An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious metals bandwagon yet?

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An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious metals bandwagon yet?

I typically interact with about 10-12 people per day.  This week I took an informal survey of those individuals (about 50) asking them, "Have you bought any gold or silver and what percentage of your family, friends, or acquaintances have spoken about purchasing or are considering purchasing gold or silver?".  None of them had personally although a few were considering it (but they were generally scared off by their lack of knowledge and the boogey men raised by the government, Wall Street, and the banks about precious metals).  The percentages of family, friends, or acquaintances that they reported ranged from 0 to 1% or in other words, next to none.

Having taken taken that survey, I was feeling somewhat smug in the knowledge that, despite all the hoopla in the financial media about gold, the general public was not yet moving towards purchasing any.  Then today, I was sitting in my bank discussing something with a bank officer, when I hear a rather unsophisticated sounding old timer (the type who when you hear them talking about any investment, you know it's definitely time to get out of that investment) going on about gold and silver with a teller.  

Conflicting sentiment .... but I'm holding onto my physical gold and adding to my silver position on the dips.

BTW, I had sold off my trading position in paper precious metals (GLD and SLV) last week at the peak but I'm planning on moving back in  if opportunity arises with SGOL and SIVR but only after I read their prospectuses.  Is anyone familiar with these ETFs?  I was just wondering if there were any hidden downsides other than the obvious one of paper vs. physical.  It would seem with their precious metals held in Switzerland, they may obviate the confiscation issue, their expense ratios are lower than GLD and SLV, and they may be a bit safer than GLD and SLV in terms of fewer questionable areas in their prospectuses.       

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

The way I'm reading the tea leaves is by looking at these Cash 4 Gold Sales. Everywhere you turn, newspaper ads, tv ad's, there is some type of gold buying event. Sure, I'm sure some people are hurting and cashing in their gold because they need the money. If there was a gold mania, average people would be buying gold, not selling it. One needs to only look back about 10-12 years ago during the Tech Buble when everyone wanted in on the Tech stocks, thinking they were going to get rich just by buying 100 shares of so and so dot.com. So no, the populace is not on the bandwagon yet.

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Mother-In Law Sentiment Index

ao,

I've posted this a few times, but my mother-in-law, Mrs. MSM bless her heart, asked me last weekend about how I purchase gold coins. I gave her the information that she was seeking, but the whole time I was thinking to myself "Oh crap, its time to take some profits on my PMs".  

A few weeks before that, she proceeded to tell me, out of the blue, how Gold was going to soar. I asked her why she thought that and she said she saw it on the news! 

Needless to say, this harmonic achieved between her thoughts and my thoughts was very disturbing to me. Its getting harder and harder to distinguish the dumb money from the smart money any more?

Needless to say I'm a USD bull for the time being.

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

I think there's disconnect between what the MSM blabs about and what the average citizen does.  As we know PMs, particularly gold and silver, are hot topics in certain circles, this one included.  But, I also think the mechanics of buying the stuff is intimidating to most because its unfamiliar and because everyone's gun shy in this economic environment.  Only one of my social circle is even considering buying PMs, but still hasn't made the jump.  Traditional sources of info, financial advisors and brokers, generally don't push metals to their clients.  A couple months ago I was talking to a FA who was genuinely perplexed about why anyone would want to get into PMs.  A friend is in the process of switching brokers, but neither the one she is dumping nor the one she is moving too has said anything about PMs.  I think even the pros see PMs as being the province of gold bugs, not as a legitimate investment vehicle or store of value for the average retail investor.

Doug

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

ao,

I would imagine that the 10-12 you interact with on a daily basis are on par with your level of intellect.  Correct me if I am wrong.  These people, if as described, are nowhere near being representative of the "populace".  I would think most on this board are in the upper percentiles of "informed" and associate with the same.

I would imagine that the a great number of the populace does not have the financial means to purchase gold, even if they had the intelligence to think it was a good idea.  i know that NONE of my personal acquaintances are holding gold.  Most of them are still in the buy and hold equity camp.  Sheer insanity, in my opinion.

For me personally, gold is nothing more than a form of insurance.  Not an investment vehicle.  I will continue to buy periodically and never sell unless necessary to fund living expenses and hopefully that will never be an issue. 

