In Gold We Trust
Special Guest: Ronald-Peter Stoeferle, Incrementum Liechtenstein
Prior he worked for Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB) in the field of Fixed Income/Credit Investments and then later on joined Erste Group Bank, covering International Equities, especially Asia. In 2006 he began writing reports on gold and gained media attention when he expected the price of gold to rise to USD 2,300/ounce when the current price was only at USD 500.His six benchmark reports called "In GOLD we TRUST" drew international coverage on CNBC, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, Economist and the Financial Times. He was awarded "2nd most accurate gold analyst" by Bloomberg in 2011. He also writes reports on crude oil. Mr. Stoeferle is managing two gold mining-baskets and one basket for silver mining-equities. He studied business administration and finance at the Vienna University of Economics and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mr. Stoeferle is also a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) and a Certified Financial Technician (CFTe).
41 Minute VIDEO with Slides
Today, the 2015 edition of the gold report "In Gold We Trust" was launched. It is the 9th edition (read the 2013 and 2014 edition). With a global reach of some 1 million readers, it is probably the most read gold report worldwide. The In Gold We Trust 2015 is written by Ronald Stoeferle. He is the managing partner of a global fund at Incrementum AG in Liechtenstein, focused on the principles of the Austrian school of Economics.
2015 Edition: "In Gold We Trust"
The gold price has stabilized in 2014, after its collapse in April and June of 2013. Investors' interest in the yellow metal is lost. Hence, market sentiment vis-à-vis gold is standing at a multi-year low, maybe even a multi-decade low. History learns that extreme underperformance usually lasts for one year. If history is any guide, than there should be a recovery in the gold price in the foreseeable future. Even with the severe underperformance since 2013, gold is up approximately 9% per year since it started to trade freely in 1971. As seen on the next chart, depending on the currency in which it trades, the average yearly performance is excellent for investors with a long term horizon. In other words, gold does what is always has done throughout history: preserve value and purchasing power.
Preservation of wealth is the primary reason why one should hold gold nowadays. Monetary policies of central banks are extremely unusual. The U.S. Fed could be talking about "normalization," but with 7 years at zero percent interest rates we are nowhere near "normal" conditions. The most extreme monetary conditions, today, are being seen in Japan. It is really no coincidence that the gold price in Yen is near its all time highs. The gold price in Yen is simply reacting on the extreme expansion of the monetary base by the Japanese central bank. As the next chart shows, the balance sheet of the Bank Of Japan (BOJ) is approximately 65% of the country's GDP. In other words, the assets that the BOJ is holding nears 2/3 of the total economic output of the country. When compared to other regions, it is clear that is a monstrous amount. It seems that Japan is near its endgame.
One of the "reasons" gold has gotten so little attention in the last two years is that investors have been focused on stock markets around the world. The U.S. stock market has seen a huge rally since October of 2012, European stocks catapulted higher when the European version of QE was announced earlier this year, Japan keeps on making multi-year highs in the wake of an ever expanding monetary policy. Meantime, however, stocks are not cheap anymore. On a historic basis, when expressed in a price/earnings ratio according to the Shiller method, the stock market in the U.S. sits at relatively high levels (although no extremes). Although it is not given that the stock market is about to go south, there always is a possibility that the top is set in which case gold should see positive returns. As the next chart shows, during periods of the worst performance of the S&P 500, stocks and commodities have lost significant value while gold remained steady.
A correction in the stock market is certainly in the cards. Why? Because traditionally the gold/silver ratio is mostly negatively correlated with the S&P 500. In other words, as the gold/silver ratio goes down which means there is a disinflationary environment, stocks come down as well. Over the last 25 years, that correlation has held very well, but started to diverge strongly 3 years ago.
Gold is underperforming in a disinflationary environment. That has been one of the key observations in the last In Gold We Trust reports. There was enough evidence in the datapoints so far, but the most up-to-date chart says it all (see below). While the real rates were standing at -4% in 2011, they have gone up steadily since then, and are again in positive territory this year. The gold price has moved in the opposite direction in that same time period. The In Gold We Trust Report 2015 focuses, among many other things, on the correlation between the gold price and inflation expectations. Gold is an inflation sensitive asset. The U.S. 10-Year real yields provide an indication of inflation expectations. As readers can see, a strong divergence is in place since 2013, arguing for a strong revaluation of the gold price as inflation expectations are in an uptrend since then.
Suppose, however, that inflation expectations will change their trend … would that be bad for precious metals? The answer to that question is to be found in the last chart. During deflationary periods, like the ones starting in 1814 or 1864, the Great Depression of the 30ies or the financial crisis of 2008, gold did remarkably well. It is during those periods of "financial stress" that gold shows its real value, i.e. preserve wealth and provide protection against other assets.
The themes in this years 2015 "In Gold Trust Report" are the real value of gold as a financial asset and the end of gold's underperformance.