COMMENT by GF:
I have formatted Acton Boy's OP a little to make it more readable. His OP had all double spacing and no paragraphs etc. Since I don't have the original, the formatting might be slightly different than the original article, but I did (obviosuly!) not change any text. GF
This is by Chris Weber
He has ghost-written half of Ron Pauls book 'The Case For Gold', and a book about Fort Knox's gold holdings in 1988.
It is quite long but well worth the read, taken from his very good subsciption news letter.
I have posted it in full as a password is required to access from the website.
Mods I asked and was kindly given permission to post this from his newsletter by Chris Weber for all to read.
The Weber Global Opportunities Report
August 15, 2010
The Great American Disaster: How Much Gold Remains In Fort Knox?
A Huge Mystery Remains To Be Solved
Plus, The Man With 100 Newsletters
(And 200 Investments)
Yesterday marked the 39th anniversary of the day when the US Government declared bankruptcy.
Oh, they didn't call it that at the time. But what happened on August 15, 1971 was that the US
defaulted on its promise to pay gold for dollars.
Before that day, gold was the legal linchpin of the world monetary system. Although every currency
was defined in terms of the US dollar, the dollar itself was legally defined as 1/35th of a troy ounce of
Since then, there really has been no center to the international monetary system. The "reserve
currency" continues to be the US dollar. But there is no official definition of what a dollar is. Like every
other currency, its value changes every ten seconds as it is traded on the global currency markets. It
is a promise to pay nothing. Its value has been devalued for years. On top of that, enormous effort
has since been put into the global currency markets: buying, selling, manipulating... none of which has
caused anything productive to the world economy. Oh, sure, currency investing has made some of us
rich, but is it really the same kind of wealth that, say, Steve Jobs has created with Apple?
After cutting that last tie to gold, there was no longer any discipline left to keep the value of the dollar
steady. The US dollar of August, 1971 is as of 2009 worth just over 18 cents, according to the Inflation
Calculator. Thus, in purchasing power, the dollar has lost over 80% in the past 39 years.
Only foreigners were legally able to turn in their US dollars and get gold from the US Government
from 1934 to 1971. August 15 of that year closed off that last power of convertibility.
In 1934, gold was confiscated from US citizens, melted from coins into bars, and gathered over the
next few years into a new storage facility at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. After that, the official price of gold
was raised from $20.67 to $35, a devaluation of the currency that was an attempt to inflate the
economy out of depression. It didn't work, but what it did do was to attract more gold in one place than
had ever been seen.
At a time when deflation was depressing prices for all assets, the drastic rise in the official gold price
made people all over the world want to sell their gold to the US Treasury. For many years, $35 an
ounce was higher than the market price, so foreign sellers got a bargain.
The peak amount of gold held in Fort Knox reached 701 million ounces of gold. This was in 1949. This
amount equaled 69.9% of all the gold in the world; never before had so much gold been gathered in
But soon after that, gold began to leave Ft. Knox and shipped to the foreign persons and institutions
who ponied up their $35 in Federal Reserve Notes for each troy ounce of gold they wanted. At some
point in the 1950s, $35 became too cheap a price for gold.
From then until 1972, at least 75% of official US gold left the nation in exchange for paper dollars
which can be printed at will. However, I think the total amount of real gold which remains is even less.
The exact amount that remains is now officially listed at 147.3 million ounces. From the peak, that is a
decline of 79%.
In 1988, 22 years ago, I wrote a book about Fort Knox, the gold there, and the documented history of
official lies, evasions and incompetence of those who were entrusted with the gold.
I say "documented history" because when writing the book, I was very careful to only include official
documents and private correspondence from the US government, stretching from 1934 to 1987. Using
their own responses to the questions of just how much gold is left, and what that gold's quality is, for
the first time this book put all these governmental attempts to answer the questions about their own
gold policies in one place. What their responses revealed was shocking to me.
Nothing since 1988 has happened to change my views.
