Friday, October 26, 2012
Silver, Gold Await Printing Presses
While there is no doubt the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world will continue to ramp up the money printing presses, we remain somewhat in a holding pattern, at least in the United States, after Ben Bernanke announced the Fed will buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities on a monthly basis indefinitely, with indefinitely measured by the health of the job market, with hints the Fed and Bernanke want to see it at about 5.5 percent.
Even though some business and economic writers and investors have attempted to paint gold and silver has having reached a plateau at this time, with the probability they will fall in price, there is not doubt nothing will stop central banks from feeding the out of control spending habits of governments around the world, and the price of gold and silver will continue to rise over the next 10 years, with gold and silver miners, which currently, for the most part, are enjoying low valuations, will bring investors solid returns, especially for silver investors, where the gold-silver ratio continues to be far higher than historical levels, standing far beyond the usual 16 times ounces of silver it takes to buy an ounce of gold, to weigh in at a hefty 54 times the usual amount it takes to buy an ounce of gold with silver.
That alone will dramatically push up the price of silver, as its historical ratio to gold should have it stand at over $100 an ounce as of this writing.
So in the short term, in spite of the announcements by the Federal Reserve and the ECB to stimulate the respective economies of the United States and the euro zone, they still haven't launched their buying programs, which has temporarily kept the price of silver and gold in holding patterns.
It's apparent in the case of Bernanke that he's waiting to implement QE3 when it is seen as not an attempt to influence the upcoming presidential election. With that soon to end, it won't be much long afterwards when it'll begin, and then silver and gold will jump, and it could even before that as investors begin to price in the effect of the stimulus on precious metals, and the resultant fall in value of the U.S. dollar.
For the European Union, what is causing the holdup there is the temporary decision by Spain to attempt to make it appear they have a chance of not needing the money to bailout its economy. That's a fallacy, and largely based upon the need to make it look like they're fighting to keep their people from having to face forced austerity in order to secure the loans.
But like Germany, it will cave on the borrowing end, just like the German leaders do on the lending end. Spain will accept the loans, and when they do, that will also cause silver and gold to rise in price.
One uncertainty in regard to currencies is the major competitors are all debasing their currencies through stimulus programs of one type or another, so it's unclear whether there will be much in the way of the impact of the fall in the U.S. dollar on gold and silver. In that regard inflation and safety will be the impetus behind the rise in the two precious metals; much more so probably than the weakening of the U.S. dollar. Again, it depends on how the market reacts to and views the impact of QE3 in the U.S., and if it deems it as more dramatically weakening the U.S. dollar against major competing currencies, we could see it push up the price of silver and gold even quicker and further than most think.
Another short-term consideration is the selling off of assets by those making decisions based upon tax strategies. That could push down silver and gold some as investors sell off at foolishly low prices. But there is no doubt the duo will continue to rise, even in the short term, as you simply can't bet against the practices of the Federal Reserve and other central banks, which have placed a floor under the precious metals, and which will soar up from there for years to come.
It's a matter of how to invest in silver and gold, not whether you should.
Finally, it is believed that QE3 could even expand beyond the $40 billion spent monthly as Operation Twist comes to an end. The thought is Bernanke will probably start to buy treasuries again in an attempt to jump start the economy, even though that has repeatedly failed to achieve results.
Gold and silver miners, because of ridiculously low valuations will soar in price as an asset class, with some doing far better than others of course. But the rising price of silver and gold, and the relatively new focus on dividends will be a powerful attractant to investors, who will be able to cash in on both fronts if they invest in the right companies.
Another element to watch is mergers and acquisitions among miners, which will make a lot of money for those that can anticipate where those moves are likely to be.
Of course in the end, gold and silver are first a place of safety and hedge against inflation, so that is the number one priority for those putting money in the precious metals. But with little in the way of growth in equities, they will increasingly be looked at by general investors as places they can also make money over time. That will also push up the price of miners, which will benefit everyone holding positions in them.
The silly talk of a gold or silver bubble is off the table at this time, as the everyday investor has yet to really enter the market in a significant way, and until that happens en masse, there is little we need to be concerned about concerning a bubble.
We will need to watch it closely, but we have yet to see the outrageous bidding up of gold and silver prices, and even when that does happen, which shouldn't be for a while, it can sometimes take several years before the prices stop climbing.
For now, investors way for the printing presses to start up, and when they do, there is nothing in the way to keep the price of gold and silver from jumping in the short- and long-term.