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  1. Bumble

    Bear Signs

    I don't have a particular view on whether we will see a bear market in stocks in the immediate future, but here are some additional points to bear in mind: 1. Although the US stock market is expensive, other stock markets are not, by comparison. There are still bargains to be had elsewhere. Also, the main reason the US stock market is expensive is because it is dominated by a handful of tech stocks (FAANG) that have extremely high prices. 2. Stocks are still a good source of yield. One of the reasons stocks are doing well is because investors seeking yield have been chased out of bonds and into stocks. You can get 0.5% from German government bonds, 2% from US government bonds, or 3.5% from Microsoft stock, or 5% from Shell. It is still possible to put together a basket of high quality stocks that will yield 4-6% in dividends. Unless that changes, i.e. companies can no longer afford their dividends, stocks are not overpriced. 3. Investors will not take their money out of stocks unless there is somewhere else to go. Most commentators expect bond yields to rise, and hence bond values to fall, so buying bonds would be a desperation measure, unless you are contrarian about interest rates. Buying gold is also a kind of desperation measure, because it has no yield and entails storage costs. Some commentators, such as Martin Armstrong, believe that stressed investors are likely to move into stocks, because they are safer than bonds or bank deposits. 4. The importance of stocks, particularly in the USA, to incomes, tax receipts, pension fund solvency and the general sense of well-being and prosperity is so important that the Federal Reserve is likely to intervene with interest rate cuts and money printing in the event of a substantial fall. Chairman Powell has said that he is not concerned with the stock market, but I suspect that he would become concerned if it fell sharply. The 'Fed Put' has not gone away, but the strike price is lower now.
  2. Bumble

    Gold Miner Picks

    If anyone is still interested in gold mining shares after the poor performance of the last six months, Marin Katusa and Rick Rule at the Silver and Gold Summit identified these as their favourite picks at the moment (Nov 2018): B2Gold (BTG.NYSE) Wesdome (WDO.TSX) Pure Gold (PGM.TSXV) Ivanhoe (IVN.TSX) Equinox Gold (EQX.TSXV) West African Resources (WAF.TSXV)
  3. Bumble

    PMV, XRF + other PM testing machines

    But a copper alloy could match the resistivity of gold. The review of this device on the fakebullion.com website picks up on this: "Copper and certain copper alloys can mimic the electrical properties of gold and come very close to those of silver. In these cases the PMV may display a result that falls within the expected range for gold or silver, even though the metal is not gold or silver." https://www.fakebullion.com/index.php/resources/identifying-fake-bullion/16-precious-metal-verifier
  4. Bumble

    PMV, XRF + other PM testing machines

    This device seems like a lot of money for something that is probably no better than other methods. The product description on the Pinehurst page says that it uses "electromagnetic waves that penetrate deeply into the coin or bar". I'm dubious about this claim. Electromagnetic waves do not readily penetrate into dense metals like silver and gold. Even at soft X-ray frequencies, they will only penetrate a few microns, and devices that generate hard X-rays are subject to strict regulations. What the device appears to do is measure the electrical resistance of a sample by inducing eddy currents in it. This will distinguish silver from lead, or gold from tungsten, because the conductivity of these metals is quite different, but it won't serve to distinguish silver or gold from copper. The following table shows how similar the conductivity of copper is. Consequently, I doubt whether this device would detect a copper coin or bar plated with gold or silver. The only advantage of this device is that it works with slabbed coins or bars. Otherwise I would prefer an ultrasound scanner. For coins, the ping test is extremely effective and cheap. See, for example, this review of the Bullion Test app by "Every Cloud" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EowEAvJ8QlU
  5. Bumble

    Gold Monitoring Thread £ only

    I think it would be rash to suppose that last Thursday's sharp rise in gold and silver means that these prices are now off to the races. These were short term moves in response to falls in the stock markets, which made investors jittery. The significant thing is that it was gold and silver that caught the money moving out of stocks. The money could have gone into bonds, cryptos, or dollars, but it didn't: these all went down too. Gold is still holding up as the safe haven asset of choice.
  6. Specific gravity will catch clear cut fakes, e.g. where the coin is just gold-plated. But I would prefer the ping test for sheer sensitivity. I once bought a few sovereigns at a shop in London and when I took them home and pinged them, one was slightly out in the ping frequencies. It was not much of a divergence: the peaks were just slightly off from where they should be. The weight, size and specific gravity were all within tolerances. The colour was slightly on the yellow side, but this was a 1925 sovereign, a year for which the Royal Mint subsequently made several restrikes, so a variation in the composition of the metal was not impossible. I took it back to the shop and they confirmed from their XRF machine that this was a 21 karat jeweller's copy and replaced it. I suspect many tests are not sensitive enough to distinguish a 21 karat copy from a genuine (22 karat) sovereign.
  7. Bumble

    Has gold peaked?

