Gold & Silver Digest: 2/11/13

Adam Taggart
By Adam Taggart on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 - 4:41pm

The Gold & Silver Digest contains headlines of stories that members of this group deem relevant and/or interesting to precious metals enthusiasts.

If you have articles to submit for the next digest, please email them to me by clicking here.

2/11/13 4:36 PM EST US close metals price quotes from Finviz

Forbes: P.M. Kitco Metals Roundup: Gold Ends Solidly Lower on Technical Pressure

Gold prices ended the U.S. day session solidly lower and hit a fresh five-week low Monday. Fresh technical selling was featured as April Comex gold dropped back below its key 200-day moving average. April gold last traded down $18.10 at $1,648.70 an ounce. Spot gold was last quoted down $19.60 at $1,648.00.  March Comex silver last traded down $0.506 at $30.935 an ounce.

Gold prices were under modest pressure in overnight trading and then those losses were extended at the New York futures opening after sell stop orders were hit below what was important near-term technical support at the late-January low of $1653.20.

321Gold: This past week in gold

Summary

Long term – on major sell signal.
Short term – on mixed signals.
Gold sector cycle - down as of Oct 13.

Clive Maund: Gold Market Update

The Big Story now is that there is evidence that powerful forces will be brought to bear shortly to support the ailing US Treasury market, which is close to crashing critical support, and those wielding the power will have no qualms about sacrificing either the commodity markets or the stockmarket to achieve this objective, if necessary. We will look at the outlook for the bond market and stockmarket later, after we have examined the gold charts and indicators.

On the 6-month chart for gold we can see that the time window for an upside breakout from the downtrend in force from last October is now rapidly closing, and the downtrend line and falling 50-day moving average, both close by overhead, looks set to force a breakdown soon from the lesser uptrend channel in force from December. The still bearish COT for silver does not help either, since it is unlikely that gold will go up without silver. The big question if gold does break down is whether the support at and near the high volume hammer low of early January will hold. It probably won’t, given the way things are shaping up, and if it doesn’t gold is heading down to the much more important support level at $1500.

Bloomberg: Putin Turns Black Gold to Bullion as Russia Outbuys World

When Vladimir Putin says the U.S. is endangering the global economy by abusing its dollar monopoly, he’s not just talking. He’s betting on it.

Not only has Putin made Russia the world’s largest oil producer, he’s also made it the biggest gold buyer. His central bank has added 570 metric tons of the metal in the past decade, a quarter more than runner-up China, according to IMF data compiled by Bloomberg. The added gold is also almost triple the weight of the Statue of Liberty.

Fox Business: Is Money Printing Impacting the Price of Gold?

FNC’s Eric Bolling on the current trends in gold pricing based on quantitative easing taking place around the world.

CNBC: Currency War? Here's How to Hedge It With Gold

As leaders from around the world meet this week to discuss fears of competitive currency devaluations, analysts told CNBC the currency war could lead to a sharp rise in gold prices in the second half of this year, after a falloff in the first half.

"We think a currency war will be the biggest story of 2013 when we look back on the year," Patrick Armstrong, managing partner at Armstrong Investment told CNBC on Monday.

SilverSeek: Silver Market Update

In the last update we called a bottom in silver the day after it put in a high-volume bull hammer early in January, and while it did reverse as expected, the short-term uptrend that developed has since stalled out in recent weeks and it now looks like it is about to reverse to the downside again.

On silver’s 6-month chart we can see how the price has advanced out of the intermediate base area that formed late in December and early in January, and also how the advance has fizzled out so that another top area appears to have developed, and with the price on the uptrend line it looks like it will break below it soon, or immediately, and in so doing reverse to the downside again. The advance out of the base was anemic and the price has fallen way short of making it to the upper boundary of the larger downtrend channel, which is an ominous sign. There is still an outside chance that it could now do so – although the latest COTs offer no comfort for bulls here.

King World News: Eric Sprott - Expect $200 Silver As Financial System Implodes

Today billionaire Eric Sprott told King World News, “I’m sure we’ll be seeing $100 and $200 prices for silver.”  Sprott also said that despite the advance in global stock markets, “There is no doubt that the path we’re on is not sustainable both for the economy, and for the financial system.”

