Over the past decade, the technology sector has accounted for more than 380 tonnes of gold demand annually, a significant figure in itself and almost 13% ahead of central bank net purchases during the same period. Yet gold’s role in this vibrant and growing industry is broadly unrecognised and often misunderstood. This edition of Gold Investor focuses on technology, analysing gold’s current use and future potential across a range of applications.
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The idea that jewelry is an investment is storied, but naïve. There is too much of a spread between the price of most jewelry and its gold value for it to be considered a true investment. Instead, the average gold investor should consider gold-oriented mutual funds and ETFs, as these securities generally provide the easiest and safest way to invest in gold.
Goldcorp, one of the largest gold miners in the world, has just come off a year of restructuring that helped it lower AISC by roughly 4% to $856 an ounce and swing to profits from losses in 2015. But it's the miner's recent growth moves -- including its acquisition of a 25% stake each from Barrick and Kinross to become a part-owner in Cerro Casale -- that should get investors excited.
The impact of the gold rush in California, America and on the wider world, cannot be overstated. Globally, one of the most interesting examples of this effect is of France. It is estimated that US$80 million of gold from California ended up there. In the years following the gold rush, this level of gain was echoed throughout other countries of the world.

Following the advent of gold as money, its importance continued to grow throughout Europe and the U.K., with relics from the Greek and Roman empires prominently displayed in museums around the world, and Great Britain developing its own metals-based currency in 1066. The British pound (symbolizing a pound of sterling silver), shillings and pence were all based on the amount of gold (or silver) that it represented. Eventually, gold symbolized wealth throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Gold is not always performing well. It has struggled during the 90s due to growing U.S. GDP, interest rate hikes in 1995, and a tight fiscal policy. After 2011, the strength of the US dollar and the US economy hurt gold. The stock market broke out of a downtrend and turned in the uptrend and investors were not as interested in owning gold as an insurance.
As of April 9, 2018, the silver price per ounce was about $16.43 per ounce, whereas gold traded at about $1,332.80 per ounce, meaning gold was about 81 times as valuable as silver. Although this might imply that there should be about 81 times the amount of silver in the world as there is gold, the proportion is actually much smaller: There’s roughly 19 times the amount of silver in the Earth’s crust as gold, and when it comes to the amount of these precious metals mined, the proportion shrinks to nine to one.
You can choose either a Roth IRA or standard IRA. In the standard IRA, your funds are invested in a tax-free manner until you choose to withdraw them. In the Roth IRA, rollover is typically applied once taxes have been assessed and can then be withdrawn free of tax. In either option, you must have complete the transfer of funds within 60 calendar days of the funds being removed from the original IRA to avoid the large fines or fees the IRS usually imposes.
Bullion is an imperishable investment. Whereas a business can go under and shareholders could risk losing everything. You don’t have that worry with Gold. An oz. of gold will always be an oz. of gold. There are many different risky investments that people make because they crave quick returns in a short period, and end up with nothing to show for it.
Gold coins are struck with a minimum purity level of .999 gold, while coins such as the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf and Australian Gold Kangaroo are issued with .9999 pure gold. Most gold bullion coins have a face value issued by a central bank with that nation’s fiat currency, such as the US Dollar ($) for the American Gold Eagle or the Pound Sterling (£) for the British Gold Britannia. Finally, gold bullion coins are often available in weights beyond simply 1 oz gold. The American Gold Eagle features fractional weights of 1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 oz, while the Chinese Gold Panda is offered in 1 Gram, 3 Gram, 8 Gram, and 15 Gram weights in addition to its standard 30 Gram coins.
Borrowing money (also known as buying on margin) to make a bigger investment in gold is a risky game. Say, for example, you invest $4,000 and then leverage your investment five-to-one, so that you control $20,000 worth of gold coins or bars in an account set up by a dealer or brokerage firm. To start, the price of gold is volatile, and if the price dips far enough (below the minimum margin requirement), you’ll have to kick in more money to keep your account, or you’ll have to sell some or all of your investment. Also, the salesman’s commission is based on the total amount of the purchase. So he’ll get, say, 5% of the $20,000, or $1,000. Although 5% is a fair commission, it’s 25% of your $4,000 equity stake. On top of that, you’re paying interest on the money borrowed.
The IRA’s and 401K’s are at significant risk because of the current economic downturn; it becomes safe to roll over an ordinary IRA into a physical gold backed IRA. But with something as vital as your 401K you may want to be extra careful when doing this, so, it is imperative to get in touch with a trustworthy company that can assist you in establishing a secure retirement account.
Fast-forward three months, though, and Barrick Gold has now reported three money-losing quarters out of the past four and now sports a negative P/E ratio -- but positive free cash flow of $474 million. Granted, at a valuation of 25 times free cash flow, I still wouldn't call Barrick stock "cheap," exactly. Still, given the reversal in fortunes, I'm actually beginning to think that Barrick Gold stock might now be cheaper than it looks -- perhaps even cheap enough to merit a bounce in stock price this month.
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