The Story of a Great Man
How I came to write this book is an interesting story. I was in the right place at the right time. A man
named Edward Durell had been corresponding with the highest US governmental officials for years
when he asked me to come to his Virginia farm and write a book based on all his work. He was nearly
90 years old, and had been a wealthy industrialist who had bankrolled the campaigns of many
politicians for decades. He was dying (he would die weeks after the book came out) and wanted to
see all his concerns made public before he did. It was his life's work to restore transparency and
honesty to the monetary system. (He had learned about me from Congressman Ron Paul. Five years
before, in 1982, I had ghost-written half of Paul's book, The Case For Gold.)
When President Nixon closed the gold window exactly 39 years ago, Durell began hearing rumors
that made him concerned about the amount and quality of the gold that remained in Fort Knox. While
Durell was a life-long Republican, he never trusted Nixon, and considered him a world-class liar.
However, within days of Nixon's resignation in August of 1974, Durell contacted his old friend (and
longtime recipient of Durell's money for his various past elected offices) William Saxbe. Saxbe wasn't
just anybody: he was then the United States Attorney General, the highest legal official of the
executive branch of the government. With a new President, Gerald Ford, who Durell considered more
honest, he asked Saxbe to mount a complete audit of the gold at Ft. Knox.
Saxbe moved quickly to try to placate Durell, and barely six weeks later, on September 23, 1974 Mary
Brooks, the Director of the US Mint, led six Congressmen and one Senator on a tour of Ft. Knox. It
was the first time since Franklin Roosevelt visited on April 28, 1943 that anyone except Mint and
Treasury officials had been allowed inside of Ft. Knox. To my knowledge, no outsider has been inside
It was not an audit or inventory of the gold supply; but simply a tour. But there was more of a carnival
atmosphere than anything else. While it seemed to placate the few elected representatives at the
time, upon reflection several of them publicly pronounced themselves unsatisfied.
I tell the story of this, and more, in the book. I don't want to repeat it here. I'm trying to get the book
put online, and by the time we go to print with this issue, I may be able to do this. Until then, there are
copies of the book available at amazon.com and bookfinder.com. It is called " '...Good As Gold?' :
How We Lost Our Gold Reserves and Destroyed The Dollar." (I wrote it as Christopher Weber.)
The book was not a success. In fact, no other book I ever wrote made so little an impact. It came out
to a world which didn't care about the subject. It was not a "sensationalist" book, in the sense that we
were not screaming that there was no gold left in Ft. Knox. That approach would have gotten more
press. Instead, the tack we took was to let the official government responses speak for themselves,
while pointing out their poor quality and very unsatisfactory nature. We didn't want to put out any
allegation that would not stand up in a court of law: that's how carefully the book was written. I've
sometimes thought that the massive indifference which greeted the book hastened Mr. Durell's death,
and I've felt bad about that ever since. Durell was a great man who deserved better.
Part of the failure was my own fault. I did very little to promote the book. This is because I am not a
good promoter of anything; I don't like to be the center of attention and have always tried to avoid
fame and the spotlight. While I'm happy to say that I've been successful in the avoidance of fame, in
this case, I was the wrong person. With Durell dying, the burden of any promotion of the book fell to
me, and I let him down.
Maybe a great promoter could have gotten the public interested in the story of how America lost its
gold, but by 1988, the bull market in gold had become a distant memory, so maybe nothing would
Of course, the book didn't have the best title; I've forgotten who came up with it (probably me). The
"Good As Gold?" part was based on a speech given by President Kennedy days after he took office in
January, 1961. As he put it, "the growth in foreign dollar holdings has placed upon the United States a
special responsibility --that of maintaining the dollar as the principal reserve currency of the free world.
This required that the dollar be considered by many countries to be as good as gold. It is our
responsibility to sustain this confidence".
Sadly, the policies of JFK were just like those of every president from FDR to Obama. They all have
treated the value of the dollar as something to be sacrificed in favor of other goals. The only reason
why the US dollar is still the reserve currency of the world is that no other nation is in a position to
have a currency to challenge the dollar.