Here is what Sprott had to say:  “We had a negative print on GDP in the 4th quarter.  The fact is I think we are on shaky ground.  The shakiest part of the ground is the new numbers put out by the Department of the Treasury showing under GAAP what the true deficit was last year.

ETF Trends: Platinum, Palladium ETFs Hit 17-Month Highs

ETFs indexed to platinum group metals (PGMs) prices hit 17-month highs as Chinese car sales jumped 46% in January. Multiple factors combined to drive PGM prices to multi-year highs last week.

Ongoing signs of strength from the China’s economy, together with persistent supply shortages, are providing strong price support for PGM prices, with platinum rising 2.9% and palladium 2.6% mid-last week, before easing at the end of the week. More than two million vehicles were sold in China in January, a record monthly high, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Chinese auto-catalyst demand alone accounts for 13% of global palladium demand.

 

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9 Comments

jcat3022's picture
jcat3022
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 9 2012
Posts: 78
Another day... Another

Another day... Another takedown!  Jeez, I need a beer.

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
Status: Peak Prosperity Co-founder (Offline)
Joined: May 26 2009
Posts: 1915
me, too

Me, too, brother. Me, too...

AndyG's picture
AndyG
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 29 2012
Posts: 33
Something of a Newbie here -

Something of a Newbie here - gold and silver. Let me get this straight:

1. Gold and silver isn't a 'free' market as such. Using different techniques those who are keen on maintaining confidence in fiat currency are suppressing/controlling the price.

2. The 'East' are buying up Gold increasingly, so Gold is drifting from West to East, with governments having previously been uninterested in Gold starting to crave it.

3. For the individuals who lack confidence in fiat currencies as a store of wealth, precious metals are a good long term bet and 'hedge' against inflation/ currency debasement etc.

It seems to me, therefore, that the real 'pay-off' with precious metals is only when such manipulation no longer works. ie when confidence in a currency hits Zimbabwian models. Until the time when such 'shackles' are removed from the market in precious metals, things are likely to saunter on as they currently have been: up and downs, with perhaps single digit rises over a year to release some of the 'pressure'. Anything to keep the general public from panicking and racing to precious metals.

Correct me if you think I'm wrong so far!

4. Precious metals are 'leveraged' in that paper gold/silver are traded, and there's not enough physical metals to cover all these paper trades [ I still don't understand how this is allowed to occur/ Crazy if you ask me, but hey]. Thus unless you hold the physical metal in your hands your may as well just hold paper.

5. Exactly when this paper edific collapse will occur isn't known. 'But what isn't sustainable will stop'. Most commentators think we in the decade of a big push of the 'reset' button, probably within 5 years. Black Swan events adding to the uncertainty.

6. The longer this economic trajectory is maintained the harder the landing.

I'm just trying to decide my 'strategy' on improving my resilence with competing demands on my resources. It would be easy if we were all cash rich and could buy a ton or two of precious metals, pay off our mortgages and all debts etc. With a mortgage I'll finish paying off in 5 years I need to decide whether to extend that to 6/7 years and gather some Metals, or risk interest rates turning upwards causing house prices to fall again and wipe out more 'equity'. Decisions decisions!

Any thoughts on how to balance such risks? What are you doing?

dkyates's picture
dkyates
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 28 2012
Posts: 11
Pay Down Mortgage or Buy PMs?

AndyG,

You've summarized the issues surrounding fiat money and its relationship to Precious Metals very nicely!  None of us knows just how this is all going to unfold, so we have to deal with probabilities, rather than possibilities and certainties.  Most people don't seem to have the critical thinking skills needed to see what the probable outcomes are likely to be, and instead just look around them to see what others are doing, and then follow the crowd.

I have found that for me, peace of mind about the future has come by acting on multiple fronts with my limited financial resources.  In the past three years I have moved from a city to the country, purchased timber land, purchased (a little bit at a time) PMs, installed a backup generator powered by liquid propane gas (cheaper than other fuels and can be stored indefinitely),  built raised beds for gardening, planted fruit trees, and begun building a network of mutually supportive cattle-, dairy-, timber-, and produce-farmers in my neighborhood.  I have skills in computers and electronics, which I can use to help out my neighbors in exchange for their skills in raising food.  I am also learning beekeeping, woodworking, metalworking, and other such skills.  All these things have made me feel less and less worried about my own future and that of my family.

