Jon Kaplan
December 21 - If you're going to panic, panic early. --Anonymous
December 4, 2004 - Those who most lament missing the last bull market inevitably participate most fully in the ensuing bear market. --Steven Jon Kaplan
November 29 - The spread between spot gold and HUI, the Amex Gold Bugs Index of unhedged gold mining shares, has continued to widen, from 184 two months ago to 211 at this time.
November 14 - When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in the financial markets, do as the insiders do.
November 3 - The price of gold rose by roughly half during the first Bush presidency, so the gold price will probably end a second Bush presidency with an additional rise of about one half.
November 1, 2004 - The Chinese government last week raised short-term interest rates by 0.27%, and promised to continue to raise rates until the overheated economy cools down. This has very negative implications for worldwide commodities and equities prices, since the name of the financial game has been liquidity, and the entire world economy has been fueled by the strong growth in China.
October 10, 2004 - The more that investors are convinced that something will occur in the long run, the more they are likely to have made a speculation that this event will occur, and, therefore, paradoxically, the more likely that the opposite will happen in the short run.
September 27 - I am expecting official U.S. government data to show a "sudden" drop in real estate prices, which will change the entire perception of real estate as a "sure thing" and likely cause a sharp drop in investor confidence, and perhaps even help to trigger a recession which could become quite severe as early as 2006.
September 19 - VXO hit 13.12 and VIX hit 13.16 on Monday, September 13, 2004, while VXN hit a new all-time record low on the same day. The obvious message here is not only one of investor complacency, but complacency in the face of a series of lower highs for almost all major equity indices dating back to early 2004.
September 5, 2004 - With the sole exception of May, in which gold sagged to $371.25, the yellow metal has found repeated support at $387 this year, so it will be interesting to see if that key level is once again approached, and if so, if it can be broken to the downside.
August 22 - VXO is like the fuel that drives the Nasdaq sports car, and as such, the fuel is running low, since "empty" is around 13, and the "driver" doesn't usually run it that close to empty.
August 15 - At 9:17 a.m. on Thursday, August 12, 2004, the South African central bank surprised most observers by lowering a key lending rate by half a percent, instead of leaving it unchanged as had been expected. No reason was given for this decision, but many presume that the central bank was concerned about the rand's powerful rally from 13.5 to the U.S. dollar in December 2001 to 5.9 to the dollar in late July 2004.
August 9 - For those who prefer not to sell short, or cannot do so because of retirement account restrictions, consider purchasing the Rydex fund RYVNX, which moves opposite to the Nasdaq in leveraged fashion.
August 3, 2004 - Long-dated U.S. Treasuries remain the best among a poor selection of conservative investment vehicles at this time, although their strong performance in the past several weeks makes them less compelling than they had been in June.
July 25 - Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.
July 11, 2004 - I would anticipate that the euro, currently at $1.242, will decline by at least a dime (ten cents) over the next two months, returning close to its low of November 2003.
June 28 - In the past week, key volatility readings such as VXN and VXO nearly approached or actually set new multi-year lows, which is typical of a market which is set for a sharp near-term pullback.
June 21 - More than 80% of the drop in gold mining share prices in the past half year has been due to the spread between spot gold and HUI widening from 148 to 207.
June 13 - Long-dated U.S. Treasuries are still the best long-side investment currently available.
June 6, 2004 - Both ordinary Treasuries and especially zero-coupon Treasuries have become almost universally disliked by investors.
May 23 - It appears that HUI completed its 2004 bottom at 163.81 just after the open on Monday, May 10, 2004, the day after my last update.
May 9, 2004 - Gold shares as measured by HUI bottomed at 112.61 in the morning of March 13, 2003, its lowest level that year. HUI peaked at 258.60 on December 2, 2003. If one assumes that HUI is currently giving up 61.8% of this gain, then its bottom later this year will be 168.38.
