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The Easiest Way to Tell If Gold Is in a Bubble

By Chris Weber, editor, The Weber Global Opportunities Report
Thursday, September 24, 2009

When spot gold closed on September 11 in New York at $1,005.10, it was the highest price on record... though by the time you read this, it may have been surpassed.

Gold traded higher than this, back on March 17, 2008. When that day opened in Asia, the early morning Australian and Hong Kong markets pushed gold quickly up from $1,000 to a high – so far an all-time inter-day high – of $1,033.

But as Europe opened later in the day, the price fluctuated between $1,020 and $1,030. As the U.S. markets opened, the price plunged down to $1,000 and ended just three dollars more than this.

So if you are going by the closing trade of that day, which happens to be New York as time zones go, then what happened on Friday, September 11 broke the record.

This breakthrough has drawn a lot of publicity. Hedge funds are now heavily tilted toward the long side of the gold futures market. Many gold stocks sit near all-time highs. Mainstream newspapers and magazines are starting to carry stories about gold.

This bullish sentiment has led many people to ask me if gold is far too popular now... or even in a "bubble."

My answer: I see nothing like a bubble yet. Ask your friends or neighbors these questions:

"What do you think about gold or silver as an investment?" and if they answer in a positive manner, further ask: "What are the best ways to own it? How do you own it? What percentage of your assets do you have in the precious metals area?" If this seems too invasive, ask, "What percentage of a person's assets do you think should be in the precious metals area?"

That's what I do. The people I ask have no idea what I think about gold or silver. I ask just as a sort of person – maybe on the slow side and not that bright – who wants to know about the area.

From what I'm told, almost no one is in gold or silver. Maybe a few shares of Newmont Mining, but as a percentage of their total net worth, we are talking tiny here. 

People who think gold is in a bubble are often people who did not see real bubbles when they happened. In the real estate boom, the easy profits were on everyone's lips. Same with the Internet bubble 10 years ago. 

When I mentioned gold back in 2001 and 2002, when I accumulated it, I got looks from people as if I were crazy. 

These days, the crazy looks are gone. But now I often only get answers that gold or silver may be a good investment, but they don't have any themselves. Try it yourself. 

Of course, if you've been mouthing off about how great gold and silver are, you probably want to ask people who don't already know your views: They won't think you are trying to "lay your propaganda" on them. 

Granted, the public awareness of gold and silver as investments is much, much higher today than they were in 2001. No one was buying then, and people thought you were crazy if you told them you were. But things haven't changed in that the average person still does not own any.

When everyone you know is talking about how to make "easy money" buying gold or silver, then we may be in a different era. But right now, I think both metals have more room, and most likely much more room, to go. 

Good investing,

Chris Weber

Editor's note: Starting at age 16, Chris Weber turned just $650 (from his paper route) into $1.8 million in cash, through a series of remarkably insightful investments in gold. Right now, Chris recommends a great way to hold gold – one he originally used to start his multimillion-dollar fortune. For the full details on what Chris is doing with his money, click here.

Market Notes


A brilliant "spending stock" message from our colleague Porter Stansberry...

We've checked out the soaring shares of Starbucks and Dillard's this week as proof that, for better or worse, the government's massive "goosing" is getting money back into restaurant and retail businesses. Scores of restaurant and retail stores top the new-highs list nearly every day.

Here's another example... and "probably the best one," according to Porter. It's the past year's trading in the world's largest credit-card company, Visa. Shares are up 43% this year.

A Visa-facilitated transaction ranks right up there with breathing and walking as the most frequent activity the average American performs each day... and Visa takes a sliver of each one. This makes Visa's profits and share price a "real time" read on the velocity of money and credit.

Porter forecasted the bull market in Visa and recommended the stock as a way to play the flurry of financial transactions the Great Goosing would produce. His readers are up 13% in three months. Put this one on your watch list. As the Great Goosing continues, it's going to go higher.

In The Daily Crux

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