One area where I differ from most financial advisors, including Chris Martenson, relates to what to do about mortgage debt.  Back when interest rates were high (6% to 15%), I always prepaid my home mortgage, because doing so was like investing my money at those same high interest rates.  The money I saved on my mortgage was huge, as a result.  In my current situation, I have a large mortgage with a very low rate of interest, as the result of refinancing twice.  Right now, the interest rate I am paying is lower than the annual rate of increase in value of either silver or gold, even with the price suppression of those metals that is going on.  Therefore, I have decided that instead of paying down my mortgage early, I would invest my disposable income in PMs and other things such as those I listed above.

Chris and others always seem to advise becoming debt-free.  And, like you, if I had unlimited funds, I would prefer to be debt-free.  But that is just not possible for me right now, income-wise.  So my reasoning is this: Pay the minimum monthly amount on my mortgage and accumulate as much PM as possible, since it is probable that when the current attempts by those who are temporarily controlling all markets begin to fail, the prices of PMs will rise dramatically.  When that happens, I can then pay my mortgage off by selling the PMs, thus making my extensive outlays of my current funds into PMs (and other resources) pay off, just as they would have paid off had I been able to apply them to my mortgage in the first place.

On your point about house equity going down, remember that this equity is currently expressed in dollars and is based largely on resale value and likelihood of being able to sell.  In an economy that is trashed by a crashing dollar, it is likely that there will be few buyers of any houses, since they will have only worthless fiat money to buy with.  The real value of your home will then be in how well it will sustain you.  My current home has its own well, its own septic system, its own supply of wood for keeping warm, and a place to grow food.  With my own power source,  I can keep all these things going for quite a long time.  While I am sustaining life, I am not going to be worried about the resale value of my home.  If the "crash" doesn't come before you get your house paid off, then you will be fine, but if it does come, and you still have debt, your home should be a sustaining place that allows you to survive and your PMs will make it possible for you to still obtain the things you need to survive.

Again, I am aware that we are dealing with probabilities here and not certainties.  There are many things that could happen (such as confiscation, excessive taxation on PMs, or even martial law), but I have to keep my focus on what is likely to happen and not be distracted by other less likely possibilities

Meanwhile, the siren song from the corporation-controlled media will attempt to lure us all onto the rocks of financial destruction by convincing those who do not think for themselves that all is well with the economy and that PMs are in a bubble that is about to burst.  I think of the resulting lack of interest (in PMs) on the part of the general public as a temporary gift to those of us who need to accumulate as much PM as we can to protect us from a future of income cessation from lost employment or destroyed retirement accounts.  As long as there is no panic taking place on the part of the general public, the prices of PMs will continue to be relatively low, allowing us to have a savings plan that protects as much of our wealth as possible.

Thank you for introducing this topic and asking the questions you did.  I certainly don't have all the answers, and so I hope others will join this discussion and share their own insights.

ScottT's picture
ScottT
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 2 2009
Posts: 40
Debt pay down vs PM accumulation - "the" $64,000 Question !

One of the reasons I recently decided to become a paying member of PP was to glean better insights on matters such as this.  I am of like mind to your way of thinking dkyates.  I think as long as the interest rate on my mortgage stays very low my investment into PMs today and tomorrow is more likely to net back a return greater than the interest paid to the bank.  However my strategy is fluid.  If rates happen to rise to say 8-9% then I will take a different approach and start accelerating pay down of my mortgage assuming my income remains constant, of course.   Great discussion and also looking forward to hearing what others have to say.  

AndyG's picture
AndyG
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 29 2012
Posts: 33
Thanks for the thoughful

Thanks for the thoughful reply., dkyates. Much appreciated.

It sounds like you are further down the road to a truly resilient lifestyle than I am. Great going! I think we have similar reasoning.

Your comments give me some reassurance I am thinking in the right channels, to come to the best responses for me and my family. I'm actually in the UK [we're in the same hole if you hadn't noticed...]. QE, with 'keep the punters hoping', is the name of the game. I started my journey 2 years ago and have read avidly and given myself a economic self education of sorts. Enough to agree that 'this time it is different'. How much time do we have? Ah, to know the future, eh?

