Bubble Charts: War Between Tech Investors vs. Gold and Silver

The cyclical nature of commodities and equities goes back at least until the 1970’s. When commodities are doing well, equities are performing poorly. Then the cycle flips and investors pile into equities, eventually making them expensive and commodities like gold and silver become cheap. But what do you get when you take the extremes of both equities and commodities? The extreme side of equities, technology stocks (NASDAQ Composite) being driven by lines of code you can’t touch. On the opposite end of commodities, you get tangible precious metals, silver and in particular gold. Tech investors versus gold and silver couldn’t be more different. Their history of being at a tug-of-war has rarely been discussed until now.

When we look at the NASDAQ Composite (NASDAQ) in relation to gold and silver in US dollars, going back to 1971, when the Nixon shock occurred. You get a striking relationship that confirms the cyclical nature between the commodities and equities. This was four years before Paul Allen and Bill Gates read the famous popular mechanics issue highlighting the world’s first microcomputer kit. That magazine propelled the creation of Microsoft. The 1970’s were a period of rising commodity prices, high inflation, a stagnant economy, and multiple recessions.

 

The Pendulum of Gold and Silver vs. NASDAQ Composite

1) 1971 – 1980: Commodities went on an epic bull run, increasing by more than twenty-five times, clearly outperforming the NASDAQ. By 1980, the NASDAQ was incredibly cheap relative to gold and silver.

2) 1980 – 2000: From 1980 onward capital flowed out of gold and silver and the overall commodities complex. as interest rates lowered, and confidence in the public sector was renewed. Equities were the cheap asset class in relation to commodities. This then set up the bull run in technology with the NASDAQ peaking in 2000. Gold and silver by this time were incredibly cheap to the NASDAQ.

3) 2000 – 2011: The cycle rotated back to gold and silver until they peaked in 2011.  This is in contrast to the S&P/GS Commodity Index (GSCI), that peaked in 2008. For gold and silver investors that followed the GSCI, they would have sold out early, as gold almost doubled almost three years later in 2011.

4) 2011- Today: Investors could have rotated into the NASDAQ in 2011, when gold and silver peaked in 2011, as NASDAQ has since almost tripled. Today, both gold and silver are incredibly cheap to the NASDAQ. Today, silver may bounce around, but it will be small moves in relation to the coming years ahead, that just like the past four cycles the beginning moves were small until the end of the cycle. This fifth cycle will swing back to silver and gold and we expect them to outperform the NASDAQ on a multi-year basis during for the fifth rotation.

This back and forth pendulum swinging between the two, confirms the cyclical nature between equities and commodities, but at their extremes.

Gold and Silver Warn Tech Melt-Up

With the manufacturing starting to experience headwinds from the tariffs. Investors are rotating out of manufacturing stocks, and further into technology because for now, tech stocks are less impacted. This rotation may be the final push higher, which investors like Paul Tudor Jones are referring to a second half of 2018 peak in the markets. Remember, based on past cycles we have seen between gold and silver to the NASDAQ Composite, there was a big thrust UP at the peak. Will this time be any different?

As the NASDAQ pushes ahead while the S&P 500 languishes we are experiencing an accelerated melt-up. Is the blow-off-top going to be driven by technology because of the famous FOMO? It doesn’t have the same sensations of Bitcoin in 2017 or the Dotcom bubble yet. But as investors rotate out of Dow components because of trade concerns and into the asset light, businesses you end up at technology stocks. Gold and silver say, yes.

“Rates go up, and stocks go up in tandem at the end of the year. I can see things getting crazy, particularly at year end, after mid-term elections. I can see things crazy to the upside.” Paul Tudor Jones

Was Paul Tudor Jones referring to tech stocks?

US Economy Is Holding Up The World

The US economy continues to be strong, with the underlying ISM Manufacturing PMI at 58.7%, and the US ISM NON-Manufacturing PMI 58.6% for May. No, a recession isn’t in the cards yet. But we sure are getting close as the QE experiment is in tightening mode, and central banks are raising rates around the world.

The Melting Up of Tech Warns – Expect Lower Returns Next 5 Years

For the remainder of the year, it is still quite possible the NASDAQ could go higher, as the NASDAQ is still hasn’t experienced its phrase transition relative to gold and silver. Based on past cycles, there was always a melt-up and outlier for gold, silver, and the NASDAQ. Will the NASDAQ repeat history? With global central bank liquidity decreasing, increasing rates, and the ever-increasing tariffs, maybe it won’t break through the highs in 2002. Investors should reduce expectations to generate the same returns on a multi-year basis going forward as the past five years. For gold and silver investors, this is a massive long-term opportunity.


BULL MARKET SETTING UP FOR GOLD AND SILVER NEXT 5 YEARS

Once the NASDAQ peaks, capital will flow to commodities, setting in the new trend for the commodities boom. From an investors perspective, on a multi-year basis, the reward is clearly to gold and silver, the downside risk clearly to the NASDAQ. Tech investors will swear they will never own commodities. But do you want to continue the streak after the tech boom?

