Gold Information Overload: How to Choose the Best Impartial AnalysesThe gold follower is nothing if not serviced by a plethora of reports and analyses, many of which are designed to try and suck you in to subscribing to a particular newsletter or alerting service or the author’s latest book. The newsletters or alerts they are promoting are not necessarily a waste of money, although some are, but do bear in mind the authors often have a not-so-hidden agenda whose prime purpose is to make money for themselves. Ask yourself why, if their advice is so valuable, that they are spending their time marketing and writing newsletters or books. If their advice was that good they’d be coining it in the markets and they wouldn’t need to be selling subscriptions and books to keep them in the lifestyle they desire. Now, I’m not saying that some of these newsletter writers are not altruistic in their motives, but be a little wary of stock tipping newsletter and alert services in particular. Some are part of elaborate pump and dump operations, but some do try to look impartially at metal price trends, although even these tend to fall into giving always either pro- and anti- tending advice depending on the underlying biases of the writers themselves. (I like to put myself into the latter category – my own newsletter, LawrieOnGold.com is completely free of charge and doesn’t tip stocks being something of a post-retirement hobby – but I am prepared to admit I am generally pro-gold in my leanings. And LawrieOnGold.com does carry independent articles from some who do have their own agendas, but who otherwise are offering what I would consider good advice anyway!).
Resources for Gold Research & TrendsBut, there are some sponsored reports available effectively free of charge to those interested in precious metals which are relatively unbiased in terms of the outlook they present, and thus well worth accessing for their independent viewpoints.
Thomson Reuters GFMSNotable among these are the separate gold, silver and platinum group metals reports from Thomson Reuters GFMS, all packed with statistics, charts and tables looking at all aspects of the metals they are covering. These are available for download on their site, but require a corporate email address and company name (services like gmail, aol and outlook will not be accepted). The gold and silver reports run to over 100 pages, and the PGMS one to 58, so there’s huge amount of data to take in.
Metals FocusLondon-based Metals Focus, which was put together mainly by former GFMS people following the latter’s sale to Thomson Reuters, produces similar reports and data and analysis usually only deviates a little from the GFMS data and the reports are equally comprehensive and they may also be downloaded directly from their site. Metals Focus also provides data to the World Gold Council which also provides a considerable amount of varied data on its website, as well as its quarterly Gold Demand Trends report which again provide regularly updated statistics on gold supply and demand. Although the WGC industry is financed by the global gold mining industry, its data and publications tend to be realistic and unbiased.
CPM GroupThe CPM Group in New York also publishes some excellent comprehensive reports on precious metals, but these are only available on a paid basis.
"In Gold We Trust" Annual ReportOne other excellent source of data on gold available free of charge is from Incrementum AG in the small state of Leichtenstein in Europe and this is the annual 'In Gold we Trust' publication from Ronni Stoeferle and Mark Valek. Stoeferle started publishing this some years ago when he was with Austria’s Erste Bank and it is another hugely comprehensive source of gold data. Although, whether it should be deemed totally unbiased is another matter given that Stoeferle and Valek are adherents of the Austrian School of Economics, and thus primarily hard money and gold advocates as the report title suggests. But, the huge amount of pertinent data included makes downloading this report, which runs to 169 pages – or at the very least its shortened version (29 pages) well worthwhile for the keen gold follower. This report is perhaps more opinionated than those from GFMS, Metals Focus and the World Gold Council, but perhaps that is a positive. To give an impression of some of the key findings, topics and takeaways of the latest ‘In Gold we Trust’ report, these are as follows:
- High expectations of President Trump's growth policy dampened the gold price increase in 2016 – Still up 8.5% in 2016 and 10.2% since Jan. 2017
- The further development of the normalization of monetary policy in the US will be the litmus test for the US economy.
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Scenario A: “Relatively strong real economic growth”The proposed economic policy initiatives are implemented and take hold, the US economy begins to grow strongly (>3% p.a.) and price inflation remains in an acceptable range (<3%). Monetary policy normalization succeeds. The central bank's “experiment” pays off. The gold price should trade in a range from USD 700 to USD 1,000 Scenario B: “Muddling through continues” Real US GDP growth and consumer price inflation remain in a range of 1-3% p.a. In this case we would not expect the gold price to enter into the second phase of the secular bull market we currently anticipate. The gold price should remain in a range from USD 1,000 to USD 1,400 in this scenario. Scenario C: “High inflationary growth” Trump's economic policy initiatives are put into place, a large infrastructure spending program is launched, US economic growth accelerates significantly (>3% p.a.), but so does the consumer price inflation rate (>3%). Monetary policy normalization succeeds. The central bank's “experiment” pays off. The gold price should trade in a range from USD 700 to USD 1,000
Scenario B: “Muddling through continues”Real US GDP growth and consumer price inflation remain in a range of 1-3% p.a. In this case, we would not expect the gold price to enter into the second phase of the secular bull market we currently anticipate. The gold price should remain in a range from USD 1,000 to USD 1,400 in this scenario.
Scenario C: “High inflationary growth”Trump's economic policy initiatives are put into place, a large infrastructure spending program is launched, US economic growth accelerates significantly (>3% p.a.), but so does the consumer price inflation rate (>3%). Monetary policy normalization succeeds only partially, as real interest rates remain very low or even negative, due to the elevated consumer price inflation rate. In this scenario, the gold price should trade in a range from around USD 1,400 to USD 2,300.
Scenario D: "Recession, stagflation and/or significant weakness in the US dollar push the gold price up noticeably."In the wake of another US recession and the cessation of the monetary policy normalization effort, significant changes to the global monetary order cannot be ruled out. A very large gold price rally has to be expected in such an environment. Gold prices between USD 1,800 up to USD 5,000 appear possible in this scenario. Well, all bets are hedged in the above, but the report’s authors anticipate scenario C and D to be the most likely outcomes here, although no timescale for this to occur has been predicted. The Scenarios will be very much event-driven by U.S. economic performance and/or what they describe as black swan or grey swan events elsewhere. They do foresee a looming U.S. recession as ‘inevitable’. To put the report in perspective, though, a year ago Stoeferle and Valek were predicting gold at $2,300 by the end of June 2018, but the yellow metal’s poor performance in H2 2016 has led them to believe that this level is now not achievable on this timescale. So, they are bullish on the gold price, but perhaps not overly so.
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