Change involves cost as well. I'm sure you've had your fair share of tough decisions. My kids are in school locally and doing well - we live in a City [Sheffield]. I'd love to move to a small farm but this would need moving the family and all that entails. Not a great time to move. With our mortgage interest rates low we can keep paying it off, and should have it cleared in 5 years, but do we have much time? I hope so. I agree and appreciate your comments re precious metals. Certainly looking at the rise in prices over 10 years were that to continue they are a better 'investment' [store of wealth really] than paying off the mortgage. Indeed if things went belly up we can sell the metal and pay it onto/pay off the mortgage. That is my plan I think.

Should the worst case scenario occur - economic and social melt down - then after the dust has settled Precious Metals will come into their own. Fortunately I have a wife who is very understanding and supportive of all this. I can see why some couples have separated where one is all for 'resilence' [I agree 'prepper' isn't the best word] and the other isn't. I certainly agree that having the price of PM's pegged low, and the 'masses' oblivious to their value is to our gain at the moment. Make Hay...

I like your change in thinking regarding your home. It's not equity but a place to live and thriving in harsher times. i'm getting there, but space and neighbours [its only 1/4 acre] precludes many items. Here's my 'done' list, and 'still to do' list:-

1) solar panels. We have a feed-in-tariff payed by the government [$150 a month for 25 years if we get that far] which pays the loan for the panels, and after 7 years will be in credit, with a not taxable, index linked income for the next 18 years. I only stubbled on this deal become of my seeking resilience. It was such a popular deal that after 6 months the tariffs were cut, but as an early adopter keep mine.

2) I make biodiesel from local waste vegetable oil collected locally. In 2000 in the UK we had a 3 week Gas Tanker driver stike [did you hear about it?] 90% of cars were out of fuel in 3 weeks and it was being rationed to 'critical' users only. The shops were starting to run out of food...It was a good 'trial run' and has me thinking. I now have 800 litres of biodiesel on standby for emergencies, and save 70% on our fuel bill. What with 'gas' here at $8.22 a gallon [US gallon] that's a good saving! I now wave as I pass 'Tax-Stations'.

3) I have a 2000 litre water tank that collects rain water for the garden. We have a small vegetable plot I'm learning to populate and grow food. Water is 'metered' here, so in the summer when its dry it can cost a lot to water the vegetables!

4) Guns. we in the UK don't do guns as you may know. A good thing and really we don't get the second Amendment at all. Still, there are 3 million shot guns in the UK [mainly farmers], and I've signed up for clay pidgeon shooting locally. After a few months I will apply to the police who will visit me, check my medical records, ask for 2 references etc. Quite a deal. As the saying goes, 'In the land of the blind, the one eyes man is King'. So if TSHTF happens, then a shotgun would probably be as useful as a bazooka would be in your 'armed to the teeth' USA? What do you think?

5) installed a log burner, and have a supply of dry wood on hand. I worry about the grid going down and what would we do. I'm considering a back up generator like you - but those things cost money, and would it be better spent on paying down the mortgage now or on PM's? Ah, the thinks that keep me awake at night!

Oh, so much more I'd like to do. I like you Well, but can't. I like your woodland, and that is an option. Still, a long journey can only be completed one step at a time.

i appreciated your post.

Regards

Andy

dkyates's picture
dkyates
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 28 2012
Posts: 11
Pay Down Mortgage or Buy PMs - Follow-up

ScottT & AndyG,

It is good to hear your comments - seems like we are thinking along the same lines.  Andy, like you, I have a very smart and understanding spouse who is in this all the way with me.  This is my second marriage and my first one came unglued after our severe differences over the first so-called Gulf War.  There is no way my former spouse would have been able to understand what is going on with our QE2Infinity central banks and help with building toward resilience.  I am very grateful for my current partner's active support.

Scott, I agree with you completely about having a flexible plan on paying down mortgage debt or not, depending on what happens with interest rates, but since my mortgage is a fixed-rate mortgage, if interest rates go up, what I might do is shift my investments elsewhere and continue to just pay my mortgage off at my current low rate (around 3.5%). 

