January 19, 2015

Gold as insurance policy

In December, I initiated a trading long rental in SPDR Gold (GLD) at $112.50.

Then, in early January, I wrote: 

The world's economies face structural headwinds, currencies are being debased. Geopolitical risks are rising, monetary policy is losing its effectiveness, while fiscal initiatives are non-existent.

In this setting, gold (a commodity I have long avoided) may start to increase in value.

With bullish sentiment almost non-existent (except some remaining gold bugs), I have and continue to maintain a trading long position in SPDR Gold Trust  (GLD) (which I initiated at $112.50 in mid December).

Though I continue to have problems valuing the commodity, I plan to hold this insurance policy for a while in the uncertain market and economic settings I see. I recently added further to my GLD long based on these considerations:

1. Gold, given the  current issues, could be increasingly considered a currency and not a commodity.

2. Central banks around the world are doing anything they can to suppress the value of their fiat currency vs. all others, with the battle inevitably helping the only currency that cannot be manipulated by central banks: gold.

3. The Swiss National Bank has thrown in the towel in its money-printing regime, realizing it is a battle that cannot be won. This comes just a few months after the referendum calling for the SNB to move back towards their sound money past. All this is gold constructive as it's a repudiation of the perceived virtues of currency depression.

4. India, a few months ago, further eased import restrictions of gold and I expect them to further the relaxation of import tariffs.

5. China remains a voracious buyer of gold and the trend of gold moving from West to East continues.

6. Even Russia realizes that having more gold in its reserves is a key foundation of stabilizing one's currency.

7. The Federal Reserve is expressing some concerns about the impact of a strong U.S. dollar and they are the last central bank to play in the FX war sandbox. So, gold is now in the process of rallying against all currencies and is no longer a non-dollar play.