Japanese Pension Funds With $3.4 Trillion In Assets Seek Safety In Gold

December 18, 2012

The world’s largest, most sophisticated investors are turning to gold…

These fundamentals are leading to broad based global demand for gold – from retail investors to institutions and pension funds. Japanese pension funds are increasingly looking at gold according to an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning.

Diversification into gold is taking place in order to protect against sovereign risk, debasement of currency risk and inflation risk.

In March 2012, Okayama Metal & Machinery became the first Japanese pension fund to make public purchases of gold, in a sign of dwindling faith in paper currencies. Okayama manages pension funds for about 260 small and mid-sized companies in the Okayama area.

“By diversifying currencies, we aim to reduce risks associated with them,” said Yoshi Kiguchi, the fund’s chief investment officer. “Yields become stable if you put small amounts into as many types of holdings as possible.”

Of its 40 billion yen ($477 million) in assets, the fund has invested around ¥500 million-¥600 million in gold, he said.

Initially, the fund aims to keep about 1.5% of its total assets of Y40bn ($500m) in bullion-backed exchange traded funds, according to chief investment officer Yoshisuke Kiguchi, who said he was diversifying into gold to “escape sovereign risk”.

Other pension funds in Japan are following their lead according to the Wall Street Journal.

Japanese pension funds are diversifying into gold “largely to mitigate the damage from possible market shocks”.

Japanese pension funds invest mainly in domestic stocks and bonds. Until recently, none have looked to gold or other physical assets.

Gold, whose price movement isn’t historically correlated with those of stocks or bonds, can protect portfolios from being damaged too badly in times of market stress, investment managers say. Low interest rates also justify holding non-yielding gold in place of cash.

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation said it has secured more than Y2 billion in investments from two pension funds for a gold fund it started in March.

Gold is also used as a hedge against inflation, which is becoming a bigger concern as global central banks buy ever-more bonds, market watchers say.

Even a small allocation by pension funds internationally to gold would result in a significant new source of demand which could be a new fundamental factor which propels prices higher in the coming years.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-18/japanese-pension-funds-34-trillion-assets-seek-safety-gold
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A Graphic That Needs No Explanation

December 11, 2012

America’s fiscal health is becoming unsustainable. Sooner or later there will be negative economic and financial market ramifications from this situation. When that occurs, only gold investments will provide safety for investors.

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Greece Downgraded AGAIN

December 6, 2012

Greece is the crisis that won’t go away. The hapless nation’s economic and fiscal woes are really just a microcosm of what is facing the entire European Union. Debt levels are unsustainable, spending continues to be out of control and politicians attempt to place band aids on the problems, which will only make them worse in the long run.

Somewhere at the end of all this, Europe is going to be hit hard with an unprecedented economic and fiscal crisis.

Will it be touched off by a Greek default? Some observers think so. S&P has now downgraded the country’s credit rating to “selective default,” from the already lowly CCC rating.

A Greek default will not be kind to the financial markets. This is yet another crisis from which investors must protect their wealth with gold investments.

Greece


The Fiscal Cliff: An Economic “Heart Attack”

December 4, 2012

800px-Car_off_cliff_sign

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch economist Ethan Harris is warning that the game politicians in Washington are playing ahead of the “fiscal cliff,” is dangerous and could amount to an “economic heart attack.”

Letting the country careen over the fiscal cliff as part of a bargaining strategy to push through fiscal reforms would serve as a dangerous game politicians would be playing with the economy, said Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Ethan Harris.

At the end of this year, tax hikes are scheduled to kick in at the same time government spending cuts take effect, a combination known as a fiscal cliff that could tip the economy into a recession next year if left unchecked by Congress and the White House.

Some lawmakers have suggested Jan. 1 can come and go without a deal and address the issue by putting one another’s feet to the fire or punting on deadlines as tax hikes and spending cuts take root.

Even talk of such strategy can damage the economy.

“One of the most dangerous ideas circulating in Washington is that it is okay to go over the cliff temporarily,” Harris said a note to clients, according to CNBC.

“Threatening or actually going over the cliff will likely do serious damage to economic and market confidence. What some people are calling a ‘bungee jump’ could cause an economic heart attack.”