I think it is really important to remain light on our feet and be prepared to change course when circumstances around us change.  In the USA, politics on the right end of the political spectrum seem to be dominated by people who think the best way to act is to decide on what to believe and then stick to that belief.  As Stephen Colbert put it once, "George W Bush is a man who will believe the same thing on Wednesday that he did on Monday, no matter what happened on Tuesday."  This sort of "loyalty to a belief" way of living is a direct consequence of an absence of critical thinking skills.

Andy, I completely understand the limitations that result from having children at home and in school.  I couldn't really make the move to the country that I wanted until my kids were out of school.  As that time approached, I did everything I could to insure that I could retire early (at age 55), get my home at that time completely paid off, and get out of debt.  That made taking out a new mortgage on a larger property much easier, as my equity was what made the down payment and the move possible, even in the face of housing prices plummeting and shrinking our equity by 20% between 2006 and when we finally sold our house in 2010.

Those other things you are doing, especially the biodiesel work, are brilliant.  Biodiesel is on my list of to-dos, but rather far down the list right now, because it does require getting the oil and fat from somewhere, which is a bit harder when the nearest large town is 20 miles (32 km) away.  But there are many chicken farmers around, and I am considering doing it with chicken and cow fat.  Also, I don't own a diesel car at this time.  So I look forward to getting more into it in the future.

Solar panels are another great idea, but since we live in the Pacific Northwest, there is not that much direct sunlight here for 8 to 9 months of the year, and thus we wouldn't be getting as much bang for our buck (in fact, virtually no bang in December & January when it is dark most of the time) by investing in solar panels.  Nevertheless, I plan to install some panels on my woodshop roof to be used for charging batteries and running low-power electronics and the like.  Good work being mentally prepared for taking advantage of the tax benefits when they were available!  As Louis Pasteur put it, "Where observation is concerned, chance favors only the prepared mind."

The water storage tank is another great idea, which we have been trying to decide how to do.  What is your tank made of and where do you have it located?  Do you have a gravity feed or do you use a pump?

Guns.  Yes the USA has a bipolar gun culture, with many folks who do not own them feeling threatened by the folks who do, and a stretching of our 2nd Amendment rights to "gun ownership" well beyond anything that was conceived of by the Founders who incorporated it into the Constitution in a day when a rifle could, at best, only fire once a minute.  The National Rifle Association, which once represented the average hunter, now is in bed with one of our largest industries, the Gun Manufacturers, and will do anything it can to protect its financial interests, no matter the cost to the country as a whole in gun violence.  Still, I do believe that it is the presence of guns in many households which gives great pause to any entity that would contemplate confiscation of property on a large scale.  Like you, I own a shotgun, primarily for defense, since we do have bears where I live.  But as one of my farmer friends puts it, "If you think you are going to stop a committed enemy from getting at you by shooting them, you're not thinking straight.  They will just come back at night when you're asleep and burn your house down."

On the generator, what we decided to do was borrow $7K for two years (payments are $310/month) from a friend and pay them 5% interest, which is better than they could get anywhere else, and less than what we would have to pay a bank.  We installed a 10KW generator with manual changeover rather than automatic, which saved several thousand dollars.  As part of the project, we purchased a 1000 gal (approximately 4000 liter) liquid propane tank and had it filled when prices were at their lowest (which occurs every year around the end of July).  I did the physical installation of the generator, and hired an electrician to wire it up.  We will make our final payment on that system in June of this year, and meanwhile have used the generator several times when the power grid went down due to ice and wind storms.  It is not necessary to run a generator all day long.  Running it a few hours a day to top off our water tank, re-cool our refrigerator and freezer, charge batteries, and run a few other appliances (bread maker, washing machine, water distillers, etc.), then running on battery power the rest of the time works just fine.  We have LED and CFL lighting everywhere in our house to reduce the load.  Putting a spring-wound switch on every exhaust fan and timers on things also helps prevent us leaving these devices on for longer than we intend to.  As a result, our power bill is now less than half what it was in our previous house, and those savings can be invested in other things instead of going to the power company.

Again, best wishes to both you guys.  It is nice to chat (asynchronously) with like-minded people who have good ideas!