I tend to agree with joemanc, the average person is looking to make some "money for nothing" by selling their gold.  The average person is ignorant in many areas, this being one.

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Re: Mother-In Law Sentiment Index
JAG wrote:

Needless to say, this harmonic achieved between her thoughts and my thoughts was very disturbing to me. Its getting harder and harder to distinguish the dumb money from the smart money any more?

I'm experiencing the same dilemma.  Things seem so overwhelming bullish for PM that the contrarian in me keeps questioning what I'm overlooking.  What it comes down to is that if, hypothetically, I were 100% in PM or 100% in US dollars, which one would allow me to sleep better at night.  The PM win hands down every time. 

 

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...
Doug wrote:

I think there's disconnect between what the MSM blabs about and what the average citizen does.  As we know PMs, particularly gold and silver, are hot topics in certain circles, this one included.  But, I also think the mechanics of buying the stuff is intimidating to most because its unfamiliar and because everyone's gun shy in this economic environment.  Only one of my social circle is even considering buying PMs, but still hasn't made the jump.  Traditional sources of info, financial advisors and brokers, generally don't push metals to their clients.  A couple months ago I was talking to a FA who was genuinely perplexed about why anyone would want to get into PMs.  A friend is in the process of switching brokers, but neither the one she is dumping nor the one she is moving too has said anything about PMs.  I think even the pros see PMs as being the province of gold bugs, not as a legitimate investment vehicle or store of value for the average retail investor.

Doug

I think you've nailed it.

1) The mechanics of the purchase transaction are intimidating to the average inexperienced potential buyers.

2) Most mainstream financial advisors (and their publications) avoid PM like they're infected with leprosy.

 

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Re: Mother-In Law Sentiment Index
ao wrote:

 What it comes down to is that if, hypothetically, I were 100% in PM or 100% in US dollars, which one would allow me to sleep better at night.  The PM win hands down every time. 

For the sake of curiosity, did you feel so sure about PM's when you initially bought them in the early 2000s?

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...
Doug wrote:

I think there's disconnect between what the MSM blabs about and what the average citizen does.  As we know PMs, particularly gold and silver, are hot topics in certain circles, this one included.  But, I also think the mechanics of buying the stuff is intimidating to most because its unfamiliar and because everyone's gun shy in this economic environment.  Only one of my social circle is even considering buying PMs, but still hasn't made the jump.  Traditional sources of info, financial advisors and brokers, generally don't push metals to their clients.  A couple months ago I was talking to a FA who was genuinely perplexed about why anyone would want to get into PMs.  A friend is in the process of switching brokers, but neither the one she is dumping nor the one she is moving too has said anything about PMs.  I think even the pros see PMs as being the province of gold bugs, not as a legitimate investment vehicle or store of value for the average retail investor.

Doug

I am in total agreement with Doug.  I have a few in the social network that think I am crazy for being one of the "gold people".  "Dave Ramsey says gold is a horrible investment!".  Buying PMs was intimidating the first time.  But just once.  It was something new.  The buyers of gold Ads are telling us where the market is headed.  The gold sellers (on TV) are just pleading to provide the business.  I am really close to getting my parents and sister to take the red pill.  One of my good friend, a FA, is not so anti-PMs now.  Cannot tell you exactly why.  He admits the paradigm has shifted.

Survey says "populace not even close".

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...
MarkM wrote:

I would imagine that the 10-12 you interact with on a daily basis are on par with your level of intellect.  Correct me if I am wrong.  These people, if as described, are nowhere near being representative of the "populace".  I would think most on this board are in the upper percentiles of "informed" and associate with the same.

I would imagine that the a great number of the populace does not have the financial means to purchase gold, even if they had the intelligence to think it was a good idea.  i know that NONE of my personal acquaintances are holding gold.  Most of them are still in the buy and hold equity camp.  Sheer insanity, in my opinion.

For me personally, gold is nothing more than a form of insurance.  Not an investment vehicle.  I will continue to buy periodically and never sell unless necessary to fund living expenses and hopefully that will never be an issue. 

I tend to agree with joemanc, the average person is looking to make some "money for nothing" by selling their gold.  The average person is ignorant in many areas, this being one.

