Friday, May 7, 2010

"Gold For The Long Run"

Taking the form of a debunking of Stocks For The Long Run by Jeremy Siegel, Drew Mason makes the case for "Gold for the Long Run" over at Minyanville. The nub of his argument for holding physical gold is wealth preservation: gold has held its value over the very long run while fiat cash hasn't. Mason explains the drop in gold from 1980 to 2001 is the product of falling interest rates, a phase which isn't going to be repeated:
We make no bones about how horribly gold performed from 1980-2000. Investors need to realize though that the key input in valuing hard and paper assets, namely interest rates, went from 20% to near 2% over that period. Such a move is generational that mathematically can't be repeated from current levels. That move provided a brutal headwind for gold and was the afterburner for paper assets. Now that we are poised to see rates move higher rather than lower, the headwinds will reverse, providing the fuel for hard assets and a multiple compressor for equities. The fundamental landscape is more like 1970 than 1980 so investors may be well served to recognize the period from 1980-2000 bears few similarities to today’s markets.

Times change, in other words. They already have for the stock market, which is stuck in a very-long-term trading range at the same time gold's been going up.

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