What has happened instead is that the dollar is no longer "as good as gold", and that every currency
has fallen in value in terms of gold.
The One "Audit" of Fort Knox
The only audit that has ever been done of the gold inside Ft. Knox was done days after Dwight
Eisenhower became President in January of 1953. After 20 years of Democratic presidents, the
American public wanted to be sure that the gold confiscated from them was still there. Thus, the new
President ordered an audit within hours after taking office.
The central problem was that it wasn't much of an audit. To sum it up:
1. Representatives of the audited group were allowed to make the rules governing the audit. No outside private experts were allowed.
2. Those government bureaucrats involved were inexperienced in their tasks, by their own admission.
3. The entire audit of the largest gold hoard ever concentrated in history lasted only seven days.
4. Only a fraction of the gold was actually tested. Later, the officials put this fraction at just 5%.
5. Based on that fraction, the official committee reported that, in their opinion, all the holdings would have matched their records if they'd all been tested.
6. If the audit was accurate, the fact remains that almost 80% of it went overseas in the coming years. If the audit was not accurate, the amount of gold lost could have been even more.
This one and only audit reassured the America of 1953. But that America was still used to accepting
official government statements at face value. In later years, after all the lies connected with Vietnam,
Watergate, and so many things ever since, Americans today have lost much of their respect and
belief in the words of their government. (In fact, few today even view it as "their" government.) An
audit such as the one of 1953 would today satisfy almost nobody.
The years after 1953 saw hundreds of millions of ounces of gold fly out of the US. It is absolutely
certain that wealthy Americans, operating behind foreign institutions, were able to accumulate gold at
what are clearly now bargain prices. But more important, America's enemies were able to do the
same: exchanging the paper dollars for gold at $35 an ounce.
In the book, I tell the sad story of how Washington tried to suppress the price of gold during the 1960s
with the London Gold Pool. Both the official and private responses regarding this are included.
It is clear to me that the last bull market for gold lasted 20 years, from 1960 to 1980. However, the
price of gold only rose during the 1970s. This is because the price was manipulated --suppressed-- all
during the 1960s. When the manipulation stopped, the price soared far and fast to make up for the
time it had been held down artificially. From $35 in 1971 to $850 at the January 1980 peak, that's a
rise of 2,329% at a time when every other asset class was either doing nothing or plunging.
After a period of moderation in inflation which began in 1980, gold went into a bear market. However,
it reached a low of $256, much higher than the old low of $35. When the price began to rise in 2001, it
hasn't stopped. However, this has been a stealth rise, a bull market that has been ignored by most
Even after 10 consecutive years of annual rise, very few people own it or are excited about it.
I think there is still much, much more room for gold to rise. This bull market will take the price to a
level much higher than most anyone today believes possible.
There are people who today think gold's price is being manipulated and held down. If they studied the
history of the London Gold Pool, they'd have to realize that any supposed suppression going on today
is child's play compared to what went on as official policy in the 1960s. If gold's price action since
2000 has been suppressed, I say bring on more of it! It's making gold holders wealthy.
We're straying a bit from the main subject.
The central part of what I learned is that, by official admission, only a small percent of the gold that is
left in Fort Knox is "good delivery" gold. In fact, though this is just my opinion, I wonder if the fact that
there was so little such good delivery gold left by August of 1971 that Nixon had to close the gold
"Good delivery" gold is gold that is at least .995% pure. Pure gold is .9999 fine. However, gold is
allowed to be .995 fine and still be acceptable to buyers, such as central banks and sophisticated
investors. All of the gold that had left Ft. Knox before the window closed 39 years ago today was
The shocking admission Ft. Knox holds very little good delivery gold was made to Mr. Durell by the
chief official of the General Accounting Office (GAO).
This happened a few months after the September 1974 tour. During that event, which lasted less than
four hours, the visitors were shown only what the Treasury officials conducting the tour intended these
elected (non-expert) representatives to see. Only one of the 13 compartments supposed to contain
gold was actually opened to the visitors. As the cameras flashed, a few bars were weighed by the
Congressmen. None of them were assayed.