April 11, 2004 - The general media consensus appears to be that gold is an ideal hedge against a decline in the Nasdaq, even though the "secret" truth is that the two have moved closely together since the late spring of 2002.
March 23 - In case you missed the U.S. equity bull market, don't worry; it will soon be out on video. --Steven Jon Kaplan
March 17 - In recent days, gold mining shares have begun to more noticeably underperform gold itself, with the spread between HUI and spot gold rising to its highest level in several months. This underlines the danger of owning the shares during a time when the overall equity market is declining, since gold shares are often more responsive to the stock market than they are to the gold price itself. Such a divergence was seen most graphically in late 1987, when gold shares lost nearly half their value while the gold price was rising. If the Nasdaq continues its decline, gold mining shares are also likely to remain weak over the next several months.
March 9 - The financial markets were created by the upper class as a means of transferring wealth from the upper middle class to the upper class, and have succeeded marvelously in this endeavor.
February 29 - I'm still long U.S. Treasuries and proud of it!
February 23 - No doubt most of the move in the euro from 84.5 cents in June 2001 to 1.2929 last week was due to fundamentals, but there was a speculative element as well, as happens in all extended rallies, and this speculative element is likely to be shaken out soon. Most likely, the greenback still has about a ten-percent rise remaining, putting it near 1.12 to the euro, perhaps by midsummer.
February 8 - Both now appear to have now nearly completed their short-term rebound, and are set for a more sustained decline that for gold will probably last until the early spring, and for the Nasdaq will continue, bounces throughout, until it bottoms near 1500 in July or August.
February 1, 2004 - Since it is unlikely that gold or its shares will bottom in February, due to seasonal patterns, gold will bounce sooner or later for a week or two, so that it can make its first 2004 bottom in March or April.
January 25 - The heavily oversold U.S. dollar has begun a rebound which will probably continue through the spring or summer, and which will also likely depress the gold price.
January 19 - The traders' commitments for gold and for most currencies suggest that each time gold breaks below a minor round-number support level such as $420, $400, $380, etc., fifteen thousand or so speculator contracts will undergo forced liquidation through sell stops, thus preventing gold in the first several months of 2004 from being able to sustain a relatively high level which might otherwise seem reasonable on a fundamental basis.
January 11, 2004 - HUI recently was unable to surpass its December 2, 2003 zenith even with gold $25 per ounce higher and silver $1 per ounce higher. As a general rule, when gold and silver are making new highs, but gold and silver mining shares are not able to set new highs, this negative divergence leads to a downturn of several weeks to several months for both the yellow metal and its shares.
July 31, 2003 - The net neutral price for gold, at which commercials are neither net long nor net short, is probably very close to $330 at this time, which should limit any downside move in the yellow metal. In general, this price has been rising about 1% per month for the past three years, and will probably continue to rise at this pace for the next three years or more.
May 19 - As the U.S. dollar rebounds, gold is likely to retrace perhaps $25-$33 of its recent gains, potentially reaching a June bottom of $333-$342.
April 7 - Investor sentiment toward gold and its shares is continuing to deteriorate, even as the share prices are grinding higher. This is exactly the opposite of the behavior in early February when gold was peaking, and is the classic sign of an important intermediate-term bottom.
March 17 - One should use this upward spike in equities and downward plunge in gold, should it occur, as a buying opportunity for gold and its shares, and a fabulous chance to sell short U.S. equities. Remember that for a few years, there was uncertainty about Microsoft due to the Justice Department intention to break it into pieces. Once the suit was dropped, Microsoft rallied for about half an hour to a split-adjusted price of 38.07 in June 2001, then collapsed thereafter; it closed at 24.86 on Friday. The breakup uncertainty was actually keeping the price of Microsoft inflated, not depressed, as sellers who knew the fundamentals wanted to see a resolution to the issue before they sold.
March 13 - The overall current outlook for gold mining shares has improved from MODERATELY BULLISH to STRONGLY BULLISH, as the HUI appears to have completed a very bullish double bottom at 112.61 with its November 22, 2002 nadir of 112.66.