Investors, meanwhile, are growing increasingly nervous.

“The clock is ticking,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist for Prudential Financial, Bloomberg added.

“The focus is on what goes on in Washington. The market will be volatile. You’ve got to be very well-hedged given that the market is so much headline-driven.”

The best hedge against uncertainty in the stock market has historically been gold.

 

 


Another Day, Another Downgrade

November 29, 2012

Evidence continues to mount of trouble in the world economy and financial system.

The latest evidence comes in the form of yet another downgrade of a nation’s credit rating by a major international investment rating firm.

This is the type of trouble for which hard assets, such as rare gold coins, are ideally suited to protect personal wealth.

The latest trouble does not come from the USA and its impending “fiscal cliff.” Nor does it come from the European Union, whose members Greece and Spain are in deep fiscal trouble.

The latest trouble spot is Argentina. Argentina’s financial position is so poor that Fitch rating services has downgraded the country to a rating so low that default is expected soon.

The impact of this on world financial markets is yet to be seen, but in today’s interconnected world, we can be sure that it won’t be limited to Argentina…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9707546/Fitch-downgrades-Argentina-and-predicts-default.html


1987 Redux?

November 16, 2012

Many investors do not remember October 19th 1987.

That was the day the stock market crashed. The Dow fell over 500 points/23% in one day. The crash was a culmination of a decline that had started in August.

It is important to note that gold served as the best source of liquidity during that crisis and increased in price between October and the end of 1987.

We bring this up because there is an important article on Marketwatch that points out distinct parallels between the conditions that existed in 1987 and today:

Current drop echoes 1987 crash prelude

By Jon D. Markman

The Dow Jones Industrials have fallen 450 points over the past two days, and a lot of the blame has been placed on the re-election of the president. But anyone paying attention to the market over the past three months recognizes that the peak was actually made the week that the Federal Reserve announced a third round of quantitative easing. That was expected to be a positive event, but in retrospect, it ushered in a rolling thunder of value-eroding news events.

Soon after began a very underwhelming earnings reporting season, word of a deepening industrial slump in China, a broadening recession in Europe and the martyrdom of Spain. And then this week it suddenly dawned on people that if U.S. lawmakers can’t stop acting like stuck-up brats, then $1.2 trillion worth of ham-handed spending cuts and tax increases are about toplotz on red states and blue states alike in the coming year.

Independent estimates suggest that would shave four percentage points off GDP faster than you can say “sequestration,” or “defenestration” for that matter, and lead to millions of lost jobs. It looks like the president would be OK with that, since he booked a tour of Myanmar for next week.

In short, the election put an exclamation mark on a parade of indignities, but it is far from the only proximate cause. Investors have liquidated U.S. assets for a while; it’s just more noticeable this week.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/current-drop-echos-1987-crash-prelude-2012-11-09?dist=afterbell


Wealthy Investors Dumping Stocks, Real Estate and Businesses Ahead of Fiscal Cliff as Market Guru Warns of Market Collapse

November 13, 2012

 

As many readers already know, due to long-term irresponsible fiscal policies, the US government finds itself headed to the edge of a so-called “fiscal cliff.”

Policymakers in Washington are trying to strike a deal to head off the carnage, but their track record is awful on such deals. What we are soon to be faced with is a combination of large budget cuts and sizable tax increases, which will kick in if nothing is done.

Faced with the possibility of tax hikes, America’s wealthy investors are taking action ahead of time and it isn’t good news for the markets; wealthy investors are liquidating stocks, real estate and even whole businesses to avoid higher tax rates in the future. This is obviously terrible news for the stock market, the real estate market and the economy as a whole, creating the type of environment in which hard assets, such as gold coins, thrive.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49792979

Meanwhile, long-time market analyst, Marc Faber of The Gloom Boom and Doom Report actually says that there will be no fiscal “cliff.” Nevertheless, he predicts that corporate profits are certain to disappoint, resulting in a stock market decline of 20% or more. Faber points to Apple Computer as a leading indicator; Apple’s stock has fallen 20% in recent months already.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49802535