Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jim Rogers: Invest in Myanmar and North Korea if you can

Jim has been Interviewed on GoldSeek Radio on the 27th of September 2011.

QE3 has already started when Bernanke announced he would keep the interest rate close to zero for 2 years. At that time, M2 measure of the money supply when straight up.

Jim Rogers expects a correction in Gold and Silver. Gold has gone up for 10 years in a row, this is unprecedented even during the 1970s bull market and a correct should be expected. He would buy Silver and Gold on further dips as all commodities will probably end up in a bubble. Of course, if the US dollar becomes confetti, there is no ceiling on the price of Gold.

There has been a recession every 4 to 6 years in the US, so he thinks we'll get another one this year or at least one within 2013. That time will be worse since there are no bullets left. The US had a huge debt problem and they can't triple the debt again, the market won't let them. Same thing for money printing, it would become very difficult now.

Developing countries won't be spared by the next recession occurring in the US and Europe as they are major economies and trade partners of emerging economies. Jim Rogers is actually currently shorting emerging economies.

He'd rather go the Scandinavian way (take the pain now) than the Japanese way (kick the can down the road) in reference to past crises.

Finally, when asked if he saw any investing opportunities right now, he recommended people to try to invest in Myanmar and North Korea if they can, as those 2 countries are starting to opening up like China did 30 years ago. Investing in those countries if illegal for American citizen. (For other individual investors, it's also difficult to get exposure since there are no ETF available yet.)

You can listen to the interview below.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Marc Faber: This Looks Like a Repeat of 2008

Marc Faber is interviewed on CNBC-TV18 on the 26th of September 2011.

The environment is very similar to 2008 with financing drying up, global liquidity shrinking, assets price collapsing, but the US dollar and US government bonds are strong.

He thinks industrial commodities remain vulnerable. he sees Gold and Silver increasingly perceiving as cash. He would not hold long dated US treasuries for more than 3 weeks (except as a trader).

He would try to accumulate shares on the downside in Asia.

Although not in the video above, Marc Faber also mentioned that "We overshot on the upside when we went over $1,900," and "We're now close to bottoming at USD 1,500, and if that doesn't hold it could bottom to between USD 1,100-1,200."

Please refer to my previous blog post Is it Time to Get Back into Gold and Silver? for details about the 1200 and1500 USD levels.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Peter Schiff: State of the Gold Market

Following the recent Gold and Silver sell-offs, Peter has written an update to his subscribers:


This past week has been a rout for precious metals. From last Monday to today, gold has dropped 10.9% and silver dropped 30.4% (per the London fix). For gold, from $1794 to $1598, and for silver, from $40.46 to $28.16.

The metals have been on a tear for the past few years. Because of this, investors and speculators that do not understand the fundamentals appear to have joined the bull run, and then quickly departed at the first sign of trouble. Good riddance to them, I say. While sharp declines do test the mettle of some value investors, I believe this leaner market presents a great buying opportunity.

The situation in Europe continues to deteriorate daily. Greece is in default and larger EU members look sure to follow. Meanwhile, gridlock is the password in Washington. QE III is coming, and with it, the dollar is headed for another big decline in purchasing power. The Swiss National Bank just instituted a peg to curb inflows of global investors seeking a safe haven – costing franc holders 25% of their position in the course of a week.

To me, this situation screams, "buy gold!" But, unfortunately, herd-like investors are being corralled into the US dollar. However, as with any move that defies reason and economic law, this will not last.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Is it Time to Get Back into Gold and Silver ?

Silver and Gold have been crushed during the last two days of the week. Let's see where we are in the long term trends and if there could be a buying opportunity right now.

Let's start with Gold and the chart between April 2006 and September 2011. (Source: Boursorama)

Gold has been in a upward channel since 2008, it has recently broken the trend on the upside, but is now back to trend, but not yet at the bottom line of the channel. If you believe the fundamentals (and trend) for Gold have not changed, you could start to buy now, but this would be a screaming buy around 1500 USD per ounce.

The RSI is at 33, so it is not technically oversold yet. This will be technically oversold when if it is below 20 or 30 (different sites use different thresholds).

