Sunday, March 14, 2010

Beware Counterfeiters

Kevin Bambrough & David Franklin, Sprott Asset Management
Long time readers know that we have written about gold many times over the last ten years, starting with an October 2001 article entitled “All that Glitters is Gold”. We first invested in the precious metal based on the belief that central bank sales were filling a fundamental supply deficit that existed in the gold market. We also wrote that if you believed in gold as a financial instrument you might envision a gold price appreciation of 45% to US$400 per ounce, or even higher, as investors sought to protect their wealth in the ‘bear market’ that followed the 2000 stock meltdown. What a difference nine years have made. In 2010, Central Banks are now close to becoming net buyers of gold while mine output continues to decline. With major indices returning nothing to investors over the last ten years it has been a lost decade for stocks but an excellent decade for gold.
Gold’s recent appreciation in US dollars has led some market commentators to question its fair value. This is nothing new for gold – it has been criticized and downplayed as an asset ever since it came off its previous peak in 1980 of US$850 per ounce. In our view, however, it is not gold’s value that is in question; it is the value of paper money.
Let us consider the supply and demand fundamentals of paper money. Clearly, the supply of paper money is technically infinite. This has, of course, not always been the case. For millennia, money was commodity based - its value was linked to goods produced from land and labour. It was impossible to counterfeit wheat, nickel, copper or other commodities and therefore impossible to counterfeit money. Money was viewed as a link to, or representative of, productive capacity. If you had money, you had the right to trade it in for something real, and therefore possessed real wealth.
Read more here

No comments: