The media is a-buzz with the price of gold. Time to buy, right? No. You’ve missed the boat. Never hurts to have gold, metals or commodities in one’s portfolio, but don’t get teased by the hype. While there’s probably more room for gold to rally, the run for the exits could get crowded fast.
Managing the Cycle of Emotion
My real point in this post is to remind people about the cycle of emotion. There’s an explanation for why the equities market return 7-8% historically over a 30-year period, and why the average do-it-yourself investor makes 2% at best. It’s called buying and selling on the cycle of emotion. Instead of buying low and selling high, most investors do the opposite. A neighbor mentions an investment, and the potential investor does nothing until the price has increase and his or her confidence has increased. By the time they have the guts to invest, the price is even higher. Invariably, the investment rises and then loses value and the investor sells at a loss in a moment of panic or despair. The discouraged investor swears s/he will never do that again. Until, of course, the neighbor mentions the next big thing.
You can manage the cycle of emotion through systematic implementation of a financial plan that is in alignment with your investment goals, philosophies, and risk tolerance. The trick is to stick to it and to make thoughtful adjustments as the markets make their adjustments.
My favorite comment I’ve heard lately is that the “flight to gold at these prices is a flight to Armageddon.” Still makes me laugh. Let’s face it, if you’re wanting to buy gold because you’re concerned about the global geopolitical system and currencies collapsing, you might be better off with land. At least then you might get food and water because you can’t eat gold. I’m not convinced that market fundamentals justify gold’s price. Fear seems to have a bigger influence in that market. Gold is not a good inflation hedge, and it’s in danger of losing value very quickly when the economy recovers. Don’t get caught in the frenzy. Fear is not the best place from which to make decisions. Look at your financial plan. Follow it.