But even worse than this was the fact that these eyewitnesses were shown bars that were strangely
orangish in hue. This is a sign that they are far from pure gold.
This should come as little surprise, however. Remember that the gold had been confiscated from
Americans had usually come in the form of gold coins. Pure gold coins are considered too soft and
copper is usually added to strengthen them. US coins before 1933 contained about 10% copper and
90% gold. Thus, the bars made from melting them often contained the same proportion. Some of the
new bars had the copper removed: these were good delivery bars that went out the gold window
But much of what was left, as seen in the one compartment opened in Ft. Knox, were quite obviously
of bad quality. They were the dregs of what had been the greatest accumulation of gold that had ever
At the same time, the Treasury agreed to audit the gold. However, they only agreed to audit 20% of
the gold. This was supposedly done over a 30 day period that began the day after the tour.
The results of this "audit" were released in February of 1975. Mr. Durell was less than impressed with
the whole thing: it was certainly not what he had wanted when he brought up the subject with Attorney
General Saxbe the previous August. He felt, with justification, that he (along with everyone else) had
By February 1975 Saxbe was Ambassador to India, so Durell communicated his displeasure through
his local Virginia congressman.
As a result of this, the GAO sent four men to Durell's Virginia farm to try to convince him of the validity
of their accounting practices. In charge was Hyman Krieger, the GAO's Washington regional
The one concrete piece of information to emerge from this meeting was a bombshell. Krieger admitted
that only a small part ---24.4 million ounces--- of the official gold was of a quality of .995 or better. In
other words, less than 10% of the 264 million ounce held by the Treasury could be considered
good delivery gold.
Krieger confirmed this in a letter to Durell of April 11, 1975:
"We analyzed, as agreed, the gold bar schedules for Fort Knox and found that fine gold in good
delivery form (.995 or better) at Fort Knox totaled 24,411,140 ounces." This from the 701 million
ounces that were the supposed peak.
In fact, in the absence of a true and independent audit and assay, we really can't be sure of how
much is actually there. First the Treasury said that 264 million ounces of gold was there by the end of
1972, but later on the number was changed to 147.3 million ounces, and that's the number it stands at
What happened to change the 264 million to just 147? How much --exactly-- remains in Fort Knox? Of
that, how much ---exactly-- is good delivery quality? What is the quality of the rest?
After an unsatisfactory 1976 attempt by the US Treasury to answer its critics, the curtain came down.
The next President, Jimmy Carter, was even worse. His people were even less interested in candor
than the Ford officials were.
And Reagan? Although he made nice noises about a return to a gold standard, his officials met any
attempt at an honest and transparent look inside Fort Knox with slippery evasions that contained more
than a hint of ridicule and mockery.
I don't have the space to detail all these here, but they are in the book. It is all a most dispiriting story.
If the US Treasury was really interested in erasing all the questions, they could have done so at any
time by allowing a truly independent audit, with acknowledged experts.
Instead, the history of their responses over the decades gives the impression that they have
something to hide. They have done their part to cause the average American to distrust their
government, regardless of which political party is in power.
Occasionally, news leak out that makes one wonder how bad things really are. The New York Assay
Office had been the only part of the Treasury that had melted and refined gold starting with the 1934
confiscations. A few years ago, it was announced ---in connection with another story-- that over 5,000
ounces of gold had been stolen from this office. According to the Treasury official in charge, "The full
truth [amount] may never be known because the records are so poor." Two Treasury employees
were ultimately charged with theft in this one case, but who knows how much other episodes have
happened? No one is watching. Everyone knows that for every government scandal that is revealed,
many more are covered up. Some are done by design, some by just plain incompetence.
After decades of mismanagement, it is clear that nearly all of the good quality gold in Fort Knox is
gone. If a real audit were ever done and made public, it would shock the nation.
In an era where the world is finally re-discovering the value of gold, the only ways the US will ever get
back anymore official gold will be either to buy it in the open market or to confiscate it from its citizenry
The government may indeed try to confiscate gold from Americans again: I can't put anything past
them. But the Americans of today's world are not like those of 1933. They are suspicious of their
government, and would act more like Europeans have always done: they'd hide their gold from the
government. The only way the 1933 confiscation worked was by voluntary participation. Americans
considered their turning in of gold as a patriotic act. This would not be the case today.
It is much more likely that America will continue to denigrate gold just as it has for decades. Most
officials; indeed, virtually all officials, don't respect gold at all. In that, American officials are much like
American investors. Future historians will be amazed at just how fast America declined starting in the
late 20th century. As has happened so often in the past (although much more slowly) no great nation
ever went off the gold standard and remained great.
China Moves to Increase Domestic Gold Demand
This is so very different from the actions of the Chinese. Slowly but surely over the last few years they
have been turning toward gold. First the Chinese central bank has bought all of the production of the
gold mined in China. It has so encouraged mining that the nation has become the largest producer of
gold on the globe.
However, until now, the decades-old policies of dictating to domestic commercial banks have stood in
the way of gold accumulation by both banks and individual Chinese. This now is changing. On August
3, the government issued new rules which allow at least some banks to import or export gold for the
first time in the history of post-1949 China.
It is a safe bet that Chinese banks will not be exporting gold. In effect, they are being given the green
light to buy gold on global markets and sell it to their customers, or just keep it themselves. Actual
gold trading in China has been rather thin, what with the government taking up all of domestic
production. This new policy seeks to widen the amount of gold available to Chinese.
The rules not only cover domestic Chinese banks. Foreign banks in China are also now free to import
and sell gold to Chinese.
A few weeks ago I titled an issue: "Has China Put A Floor Under Gold?" The idea was that Chinese
appetite for gold is now such that any price corrections are very small and don't last very long.
The price action of the past few days has shown that this is looking to be the case. After gold soared
to a record high $1,261 in June, it backed off. This was only natural, after such a huge advance of
over 80% in about 18 months. I wouldn't have been surprised to see gold correct to lower than the low
of $1,155 it briefly touched last month.
Since then, gold has turned up again. It's looking like the 6-7% correction we saw is all we're going to
get. Moreover, it lasted just a very few weeks.
Look at a gold price chart over from the past several months and it is becoming clear that the
correction from the record high is like nearly all the other corrections since this bull market started:
very small. The action hasn't given buyers who want a bargain time to get in.
When I say "China" is putting a floor under gold, it is probably better to say "Asia" in general. The
Chinese in Hong Kong and Singapore as well as the Indian communities in Asia are buying. Also,
don't forget the Vietnamese. All over Asia people are snapping up gold without waiting for a major
correction. By so doing, they may be making sure that a major correction doesn't happen.
The best policy is not to try to time your purchases. Just accumulate to the point where you have
enough, in percentage terms.
I suppose you can sum up all this by stating some simple numbers. When Americans gave up their
gold back in 1933, they were paid $20.67 for each ounce they surrendered. If they had simply lost one
of those ounces behind the sofa, today they could exchange it for over $1,200. But if they had taken
that $20.67 and misplaced it until today, that amount of money would only buy what a mere $1.32
would have bought them they day they turned in their gold.
That's how well the dollar has held its purchasing power since 1933. And that's how well gold has held
If gold is ever confiscated from Americans again, they're going to have to make a choice. If they know
their history, they will know that the last time the people's gold was confiscated, the government
treated that gold poorly. Let it slide through its fingers, let it be bought for much less than its true value
and in exchange for its own pieces of worthless paper. Who knows how much was simply stolen by
government employees acting on their own? But likely much more was lost in foolish schemes like
when in the 1950s the CIA parachuted millions of dollars worth of gold bars into Poland to support
what they thought was a powerful underground movement against the Soviets. In fact, the Soviets
had wiped out that movement years before, turned its key people into double agents and played the
CIA for suckers. (The kicker to this is that it was later discovered that the Poles sent a chunk of
the CIA's gold to the Communist Party of Italy... see Tim Weiner's History of the CIA.) As time
passes, we are hearing more stories like this.
The only Americans who ended up with American gold were the wealthy who were able to buy it
offshore. Thus, we saw a transfer of wealth from middle class to wealthy long before people have
recognized that trend today.
In short, the US Government fouled up the entire episode in much the same way that it has ruined
nearly everything else it has touched.
Indeed, there is reason to think if Americans' gold is ever confiscated again, it won't be by the central
government, because that government will have finally lost all legitimacy. Instead, we could see a
pattern of local strongmen or warlords that have afflicted other nations in the past --even now-modern
nations like Japan and in Europe--and still is seen in places like Afghanistan. Some of those warlords,
like the "Northern warlords" of the Ahmed Shah Mossoud organization, have been supported by the
Americans; others have been opposed. It would be the kind of tragic irony history loves if local
warlords are ever seen on American territory: instead of the US conquering Afghanistan, in effect the
US will have been conquered by Afghanistan.
I think we are at the point that if honest money is ever to be seen, we will have to see also a complete
separation of money and state.
The State has had its chance to control money: It has made a mess of it.
The Man With 100 Newsletters (And 200 Positions)
I admit it: I don't read a lot of newsletters. A few years ago I discovered a trend: I'd be reading a
newsletter and the writer would make a certain stock or other asset sound so great that I was
convinced to buy. But then I always lost money. It was as if I was cursed. The writer or analyst could
recommend 100 different items and 99 of them would go up. But I'd always choose the one which
Luckily, I didn't lose a huge amount of money. But I figured that I'd lost about $35,000 by following the
advice of other people. So I decided to stop reading most if not all of their opinions. At first it was just
an experiment. But I quickly grew to like it. First, my life became much calmer. I saved my reading for
things of greater value to me. But I also stopped losing money.
When I follow my own advice, so far anyway, I rarely lose money. But when I've followed the advice of
others, I've rarely made money. There have been exceptions: one of the greatest trades I ever made
was about 30 years ago, and based on the recommendation of a man named Alexander Paris. It was
not in a newsletter, however. He outlined his thinking to me in person, and it not only made sense, but
I went ahead and did it.
I mention all this because just a few days ago, I visited a man I'd never met, going along with a mutual
friend. He is quite busy, so while we were waiting for him, I noticed that he had newsletters. Lots of
newsletters. And not just from newsletter writers, but from brokerage houses.
I hadn't read so many letters for a very long time.
I was fascinated. Nearly all of them were full of stocks or funds to buy (a few were short sellers).
I couldn't find one that agreed with my own stance, to just be in physical gold and cash with the bulk of
I've long realized that it is usually in the writer's interest to recommend action: to either buy or sell
short something, or lots of things. First of all, it is so much easier to write about actions to take. To
spend a letter talking about doing nothing is neither easy nor exciting. If you've got a company to
recommend, you can research it, tell a story, and come to a conclusion.
Newsletter writers have a huge incentive to convince you to do something with your money. Most of
the writers are in the business of selling newsletter subscriptions. But it’s not just them. Newsletters
from money managers are written by people who are in the business of getting you to send them
more money to manage. Imagine how it would sound for them to say, "just put your money in
Treasuries and buy gold". You can do that without paying them to do it for you.
The same goes for the writers of brokerage house newsletters. They always have interesting stories
about stocks to buy. If they specialize in foreign stocks, then the world is their oyster: there is no limit
to the exotic stories they can tell and the wonderful profits they can hope for. Again, there's no money
in it for them to say "just build up your cash and gold, and if you have enough, just do nothing".
This gentleman we were visiting must have had at 100 newsletters. I didn't count them. There were so
many stocks, funds, and other assets recommended that my head was swimming.
What I wanted to know was how many individual assets the man held. During lunch, I broached the
subject. I didn't want to get too nosy, but he told us that he probably had about 200 different
investments. By the law of averages, this implies an average of 0.5% of his total investment money is
in each stock or fund.
