As those familiar with the basics of Austrian economics can attest, an increase in the supply of money and credit [often leads to] asset bubbles in whatever sector(s) the new money and credit find their way into. With the U.S. economy so robust it will not go down easily and, as such, there is still the possibility that the Fed’s radical inflationary policies will not break the dollar, but just kick the can down the road one more time, and unleash one more bubble before the bill for 40+ years of monetary madness is finally due. What sectors are most likely to be the recipient of a bubble? [Let’s look at the possibilities.] Words: 1212
So says Simit Patel (www.informedtrades.com) in edited excerpts from an article* which Lorimer Wilson, editor of www.munKNEE.com has further edited the article below for length and clarity – see Editor’s Note at the bottom of the page. This paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.
Patel goes on to say, in part:
The US Federal Reserve recently announced their desire to keep interest rates low until 2014. Meanwhile, money supply continues to increase, with reported MZM increasing by 0.2% during the month of January. As those familiar with the basics of Austrian economics can attest, an increase in the supply of money and credit typically…[results in either] asset bubbles in whatever sector(s) the new money and credit find their way into and/or hyperinflation, if the expansion results in price inflation and causes a panic exodus out of the currency
In the case of the United States, hyperinflation is a distinct possibility, and one I am confident we are inching closer towards [such an outcome]…The simple insurance policy is to have some physical gold on hand in the event of a complete hyperinflationary breakdown.
From the above perspective, what sectors are most likely to be the recipient of a bubble? Here are a few ideas:
1. Gold Mining Stocks: Without question, miners are my favorite candidate here. Gold…has gotten the attention of the public (although the public still has not stepped in). It is a simple concept to understand. The fundamentals behind miners are increasingly favorable so long as gold prices stay above $1650, so there is that kernel of truth that could lead to an epic bubble. This sector can be easily played via a series of ETFs: (GDX), (GDXJ), (GLDX), (GGGG) [Read Physical Gold and Gold Stocks Should be in Your Portfolio – Here’s Why and Get Positioned: “Gold Rush” Will Cause Gold Stocks to SOAR – Here’s Why]
2. Uranium: Uranium is off to a very hot start in 2012… The fundamentals for uranium are outstanding, and with the U.S. approval of the first new nuclear reactors since 1978, the dream of a “nuclear renaissance” is becoming closer to reality. [Read Uranium: Talk About a Growth Industry!] Those interested in capping carbon emissions, an increasingly popular idea for better or worse these days, will also find nuclear to be a promising opportunity. Fukushima does leave a negative emotional sentiment, though I think this can be overcome as the market becomes more educated regarding the risk/reward of uranium-powered nuclear energy and as the planned reactors increasingly come to production.
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Uranium did go parabolic in 2007, along with a number of other commodities so some may argue it is unlikely for another bubble to emerge so quickly thereafter. I agree, and this is one of the primary reasons why I favor gold mining stocks as the leading candidate for the next bubble over uranium…I think it is important to note, [however,] that the bubble in 2007 was much smaller in terms of how much mass participation it received [- much less than that of] the housing bubble or the first dot-com bubble – so I think the odds are greater this time around, especially with the advent of a uranium ETF (URA) and a nuclear power ETF (NUCL) that makes investing in this sector very user-friendly.
3. Oil and Gas Pipelines: Fracking is creating an energy revolution in the United States, and is positioning the world [read U.S. Has 3rd Largest Natural Gas Field in the World – Which Other Countries are Included in the Top 10?] for an abundance of natural gas — if only this gas can be moved. The fundamentals are in place for bullishness in the energy infrastructure sector, and as fracking increasingly is seen as an uplifting story of job creation and as the infrastructure problem is understood as a [possible] obstacle to further growth, I think selling this opportunity will be much easier and thus the excess money and credit could find its way here. Kinder Morgan (KMP) is a company moving aggressively in this space. [Also read Invest in Natural Gas – Here’s How]
4. Rare Earths: The story with rare earths (REEs) is largely the same as uranium, in the sense that there is a significant supply/demand imbalance that suggests higher prices. China owns 97% of current production of rare earths, so there is the possibility of using nationalism and independence from exports as an emotional tool to draw capital in. As is the case with uranium, though, rare earths went through a recent bubble — and even more recently than uranium, as rare earths saw their heyday from 2009 – 2011. Molycorp (MCP), operator of the only active rare earths mine in the United States, saw 5.5X appreciation from its IPO in July 2010 to its peak in April of 2011. The recent nature of this bubble does make it a less worthy candidate to be a bubble again, but with the Fed’s aggressiveness here, I think it is still a candidate in the running. I’ve bought some shares in Quest Rare Minerals (QRM) largely as a speculation on this concept.
