Most Popular
1. It’s a New Macro, the Gold Market Knows It, But Dead Men Walking Do Not (yet)- Gary_Tanashian
2.Stock Market Presidential Election Cycle Seasonal Trend Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
3. Bitcoin S&P Pattern - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Nvidia Blow Off Top - Flying High like the Phoenix too Close to the Sun - Nadeem_Walayat
4.U.S. financial market’s “Weimar phase” impact to your fiat and digital assets - Raymond_Matison
5. How to Profit from the Global Warming ClImate Change Mega Death Trend - Part1 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Bitcoin Gravy Train Trend Forecast 2024 - - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Bond Trade and Interest Rates - Nadeem_Walayat
9.It’s Easy to Scream Stocks Bubble! - Stephen_McBride
10.Fed’s Next Intertest Rate Move might not align with popular consensus - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
How to Capitalise on the Robots - 20th June 24
Bitcoin, Gold, and Copper Paint a Coherent Picture - 20th June 24
Why a Dow Stock Market Peak Will Boost Silver - 20th June 24
QI Group: Leading With Integrity and Impactful Initiatives - 20th June 24
Tesla Robo Taxis are Coming THIS YEAR! - 16th June 24
Will NVDA Crash the Market? - 16th June 24
Inflation Is Dead! Or Is It? - 16th June 24
Investors Are Forever Blowing Bubbles - 16th June 24
Stock Market Investor Sentiment - 8th June 24
S&P 494 Stocks Then & Now - 8th June 24
As Stocks Bears Begin To Hibernate, It's Now Time To Worry About A Bear Market - 8th June 24
Gold, Silver and Crypto | How Charts Look Before US Dollar Meltdown - 8th June 24
Gold & Silver Get Slammed on Positive Economic Reports - 8th June 24
Gold Summer Doldrums - 8th June 24
S&P USD Correction - 7th June 24
Israel's Smoke and Mirrors Fake War on Gaza - 7th June 24
US Banking Crisis 2024 That No One Is Paying Attention To - 7th June 24
The Fed Leads and the Market Follows? It's a Big Fat MYTH - 7th June 24
How Much Gold Is There In the World? - 7th June 24
Is There a Financial Crisis Bubbling Under the Surface? - 7th June 24
Bitcoin Trend Forecast, Crypto's Exit Strategy - 31st May 24
Zimbabwe Officials Already Looking to Inflate New Gold-Backed Currency - 31st May 24
India Silver Imports Have Already Topped 2023 Total - 31st May 24
Gold Has Done Its Job – Isn’t That Enough? - 31st May 24
Gold Stocks Catching Up - 31st May 24
Time to take the RED Pill - 28th May 24
US Economy Slowing Slipping into Recession, But Not There Yet - 28th May 24
Gold vs. Silver – Very Important Medium-term Signal - 28th May 24
Is Gold Price Heading to $2,275 - 2,280? - 28th May 24
Stocks Bull Market Smoking Gun - 25th May 24
Congress Moves against Totalitarian Central Bank Digital Currency Schemes - 25th May 24
Government Tinkering With Prices Is Like Hiding All of the Street Signs - 25th May 24
Gold Mid Tier Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 25th May 24
Why US Interest Rates are a Nothing Burger - 24th May 24
Big Banks Are Pressuring The Fed To Losen Protection For Depositors - 24th May 24
Another Bank Failure: How to Tell if Your Bank is At Risk - 24th May 24
AI Stocks Portfolio and Tesla - 23rd May 24
All That Glitters Isn't Gold: Silver Has Outperformed Gold During This Gold Bull Run - 23rd May 24
Gold and Silver Expose Stock Market’s Phony Gains - 23rd May 24
S&P 500 Cyclical Relative Performance: Stocks Nearing Fully Valued - 23rd May 24
Nvidia NVDA Stock Earnings Rumble After Hours - 22nd May 24
Stock Market Trend Forecasts for 2024 and 2025 - 21st May 24
Silver Price Forecast: Trumpeting the Jubilee | Sovereign Debt Defaults - 21st May 24
Bitcoin Bull Market Bubble MANIA Rug Pulls 2024! - 19th May 24
Important Economic And Geopolitical Questions And Their Answers! - 19th May 24
Pakistan UN Ambassador Grows Some Balls Accuses Israel of Being Like Nazi Germany - 19th May 24
Could We See $27,000 Gold? - 19th May 24
Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 19th May 24
The Gold and Silver Ship Will Set Sail! - 19th May 24

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Gold, the Real Long-Run Value

Commodities / Gold & Silver 2009 Jan 29, 2009 - 04:06 AM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleWHAT'S IN A NUMBER...? Ignoring the day-to-day noise, more than a handful of gold dealers and analysts reckon gold will hit $2,200 an ounce before this bull market is done.

Why? Because that's the peak of 1980 revisited and re-priced in today's US dollars.


Simple, right? Too simple by half, in fact.

First, betwixt spreadsheet and napkin, there's often a slip. Several targets you'll find out here on the net put the old 1980 top nearer $2,000 in today's money. One Gold Coin dealer puts the figure way up at $2,400 an ounce.

Maybe they got the jump on this month's Consumer Price data. Maybe $200 to $400 an ounce just won't matter when the next big gold top arrives. But maybe, we guess here at BullionVault , an extra 20% gain (or 20% of missed profits) will always feel crucial when you're looking to buy, sell or hold. Perhaps that's the problem.

Either way, having crunched (and re-crunched) the numbers just now, even we can't help but knock out a target...

