Many investors are realizing that gold and silver now have an upside potential to appreciate that has not been seen since 1980. Similar to the situation of the late 1970’s, investors are once again seeing gold coins and bullion as an important hedge against the uncertainly of war, inflation and the potential destruction of wealth due to a shaky dollar. Gold’s recent performance is also attracting serious interest from investors because it has outperformed the S&P 500 index for the past five years in a row. Gold and silver prices have moved steadily upward since 2001, as the value of the dollar has weakened. Many experts believe that this is a longer-term rally, which is quite young.
Robert McEwen, chairman and chief executive of a Canada-based gold mining company is very bullish on the future outlook for gold. “I expect it to test $850 by the end of 2008, and by the end of 2010, north of $2,000, possibly $5,000, " McEwen stated in a recent interview. Strong gold and commodity prices are spurring investment in the search for new deposits by many mining companies across the world. His company is currently exploring for gold on mineral lands in central Nevada and expects to spend about $50 million to develop the site over the coming years.
Gold is seen as a profitable opportunity by many investors, having risen over 50% during the last two years, from $430 per ounce in May of 2005 to its current spot price of around $660. While McEwen’s price projection is considerably above the current spot gold price, he is not the only industry executive who foresees steeply increasing prices in the near future. The former CEO of a large well known US based gold mining company, Pierre Lassonde, believes gold will reach $750 by Christmas of this year. In spite of the price increases in the past several years, actual production of newly mined gold from most nations continues to decline, as costs rise at existing mines.
In spite of the fact that gold prices have been rising toward their May 2006 peak of $725, they have failed to break above the $700 mark this year, and are still seen as consolidating after the sharp run-up in prices last year. In addition, selling of the gold reserves of certain European nations, most notably Spain, is seen as depressing prices in recent weeks. Silver prices have also remained strong.
Many experts believe that although demand from jewelry makers will likely drop off as gold prices rise, it is likely to be more than made up for by increased purchases from investors who are seeking a liquid investment alternative to the dollar. Investment in gold and silver for both large and small investors has been made considerably easier in recent years with the creation of Exchange Traded Funds – funds whose assets are gold or silver held in storage. That expected increase in investment demand, coupled with the declining value of the dollar, rising costs to mine gold and the geopolitical risks around the globe, should tighten the supply and demand picture for the precious metal providing the driving force to move prices upward in the coming years.
The author is an independent investor and not a consultant, advisor or broker. The information and opinions expressed in this article are presented for educational purposes, and are not intended to be used as investment advice. The reader is strongly urged to fully identify and consider all the risks before making any investment.
For more information on the case for investing in gold can be seen at the authors website at: http://nevada-outback-gems.com/gold_invest/investing_gold_case.htm
Chris’s Web page and BLOG on investing in the gold and the stock Market can be viewed here: http://nevada-outback-gems.com/gold_invest/Investing_Gold.htm
Chris Ralph writes on small scale mining and prospecting for the ICMJ Mining Journal. He has a degree in Mining Engineering from the Mackay School of Mines in Reno, and has worked for precious metal mining companies conducting both surface and underground operations. After working in the mining industry, he has continued his interest in mining as an individual prospector. He can be reached at P. O. Box 3104 Reno, Nevada 89505. His information page on prospecting for gold can be viewed at: http://nevada-outback-gems.com/prospect/chris_prospect.htm