If you wait a few more days, you could buy at lower price. But as I have learned with Gold, the correction seldom comes and I have wrongfully postponed purchases in the past.

Now let's look at Gold from a longer term perspective with the logarithmic chart of Gold between 2000 and 2011.
There is also a long upward trend here, but the lower line of the channel is around 1200 USD per ounce. The last time, it touched the lower line was during the 2008 market panic. If you believe we are going to experience a similar scenario where everything will be sold due to margin calls, then you might want to start buying Gold below 1300 USD per ounce.

Now, let's see the case for Silver. Actually since Godl and Silver are highly correlated most of the time, we could consider following the Gold charts above to time Silver buys. Having said that, here's the silver chart (via SLV ETF) between April 2006 and September 2011.

Although it's not as clear as with the Gold chart, there is an upward channel since 2008, with the current SLV price of 29.98 and the lower line of the channel around 27.50 as well as an RSI of 23, it could be a good timing to start buying tomorrow especially if Silver corrects further. Of course, if Gold goes back to the lower level of its 10-year channel, then this won't be a buying opportunity as it could fall much further. However, if Gold goes back between 1200-1300 as discussed above, Silver could go into the low 20s.

To conclude, if we don't go through a major market panic in the next few weeks, it should be a good time to buy Gold and especially Silver. But if you believe it's likely there is an across the board sell-off of all assets irrespective of their fundamentals, you may consider delaying those purchases.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Marc Faber Warns of Major Financial Catastrophe

Marc Faber is interviewed live from Hong Kong by Fox Business on the 21st of September 2011.

Marc Faber says he can't predict when the crash will happen but the stock market is going down because it's discounting a very bad event. However he does not know what the event is yet.

Amazingly he also praised Bernanke. But that was because he did not expand the balance sheet.

Faber says government intervention has gone so far that reducing intervention and lowering the deficit will cause temporary pain. He predicts President Obama will do anything to get the votes including providing handouts.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jim Chanos: China Debt Worse than Europe Debt

James Chanos is interviewed by Bloomberg on the 20th of September at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.
During the first 3 minutes (up to 3:30), he talks about the European debt crisis and the shorting ban on European bank stocks. He says that regulators do not understand how markets work, as major short sellers are other financial institutions that edge their bets. If they can not meet those edging needs, they also run into troubles.

His view is that the austerity measures in Europe will lead to less growth, and that government spending in Europe is a larger part of GDP than in the USA (25% for the US vs. 35 to 50% for European countries).

Then they discuss about China in the middle of the interview (3:30 to about 9:40).
Chinese growth is beginning to sputter and property stocks and real estate developers are leading the declining. Sales of real estate are down 50% in major Chinese cities this year.

The Chinese government balance looks good on paper. But if we look at state enterprise (that are implicitly backed by the government), the debt to GDP ratio went from 100% to 200% that is the same or even worse than European countries, especially the PIIGS.

Jim Chanos explains that most people will be surprised (on the downside) by the Chinese growth by the end of this year and/or beginning of next year. He even quoted the CEO of Japanese company who said he had trouble getting paid for his escalators.

Even if the Chinese government tries to reign in the increase in debt, many real estate developers turn to the black market, and that experts expect 50% of new loans to go bad, that kind of issue could wipe out the Chinese GDP growth this year. A Chinese slowdown of that scale would negatively affect the global economy (remove 1% of global GDP growth).

In order to play the Chinese crash, Jim Chanos is short Chinese banks, Rel Estate developers, commodities and any company that sells to China. He is however long Macau casinos.

At the end of the interview, he gives his views on the US. He agrees with the Buffett rule as taxes are now a small part of the GDP and says he is still short healthcare stocks (as the US government needs to reign in Medicare costs) and Netflix (as the DVD business is dying).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Eric Sprott: Time to Buy Gold Stocks

A few weeks ago, I made the case for Gold Miners vs Gold bullion. This month, Eric Sprott published his monthly newsletter Market at Glance (September 2011) entitled "Gold Stocks: Ready, Set,…"

First, he makes the observation that since 2008, the HUI index has lagged the performance of Gold:
If you review the chart below, you’ll notice that while the gold price has almost doubled since early 2008, the HUI Index has appreciated by a mere 22% over the same period (see Chart A). If the HUI was justified at 500 in early ’08, it should surely be justified at 1,000 today, given the appreciation of the gold price over that time. So why have the equities lagged?

