Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Are Americans Waking up to Gold?

It's a rare day indeed when Money Daily sources information from CNBC, because the on-air talent are generally stock-pumping cheerleaders for equities, but today's information presented by Steve Liesman, who offered up the results of CNBC's All-American Economic Survey in various spots on the network throughout the day, had heads spinning and eyes and ears popping when he revealed that of the 836 respondents in the survey, 37% found gold to be their preferred investment, followed by real estate at 24% and stocks a distant third, at 19%.

What this says about the stock market and American attitudes towards it partially explains the low volumes that have been a dominant feature for many months, implying (and there are numerous studies to back this up) that individual investors have nearly completely soured on stocks as stable investments due to a variety of factors, including, but surely not limited to, the financial collapse of 2008-09, the flash crash of May 6, 2010, a general distrust of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve and various other market events, such as the recent IPO failure of BATS.

What did not come out of the CNBC segment below, led off by Liesman's comment that he was "floored" by this finding, is that gold (and silver and platinum) are not only tradable investment vehicles that can be instantly redeemed for cash or bartered for other goods and services, but that the precious metals are tangible assets that not only appreciate, especially in light of dollar debasement, but are a store of value and wealth at a time in which there's an oversupply of skepticism pertaining to the management of currencies worldwide and yields on "safe" investments, such as money market funds or Treasuries are returning less than the rate of inflation.

(Note on this video: the first 6:15 covers the gold story; the remainder is on other topics.)

These stunning survey results are indicative of Americans' growing displeasure of a system which they rightly assume is unfairly slanted in favor of Wall Street fat cats and DC politicians, who engage in insider trading and other market-rigging activities with nearly universal disdain for the average American and small investor. It also destroys the notion that Americans are stupid when it comes to investing, as the "muppets," as some Goldman Sachs executives refer to their clients, appear to be more concerned about lasting value rather than quick, day-trading profits.

It was truly a pleasure to watch and listen to the various and mostly wrong CNBC commentators as they scrambled for explanations to somehow blunt the contrarian thrust of the message. Americans are not stupid and they don't like being cheated; there are two good reasons right there why more and more Americans are keeping a safe distance from stocks and Wall Street and putting their investment dollars into tangible assets, like gold.

As for the markets, todays was definitely a "risk off" event, with stocks and commodities both feeling the heat. Of course, in a yo-yo economy such as we have, one day does not make anything even closely resembling a trend, though the losses today and on Tuesday took a lot of the punch out of Monday's rally.

With just two more trading days left in the month and the first quarter, some shaving of profits should be expected prior to what are traditionally strong market up-moving days: the end of quarter "window dressing" by te fund managers expected on Friday and the first trading day of the new quarter, come Monday, April 2nd.

Dow 13,126.21, -71.52 (0.54%)
NASDAQ 3,104.96, -15.39 (0.49%)
S&P 500 1,405.54, -6.98 (0.49%)
NYSE Composite 8,188.34, -51.03 (0.62%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,764,716,250
NYSE Volume 3,854,093,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2033-3584
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 144-46
WTI crude oil: 105.41, -1.92
Gold: 1,657.90, -27.00
Silver: 31.83, -0.78

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