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Although there are some analysts who worry that higher interest rates are an early indicator of a developing bear market in gold (gold has no yield, the higher interest rates climb, the greater the relative appeal of other assets), the actual evidence doesn’t support this view according to Russ Mould of the investment platform AJ Bell (as reported in the UK’s Daily Telegraph).
Mould has examined the last seven cycles of US interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, and notes that gold has on average gained 86% between the first increase and the last.
The Fed has hiked interest rates five times since 2015, and in this time period gold has gained 23%. Gold is currently at a five-month high (19 Jan 2018).
The reason for this behaviour: interest rates are often increased to forestall or temper inflation. Gold is regarded both as an excellent hedge against inflation and store of value. There is now a general belief that inflation will return this year. Thus, gold is seen as an attractive hedge. The consensus of opinion seems to be: hedge with gold in 2018.
Source: MoneyWeek (19 Jan 2018)
What happens if you put off saving long enough?
I came across the following old newspaper clipping the other day. It puts flesh and bones on the story of what happens to those who fail to save. (Without wishing to sound hard hearted, if you can afford a starbucks coffee several times a week, you can afford to establish a savings account, or maybe I should say, you can't afford not to save.)
The room is damp and decaying, filled with memories. "I'm in this room six years, now the rent is up to $85.00. I'm worried it might increase to $100.00, and then I don't know what I'll do. How do I pay that out of $147.00 a month?
She suffers more financial hardship than thousands of retirees in the Miami area, but unbelievably, she is better off than thousands more.
She was born in Nashville, Tennessee and worked as a Practical Nurse until illness made her stop. . . . Her total possessions after 79 years on this earth, are a single bed, a dresser, a couple of small tables, two lamps and a fan. She also has a few clothes, a small television, two pictures, a clock, some books and vases of artificial flowers.
She says she not unhappy, and "I am not afraid to die. Sometimes I wonder . . . why can't I go, but wanting to die is a sin, and I ask God to forgive me."
If you procrastinate long enough . . .
There will never be a better time than now to start a savings plan. Ideally, you should set aside 10% of what you earn, but if your circumstance don't allow for that set what ever change you have at the end of the day aside in a jar.
I'll admit that I am biased towards saving with gold, and I don't trust bankers, but almost any savings plan will produce a better end result than not saving at all.
Nine out of ten Americans who enter the workforce at age 18 will be either dead or dead broke at 65.*
Why be like everybody else?
*Leaving the dead out of the calculation:
Using 2013 poverty data, approximately one-third of seniors were within 200% of the poverty line, with 10% below the poverty line straightaway. Using SPM, those numbers shift to 45% and 15% respectively. Both the SPM and traditional numbers get grimmer with age, with 36% of seniors aged 65-69, 45% of those 70-79, and 57% of those age 80 or greater registering at or below 200% of the poverty line.
Would you want everyone to know every business you buy something from, however innocuous? I’m going to guess no. Think of this prospect as similar to how Gmail gives its users more than enough space to store every email they ever send or receive, meaning that I now have 10 years — a whole third of my life! — stored on servers. The long-term, mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies would mean accepting the idea that, at any moment, your entire purchasing history could be revealed to the world at large.
Self-discipline and desire work together. Without self-discipline desire degenerates into unfocused and unproductive activity. Self-discipline is not a punishment. It is the magic that transforms a desire into its manifestation. This is true for the individual and for the body politic.
The West has abandoned its self-discipline, but not its desire. Feckless representatives and sinister central banks have persuaded a once virtuous public that fiat currency and arbitrary legislation are legitimate substitutes for self-discipline. If you want to know what a world filled with desire, but absent self-discipline looks like, then observe our modern world. It is an obese dying world that shouts don't try to fat shame me.