The folks I interact with run the gamut.  On average, however, they are significantly less educated and much more poorly "informed" than myself (unlike the average person on this board).  I agree with everything you say about how you view gold except that a good number of these people do have the financial means to buy gold but feel safer with cash, equities, real estate, etc.  In the past year, of the many, many people I interacted with, I know of only 3 who bought gold (all of whom are financial savvy and secure and very well informed).  In my family, only my mother has gold because she allowed me to buy it for her.  My nephew is a economic/financial genius educated at MIT who thinks I'm paranoid (although he's too polite to say so outright) for holding precious metals.  My sister and brother-in-law are very well off but they also eschew gold in favor of real estate and cash.  Go figure.    

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...
joemanc wrote:

The way I'm reading the tea leaves is by looking at these Cash 4 Gold Sales. Everywhere you turn, newspaper ads, tv ad's, there is some type of gold buying event. Sure, I'm sure some people are hurting and cashing in their gold because they need the money. If there was a gold mania, average people would be buying gold, not selling it. One needs to only look back about 10-12 years ago during the Tech Buble when everyone wanted in on the Tech stocks, thinking they were going to get rich just by buying 100 shares of so and so dot.com. So no, the populace is not on the bandwagon yet.

Generally speaking the type of person who buys bullion,  will not be caught in a position where he/she has to sell.  There is no bubble in the price, at this point. The run up has yet to really begin.

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Re: Mother-In Law Sentiment Index
JAG wrote:
ao wrote:

 What it comes down to is that if, hypothetically, I were 100% in PM or 100% in US dollars, which one would allow me to sleep better at night.  The PM win hands down every time. 

For the sake of curiosity, did you feel so sure about PM's when you initially bought them in the early 2000s?

When I saw gold fall below production cost and following the tumult in the markets with the tech boom bust, I felt I was making a wise move but I didn't think it would work out quite  as well as it has.  Also, the very few parties who were recommending PMs at that time made arguments that had sounder logic to me than the arguments I was hearing for the standard cash/bonds/equities paradigm.  I've learned a lot in the interim and based on the changes we've seen, I feel even more secure about them now (or as secure as one can feel about anything that is material in nature and always subject to the vagaries of fate).   

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

This is my first post on this board. I've read everyone's opinion on PM's and thought I'd add my PM thoughts.

First, as an airline pilot that flew a 747400 Internationally, I've been able to see what people in other countries think about

PM's.  The people in India, Thailand, China, etc. have tended to like Gold. When you talk to them they always

seemed to be knowledgeable about the prices and where they thought the price would go. ALL of them felt

that paper currencies shouldn't be relied on. Gold and other PMs were "Reliable" as Wealth.

In the 80's when I flew domestically and made my first purchase of "junk" silver coins. I bought 10,000 dollars worth

during the run up of the HUNT brothers. I watched the prices as they went up and up and started to get worried

about an exit point. I called the jeweler and told him I wanted to sell. He tried to talk me out of it but I told him

I had done very well and I wanted out. I got paid in CASH as I had purchased in cash. The silver market collapsed

the next week. PURE DUMB LUCK on my part. That being said I began buying Gold and Silver ETF and Coins not

long after 9/11. I kept adding until the crash of the stock market. I did nothing during the next 6 months and then

started to add PM's again along with some miners. After the election last year I began to buy physical silver and Gold

again. I have a fairly large holding (for a pilot) and I sleep very well. I don't advise anyone to do what I've done. It may

be a mistake but somehow I have this gut feeling that things are going to get worse then they are now and I hope

I've done the right thing to protect my family. My main concern is our government and what they are doing...

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

Whalecap

Welcome to the forum.  You have a perspective different than most here, given you international experience, that I find most welcome.  I have a friend who lives in Thailand who confirms your observations about that country's relationship with gold.  It just seems to be much more a part of their culture when there basic unit of weight is also jewelry.

Doug

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

Among the people that I know I am one of the few that has any PM. It seems most people still think that we will return to "normal" soon.

 

After reading the other responses to this thread it appears that my experience is not unique among North Americans anyway.

 

 

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

Patriot Radio News Hour

http://www.youtube.com/user/johnnyLiberty1776#p/u/11/q1-USkWYWlg

There won't be a return to "normal". 