An investor does not need to be precisely right, but just approximately right over multiple years to take advantage of this gold and silver opportunity.

“You only need one bull market to build life-changing wealth. And a new bull market may be knocking at the door…” – Rick Rule

Taking a multi-year view and not shorter-term view, silver and gold are incredibly cheap right now and they stand to benefit from the capital outflows from technology based on the cyclical rotation that has historically occurred. We are only in the first inning or two for gold and silver, particularly when you look at the where the NASDAQ is today.

Takeaways from Tech vs Precious Metals Cycle

  • In all three booms that occurred between the NASDAQ Composite, gold, and silver, there was a melt-up higher for each of them. But the bottom may have already been set in 2016.
  • What is in favor today (Technology) will soon be out of favor in the future, and what is out of favor today (Silver & Gold) will become in favor tomorrow.
  • High-quality businesses with exposure to gold and/silver will give investors an edge to massively outperform the commodities complex and in particular the NASDAQ Composite on a multi-year basis.
  • Don’t marry the trade.
  • Following the Bloomberg Commodity Index is not bulletproof particularly for tech and precious metals investors.
  • Precious Metals will outperform the technology sector over the next 5 years because tech is peaking.

Buy Cheap and Sell to the Crowd

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We will be hosting a Live Webcast on Tuesday, July 3, at 4:20 PM ET. Mr. Paul Farrugia (President & CEO) will be discussing an unconventional approach for gold and silver investors in the coming commodity cycle.

There will be no replay. We have limited seats.  

Reserve Your Seat Today

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Will 2018 Be A Repeat of 2002 Tariffs on Resource Heavy TSX, ASX and TSXV?


Tariffs are front and center right now in the markets, and during the 2002 steel tariffs, the steel tariffs were not good for the U.S. markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and the NASDAQ were all down between 20-30% during the 2002 steel tariffs, before recovering, when tariffs ended in December 2003. With the US now imposing steel tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. While exempting Australia, South Korea, Brazil, and Argentina. What does this mean for the Canadian stock markets, and what will happen to the Australian markets, if Australia gets hit with the steel tariffs? Both the TSX & ASX are heavily weighted to financials and materials, and both experienced huge housing booms over the past decade. Will gold be a safe haven for Canadian and Australian investors?

“I do think that this trade stuff is a negative. It is going to hurt sentiment. Its badly thought through. Its not strategic. There are legitimate complaints about trade. But this is not the way to go about it. And you see it in the volatility in the market” Jamie Dimon (Chairman & CEO of JPMogran Chase)  (Source CNBC)

2002 TARIFFS IMPACT ON CANADA TO THE S&P/TSX Composite & S&P/TSX Venture 

Even though Canada was exempt during the 2002 steel tariffs, S&P/TSX Composite fell by almost 30% during the US imposing the steel tariffs in 2002. The S&P/TSX Composite finished slightly positive by the time the tariffs were over. The S&P/TSX Venture Composite (Venture), Canada’s junior market, not only FELL less during the bear market but significantly outperformed by the end of the tariffs. The Venture was up by almost 50%. The sector rotation out of technology and into commodities had begun, and the Venture saw HUGE fund flows because of its heavily weighted in junior mining (gold stock, silver stocks, copper stocks, etc.) and junior oil & gas stocks. You had capital pull out of speculative tech stocks (Nortel Networks) and venture capital and put into high-risk commodity focused junior explorers, developers, and junior miners. The Venture is the largest venture capital space in the world to invest in small cap natural resource stocks, providing exposure to exploration, development, production, and mining services. If history repeats, then the TSX Venture is set to outperform the broader markets once again.

2002 TARIFFS IMPACT ON THE ASX 200?

The broader ASX 200 fell less than the Canadian and US markets during the 2002 US steel tariffs while the North American equities were selling off in the second half of 2002. The broader ASX Materials Index finished positive, just over 10% by the end of 2003We can see that even in Australia the sector rotation into materials had started to take place following tech burst. What was surprising, in 2002, was that both the ASX 200 bottomed in February 2003, posting modest negative returning during the trade situation. The ASX Materials in contrasts bottomed in September 2002. While only a few months into the US steel tariffs, the overall ASX Market continues to be up, with the ASX materials up but lagging the broader index ASX 200. Gold significantly outperformed the ASX, even when adjusting for currency appreciation.

WHAT IS DIFFERENT THIS TIME FOR CANADA?

Unlike the U.S Federal Reserve, that was decreasing rates, after September 11, only a few months prior to the steel tariffs, and the bursting of the tech bubble. In Canada, the Bank of Canada (BoC) raised its target four times over the same time period, by 125 BPS, from 2.25% to 3.5%. But it didn’t stop there. In July 2003, the tightening was over, and the target was reduced to 3.25%, then again to 3.00% Where the is Bank of Canada today? No change in its target yet since the US steel tariffs started and no reaction yet to them being implemented on Canada. But will they be forced to raise their targets?