Then, he explains that the difference is due to investors gold price expectation that are as low as 1000 USD in 2014 (average expectations;:1340 USD per ounce) and the stock market being forward looking that would explain the performance difference between gold miners and gold bullion. However, the future markets say at different story with a 2013 gold price at 1909 USD.

Third, in 2008, Gold stocks are been hammered (some have gone bankrupt) following the sharp drop in the price of Gold, so investors may be wary of increase their Gold stock positions.

However, as recently as August 2011, the trend has changed. We have seen day where gold dropped and gold stock went (slightly) up. The price divergence is massive when bank stocks and compared to gold stocks (See chart comparing KBW bank index vs HUI gold index).

He carries on explaining that the current production price is 800 USD, and if Gold is 1800 instead of 1200, this would represent an increase of 150% in profit margin. He is amazed that – despite this new reality for gold producers - they are still finding opportunities in select gold and silver mining companies that can be purchased today at 2-3 times their 2-year-out forecasted cash flow and it would even become cheaper if Gold price continue to rise as Sprott Asset Management forecasts.

In conclusion, he believes the equities will offer more upside than the bullion over time and the prospects for gold stocks look extremely bright.

You can subscribe to Sprott Asset management's Market at Glance newsletter free of charge or download the PDF version.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

GEAB 57: Q4 2011: Implosive Fusion of Global Financial Assets

Here are the highlights of GEAB 57 (September 2011) entitled "Global systemic crisis - Fourth quarter 2011: Implosive fusion of global financial assets":

  • Fourth quarter 2011: Implosive fusion of global financial assets
As anticipated by LEAP/E2020 since November 2010, and often repeated up to June 2011, the second half of 2011 has started with a sudden and major relapse of the crisis. Nearly USD 10 trillion of the USD 15 trillion in ghost assets announced in GEAB N ° 56 have already gone up in smoke. The rest (and probably much more) will vanish in the fourth quarter of 2011, which will be marked by what our team calls "the implosive fusion of global financial assets"... Read public announcement

  • Advice to the G20 leaders: The G20’s three strategic priorities in 2012/2014 to avoid a « tragic decade »
On March 29, 2009, Franck Biancheri signed an open letter in the Financial Times international edition from LEAP/E2020 to the G20 leaders who were going to meet in London the next week. In its introduction, this text predicted that if the three recommendations it contained were not implemented as soon as possible, rather than a crisis of three to five years, the world would sink into a crisis for more than a decade.Here we are two and a half years later and, alas, it is now clear that not only has the crisis revealed in 2008 not been resolved…

  • End 2012 – Neo-protectionism establishes itself as the new paradigm of world trade
Because of the simultaneity of the global economy relapsing into recession and key political events affecting the world’s major economies, we anticipate a sharp rise in protectionism from the end of 2012. In its initial phase, it will mainly take the form of various non-tariff barriers, more discreet than traditional customs duties, but it will, de facto, cause the most important change in the terms of world trade since the signing of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the WTO’s predecessor) in 1947…

  • Gold 2011- 2014: LEAP/E2020’s anticipations
Of course, as after each significant increase in an asset’s price, the debates rage between, on the one hand, those who analyze this increase as the emergence of a bubble inevitably destined to burst in the more or less near future and, on the other hand, those who believe that it is only the beginning of a long rise culminating with the return of the gold standard at the heart of the international monetary system. Therefore, in this issue, LEAP/E2020 presents its anticipations on this subject for the period 2012-2014 to help investors make their gold arbitrage trades…

  • Strategic and operational recommendations
    • Currencies: Watch out! Severe turbulence on the horizon
    • Swiss Franc: Eurolanders and Swiss…watch out, end of an epoque in sight!
    • Financial markets: Salvation is in flight
    • Real estate: The trend asserts itself
  • The GlobalEurometre - Results & Analyses
A very large majority (84%) consider that private creditors will be increasingly called upon to finance European public debts. This view will have a major impact in the numerous elections taking place in the next twelve months…

The full GEAB 57 (PDF format) is available to subscribers for 200 Euros per year (10 + 6 issues).