 

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

Thanks for the Welcome Doug,

Your friend in Thailand is a good source of information for you. I have a strong feeling that our news media is simply

not on board with anything but the government. Have you read the Tungsten/Gold news? I just came across it today. What I heard was

Tungsten is being added to Gold ingots as it has the exact same density/weight as Gold. One of the guys was an engineer and

stated that you would have to melt the gold ingot in order to tell whether it was not solid gold. Hmmm... Another stated that if

you put an electrical charge in the Gold you would get a different ohm reading if it had tungsten in it.

With what's coming I'm not sure I trust any company. I just switched some of my GLD over to SGOL as I'm more trusting of the Swiss

than the Brits right now. Probably a wrong move but I thought it was smart to diversify as well as possible. This is getting complicated....

Whalecap

 

 

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

I just switched some of my GLD over to SGOL as I'm more trusting of the Swiss than the Brits right now.

Whalecap welcome. I think SGOL was a very good move......I only ask one thing of you LOL....Please let us know when you sell againWink!

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...
idoctor wrote:

Whalecap welcome. I think SGOL was a very good move......I only ask one thing of you LOL....Please let us know when you sell againWink!

Ditto on the Welcome Whalecap, and yes, lets create a Whalecap Sentiment Index!Sealed

(edit:sp)

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

Hi idoctor,

What ever you do don't follow me on the buy/sell. I've done OK but I fully understand

that I've been very lucky on my timing. Luck is the key word there. Best of "luck"

to a very nice group of folks on this board. Oh and I thought I'd add that there is

no country like the US in this world. We have a great country but it has gone down

a wrong path recently but it will straighten itself out. IF the government would get out

of the way...

Regards,

Whalecap

 

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

http://www.24hgold.com/english/news-gold-silver-the-gold-basis-is-dead--...

I didn't know that Roosevelt's confiscated gold was  melted into 22 carat gold bars and was not refined to 24 carat.

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Some Begin To See A Gold Bubble

Some Begin To See A Gold Bubble

Gold mines have responded to high prices with heavy investment, a sure sign that supply will rise, reports Fortune.

Miners have dumped $40 billion into new projects since 2001, the magazine notes. Output is up 7 percent in just the first six months of the year. Meanwhile, industrial demand is falling on a weak economy.

Simultaneously, retail investors have dropped billions into gold via ETFs in hopes of a big payday ahead.

As a result, gold now has “some of the poorest fundamentals I've seen in the market for a long time," Kitco analyst Jon Nadler told the magazine. Kitco is a bullion dealer in Montreal.

Increasingly, that leaves small investors alone to pump up prices, a bad sign if you’re the last to get in on the run upwards.

In fact, some analysts fear that the price rise of the past few months was driven by hedge fund traders playing on the fear of a major financial collapse.

Now that danger seems to have subsided for good. Companies are reporting strong earnings this week, and a bottom appears to have settled in the housing market.

(emphasis mine)

They had me going until this last sentence. Idiots.

Jeff

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

lol.. with that track record I'd trust Whalecap's timing over Nadler's any day...

Romany blood ?

 *laugh*

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

No.  I should say not.  I know this site appears to tip in the direction of precious metals, or gold, but there is no denying it is an asset that is the subject of speculation.  I can see having gold and wanting to be self-affirming about where my money is tied up, just as Jim Cramer is sure to buy everything before he hypes it on his show.  That said, I don't own it and won't own it unless either my inflation expectations rise, or its price substantially falls.  As most in this thread appear to be long gold, I hope what I write isn't dismissed as blasphemy.  

I think the populous that has given this some thought, who aren't just speculating, would give consideration to what the price of gold should have been before the current crisis and what their inflation expectations are for the future.  I think more of the populous will jump on gold as its price rises, even though it arguably makes less and less sence to do it.  Over the past ten years gold's price rise has implied a 13.5% return, or inflation, while inflation itself has been sub-3% (use of the CPI notwithstanding).  So, the point is some inflation expectations are already priced-in.  From there, one has to build in more inflation expectations to arrive at an end of horizon price that seems reasonable.  If you believe, and I think this may separate CM followers from many, that numbers in the 10-20% range are going to be an indefinite inflation level of the future, then its easier to take (1.10)^10, or more extreme assumptions like (1.20)^25, and use them to get your price.  The problem is most people don't see that happening. 

