Friday, 13 January 2012

More navel gazing at Gold ETF Investor: saver, trader, investor?

Comments in the last post suggested that I only buy on 'red' days... like today.

But I'm still not ready yet.

Part of this is because I still believe the price could fall further but this isn't really an excuse anymore, I should have a longer term view. So I'm doing nothing while I work out what I should be doing, for how long and with how much money. (Although, if I'm honest, I know I'm also delaying in the hope the gold price will fall and make a decision to buy easier - and I can't quite accept that this may not be a good idea.)

So for now I'm just gathering up what people claim is going on and views on how and when to buy gold.

What's happening today?

Why is the price going down today? Here's Reuters view  with comments from Michael Lewis, analyst at Deutsche Bank saying current price moves don't have much to do with fundamentals and a note from UBS analysts which expects Chinese demand to fall.

But recent figures on Chinese gold imports have turned most gold traders positive according to Bloomberg.

Gold ETFs seem to be have been down all day in various forms

With the US dollar version looking a little worse as the dollar index rose.

What would I get if I bought now and how would it compare to previous buying and selling?

Between 22 September 2011 and 16 December I paid £3,058 for 28 PHAU shares with purchases on three different occasions:

On 12 December 2011 I bought 10 shares for £104.58 each - £1,057.74 in total (after fees).

On 4 November 2012 I bought 10 shares for £108.01 each - £1,092.10 in total (after fees).

On  September 22 I bought 8 shares for £111.98 each -  £907.78 in total (after fees).

If I bought today I would get 10 gold shares for £1,062.52 in total (after fees) which is not much worse than my current best buying rate on 12 December. 

But I think I'm going to hang on for now for academic reasons.

My BlackRock Gold and General fund is back to where it was before the price gyrations although...

I did buy a bit more back on November 24 and 25 which didn't match December lows but wasn't such a bad move as my ETF sale may prove to be 

Food for thought on when and why to buy gold

Bill Bonner, writing in Money Week on 6 January said: "And how about gold? Buy it when people predict it will go lower, not when they expect it to rise. Of course, you don’t know where it will go. But when people think it is going down, odds are… it is cheap."

He also said: "We explained yesterday, we don’t think gold is going to go up this year... even so, we should probably expect it to go up again. Because the danger of thinking it will go up is far lower than the benefit of thinking it will down. We don’t know where gold is going in 2012 but the rest of the monetary system could slip into chaos and calamity at any moment. Gold is the only thing we can depend on."

He gave more on prices in an earlier Forbes article where he thought gold could still fall back to £1,200 but I'm not sure if these are still relevant post the December lows.

"Gold is not too cheap at $1,500. At $1,900 it was too expensive.... In the meantime, we’ll probably see a further correction in the gold price…perhaps down to $1,200. Or, perhaps it will stop at $1,400. We don’t know. And it doesn’t matter. Buy gold on dips; sell stocks on rallies."

When Jeff Lewis interviewed Grant Williams (pointed out in a piece by Bron at Gold Chat), he also mentioned the threat of a $1,200 low but I don't know if it still stands since the pre- New-Year lows.

He said: "I suspect going into 2012, the set up for both precious metals is bullish providing they can hold these levels and I think that is important to know. A lot of very good and well-respected chartists worry that gold could correct to 1,200 to 1,400 bucks. And certainly, if you look at the technical pictures, that could happen. Silver could correct down to the low-20s; it absolutely could happen. But it’s important to decide whether you’re a trader or whether you’re an investor. If you’re investing in silver and you’re investing in gold, based on the fundamental reasons to do so, then falls to the price aren’t that much of a problem for you because they give an opportunity to buy more metal at cheaper prices. If you’re a trader, it’s a whole different world and you have to be very agile and you have to be very attuned to moves like this that could go significantly lower.

But then on 3 January 2012  John Embury at Sprott Asset Management told King World News: "When gold broke through $1,000, I said it would never trade below $1,000 again and it hasn’t. I now think that, unless we have a complete and total financial collapse in the world, I would be surprised if gold ever traded below $1,500 ever again."


  1. "Comments in the last post suggested that I only buy on 'red' days... like today.

    But I'm still not ready yet."

    Quite right. PM buys are almost always best done on Mondays. Add in the France downgrade, and the fact that the gold rally of the last few days needs to lose a bit of steam, and Monday's your best bet.

    Go in at about $1605 if it presents itself. Otherwise, $1600 - $1620 is your range. Then sit back and wait for it to go up and don't sweat the dips (unless you've got more cash, in which case you should buy them to lower your average).

    Right - good luck with the investing, and good luck with the blog. Over and out.


  2. Thank you very much for your time on this - I'll get myself sorted for Monday! Good luck to you too.

  3. I hope my reference to $1600 - $1620 now makes sense, even if I was $5 out.

    Lesson #1 - patience.

  4. Definitely - and having read the piece you provided a link to I'm going to be watching a bit closer through next week.

    And I need to work on my patience. I bought a bit when gold went below $1700 ( but I'm not sure how to look at that.

    And by the way thanks for adding me to your blog roll. I'm not at all confident on the technical stuff so I may not be commenting on your blog for a while - unless I've got a question. But I'll have a look at the charting explanations that you link to first.

    In the meantime I'm trying to understand the latest Indian gold tax. I think it'll help me understand what gold is and where ETFs fit into the mix.