Friday, September 9, 2011

Marc Faber: The Final Collapse Will Not Happen Right Now

Marc Faber interview on the Daily Ticker on the 9th of September 2011 where he explains he does not take into account government officials speeches and that Western citizen do not take their responsibilities like Asian citizens and always rely on the government to save them.

Finally, he says the US is worse than Europe, as European have savings, but the main advantage of the US is that they have the printing press.

The good news is that he does not believe the "Final collapse" will NOT happen right now :).

Marc Faber: Gold is Dirt Cheap Compared to the Value of Politicians

Marc Faber interview on the Daily Ticker on the 9th of September 2011 where he explains Gold real value could be between 6000 and 10000 USD.

Marc Faber: Obama Irrelevant, Accumulate Gold

Marc Faber was on CNBC-TV18 (India) on the 9th of September 2011.

When asked about the Obama Job plan, he said it was mostly irrelevant as it is more of the same and the public deficit won't decrease.

He also gave his take on Bernanke and QE3 and said that quantitative easing was unlikely at the moment because the money supply (M1 I suppose) was growing very rapidly at the moment.

He would avoid industrial commodities at the moment and recommend Gold.

He expects the market to correct further around 1000 or below (S&P 500) even tough the current rally may last a bit further. Emerging markets would also fall as the US market corrects. So if he was heavily invested, he would lighten his positions if the rally goes further.

Since the interview was in India, he also talks about the Indian Stock market and that investors will a long time horizon (5 years and more) should invest in the Indian stock market, but that they should not expect 20% yearly return and that 5 to 8 percents per year would be more likely..

The last question was about currencies and he explained that the US dollar is probably better than the Euro at the current time, but that all paper currencies are not desirable before of negative interest rates and recommend to accumulate Gold as he could make the case that Gold is cheaper than when it was at 300 USD based on the increase in debt and monetary base.

If you want to invest in the Indian Stock market you could do so with iShares S&P India Nifty 50 Index (INDY) in the US among other or iShares BSE SENSEX India Index ETF (2836.HK) in Hong Kong

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Using AAII Sentiment Survey to Time the Market

I previously used Market Harmonics Investor Intelligence Survey bull / bear ratio to help me decide whether it would be a good time to invest. As a contrarian investor, a bearish sentiment would indicate a good time to buy and a bullish sentiment would have me stay on the sidelines or sell. However, since the 20th April 2011, they decided to discontinue publishing weekly data from Investors Intelligence and those who wish to obtain weekly Investors Intelligence reports have to subscribe to

Luckily there are other measure of investors confidence such as AAII Sentiment Survey or State Street Investor Confidence Index. The former is a weekly survey of American individual investors, the latter is an index based on North American, European and Asian investors portfolios published monthly.

Today, I'll study the AAII Sentiment Index between 1987 and today to see if it can be used by long term investors to time the market.

The first chart is composed of the S&P 500 (on top) and the 14-day moving average of the percentage of bullish investors (Bottom), since the raw data looks like noise to me.

We can see that during the previous bull market (between 1987 and 2000) on this chart, confidence seemed to build up over time, and since 2000, confidence seem to follow a slow downward trend.

The next chart is identical, except I add buy and sell signals. A buy signal is when the bullish sentiment moving average is at or under 30% and a sell signal when it is over 50%.

Based on those signals, an investor would have bought stocks numerous times between 1987 and 1994, possibly sell in 1997, buy again in 1998 and sell in 2000. During that period, this would have clearly been a winning strategy even tough the investor would have missed positive returns between 1997 and 1998, or possibly completely missed the bubble between 1997 and 2000. But positive returns are extremely easy in a bull market.

