Saturday, April 3, 2010

>Popular Delusions: when to sell gold (SOCIETE GENERALE)

JP Morgan once said he'd made his fortune by selling too soon. We spend much time thinking about what to buy and when to buy it, when in fact knowing when to sell is more important. The case for owning gold is clear enough, but when should we look to sell?

Some would say the time to sell is now. Gold just isn't the misunderstood, widely shunned asset it was a few years ago. Isn't the gold bull market now long in the tooth, with better opportunities to be found elsewhere? I can understand this view. Had you bought stocks at the bottom of the bear market in 1974 and held them for ten years you'd have seen them go from being hated to being loved. And as the number of mutual funds exploded you could have plausibly argued that since stocks were no longer the deeply contrarian plays they'd been, they should be sold. But you'd have missed spectacular gains over the next 15 years because the social contrarian indicators said nothing as to how favourable underlying conditions were for risk assets.

Though developed market governments are insolvent by any reasonable definition, it's far from inevitable that this insolvency will precipitate an extreme inflationary event … it's just that it might ... And although I've wondered aloud if Ben Bernanke is in fact the reincarnation of Rudolf von Havenstein - the tragic president of the German Reichsbank who presided over the Weimar Hyperinflation (speculative evidence presented below) I don't think he actually is ... it's just that he, and other central bankers, might be closer than they think ...

Gold, like all other commodities, is inherently speculative. Unlike well chosen stocks which you buy to hold to take advantage of their wealth-compounding properties, you only ever buy commodities to sell later. With this in mind, when should you sell gold?

To read the full report: GOLD