One last Louis Pasteur quote: "Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity."

-David

AndyG's picture
AndyG
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 29 2012
Posts: 33
PM vs Mortgage vs everything else!

Hi David & Scott,

I appreciate the dialogue and quotes.  I have to stop my anxiety levels when I look at all I'd like to achieve but haven't, or hear about others whos resilence seem more advanced than mine. Anyone else suffer from that? I guess what we are doing is each deciding our available resources and prioritising our best long term investments. So for each of us whether we use our resources to pay off debt vs mortgage vs everything else is individual. That is why I like ChrisM's Crash Course as it gives no 'pat' answers - those are for each one of us to decide and discover. The other advantage is that much or our resilence is our mental attitude and expectations. As we think for ourselves we are ourselves changed, increasing our personal resilience - if that makes sense?

"Where observation is concerned, chance favors only the prepared mind.", as you nicely quote [one I will remember!]

My storage tanks are nothing enormous. It sounds like you are a practical guy as well. I enjoy wielding a hammer, which is so different to the day job. Rather than spend $1000 dollars [£ equivalent] on a 'proper' 2000 litre tank, I found locally 2 x 1000 litre IBC's [do you have these high density plastic 1m cubed sortage containers in the USA?]. You get them here for $20 second hand. So I joined two together. We have a slope at the back of our house so dug it into the bank and put a concrete cap on top. I take water off the house roof and funnel it through a rough filter [removing leaves] into the tanks. Water flows with gravity, but I have a pump. Last year we had a 6 week long hot dry spell. The contents lasted me that long, but I was glad when it rained again. As we are water metered it paid for itself in a year with all the car washing and plant watering we do. One of my better DIY projects!

You must have good friends to give you a loan. Lots of trust there! We don't get outages where I live [yet?] and have a generator on my list somewhere...when the mortgage is paid off. Sounds perfect for where you are. I do think a resilence lifestyle is less of a burden on the wallet and the environment, don't you? It can good fun as well. The whole biodiesel thing is ideal for where I live - we have perhaps 20 restaurants within 1/2 mile of our home. Most of my oil comes from a private hospital 200 yards away. It is a messy business, however, and isn't without risks of its own. We can make 2500 litres a year tax free before having to register for tax. It's taken me 3 years to perfect the process so that I can make 200 litres over 24 hrs with about 4 hours of hands on time per 'batch'. I'm finishing a batch of 'liquid gold' [as I call it] as I type. I remember one book I read talking about 'how much is a tank of petrol [gas] worth?' He calculated it something like this:

60 litre tank @ 5 miles to the litre = 300 miles per tank [say]

To push your car 1 mile = 4 hours [depends how strong you are, and how big your car is!]

To pay someone minimum wage to push it for you = $5 an hour [although what would you do it for?]

Thus 4 x 5 = $20 a mile x 300 miles = $6000 dollars worth of labour in one tank.

An interesting exercise which helps me appreciate a little what a tank full of gas is really worth!

Interestingly you can use animal manure [and human] to general biogas. Apparently the best poo is from lions [meat eaters] but human is pretty good. You compost the manure and capture the gas to run your boiler or cooker on. I'm sure bear poo would be pretty good as well...! Sounds like you have a few of those critters around.

Andy

Mike K's picture
Mike K
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 15 2012
Posts: 13
Keep in mind...

Hi Andy,

Probably a good idea to keep in mind that if interest rates do happen to rise it will likely coincide with rising price of precious metals due to the likely instability of "The System" as more people default and the economies dive. A rising interest rate in this global economic climate is going to be very bad for many people.

As such, it may be even smarter to stay in PMs at this time rather than move to paying the mortgage. Personally I pay bare minimum on my home loan and instead invest as much as possible in PMs and other priority preps (solar, large rainwater tanks, fruit and nut trees etc). Even though PMs are suppressed they are still getting a better rate of capital gains than what could be saved on my interest rate. Even if it were not I think the upside on PMs is so great that it is madness to miss the boat for the little difference that is likely at current capital gains vs interest rates.

But hey, thats just one guy's opinion...

Mike K

Knowledge is NOT power... UNLESS it is acted upon appropriately.

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