Does Gold Belong In Your Investment Portfolio?

GOLD – The MAGIC METAL
Humankind’s fascination with gold can be dated back as far as 4000 B.C., and for much of our collective history, possession of gold was a sign of wealth and status restricted solely to governments and nobility. Eventually, the first gold coins are believed to have initially financed long-distance trading around the world – around 500 B.C., Darius the Great of the Persian Empire is thought to have minted the first coin, the “daric,” to facilitate the expansion of his empire and the needs of his army as it moved into foreign territories.
 
Many countries came to use gold and silver coins as currencies for centuries. However, during the worldwide depression of the 1930s, every industrialized nation ceased using the gold standard, subsequently severing the close link between the value (and quantity) of gold and the value of money.
 
Despite this, gold continues to be a sought-after commodity due to its scarcity and reputation as a hedge against monetary or societal collapse. But does it deserve a place in your portfolio?

Gold in Modern Civilization

Today, gold is available in several forms, including the following:

Historic Collectors’ Coins

Minted as currency by many countries, these coins are now collected as much for their numismatic value as their gold content. Like other collector’s items, such as stamps and fine art, only experts, or those who have access to experts, should consider this investment.

Collector Gold Coins

Issued by countries and commercial businesses, these coins are priced according to their weight and purity. The more popular coins are the Canadian Maple Leaf, the South African Krugerrand, and the American Eagle.

Gold Bars

Available by weight of one gram, one ounce, ten ounces, and one kilo (32.15 ounces) generally with 99.99% purity, bars are also referred to as “gold bullion.” A standard gold ingot like that found in the U.S. Fort Knox Depository, and commonly depicted in movies, is seven inches long, three and five-eighths inches wide, and one and three-quarters inches high, and weighs 27.5 pounds. At current market prices, an ingot would have a value in excess of $500,000, much too expensive to support an active investor market.

Common Stock of a Gold Mining Company

Ownership in a company whose sole business is the search and discovery of gold, and the potential value of the element in the resources not yet produced is a common type of gold investment.

Gold Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)

A gold ETF does not typically hold gold as a commodity, but tracks its price with a combination of financial derivatives.

Gold Exchange Traded Notes (ETN)

A gold ETN is a debt security that’s value fluctuates based upon the price of the underlying index – in this case, the price of gold. While this investment includes credit risk, the benefit of being taxed as a long-term capital gain rather than paying ordinary interest exists with this vehicle.
 
Gold is not money or currency, but an investment which must be converted into money before it can be used to purchase other assets. Of course, individuals and businesses can agree to exchange an amount of gold for a service or product – as was done for centuries – but it would require negotiation about the relative value of each, a timely and potentially risky process for both parties.
 
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Day Trading for a Living – Benefits and Risks

Trader Using Multiple Computer Screens While Communicating ThrouIn the days before personal computers, instantaneous communications, and sophisticated software, many Wall Street brokerage firms employed veteran traders to sit and interpret the paper tapes of stock transactions that spewed from mechanical tickers across the city. These traders, known as tape readers, would note the price and volume pattern of individual trades in the hopes that they could identify opportunities for quick profits. For example, if the latest trade of a stock differed significantly from previous trades in either price or volume, this might be interpreted as the work of insiders acting before news that could affect the company is announced. The tape readers would then act similarly, hoping their intuition was correct.

Since that time, the stock ticker has been replaced by a massive electronic network capable of analyzing and reporting trade data throughout the world. That technology has led to changes in the way the investment industry functions. One of the more unique positions in today’s landscape is that of the day trader.

Definition of Day Trading

By definition, day trading is the regular practice of buying and selling one or more security positions within a single trading day. No position, long or short, is held overnight. Day traders frequently deal in thousands of shares, often with leverage, and look for small-percentage profits on each trade – often less than $1 or $2 per share. They take positions based upon their analysis of a stock’s probable price direction within the trading period.

Popular day trading strategies include the following:

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How to Choose the Best Stock Market Investment Strategy

piggybank According to a recent Pew Research report, more than one-half of people aged 30 or older have investments in the stock market and 80% of those making $75,000 per year or more have equity investments. These investments include individual stocks and bonds, as well as mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

While many suffered from the sharp decline in the market in 2008 – it lost 38% of its value – the S&P 500 closed above 1,800 on November 22, 2013, more than doubling its low of 721 on March 11, 2009. As investor confidence returns, many analysts predict that the market is going to continue its bullish behavior well into 2014 and beyond. Whether you select individual stocks or bonds or rely upon an investment manager to do it for you, it is important that you choose an investment approach fitting to your attitudes and goals.

Components of Investment Success

The optimistic outlook for stocks provides a great opportunity for existing and new investors to review strategies and adjust investment philosophies to optimize their future results. Financial experts agree that investment success is highly dependent upon the following activities.

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4 Secrets of Investment Success – Tips to Gain Wealth

Success
Success

In the last half-century, the names of Ross Perot, Sam Walton, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett have appeared at the top of the lists of wealthiest Americans, all of whom have been the subject of biographies chronicling their rise to the pinnacle of riches. A reading of those life histories provides no evidence of membership in secret societies, no teachers or advisers who may have passed along confidential knowledge about savings or investments, no super-human skills, and no extraordinary abilities or qualities beyond intelligence and a strong work ethic.

If there are no secrets to wealth-building, what do successful wealth-builders have in common? What personal attributes are equally valuable in industries as diverse as retailing, software development, and investing? Are these identifiable common traits, in fact, the secrets to their success?

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