March 11 - Use GTC limit orders, and be bold enough to do some buying early each day, as many shares could close substantially above their intraday nadirs, and therefore one could potentially give up several percent of the eventual gain by waiting for confirmation that a final bottom has already occurred.
February 25 - It is likely that when HUI breaks below and then fails to regain its 200-day moving average, which is only about 2% below its current price, that there will be a short-term collapse in gold mining share prices.
January 6, 2003 - HUI rose to an intraday high of 154.92 at 10:06:36 a.m. EST on Monday, January 6, 2003; this was seven cents below its previous peak (of 154.99) on June 4, 2002, and thus completed an ominous double top. In other words, gold is $25 higher than it was last June, but senior gold shares are struggling to regain the same or lower price levels. This is a profoundly negative divergence which almost always leads to sharply lower prices for both gold and its shares.
December 19, 2002 - XAU, which is weighted most heavily toward more senior producers, is especially underperforming. This is a very negative divergence which almost always leads to sharply lower prices for both gold and its shares. Quite a few gold analysts have noted this behavior, but have concluded that "the shares will eventually catch up with the metal". That's like driving through a red traffic light at a busy intersection, figuring that "the signal will eventually catch up with the traffic"(!) The red light for gold is clear; intelligent investors will pay attention to it, rather than suffering a wreck.
December 16 - Commercials are net short more than 90 thousand contracts of COMEX gold futures, which is a typical warning of an overbought market.
November 11 - The only reason that I am not more bearish is that many investors who started buying gold shares for the first time in the spring of 2002 were burned by the 40% collapse in HUI from early June to late July. Therefore, they chose not to participate in the recent move higher, and as a result, gold share valuations are not nearly as dangerously euphoric now as they were in late May or early June.
September 19 - Senior gold shares are finally performing better relative to juniors, which is a bullish sign for gold shares.
August 6 - Due to the noticeably slowing U.S. economy, it will be difficult politically for the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates even if real price inflation rears its head. Most likely the Fed will perceive a moderate increase in inflation as preferable to a prolonged recession, although the U.S. is likely to suffer from both in any event.
July 31 - It does appear that gold industry executives have stopped their heavy selling of shares in their own companies, indicating that the ridiculous overvaluations of the late spring are no longer a serious concern. This is a positive development, although there has been no insider buying to speak of.
July 9 - The mathematical likelihood of gold, given its historical volatility, of going below $300 at some point over the next several months is currently just below 50%, so about half of gold analysts should be predicting such an outcome. The fact that they are not means that gold bears are afraid to be bearish, which is the typical sign of a market set for a sustained decline.
June 11 - Last week's Market Vane showed investors at 88% bullishness on gold, a level seen only once every few years, and a reading which is always coincident with an intermediate-term peak. India, which by far has the greatest physical demand of any country in the world, has suffered a double whammy: the rupee is at an all-time low versus the U.S. dollar, while gold prices have risen in U.S. dollars (since last autumn), making the rupee price of gold about 20% higher than it was in November 2001. Therefore, even if Indian buyers are paying the same number of rupees per year, they will be purchasing 20% fewer ounces. The actual decline is probably greater because Indian buyers are intelligent and price sensitive.
May 29 - Speculative juniors have been far outperforming their senior counterparts in recent weeks, as is typical of any market near the top of a bubble.
May 1, 2002 - Some gold share investors have been more activist in recent years in demanding that producers either eliminate or at least sharply reduce their hedging activities, so that gold share prices are more directly leveraged to the gold price. If gold producers are now more afraid of negative public opinion if they resume their previous hedging activity, it is likely that hedging will remain at a low level in the near future. Therefore, although the long-term movement of gold prices will not be affected, short- and intermediate-term volatility is likely to sharply increase, as producers are selling at market prices most of the time. Higher volatility probably means that there will be greater percentage swings in gold mining share prices over the next several years as compared with the previous several years.