One view of why precious-metal investing, such as silver and Gold Bullion, is vital today...
AN ENTREPRENEUR who has successfully started and run several businesses in the past 23 years, Greg McCoach has for the last decade been involved with the precious metals industry as a bullion dealer, investor and newsletter writer.
Producing the Mining Speculator and The Insider Alert, Greg is also the president of gold bullion dealer AmeriGold. Here he speaks with The Gold Report about gold, silver, and the White Gold region of Northern Canada...
TGR: You hold physical precious metals. What's your percentage of precious-metal holdings?
Greg McCoach: I believe in holding a nice chunk of my liquid net worth in physical precious metals. The ratio within my physical precious metals is about 60% silver, 30% gold and 10% palladium. I've been accumulating these metals over the course of the last 12 years. I continue to buy and only sell if and when I want to adjust the percentages within my portfolio. I consider my physical metals portfolio my ultimate bank account. It can't be devalued by government shenanigans.
With all the worldwide problems related to fiat currencies, it's absolutely imperative that people have a portion of their liquid net worth in physical precious metals. I believe silver is probably a better value at this point than gold, thus my reasoning to have a bigger percentage of silver in my portfolio. To illustrate why I like silver more at this point, let's first calculate how many ounces of silver it takes to buy one ounce of gold today. Gold is currently at $1,310 per ounce, silver at $22 per ounce Based on those numbers, it takes some 60 ounces of silver at current prices to buy one ounce of gold today.
History has shown during times of a secular bull market in precious metals that, eventually, silver's performance surpasses that of gold by quite a large margin. During the early phases of the secular bull market, gold leads the way and silver lags; but, as we begin to enter the latter phases, silver ultimately catches up and surpasses gold. I believe this is where we are currently in the overall precious metals market. Up until this point, gold has been the clear winner but silver is suddenly beginning to wake up and get the attention of a larger group of investors. I believe we could start to see this silver:gold ratio move closer to 40:1 and eventually even 15:1 as we get to the point where the precious-metal market peaks out. We still have a long way before we get there.
I am very bullish on silver. Earlier in the year, in my January 2010 newsletter and conferences I spoke at, I said silver would be somewhere around $23-26 per ounce before year-end. We're are now at $22 per ounce [Ed.: Now $23...] and headed higher. How high silver and gold go this last quarter is really just a factor of how much safe-haven buying happens. The more problems that surface, the greater the buying pressure will be in the physical market.
We still see sovereign-debt risk problems in Euroland; we know that Italy, Spain, Latvia, Portugal and others are on the verge of financial collapse. Germany, which reluctantly bailed out Greece, has already said it won't be bailing out any further problems that occur in the European Union. My contacts in Europe tell me that it's very likely Germany will opt out of the EU within 18 months as these sovereign debt problems become more pronounced. If that happens, it will be the end of the Euro and the EU. It will drive even more money into the metals and precious metals mining stocks
TGR: Then why aren't we seeing big gains in Gold Mining and silver stocks?
Greg McCoach: During the early stages of the secular bull market in precious metals, which really got started in 2001, the mining stocks would lead advances in the physical price. Now it's just the opposite, and to make things more confusing, the Dow is not acting inversely to metals prices. Well, something somewhere is not right and I think it's on the Dow side. Gold is not a bubble, the Dow is a bubble. The Dow at +10,000 in this environment is not sustainable in my opinion. I think it's going to retreat well below the 10,000 mark until eventually one ounce of gold and one share of the Dow are 1:1. Where the two shall meet is anybody's guess, but I would bet it'll be somewhere around the 5,000-7,000 area. That's right – one ounce of gold will be +$5,000 per ounce while the Dow hovers around that same level. This will be the consequence to society for believing in the economic fantasy that real wealth and prosperity can be created by abusing fiat currencies. There is just no way around the problem.
TGR: So, you believe paper currencies will fail and, as that is happening, investors will flock to gold en masse. But the TSX's main board is above 12,000 and the major American markets had a sound September. Your thesis requires fear. While that hasn't changed, has its timeframe?
Greg McCoach: Timing these things is very difficult, but I maintain that we're still on course. The same thing happened in the first meltdown. I warned people that things were going to get bad; I warned specifically about derivative problems. As we got closer, it got more pronounced. Then, of course, when it happened, it was like "wow, these gloom-and-doom guys were right." Well, no, we weren't right; we just paid attention to what was happening.
We're still paying attention and we see the same problems. Nothing's been solved. All these derivative issues have just been covered up; they haven't been dealt with. Through sleight of hand and smoke and mirrors, the government has just hidden the real liabilities, piled on a bunch of whipped cream and now expects people to believe everything is ok. Well, it's not.
The other problem is the US government is now getting to the point that it can no longer sustain paying the interest on its Treasury Bill debt through normal means. Once the bond traders get a sniff of this – coming in the next few months – they will cut the US government off at the knees and plunge the Dollar even lower. The bond traders are ruthless; they don't care what happens to the country – they care first and foremost about profits. This is where the consequences of decades of abuse to our credit system will finally come home to roost. We have been able to postpone our consequences for quite some time; but, in effect, all we've done is make the end result worse by not dealing with it when we should have. And now it's going to be a big wake-up call for everybody. The timing on it? It sure looks close to me; I don't see any way out.
TGR: When you say "close," what's close?
Greg McCoach: I think we're going to see some events this fall. The fiscal year-end for the United States is in October; the new fiscal year begins November 1. The fact the US government can't keep up with the interest payments on its T-Bill debt is going to become well known. These problems on top of the derivative problems are like ticking time bombs; we don't know exactly when they're going to go off, but we know they must.
