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Hedging and precious metals.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I have always liked hedging. Why? Because there are very few absolutes in this world. Anything is possible and we can only work on probabilities.  So, plans which do not take into consideration how things might go awry are not sound ones. Even with hedging and contingency plans in place, we might still end up with the shorter end of the stick sometimes. Well, the Chinese has a saying: "Humans plan but the Heavens fulfill."  Sometimes, things do go wrong.  Do what we can to reduce risks but we cannot eliminate risks.

My greatest losses in investments usually resulted from not taking enough precautionary measures to reduce risks. Sometimes, I just threw caution to the wind and went with my heart and, in most such instances, ended up with a broken heart and a thinner wallet. Actually, the pain from such experiences is good in a perverse way because I would then go back to basics and become very cautious again. This is what being human is about, perhaps.

Gold has hit a new record high of US$ 1,258 an ounce.  I have talked about buying physical gold as a hedge against all other forms of investments and against fiat currencies for some time now.  However, with gold's price rising higher and higher, silver is looking more and more attractive.




On 7 February, I blogged about how silver offered more value than gold. I said "Silver is currently trading at the higher end of the Gold:Silver ratio since 1980. Silver is now US$15.15/oz while gold is US$ 1,052.20/oz. This gives us a ratio of 69.45 to 1. This is closer to the historical high of 99.8 to 1. So, there seems to be some truth in the claim that silver is undervalued now and that it is a laggard in the realm of precious metals or it could also mean that gold is simply too expensive. Some hedging might not be a bad idea."

At that time, a reader mentioned that it might be better to wait for US$12 to US$13 an ounce before accumulating silver and my reply was "Yes, I saw the head and shoulders pattern and the neckline broken. There is support at US$15. This, however, was violated recently as price dipped below US$15 for a while but recovered. I see support at US$14 as well. US$12-13? Possible, of course.

 
"But with limited downside compared to the potential upside, I prefer to average in slowly. After all, TA shows where the supports are but it does not mean that the supports will be hit. I will buy some at current price level and if it weakens, I will accumulate. I believe in hedging."
 
Anyone who went ahead and started a Silver Savings Account with UOB back in February then would be in the money today. 

Now, with gold at US$ 1,258 an ounce and silver at US$ 19.17 an ounce, one ounce of gold would buy you 65.62 ounces of silver.  Compared to 7 February when one ounce of gold could have bought you 69.45 ounces of silver, the rate at which the price of silver is rising since then is faster than gold's.  If we believe in charting, silver's longer term trend is still up and I would buy more on weakness.

Related post:
Gold at US$1,210 an ounce.

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