The economic progress we have seen makes us more confident that higher interest rates will be warranted over time, although some monetary policy accommodation will still be needed,” Governor Poloz said. “We will continue to watch how households and the entire economy are reacting to higher interest rates. And we will be cautious in making future adjustments to monetary policy, guided by incoming data.”

Canadian households have built up about $2 trillion of debt, including $1.5 trillion of mortgage debt….a prolonged period of low interest rates that allowed borrowers to take out larger mortgages for the same payment size. This debt is now a vulnerability, both for the whole economy and for highly indebted households who will face increased debt-service costs when interest rates rise. “We are closely watching the vulnerability represented by this group and the debt they carry, and how it poses a risk to both the financial system and the economy,” Governor Poloz said.  – Bank of Canada

Canadian households continue to be significantly more leveraged than they were before the 2008 recession. But will the Bank of Canada raise rates? They may have no choice. Are household and businesses going to be able to handle inflation pressures they are already experiencing from rising gas prices? Brent crude hits its highest level since 2014. There is also the July 1st deadline of tariffs being added to US imports.

“The problem for the Bank of Canada is this. What do they really control? So, when we get the Bank of Canada press statement, what is it they do? They actually just have an influence on the overnight rate and the overnight rate you can say as sort of an impact to the very front end of the curve. But the reality is that the Canadian bond curve is 90% correlated to the US Treasury market. What are US Treasury yields doing? They’re back up. There’s nothing the Bank of Canada can do about that. US Treasury yields are backing up. We are importing a good part of that into Canada. Mortgages are ultimately priced off the bond curve. And so, look at what happened last week. Even just weeks after the Bank of Canada said we’re are on, maybe on hold indefinitely. Mortgage rates went up last week because of the importation of higher bond yields south of the border.

…. This is the shocking statistic. Normally conservative Canadians that historically really went and took out five-year mortgages. They didn’t want to take on refinancing risk. Half of the Canadian residential mortgages rollover in the next year. Almost half, the number if 47%. That shocking” – David Rosenberg (Source BNN Bloomberg)

WHAT IS DIFFERENT THIS TIME FOR AUSTRALIA?

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) during the 2002 episode of tariffs, followed the similar path to the Bank of Canada by raising its cash target rate four times, by 100 BPS from 4.25% to 5.25%. But there were no reductions, only hikes, and holds. Where is the RBA now? The RBA has stayed the course by holding rates, but will it follow history and begin raising rates? What about the impending interest-only loans that need to be refinanced over the next three years? Will the RBA hold back from raising rates? Time will tell.

In Australia interest-only mortgages, which during “their recent peak, they accounted for almost 40 per cent of all mortgages. While interest-only loans have a role to play in Australian mortgage finance, their value has limits.” Will overseas funding costs that are impacted by the US increasing rate, rise well? Over the last 20 years to 30 June 2014 the correlation between Australian and US 10-year yields has been 0.84 measured over quarterly periods with a correlation of 0.71”Source: Franklin Templeton. While not the short-end of the curve, as we have seen recently with many emerging markets rising interest rates is becoming the new normal and Australia will have to raise the cash rate soon if the Fed keeps going.

IMPACT ON CAPITAL MARKETS IN CANADA & AUSTRALIA

Due to the tight correlation that Australian and Canadian rates have to US rates, we could see banks hike their mortgage rates higher if the US Fed continues to raise its target rate. We would also expect this would further put pressure on both of their housing markets and the capital markets if a broader sell-off takes hold because of the tariffs as had previously occurred in the 2002 tariffs. This may present opportunities for royalty stocks like to provide funding to the sector because capital markets funding through equity issuance and commercial lending from banks would dry up.

WINNERS FROM THE US 2002 STEEL TARIFFS

  • Gold was the clear winner in the US Steel Tariffs.
  • Canada’s TSX Venture Index was the clear index winner in terms of performance because it is heavily weighted in small-cap natural resource stocks in mining and oil & gas.
  • If history repeats, the tariffs may be the signal over a 1-2 year time period, the start of the rotation out of technology and into commodity assets, just like the 2002 US tariffs signaled the rotation into the 2000’s commodities boom.

The outlier remains how long will the US Federal Reserve continue to keep raising and removing liquidity until something breaks?

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Are These Gold Bankers Better Than Wall St?

POSTED ON FEBRUARY 26, 2018 BY PAUL   There are a group of bankers based in three cities, not Wall St., but Toronto, Vancouver, and Denver that you probably never heard of. Surprisingly, they are gold stocks. They are royalty & streaming companies, otherwise known as the Three Kings (Franco-Nevada, Royal Gold, and Wheaton Precious Metals) are the non-media grabbing bankers in the mining sector. They collect their revenue from some of the biggest mining companies in the world: Glencore, Vale, Teck Resources, Barrick Gold, Newmont Mining, AngloGold Ashanti Limited. Yet, if you add up the staff of these 3 companies, it would be less than 100 people. At the same time, their combined revenue of almost $2 billion in 2016.  You could call them the bankers of mining. Franco-Nevada and Royal Gold were both founded in the 1980’s. Wheaton Precious Metals (previously named Silver Wheaton) is the new entrant over the past ten years to … Continue reading