As rational an arguement I can make against gold comes from the fact that A) its already gotten above $1000 and B) neither myself, nor the populous, believes global currencies will collapse under unsustainable debt.  Some policies are certainly unsustainable, but banking on the government to do nothing when annual debt service eventually eclipses 30, or 40% of GDP is unreasonable, again MHO.    

 

 

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

 

 My way of viewing the future valuations of commodities...

 Assume Oil = 10* current price..

 What happens to the *relative* production, reserves and demand of:

 a) wheat,

 b) gold

 c) silver.

  All are oil dependent.. but how highly geared.. with how much stored surplus. ?

 

 

 disclosure: long wheat, + silver.

 

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

NONE of my friends own PMs. I have some very wealthy friends FYI. Smart money is buying PMs at the present time.

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

Update: my network of people are investing in, believe it or not, stocks and real estate.

Friend #1: works at Volkswagen corporate offices, manager of western district inventory allocation. Salary of 85k plus. Just bought a condo for 350,000. Continues to add to the 401k.

Friend #2: owns a restaurant. Makes 130000-150000 a year. Bought two foreclosures for roughly 200k each.

Friend #3: owns a gas station/ car wash. Makes a good 120000 a year. Bought stocks and a foreclosure.

Friend #4: family sold a software co to a bigger software co. Made millions on the deal. Son Is looking to buy a $5 million house in Beverly hills.

Friend #5: sattelite TV dealer. Income of over $500,000 a yr. Buying foreclosed property by the colorado river in AZ. Have been advising him on buying PM's for the past year. Still reluctant.

Friend #6: major distributor of restaurant supplies in SOCAL region. Income over 1 million a yr. Very cash heavy with no wife or kids. In his 50's. No PM ownership. Still advising him to hedge. Says to me "i cant eat gold".

Friend #7: family owns chain of 25 restaurants in SOCAL region. Asset worth over 100 million. Income over 2 million a year. Owns NO PMs to date. Buying foreclosed shopping centers and homes. Says "property is the best investment ever"

My family: very wealthy. No PM's other than me.

The list above includes corporate workers, businessmen, entrepreurs, millionaires. Not one of them owns any PMs at all.

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

bearmarket trader,

Thanks for sharing that interesting information.  I'm amazed.  A lot of obviously money savvy people and no one takes out any "currency collapse insurance." ?  Wow!

I've heard the "I can't eat gold" one before and typically reply, "So paper, dirt, and buildings taste better?"  I can see that reply only if someone owns a working ranch or farm where they can supply most of their own food.

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

 

 ditto AO .... double wow.

 

 

diversification + humility = safety...

 All eggs.. one basket... = ........ chutzpah ?

 Oi veh....!

 

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

Finpro,

The last time I looked we are around 114 TRILLION dollars in Debt. That is total debt including Social Security and Medicare.

I read somewhere that its about 330,000 dollars per man, woman and child in the US.

THAT number is what will crush the dollar. We simply can't just claim paper and ink is just as good as something with intrinsic

value. If ANY of us ran our money like the government does we'd all be broke. Why? We can't simply print more money and

have someone actually take it in exchange for something of worth. THIS IS A PONZI SCHEME on a grand scale. The US has 

simply followed the Weimar government, Zimbabwa, and all of the other societies that have collapsed in the past. There is simply

no way out of this EXCEPT to Inflate the currency. i.e. make the dollar worth less or worthless. We WILL not get out of this easily.

Now to the Gold. Its only one way to try and shelter yourself. Farmland would be another ie sell food you've grown. OR dig yourself

an oil well if you live in the right place. How about owning a junk yard of car parts. They'll be needed in the future. There are probably

hundreds of other ways to protect yourself. But history has shown, and IMO, will again show that precious metals will come into play

at some point. I tend to lean on Silver (pre 1964) as a way to be able to barter in a much easier way than Gold. I own both but

Silver may well be the better of the two. Other PM's simply don't have the "money" built into them. In closing you may be right and

I may well be totally wrong on the whole thing. But I stick with my method as its been means tested over the centuries.

Best regards,

Whalecap

 

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Re: An informal survey: Is the populace on the precious ...

The % above spot on PM's esp. silver is unerving.

 

robie

husband,father,farmer,optometrist

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