Own Gold in Age of Cyber-Terrorism

This could be the biggest threat to the economy

cyber threat-2

With the exchanges between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un, there has been increasing concerns of escalation, nuclear or otherwise, between the two nations.

Marc Faber, however, believes that the next great battle might be fought on a more subtle battlefield. As seen in Olivier Garret and Shannara Johnson’s piece on Forbes, the publisher of the “Gloom, Boom & Doom Report” finds an attack on the U.S. unlikely and points to cyber-terrorism as the real threat that everyone should look out for.

There’s no question that cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and with the increased connectivity of the 21st century, such an attack could have devastating consequences. Faber gives the example of a major U.S. city such as New York having its electricity or Internet switched off. In such an event, the only assets that would hold value would be physical ones that are recognized as a medium of exchange.

Even bitcoin, the cryptocurrency valued for its security, would be rendered close to meaningless. Gold bullion, however, would not only keep its price but likely see a significant increase.

The threat of a cyber-attack isn’t the only thing making Faber hold onto his bullion. The publisher is known for his contrarian investing style, yet many don’t realize that his backstory provided hard lessons on the value of assets.

Growing up in post-WW2 Switzerland, Faber came to distrust paper money early on while learning to appreciate the safety net that precious metals provide. Talking to the Hard Assets Alliance, Faber recalls how a million dollars was once an almost exorbitant sum, yet today is something that is increasingly reachable.

Unlike some, Faber understands that inflation is real and sees no better example of it than the loss of the dollar’s purchasing power. The Fed continues to ignore gold while applying loose monetary policies that only benefit the wealthiest 0.01% – those with the largest number of real assets.

“50% of American people have no assets. … They don’t benefit from money printing. Actually, they’re hurt because their cost of living is going up, and it’s going up more than the CPI would indicate,” Faber explains.

Faber believes that investing in an asset outside of the monetary system is the only way to both shield yourself against a cyber-attack and protect your wealth against the constant erosion of currencies. To him, gold bullion remains the best possible asset to own that’s independent from banks, including central banks. It promises to keep its value against any threat, both virtual and physical.

“Mother of All Bubbles” Keeps Gold Appetizing

Sinking USD could mean more gold gains

gold bubble-1

After reaching optimistic heights after the November election, the U.S. dollar has been on a near-constant downward trajectory, recently hitting a 13-month low.

The ongoing concerns over the Trump administration, including an inability to pass key legislation and the passing of questionable decision, promises to keep the greenback in its bear market. As investor and CEO Frank Holmes explains, gold has already gained 8% year-to-date in good part due to the sinking dollar, which is why he believes that more gains are almost guaranteed.

The rally in gold is especially impressive, says Holmes, because of both the stock market’s gains and rising interest rates. The fact that gold can post gains in these circumstances means good things for the metal in the near term, especially considering the result of the Fed’s latest meeting, in which the central bank sounded some dovish tones on interest rates.

UBS also sees good things for gold in the short term, with analyst Joni Teves pointing to India as once again being a major driver for gold demand. Teves explained in a note that a good monsoon season in the country, which imported 525 metric tons of the yellow metals in the first half of 2017, could push demand to a new record high by the end of the year.

Yet Holmes sees gold’s long term as even more encouraging due to an important factor: the mounting levels of global debt. Out of all the risks that strengthen the case for gold, the rising debt ceiling is among the most concerning – global debt has now reached $217 trillion, a massive increase over pre-crisis levels of $150 trillion.

With global debt amounting to 327% of the world gross domestic product, paying down looks less and less likely. Holmes points out that some are referring to it as “the mother of all bubbles” and reminds us that the previous two bubbles, which were mild in comparison, poured over into crises.

Another massive risk on the horizon is the sharp rise of global pension levels, with unfunded pensions expected to reach $400 trillion by 2050. When one adds curbed population growth to the mix, any improvement in economic growth seems unlikely, especially considering how ineffective central banks have been in promoting it. Monetary easing, Holmes notes, is precisely what brought on rampant borrowing across the globe.

With another crisis potentially in the works, Holmes finds the case for gold to be stronger than ever. He asserts that the metal shines brightest in times of turmoil, so savvy savers would do well to waste no time ensuring that a portion of their savings is protected against the coming tide.

Ron Paul Says a 50% Rise in Gold Could Happen

A correction in stocks could result in a substantial rally in gold

Ron Paul not surprised if gold rises

With the stock market in the midst of the second longest bull market ever, soaring for eight years, numerous analysts and pundits have been predicting a major correction for some time. Former congressman Ron Paul’s outlook for the market is particularly grim, and he expects not only a sizeable adjustment in stocks but a rally in gold of an even greater magnitude.

“If our markets are down 25% and gold is up 50% it wouldn’t be a total shock to me,” Paul told CNBC, adding that things could go south as soon as October. His prediction for gold is $1,867 an ounce, not far off its all-time high from 2011. The famous libertarian’s forecast is precisely in line with his thoughts from a year ago, when he offered yet another bearish outlook on stocks and warned investors to brace for impact.