Let's see how it performed since 2000. There was another sell signal in 2002, but possibly the investor would not have acted on it due to all the sell signals in 2000. There was a brief buy signal in 2003 (that could have been missed) and then another sell signal shortly afterwards in 2003-2004, so the investor would have missed the 2003-2007 bull market.
Then there would have been a buy signal around Q2 2008 (Bad call) and another in Q1 2009 (Good call), before the last sell signal around Q1 2011.

To conclude, even though this method is far from perfect, it would still have outperformed the market between 2000 and 2011. Usually, one indicator is not sufficient to make a decision, and you may want to use
other indicators such as the 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) for the S&P 500 or the percentage of stocks above their 200-day moving average as explained in "Is the Stock Market fall over?" Long term investors should also follow Case Shiller CAPE (Cyclically Adjusted Price Earning), with a CAPE below 10 being a buy signal. But you'd have to be very patient...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jim Rogers: Swiss Central Bank Move 'Huge Mistake'

Jim Rogers was interviewed on CNBC on Wednesday 7th September 2011 to discuss the recent move by the SNB (Swiss National Bank). I could not find media files (video or audio) for the interview, but here are his views on the move:

"The Swiss central bank's decision to set a limit on how much the Swiss franc can appreciate against the euro is "a huge mistake. The move will work for a while, but the market will have more money in the end than the SNB, the Swiss central bank risks losing a lot of money buying up lots of foreign currencies which they will eventually sell at a loss. Another risk is that the central bank will totally debase the Swiss franc trying to keep Switzerland 'competitive' which will then destroy the traditional Swiss financial industry. So this is a huge mistake for Switzerland since they are going to suffer more either way"

He also explain that the RMB is the next safe heaven:

"RMB is best, the US dollar is probably good in the short term, but the absolute worst over the long term. There are various ways to get RMB exposure outside China, investors can now open bank accounts in renminbi in various cities like New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore and others and can buy renminbi-denominated bonds in the international markets."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hong Kong Gold Mining Stocks and Gold ETFs

In the US, gold mining shares have underperformed gold bullion and we've talked this could be a good time to invest in gold miners based on the gold mining index to gold price ratio.

Today, I'll have a look at ways to invest in Gold on the Hong Kong stock market (hang seng) via Gold mining shares or Gold ETFs.

Here's a list of Gold mining companies listed in Hong Kong:
Here's a list of Gold ETFs offered in Hong Kong:
In Hong Kong, it is relatively easy to buy Physical bullion directly at the Bank or online with Wing Hang bank Gold passbook that allows you to ask for delivery of gold Maples or 5-tael gold bars. You can also be exposed to Gold bullion by buying the 2 ETF above, but there is no ETF specifically holding gold mining shares listed in Hong Kong or China such as GDX in the US, so to replicate that, you could build a portfolio with the 7 stocks mentioned above.

Let's have a look at the performance of those stocks over several years.
This company has been listed in 2009, has a P/E of 7.9 and a market cap of 7.9 billion HKD according to Yahoo. Unfortunately, this data is irrelevant since the stock has been suspended since May 2011 (See the flat line in the chart?) due to potential accounting fraud.

The chart at Yahoo is messed up, so I used Bloomberg with this company which has a negative P/E and a market cap of 9.45 billion HKD according to Yahoo. It has been listed in 2006 and has participated to the Chinese bubble, but since then it has performed poorly.

This company has a P/E of 170 and a market cap of 5.10 billion HKD. It has been listed since 2004 and has not performed as well as Gold over that period of time.
Another Bloomberg chart as yahoo does not handle stock splits very well. This is the star of gold mining stocks. It has massively outperformed Gold (GLD is in Green in the above chart). It has a P/E of 36.42 and a market cap of 15.47 billion HKD.

This company has only be re-listed on December 2010, so the chart is only from December 2010 to September 2011 and not so relevant. Nevertheless, the stock has underperformed gold. Its P/E is 34.54 and market cap 14.75 billion HKD.