I say stock or fund because that's pretty much all he had. I asked what he thought about gold. He said
that he owned some. I asked what percentage of his overall holdings, and he answered "About one
percent each in GLD and various mining stocks", or a total of two percent in this area.
I didn't have the courage to ask him if he'd been doing well with his investments. But I'd bet not; I'm
pretty sure his actual income came from his job.
I simply don't see how a portfolio with 200 different things in it can do well. Most things have been
falling over the last decade. And even if he got lucky on one of this picks, if you just have 0.5% or 1%
of your assets in any one thing, that thing would have to soar by 1,000% in order for it to make a huge
difference in your life.
For me, the advice Andrew Carnegie gave to the constantly unlucky investor Mark Twain a century
ago makes more sense to me. Twain was notoriously bad at investing, losing his shirt more than once
in his life, and necessitating his returning to writing to make up his loses. (So his loss was our gain.)
That didn't stop him from giving advice to Carnegie, one of the world's richest men. He was trying to
convince Carnegie to invest in one of his schemes, and told him, "You don't want to have all your
eggs in one basket". Carnegie replied, "You should put all your eggs in one basket, but then watch
that basket like a hawk!"
If I had to choose, I'd take Carnegie's way over Twain's. I've rarely had all my eggs in just one basket,
but I've just as rarely had more than 25 things in my portfolio. I've never had more than 35.
Studies have shown that if you get any more than that, you just can't keep track of all of them the way
Most of the time, I've had far fewer things in my basket. For the past few months, as I've sold things
like DIA and UUP (Dow and USD Index), I haven't replaced them with other assets, but just added the
proceeds to cash (since my percentage in gold is high enough). Gold is my largest "egg", then comes
cash, then silver, platinum and finally the mining stocks. I've told you how I've reduced the stocks and
am down to no more than the ones I hold free of risk after banking principal.
I don't have a good feeling about stocks in general, so I don't buy them. But I also am wary of short
term up-drafts in stocks, so I am not anxious to go short.
While bond can still go higher, I spent most of the past 30 years owning them, and getting far higher
interest yields than anything available today. I think I'll pass, even though bonds will do well if we have
deflation. I figure cash will suit me fine.
Commodities like oil or the softer ones? They can be hit by economic contraction. Plus, I'm not an
expert in most of these markets.
No, I feel the safest hedging myself with gold in case of great inflation or even deflation, and cash in
case I am wrong about gold. So the bulk is just in two things. That's a far cry from 200.
This man I'm talking about, he told us that it is easy for him to buy, but almost impossible to sell.
Whether he falls in love with his holdings, or he has so many that he can't keep track of them enough
to radically change his mind about any one or two of them, he didn't say (and I didn't ask).
Either way, I think it's a mistake. However, I also think that he's more like most people than most
people are like me. I keep asking people if they own gold, and what they think about it. Almost no one
owns it, as far as I can see. Or, if they do, the percentage amount is much less than 5% of the overall.
It's usually closer to 2%. Most people don't own any.
I also like asking readers who do own gold if any of their colleagues do likewise. Almost always, they
If gold ends 2010 above $1,095, it will be the 10th consecutive year of advance. Even the stock
markets during the glory years of the 90s didn't have that sort of run, at least in terms of consistent
and consecutive years of gain. (They outdid gold's performance in their best years, however... the
Nasdaq could soar 80% in those best years.)
Still, an asset that has risen consistently each year when nearly all others have had dreadful periods
since 2000... you'd expect that asset to be very popular. Gold, however, isn't.
Putting this fact together with all the rest of the fundamentals and it keeps me very optimistic about
gold. Sure, it's gone up quite a bit since the $256 of early 2001. But the crowd has definitely
not jumped on board.
Keep up your buying; I believe you'll be happy you did.
The Weber Global Opportunities Report
“Those who can not adjust to change will be swept aside by it. Those who recognize change and react accordingly will benefit.” ― Jim Rogers