Back then, Dr. Paul singled out artificially low interest rates around the world as the most likely catalyst behind a financial catastrophe. Today, he remains firm in his belief that the Federal Reserve kept interest rates too low for too long and is now haphazardly trying to remedy the situation through ill-advised rate hikes.

Although both the S&P 500 and the Dow have experienced considerable gains since his interview a year ago, Paul sticks to his forecast and explains that the rally is merely on borrowed time. “People have been convinced that everything is wonderful right now and that stocks are going to go up forever,” said Paul of the ongoing rally. “I don’t happen to buy this. The old rules always exist, and there’s too much debt and too much mal-investment. The adjustment will have to come.”

Aside from his ongoing criticism of the Trump administration, Paul – who was among the “Trump rally’s” staunchest detractors – is also outspoken in his lobbying against the Federal Reserve, arguing that the central bank and its policy makers never really have a grip on the situation and are merely experimenting with different ideas.

After almost a decade of loose monetary policy, the former U.S. Representative believes there’s plenty of room for the Fed’s hiking campaign to harm the economy and plunge the prices of multiple assets. “I think it’s a very precarious market, and the Fed better be very careful. Since they are incapable of knowing what to do, I don’t expect much good to come out of anything they do,” said Paul. “There are so many mistakes made out there that the correction is almost unlimited.”

Major Traders see Long-Term Upside in Gold

Gold Could Reach New Heights Despite Hawkish Fed

Traders see long-term upside to gold

Gold reached $1,295 an ounce earlier this month before an optimistic message by the Fed sent the dollar rallying. Despite Janet Yellen’s hawkish statements, which promise an additional rate hike this year, some traders believe that the metal still has plenty of potential to pass the key level of $1,300.

TJM Institutional Services’ Jim Iuorio isn’t discouraged by the Fed’s hawkish tone and expects gold to do well in the near future. Speaking to CNBC, Iuorio focused on the ongoing trend of weak economic data, including a series of disappointing job reports.These factors should put of pressure on the dollar and move it lower, asserts Iuorio, which he believes in turn would boost gold.

Before the Fed’s recent announcement, the greenback reached its lowest level since last November’s election, as Washington has become embroiled in drama and the Trump administration’s ability to deliver on promises has been placed into question.

While the metal has been momentarily set back, Iuorio said that the long-term case for gold remains solid and thatpeople should focus on its strong fundamentals instead of the occasional slump. “I’m a longer-term bull in gold and if you look at the long-term chart the trend is still higher,” said the trader.

One of those strong fundamentals is the recent overhaul of India’s gold tax, which could have a significant impact on gold prices. Until recently, India had over a dozen levies controlling the importing and distribution of gold, giving rise to smuggling and tax evasion on a large scale.

The government chose to replace these levies with a single tax called the Goods & Services Tax, meant to improve transparency in the country’s gold trade. Many feared that the tax would be placed at 5%, as was the initial prediction, which would have increased the taxation on gold jewelry from its current state.

However, the government recently announced that the Goods & Services Tax, which rolls out on July 1, will be a fixed 3%. Path Trading Partners’ Bob Iaccino believes that this will have a positive impact on gold trade in the country that continues to assert its spot as the world’s top gold consumer. The trader said that the tax could drive jewelers and retail investors to buy gold, causing prices to rise as a result.

Aside from making gold supply more transparent, the tax also stands to boost India’s economic growth, giving another upside to the yellow metal.

Is Your Partner Undermining Your Retirement?

Is Your Partner Undermining Your Retirement?

In general, couples are able to accumulate greater resources and more wealth than single people. However, far too many couples not only fail to save for retirement, they might be ruining their chances for financial stability even if they are saving. Here are a few warning signs that your significant other (or you) could be sabotaging your future.

Unchecked spending.

When one part of a couple has expensive tastes that aren’t supported by income, that can spell doom for retirement. This is particularly true if that person tries to keep their spending a secret. While trust is essential in any relationship, don’t let your trust blind you to a possible financial meltdown. Discuss your spending habits and if you need to scale back significantly. If you suspect that your significant other is spending money on the sly, check your existing accounts, as well as your credit report for new credit cards or accounts that might have opened up.

Taking all (or no) responsibility.

Retirement planning should be a joint endeavor. Don’t do all of the work yourself, and certainly don’t rely on your partner to carry the entire burden. Even if there is a significant income disparity, both members’ active participation could bring numerous advantages, including employer 401(k) matching funds, and tax breaks.

Failing to calculate the goal amount.

What do you plan on doing once you retire? Whatever you decide will let you know how much money you’ll need. If you plan on taking vacations, learning new languages, taking music lessons, you’ll need the resources to cover that in addition to your living expenses. Retirement isn’t just sitting at home – it’s the beginning of a new life!