Zijing Mining has a P/E of 13.42 and 21.03 billion HKD market capitalization. It has not done anything since 2004 (even a bit down), even though Gold has more than triple since then. The recent drop is partly due to a pollution issue with one of its mines.

Lingboa gold has not returned anything for those who hold it between 2004 and 2011, although the price of gold skyrocketed. It has a P/E of 10.34 and a market cap of 1.25 billion HKD making it the smallest company in this list.

Only 1 out of 7 stock has outperformed Gold (Zhaojin Mining Industry) over the years, the others have poorly performed either for some valid reasons or because they are being ignored by the market.

To learn more about Gold mining stocks in Hong Kong, I recommend you read the report "Gold price rise may speed up China’s Precious Metals Industry Report in 2H11."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Marc Faber September 2011 Market Commentary Highlights

As I blogged yesterday, Marc Faber is out with the latest issue of his famous Gloom, Boom, and Doom market commentary entitled "The Trust of the Ignorant is the Liar's most Powerful Tool".

Black Swan Insights has released a summary of Marc Faber's September 2011 report as shown below:

1. Stocks - Faber says stocks face two potential outcomes: a brief rally to between 1250-1300 on the SP 500 before another leg down (and breaching the 1101 low) or a prolonged trading range with 1100 being the low and 1300 as resistance. Faber thinks the first outcome is more likely, but this could change depending on Fed policy (aka: money printing). Another reason for Faber's bearish posture is the unfavorable seasonality of September (worst month for stocks historically). Investors who have exposure to stocks should use any bounce to sell. If you feel compelled to own stocks, Faber recommends blue-chip stocks like Pepsi and Johnson and Johnson.

2. Gold - Extremely overbought at this level. Could fall to $1500-1600 range during the correction. Faber noted the bizarre relationship between US treasuries and gold. Concludes that the people buying gold were not worried about inflation but a collapse of the entire financial system. Gold should be viewed as more of an insurance policy rather than an inflation hedge. Long-term gold is going significantly higher. Gold stocks may be the better bet than the physical metal in the short-term as they play catch up.

3. US Treasuries - After a huge, fear-inspired rally, US treasuries are extremely vulnerable to a correction. Faber notes that the Daily Sentiment Index is around 98%, indicating a possible top. Furthermore, the "dumb money," a.k.a. the retail crowd, is very bullish judging by their positioning in the Rydex inverse government bond fund. If you own Treasuries, now is time to take profits.

4. Indian Equities (Sensex) - While generally bearish on equities, Faber would advise the gradual accumulation of Indian shares, noting that they are relatively cheap and represent good value. Over a longer time frame (10 years), Faber thinks Indian stocks could appreciate 7%, which is pretty good compared to other investment options.

5. Macro - "This system has become completely corrupted and is being run for the benefit of the billionaires and banking CEO's who have control of the politicians." Faber has harsh words for Warren Buffett, noting that the investment guru profits not because of his genius, but at the expense of the American taxpayer. Buffett represents the very worst when it comes to crony capitalism. His BAC investment will likely prove very profitable, courtesy of the taxpaying middle-class and Buffett's straw man President whom he controls.

Marc Faber September 2011 Market Commentary

Marc Faber has just released it September 2011 market commentary on his website.

This month report is entitled "The Trust of the Ignorant is the Liar's most Powerful Tool" probably referring to the US government (and government around the world) lying about economic reality.

There are also two attachments to the monthly market commentary (MMC):
  • India Capital Fund Newsletter - July 2011 by Jon Thorn, part of India Capital management team.
  • The Summer Crash of 2011 and Implications Going Forward by Michael A. Gayed, Chief Investment Strategist at Pension Partners, LLC.
I cannot access the monthly commentary, as I am not a subscriber (September 2011 MMC Highlights) and India Capital newsletter seems to be reserved to clients. But the second attachment likely refers to Seeking Alpha article "Was That the Bottom? Beyond the Summer Crash of 2011" where Mr Gayed analyzed the stock market behaviors of different sectors (Healthcare, Consumer Staples, Utilities and Treasuries) to give his take on where the market may be headed in the future.