Friday, April 15, 2011

Gold Skeptic Smells Gold Bubble

Cody Willard isn't your typical gold skeptic. What got him smelling bubble is the increasing number of advisors who describe gold as a one-decision trade: buy, hold and forget. A source of his is also seeing signs that ordinary folks are beginning to trade gold in the hopes of striking it rich.
The $64,000 question as it pertains to gold, in my mind, is this: Does trillion dollar press pumping trump the fact that there’s nobody left to buy gold? As Marcin rightly points out, gardeners and the same people who were flipping real estate back in 2005-2007 are now gold bugs and commodity geniuses.
Although it's anecdotal, it is reminiscent of the late '90s when gardners and such traded in their day jobs to trade in Internet stocks.

That story makes for a red flag, as would long line-ups in gold shops. Myself, I'm demurring. The trouble with the bubble talk is that gold isn't acting like a commodity caught up in a bubble. A nascent bubble, yes, but not a full-fledged one: not yet. It still moves in fits and starts.

However, silver tends to go nuts when gold enters the third stage of its bull market. That's what we've seen recently. A bull market of gold's length and strength almost invariably ends with a blow-off top. The metal may be approaching one, but it's not there yet. There's still that recurrent wall of worry.

One kicker worth considering: gold may undergo another mini-bear market, like '08's. In early 1998, Internet stocks imploded to the point where at least one respected financial commentator called a premature end to the Internet bubble. Should gold suffer such a fate prior to a blow-off top, then such a bear market will prove to be the last gigantic fake-out. Should it do so, there'll be a lot of crowing about the "popped gold bubble" even as the metal recovers and heads back up.

On that possibility, it may be a good idea to build up cash reserves.

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