To learn more about how a gold IRA could help you in retirement, contact the representatives at Birch Gold Group for a consultation. Visit blog link for more information.

 

Why Won’t Financial Advisors Suggest Gold?

Why Won’t Financial Advisors Suggest Gold?

Most financial advisors advocate for paper assets such as stocks and bonds – but relatively few ever recommend buying physical precious metals, such as gold. Although gold is a proven inflation hedge and safe haven asset, with a long and storied history of being valued above nearly any other commodity, the majority of financial institutions won’t even entertain the question of buying physical gold. Why?

Here are the reasons why your advisor will simply ignore physical gold.

They just aren’t familiar with it.

Oh, sure – they know that gold has incredible value; they probably own it in the form of a gold watch or other jewelry. However, they haven’t familiarized themselves with gold markets. They handle (and sell) intangible assets, and they’re simply incapable of speaking authoritatively on the benefits of gold ownership.

It doesn’t make them a profit.

Would a Chevrolet dealership seriously steer customers towards buying a Ford? Of course not. They want to sell their own products and make a profit, so naturally they’re going to endorse the stock they offer. It’s the same thing with most financial advisors: they sell you the products that will make them money. If these paper investments and financial products wind up working out well for you, then that’s certainly a feather in their cap. Nevertheless, your success isn’t necessarily what is going to earn their living. Commission-based financial institutions make their living from selling, not from offering you the best possible alternatives.

It’s simple. Properly diversified portfolios offer you retirement security, and you can’t have a diversified portfolio without tangible assets. Gold is one of the most historically secure assets it is possible to have.

If you want to learn more about how buying gold bullion or opening a gold IRA can help you meet retirement challenges, please contact the experts at Birch Gold Group today for a complete consultation. Visit blog link for more information.

When Should I Buy Precious Metals?

When Should I Buy Precious Metals?

There is no set time when you should buy precious metals. You should buy gold, silver, platinum, or palladium when you decide you want to own it. Physical gold isn’t a paper asset or an investment in the sense that it can become a liability to another party; it’s wealth insurance. If you believe that you should own gold for your own security and peace of mind, you should buy it. You’re looking for protection from financial meltdown – you might not have time to wait for your ideal conditions.

Are American products better?

If you plan to liquidate your gold in the United States, it could be easier to accomplish with U.S. minted coins. However, if you wish to open a precious metals IRA, you can select any IRS-approved metals, which can be American, Canadian, Australian, and more.

How long can I hold my gold?

Precious metals ownership has numerous advantages. Gold has been a symbol of wealth and status throughout human history; gold is valued all over the world; gold cannot be manipulated like paper currency. However, gold is not a short-term investment. If you are going to be buying gold, you should consider holding onto it for the long term. International conditions that affect the price of gold don’t change immediately, and prices can fluctuate considerably within the space of a year. Selling at the first sign of a price dip might only result in purchasing gold again later – at a higher price.

If you believe you might struggle to keep your gold as a long-term asset, you might want to think about which forms are the easiest to liquidate.

What kind of metal should I buy?

While gold is the most luxurious of all the precious metals, it certainly isn’t the only financially sound option. Silver is a valuable yet budget-friendly precious metal that has most of the same safe-haven asset advantages as gold. Moreover, think about whether you anticipate using your precious metals as money. Should bartering become necessary, it will be far more advantageous to have access to silver, rather than purely value-dense gold coins.

If you’re looking to spend under $10,000 for precious metals to hold in the event of a currency catastrophe, silver might be your best bet.

How much should I spend on precious metals?

While there is no definitive net-worth percentage, some advisors suggest holding anywhere between 10 – 30 percent of assets in precious metals. Of course, the amount depends upon your financial situation, and your comfort with current international economic conditions.

Where should I buy my precious metals?

It is critically important to select a reputable gold firm with a savvy, knowledgeable, and professional team of precious metals experts. You want not only pure, fairly-priced precious metal products, but also access to seasoned representatives so that you can successfully navigate the rocky terrain of precious metals ownership, and assist you with making changes to your portfolio, and liquidating assets.

You want to check all consumer advocacy resources before committing to a purchase; the Better Business Bureau is an excellent place to start. Not only are you making sure the dealer has an A+ rating, you also get to read reviews and testimonials from a diverse client base. (Beware of abundant customer complaints, even with an A+ rating.)

Next, you’ll want to have a good rapport with your contact at the company. Your specialist should understand your goals for protecting your savings – it shouldn’t just be a sales pitch. He/she should be knowledgeable, and committed to open and transparent communication before and after any transaction. If they try to pressure you into buying, walk away.

Lastly, it’s also important to find a firm that has a stable history within the precious metals industry. More than 10 years in the business is a good sign.

Once you’ve answered the above questions comprehensively, you’ll be in a good position to make the best precious metals choices for your lifestyle and goals.

If you are interested in either purchasing physical gold or opening a precious metals IRA, please contact the team at Birch Gold Group for a consultation today.