GOLDBUG: Never ask a gold bug for comments!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Buying Gold?

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We may or may not face serious inflation but I would like to hold as much gold as possible either way. It might cost me a couple bucks more for the same thing but worst cast I will just laugh about that when I buy for less in a few months.


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Gold — bullion; not “collectibles” — currently has a 10% premium. Silver seems to be about 12%. (Palladium is an “interesting” play; rarer than platinum, but priced 60% below gold?) Unfortunately, that’s a lot of “commission” to pay. (A loan shark’s vig?) In the past it was as low as 2%. A mutual fund with a 10% load would be found unacceptable; why should we treat bullion any different. Hold it for 10 years and it doesn’t feel as bad.

The other consideration is what are your protecting against. In an “orderly” inflation scenario, other investments may “surf” the riding tide of inflation (i.e., real estate; stocks). In a “disorderly” inflation scenario (e.g., hyperinflation like Rwanda or pre-WW2 Germany), then you want the bullion coins in your possession. (Or, where you can get to them in a pinch.)

Bottom line: In hyperinflation, bullion coins will overcome the premium in a heartbeat. But what’s the probability of it happening? Tough call.

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