    The price of gold won't take off until money is ready to move out of other investments. At the moment, lots of investors are simply buying FAANG stocks because they keep going up, so it is difficult to justify not being in them. Fund managers do not want to buy other things and then have their investors say: Why are we paying fees to you when we can do better just owning Amazon stock? It will take a distinct catalyst to shake investors out. Even if a new financial crisis happens, gold may not be the immediate beneficiary. When investors panic they buy USD because it is the largest and most liquid 'asset' in the world. They will also buy US bonds, provided the crisis is not an American sovereign debt crisis. This will push up the dollar, and hence push down gold, or at least the XAU/USD cross. It is even quite possible that if the crisis is a sovereign debt crisis, money might flow into stocks, on the basis that you are better off trusting your money with the boards of Microsoft/IBM/Ford than the governments of Italy/Turkey/Argentina. Gold is really more your backstop or insurance. It is nobody else's liabilty and will not go to zero. It is not worth worrying too much about the near term price.
  8. One of the most accurate tests you can do is the ping test. If you balance a coin on the tip of your finger and tap it gently with something metal, you will find that fake coins don't sound like genuine ones. There is an android app called Bullion Test that can help you with it. Someone on this forum (sorry, can't remember the user name) made a YouTube video showing how to use the app. It is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EowEAvJ8QlU The app covers about a dozen each of the most common 1 Toz gold and silver coins, and gold sovereigns. It will not help with bullion bars. It costs $4.
  9. Bumble

    Storage of your stack

    If you are looking for ideas for unusual hiding places for your stack, check out these two videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QDXfgbKKf0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8qoT0APi_8
  10. Apropos of nothing in particular, I came across this video of Bryan Ferry performing live in 2011. He must be 66 and he's still rocking it. Superb version of Let's Stick Together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj0XD1NFa1I
  11. Bumble

    Kinesis Gold and Silver currency

    @Mildred"Preventing any possible deliveries" does make sense. You have entered into a long contract, i.e. a contract to purchase physical metal. If you don't sell or cancel this contract, then the counterparty will deliver this metal to you, or rather, to your broker, since the contract is probably in a nominee account. Since your broker does not want their entrance lobby to be filled up with crates of metal belonging to their clients, it is part of their terms of service that you close your position in advance of the completion date.
  12. Bumble

    saw this and HAD to share.

    A curious fact I learned from a BBC documentary series is that for most of history, right through the middle ages and the renaissance, sugar was more valuable than gold, weight for weight. You had to be seriously rich to be able to afford to eat sugar. It became the main economic driver for the colonisation of the caribbean islands in the 17th and 18th centuries. While the Spanish were busy plundering Aztec gold, Britain, France and the Netherlands were building sugar plantations on the caribbean islands and making a fortune selling sugar back to Europe. By the end of the 18th century, the price of sugar had fallen so much that the English tradition evolved of having afternoon tea, with sugar, and cakes, made with sugar. Afternoon tea is basically the UK thumbing its nose at the rest of the world and saying: look at us, we're so prosperous we can afford to eat sugar every day.
  13. Some of these coins are pre-decimalisation, i.e. pre-1971 when we still had shillings and pence. The coin on the right in the second row is an old two shilling coin, commonly referred to as a 'florin'. The large coin on the left in the fifth row is an old penny. The second coin in the bottom row is an old halfpenny, and the twelve-sided coin next to it is a threepenny bit. They aren't really worth anything to collectors, because they are not rare, but those old coins have enough copper in them that they have scrap value if nothing else.
  14. Companies like Google and Facebook are able to collect vast amounts of data about you. Google records all the searches you make. If you use the Google Chrome browser they record all the wesbites you visit. On YouTube they record all the videos you watch, channels you visit and ads you click on. If you use Gmail they index all your incoming and outgoing emails and analyse them for content and keywords. Facebook likewise collects information about your interests, your network of contacts, the ads you click on, etc. Not only do they sell this information to advertisers, but they can use it to manipulate behaviour in subtle ways. Jaron Lanier's concern is that the business model of Google and Facebook, by being free to users, places the source of income for these companies in the hands of those who want to do the manipulating. A better model would be for these to be subscription services. If you want to protect your privacy and improve your security, here are some suggestions from me: 1. Only use Gmail or other freebie email services for fairly trivial stuff that you don't care about. Have several different email services, some reserved for more private communications. 2. Don't use freebie cloud storage offerings, except for trivial stuff. 3. Don't use Google search directly. Use an anonymising front end such as StartPage, or an engine that does not track you, such as DuckDuckGo. 4. Use an ad blocker, such as AdBlock Plus. 5. Use a script blocker. NoScript is the best one, but is only available for Firefox. It will block all active content on a webpage by default, including javascript, Flash, Java applets, PDF, executables, etc. It is a pain to use at first because you have to expressly enable javascript for all the sites you trust, but once these are set up it is fairly transparent. 6. Keep your private information encrypted. Veracrypt is a pretty good and free encryption product. 7. Keep things like microphones and webcams switched off unless you are actually using them. 8. Don't put any confidential or sensitive information on a smart phone. They are not at all secure.
  15. It depends on how much enrichment it has received. If it is highly enriched (over 5% U-235) then it is best to divide it up between several different locations in case it fissions spontaneously which would be bad because your house insurance probably doesn't cover that risk. If it's just some depleted uranium you bought second-hand on Craig's List then you don't need to worry about how much you have, unless you are worried about silly things like radiation.