Reasons to not buy gold
Yeah, I know, Jim Cramer told you Gold was better than stocks. In my book that is probably a good reason to buy equities and pass on the gold and here's why?
1) Gold is at a historical high so from a value perspective it is out of the money.
2) Gold is now a commodity and not pegged to any currency whatsoever. Back when gold was pegged to the global reserve currency, the dollar, the price of gold was fixed by law at $35 an ounce. This pegged the value of a dollar because gold had no intrinsic mark to market value. It was locked at $35 an Americans were not allowed to own or trade gold.
Today, gold has no currency peg so its value is purely intrinsic other than the commercial users, primarily wirebonding semiconductor companies. Even they can use copper now a less optimal metal but much cheaper.
Who buys gold besides Jim Cramer and why? They will tell you they buy it as a hedge against inflation. Yet that would only be true if one currency was fixed to gold, and I am not talking about intrinsic free market gold. Such a currency would be untradable. The value would be by whim alone; in other words, how many Jim Cramers would buy gold would set the price of the currency. So it is purely intrinsically valued. In other words, gold has no value other than what someone is willing to pay for it. This is a vastly different concept that the traditional gold standard. So when someone hauls out the excuse to own gold based on the dollar going off the gold standard. Then they have the wrong commodity because Gold was fixed at $35 and had no intrinsic value.
Compare that to oil. Once could live their whole life without owning any gold whatsoever but when it comes to oil, even the Amish need it. In fact, oil has so many uses that it is absolutely essential to the stability of western cultures. Thus, oil prices have a base value caused by demand. Gold could conceivably have no value whatsoever.
3) Gold is now abundant. Once scarce, anyone can now buy and own gold. Thus, gold prices which are intrinsic are completely declamped from supply and demand. This would be akin to selling salt water by the gallon on the premise that it brought you luck. As Dirty Harry might say, "Do you feel lucky punk?" Buy a few gallons since it is a hedge against being unlucky. That expression has as much validity as calling gold a hedge against inflation. Hedges against inflation only apply to commodities that humans can't live without.
4) Gold is a pet rock styled fad. If gold is so worthless why are people buying it? Psychology and history. Jim Rogers claims that all paper money is being printed and inflating. But take a close look at what he is saying. Suppose you have five poker players at a table. And one of them is printing money under the table. The others came with fixed dollars. So after a few hands the table is full of dollars that are of lesser value. They have been cheapened by the one player printing money. So who wins? The player that printed the money plays and takes money from the other players simply through the action of printing.
But now let all five players come to the table with the same amount of money and then let them print the same amount of money under the table. Now what happens? The guy with the most money at the end of the game wins. The buying power of each of the economies, the five players, remains identical. It is true they all have more printed paper but their buying power between each other remains identical and the total value of all economies in real GDP terms remains the same. So the Rogers idea is incorrect if all economies are printing money as he claims. Inflation is always a relative concept between different currencies because there is no pegged currency.
Cramer has a terrible record as a trader. Yet with gold, Cramer figures he can ride the wave of speculation up and get out before a sell off. This form of speculation is Indian Poker because nobody knows their own position and must guess the probability by looking at what the other guy has. So if the other guy is Jim Rogers and he tells you he is buying gold and you trust him, then you can safely buy gold. But in a zero sum game, what if Rogers is lying. What if he is short gold and telling you he is buying it. Now Jim Cramer has a problem because he has not gotten out in time. This is exactly what happened to Cramer when he polled his hedge fund buddies about Lehman three days before the collapse. His buds were selling short and telling Cramer they were buying the dips. Cramer announced that Lehman was a good investment to his Action Alert squad, and the rest of it is dinner theater history with an air sick bag.
5) Finally, if gold goes up to $10000 and ounce it will have no effect on the economy. And if gold crashes it will have no effect on the economy whatsoever. The same could not be said for oil or corn or rice or wheat or meat collectively. Sadly while I can't stand Soros as a human being if he is one, he is 100% correct that Gold is a super bubble but nobody should care.