Look at the banks; the banks have held all this money (TARP and economic stimulus) that was supposed to go back into the economy to help business owners, homeowners and generally stimulate the economic recovery. I say: "What Recovery?" None of that money got to where it was supposed to go. Why? The banks are selfishly holding the money to bail out their own rear ends because they have these derivative problems that haven't been solved.
TGR: But you're on record saying that gold will get to $6,500 and silver will be in the hundreds per ounce eventually. These are pretty heady numbers even for an all-out economic collapse.
Greg McCoach: Yes, as we get to the mass-panic stage when the consequences show up in full force, this will drive the metals to their ultimate peaks for this cycle. There's so much fiat currency out there that will be chasing this tiny little sector called physical precious metals – and there's no room to receive it. In other words, there's not enough metal for everybody to have a part of the market. That will just drive prices into the stratosphere. I don't know how long it will last, but these problems aren't going to get resolved quickly. Nobody wants to see an all-out economic depression; but, if history teaches us anything, it's that depressions can be the catalyst to the real changes our country and world desperately needs.
One of the things that must happen in order for this to occur is, we must abolish the Federal Reserve and get control of our country's money by putting ourselves back on some sort of gold and/or silver standard. For the past 39 years, we the people have allowed power-seeking politicians to run over us through the abuse of our fiat currency – the US Dollar. This activity has given us a false sense of prosperity and created the housing bubble, stock market bubble and now the biggest of all bubbles – the T-Bill bubble. Master idiot Greenspan was the architect.
Politicians love fiat currencies and Keynesian Economics, which teach there is no need to back a currency with precious metals. Politicians don't like a gold, or silver, standard because it makes them accountable to the people. This is why Keynesian Economics is taught in all the schools. To afford all their debt schemes, they must have a fiat currency they can abuse at will – which is exactly what has happened in the US for the past 39 years and why we find ourselves in such a tenuous situation. The financial consequences can be the catalyst for the real changes that must occur to send us into the next age of wonder and prosperity.
How high are these metals going to go? It's anybody's guess; but, when you look back to the late 1970s that drive metals prices to their peaks in early 1980, it pales in comparison to what we're dealing with now. If you inflation-adjust – with real numbers not government-concocted nonsense – $875 per ounce gold and $55 per ounce silver in 1980, that $875 becomes $6,500 and $55 reaches into the hundreds. That's why I use those figures. I think gold will hit those targets before this is all said and done. It could go even higher depending on how bad the consequences are.
TGR: You recently went to the Yukon and have since written an article about that play.
Greg McCoach: Yes, it's a very exciting situation; you can read the New Yukon Gold Rush at www.321gold.com. The Yukon Klondike gold rush back in 1897 was one of the biggest gold rushes of all time and, since then, somewhere around 16–20 million ounces of gold has been taken out of the Dawson City area. That was mostly placer gold, which for people who don't know, is basically eroded gold that gets into the streams and rivers and flows to a spot where it piles up. Well, Dawson City is where this placer gold piled up.
Geologists generally agree that in trying to determine how big the gold source is, they usually multiply whatever the placer gold is by 10. In this case, we would be looking at a gold source that is probably in the neighborhood of 200 Moz.
For decades, people have been trying to find this source and have been mostly unsuccessful. There's a prospector named Shawn Ryan who's been doing a lot of prospecting up there, and he's suddenly received a lot of attention because two of the properties that he controlled and worked were vended into juniors that have had high-grade gold success.
I have been researching which companies have the best ground related to the signature of the White Gold camp and surrounding areas. I visited the area twice in the last two months and sense we are going to see a hoard of gold discoveries over the next five years and beyond.
TGR: Can you talk a little about the promising ground in the White Gold camp?
Greg McCoach: It's still up for debate whether this is the source of the placer gold; by looking at the maps and where the streams and rivers flow, I would say it all flows toward Dawson City. The reason no one discovered it before is because the White Gold camp is 90 km. from Dawson City. The Dawson City area has the largest known occurrence of placer gold in the world; this gold came from somewhere. Is it the White Gold camp? So far, we have pretty good indications it could be; but more work is needed before that assessment can be made. Many companies will be there.
Shawn's been there 14 years doing soil samples, trenching – what is referred as "boots on the ground" geology. As he says, these are the greatest clues for making a discovery. He gets out in the bush and does a lot of soil samples at very aggressive numbers. Whereas some miners might do just 2,000 samples, Shawn's doing 70,000–90,000 samples on an area. That's why he's having success. Once the work has been done on the properties and he likes what he sees, he vends them into other juniors; they put the drill holes where Shawn shows them, and so far so good.
Of the 20,000 mining claims available in the White Gold camp, Shawn controls 12,000. We definitely want to know this guy. My radio interview with Shawn is a must-listen-to; afterward, you'll understand why you'll want to invest with Shawn Ryan and his ground.
TGR: Any parting thoughts on the precious metals market?
Greg McCoach: Well, we're in a period when precious-metal prices are breaking out to new highs again. Some people believe it won't last. I am not one of them. I believe gold and silver will have retracements periodically, but nothing is going to stop these precious metals from going higher until the US's economic problems are rectified. Most Americans are absolutely clueless about the desperate trouble their government is in. As more problems surface, the run into the precious metals will only get bigger. Gold and silver are still dirt cheap compared to where they're headed, and this bull market will go for many years. That makes a great opportunity in the mining stocks because it allows miners to go through the process of developing and reaching production. I've focused most of my Mining Speculator time on exploration stories because that's where the biggest leverage is. We follow the brightest geologists who make the discoveries majors come in and buy. That's our big money.
I believe owning physical precious metals and the right combination of precious-metal mining stocks is the best way to protect against looming global fiat currency problems.
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