5. China: The China meme has been beaten to death over the past few years, though I still think it is worth noting because of the fundamental situation. China is producing more than it consumes and is investing aggressively in building cities, acquiring farmland, buying up land for resource production, and establishing deals to import such resources (like the recent China-Canada uranium deal [Read Chinese Trade Agreement Bullish for Canadian Mining & Energy Companies – Here’s Why for details]). Geopolitical tensions make me a bit wary of this opportunity, though, so it’s not one I’ll be playing directly, although I do like investing in companies with operations I find promising and in China, like Silvercorp Metals (SVM). For those looking for a broad ETF to invest anticipation of the Fed blowing a bubble in Chinese assets, (FXI) may be worth considering.
6. Internet Stocks: It’s the late 90s all over again! With Facebook, Zynga and LinkedIn already IPO’d, and more enjoying billion dollar valuations while still private, the case for a potential bubble cannot be denied. Personally, I won’t be going anywhere near this, because the fundamentals do not justify these valuations in the least, in my opinion — and so I think this is already a bubble that could collapse at any moment. For those who are still bullish on the Internet and want to invest in it, I think Asia is where to look for the undervalued opportunities…but…[nevertheless,], I think investors are better off passing on this opportunity, or playing it via active trading if they are so inclined and capable of doing so. Facebook is of course the mothership leading Bubble 2.0, although the social media ETF (SOCL) is a vehicle that will interest those in interested in this space.
I think the Fed’s policy stance makes it increasingly likely natural bull markets will be turned into bubbles. Bubbles are problematic for an economy and distort the market’s ability to discover prices, but they can create outstanding profit opportunities for those paying attention. Just remember that when the mainstream media frenzy kicks in and price acceleration goes parabolic, it’s time to get out before it all comes crashing down.
*http://seekingalpha.com/article/358601-6-ideas-for-where-the-next-bubble-will-be (To access the article please copy the URL and paste it into your browser.)
Editor’s Note: The above article has been has edited ([ ]), abridged (…), and reformatted (including the title, some sub-titles and bold/italics emphases) for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. The article’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article.
Lately analyst after analyst (161 at last count) has been climbing on board the golden wagon with prognostications as to what the parabolic peak price for gold will eventually be. That being said, however, only 51 have been bold enough to include the year in which they think their peak price estimate will occur and they are listed below. Take a look at who is projecting what, by when and why. Words: 644
While the world has been consumed watching the geo-political events unfolding in Europe and the Middle East, China and Canada have entered into a major trade agreement which should be long-term bullish for Canadian mining, energy and transportation companies. [Let me explain what is unfolding.] Words: 585
Natural gas is increasingly becoming an important fuel in meeting the global energy needs. Let’s take a quick look at the largest natural gas fields in the world. Words: 300
A Barclays Capital research [report] notes that gold prices are vulnerable to a recession – more so than some of the other commodities. In the last recession of 2008, gold prices appreciated the least among precious metals. Below is a table that ranks 30 different commodities. Words: 571
As the world approaches ‘Peak Oil’ crude oil usage will begin to be rationed more and more and the world will turn to nuclear energy to meets its energy needs. As such, expect both oil and uranium to surpass their previous record levels of US$147 per barrel and US$140 per pound, respectively, within the next 2-3 years. Let me explain why. Words: 1446
There are 436 nuclear power reactors operating in 30 countries around the world today, providing approximately 15% of the world’s electricity, and according to the World Nuclear Association, another 50 power reactors are currently being constructed in 14 countries with over 130 more power reactors being planned and 250 more being proposed. Talk about a growing industry! Words: 776
Do you own enough gold and silver for what lies ahead? If 10% of your total investable assets (i.e., excluding equity in your primary residence) aren’t held in various forms of gold and silver, we…think your portfolio is at risk. Here’s why. Words: 625
Whatever their reasons, the number of investors wanting exposure to gold is increasing. Many who ignored it a decade ago are now buying. Those who started buying, say, five years ago, continue purchasing it today in spite of paying twice what they paid then. Slowly but surely, it’s becoming more important to more people…but what happens when it becomes a must-own asset to a substantial majority instead of a small minority? Sure, the price will rise, probably parabolically, but putting aside speculation on the price of gold for now, have you thought about what happens if you have trouble finding any actual, physical gold to buy? [Let’s explore that possibility and what that would mean for gold stocks in such an eventuality.] Words: 870