To match its inflation-adjusted peak of $850 an ounce – as recorded by the London PM Gold Fix of 21st Jan. 1980 – the price of gold should now stand nearer $2,615.

Two's up therefore, the lag between current gold prices and that old nominal high scarcely looks a good reason to start buying gold today. "Ask the investor who rushed out to Buy Gold precisely 29 years ago, at $845 an ounce, about gold as an inflation hedge," as Jon Nadler – senior analyst at Kitco Inc. of Montreal, the Canadian dealers and smelters – said on the 29th anniversary of gold's infamous peak last week.

"They could sell it for about $845 today...[but] they would need to sell it for something near $2,200 just to break even, when adjusted for inflation."

This lag, of course, can be turned any-which-way you like. For several big-name Gold Investment gurus, including Jim Rogers and Marc Faber, it mean gold has got plenty of room-left-to-soar, compared at least with the last time investors began swapping paper for metal in a bid to defend their savings and wealth.

But for the much bigger anti-gold-buggery camp – that consensual mob of mainstream analysts, op-ed columnists, news-wire hacks and financial advisors – gold's inflation-adjusted "big top" just as easily stands as a great reason not to buy gold. Ever.

"An investor in gold [buying at the end of 1980] experienced a reduction in purchasing power of 2.4% per annum," notes Larry Swedroe, a financial services director at BAM Services in Missouri, writing at IndexUniverse.com and recommending Treasury inflation-protected TIPs instead.

"[That was] a cumulative loss of purchasing power of about 55%...Even worse, that does not consider the costs of investing in gold...[and] while gold has provided a slightly positive real return over the very long term, the price movement is far too volatile for gold to act as an effective hedge against inflation."

Volatility can't be denied. Indeed, it's the only thing we ever promise to users of BullionVault . (They don't need to take our word on security, cost-efficiency or convenience.) Traditionally twice as volatile as the US stock market, gold prices have become five times as wild since the financial crisis kicked off.

But price volatility has also leapt everywhere else, not least in the S&P 500 index – now 8 times wilder from the start of 2008. The Euro/Dollar exchange rate is more than four times as volatile as it was back in Aug. '07...just as the banking meltdown began. Even Treasury bonds have gone crazy, making daily moves in their yield more vicious still than even the gold price or forex!

So putting sleepless nights to one side (if you or your pharmacist can manage it), the key point at issue is in fact the "long term" and inflation.

Why look back to the real purchasing power of gold from 1913 onwards? Besides the fact that its monthly average since – when deflated by the official US consumer price index – comes in at 97.8...pretty much right where it started.

Well, that's when official Consumer Price data start (hat-tip to Fred at the St.Louis Fed). It's also when the Federal Reserve was first founded, with the easy-as-pie task of giving the United States an "elastic currency".

Okay, so it ain't quite made of rubber just yet. But the Dollar's own value in gold – by which it used to be backed, pre-1971 – just keeps brickling and bouncing around like it's being used as a squash ball.

"With the right confluence of economic and geopolitical developments we should see gold break through $1,500 and then $2,000 and then possibly still higher round numbers in the next few years," said Jeffrey Nichols, M.D. of American Precious Metals Advisors, at the 3rd Annual China Gold & Precious Metals Summit in Shanghai last month – "particularly if we get the type of buying frenzy or mania that often occurs late in the price cycles of financial and commodity markets.

"This is hardly an audacious forecast when looked at relative to the upward march in consumer prices over the past 28 years. After all, the previous high of $875 an ounce in January 1980, when adjusted for inflation since then, is today equivalent to more than $2,200."

Audacious or not, as Nichols points out, the thing to watch for would be a "buying frenzy" – a true "mania" amongst people now Ready to Buy Gold that sent not only its price but also its purchasing power shooting very much higher.

Because for gold to reach $2,200 an ounce in today's money (if not $2,615...) would mean something truly remarkable in terms of its real long-run value.

  • Inflation-adjusted, that peak gold price of 21 Jan. 1980 saw the metal worth more than 5 times its purchasing power of 1913;
  • In March 2008, just as Bear Stearns collapsed and gold touched a new all-time peak of $1,032 in the spot market, the metal stood at its best level – in terms of US consumer purchasing power – since December 1982;
  • Touching $2,200 an ounce (without sharply higher inflation undermining that peak), gold would be worth almost 6 times as much as it was before the Federal Reserve was established in real terms of domestic US purchasing power.

"I own some gold," said Rogers, for instance, in an interview recently, "and if gold goes down I'll buy some more...and if gold goes up I'll buy some more.

"Gold during the course of the bull market, which has several more years to go, will go much higher."

But "much higher" in nominal Dollar terms is not the same as "much higher" in terms of real purchasing power, however. More to the point, that previous peak of $850 an ounce – as recorded at the London PM Gold Fix on 21 Jan. 1980 – lasted hardly two hours.

Defending yourself with gold is one thing, in short. Assuming gold is the perfect inflation hedge is quite another. And taking peak profits in gold – as with any investable asset – is surely impossible for everyone but the single seller to mark that very top price.

That doesn't diminish gold's real long-term value to private investors however, as we'll see in Part II – to follow.

By Adrian Ash
BullionVault.com

Gold price chart, no delay | Free Report: 5 Myths of the Gold Market
City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and a regular contributor to MoneyWeek magazine, Adrian Ash is the editor of Gold News and head of research at www.BullionVault.com , giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich , on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2009

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.

Adrian Ash Archive

© 2005-2022 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in