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Bumble

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  1. This is an important point. Bear in mind that catalytic conversion is a chemical process, and in chemistry what matters is not the mass of substance you have but how many atoms or molecules. That is why chemists usually work with moles as a unit, not mass. Because platinum atoms have a much higher relative atomic mass than palladium, even at current prices (Pd about $1300/Toz, Pt about $800/Toz) you get more palladium atoms for your dollar than platinum atoms. If (big if) platinum and palladium were chemically equally effective as catalysts, then you would only need 5g of palladium to do the same job as 9g of platinum. I have searched for data on the web about the relative effectiveness of these metals as exhaust catalysts, but I have not managed to find anything concrete. But there is definitely no reason to suppose they are equally effective on a mass-for-mass basis. In any case, car engines are usually designed with a particular exhaust system in mind: switching from one catalyst to another is not so straightforward.
  2. Bumble

    Gold silver ratio

    The gold silver ratio is irrelevant. Just ignore it. The ratio at which gold and silver come out of the ground has no bearing at all on their relative values. Platinum is much rarer than gold, but it is not more valuable. Silver and gold have different uses and are not substitutable, so there is no particular reason for their prices to be related. When gold goes up it tends to drag silver up with it, and because silver is a much smaller market, it is more volatile, i.e. it goes up faster and it goes down faster. So the GSR is low when both gold and silver are expensive, and high when both are cheap. But this is not a predictive indicator, it merely records how things currently stand. In the long run, it is not unlikely that the GSR will continue to rise. Silver is primarily an industrial metal, while gold is mainly used for jewelry and is a safe haven asset. Make your purchase accordingly.
  3. Bumble

    Mega Salaries

    The dividend on McEwen is only 0.5%. But in any case, I don't mind that. If he gets a dividend, all shareholders do. It's a much better setup than companies where the executives pay themselves huge salaries and bonuses and the shareholders get suckered. Gold mining companies are notorious for highly paid executives in companies that pay no dividend at all.
  4. Bumble

    Mega Salaries

    I like the approach of Rob McEwen of McEwen Mining. As CEO, he pays himself a salary of $1 a year. He owns about 25% of the shares in the company, so the only way he can benefit is if the share price goes up. A nice way to align his interests with those of the shareholders.
  5. For myself, I'm no more convinced of a fall in USD than I was last year. The USD is the least dirty shirt in the laundry. Apart from a few small but solid currencies such as CHF or SGD, what can the USD fall against? The EUR? Europe is a basket case. JPY? Japan is the world leader in government indebtedness and money printing. CNY? China will continue to devalue to offset the effect of trade wars. GBP? It might rise against USD if if if Brexit resolves itself satisfactorily. AUD and CAD? Overvalued and likely to fall if there is a worldwide recession, though arguably not bad in the long run. RUB? Might do well, but who knows what those Russian jokers will do next. If there is any kind of financial crisis, money will move into the USD, not out of it. It doesn't matter that it is a big heap of nothingness: it is liquid and that is what matters most in a crisis. The only respect in which the USD can fall is in its purchasing power, which is another way of saying high price inflation might return. Even that is not certain, given that we might get more deflation if China cannot sort out its debt problems. PMs are good to hold in any event, but I don't see a good reason to short the dollar.
  6. Bumble

    Gold as a Growth Investment ? - Take Note

    A great deal depends on your timescales. Gold has not done well since 2011, but what if we start at 2000? This chart compares gold with stocks in percentage gain terms, from a base in 2000. You would be much better off in gold over this entire period. Of course, if you had had the foresight to put everything into stocks in 2009 at the bottom, you would have done better still, but few people, if any, can consistently time the market correctly. It is best just to have a portion of your investments in gold because it is a diversifier and also a kind of insurance. It is uncorrelated with most other assets and it is not anybody else's liability.
  7. It's become a meme, but I've always liked the line "The lunatics have taken over the asylum". Also, the entire lyrics of Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and Abba's "The Winner Takes it All".
  8. "What are the markets scared of...?" Well there are plenty of possibilities. 1. The big run-up in US stock markets is mostly down to the major tech stocks. They have grown so much that they account for almost half of the entire value of the S&P 500. Arguably, they are in a bubble: they are priced on the assumption that they have a monopoly, but monopolies in the tech sector don't tend to last. 2. The huge rush into company share buybacks, paid for with debt, will put a lot of pressure on companies as interest rates rise. 3. Real estate is in a bubble again, in many parts of the world. 4. Auto loans in the USA are in a bubble, again. 5. Official figures flatter the economic reality. Unemployment figures are low because they do not count those who are not looking for work. Employment figures are low. Income tax receipts are low. Price inflation is understated. Retail sales figures are inflated by channel stuffing. 6. The European banking sector is an accident waiting to happen. Many EU banks have huge levels of underperforming loans and a great deal of exposure to Turkey, Greece, and many South American countries that may default. 7. Brexit is still unresolved. There are lots of other things one could add. Admittedly, at any given time there are always problems one can point to. Things were bad in 2008 and the stock markets proceeded to perform well. One important unknown is how governments will react.
  9. If you are carrying several gold coins or bars, with a value of a few thousand GBP or more, then you can expect questions about where you obtained it, what the source of your funds are, and what you are planning to do with it. Customs officials typically have greater powers of search and confiscation than the police. If they decide they don't like your answers, they may just decide to hold on to your gold, and you will have the devil's own job getting it back. I would not advocate trying to evade taxes or excise duties. The main issue is simply being able to take your property with you without confiscation. Depending on your destination, you may well be better off just buying some gold when you arrive.
  10. Bumble

    Gold Monitoring Thread £ only

    Seasonal factors favour the gold price in the first quarter. My own guess would be $1300 to £1350 by the end of March. After that, either a fall back in the summer, or possibly further gains if the stock markets are making serious falls.
  11. Bumble

    Gold Monitoring Thread £ only

    1262 maybe. Let's not get too excited!
  12. Bumble

    Retirement...

    There is no guarantee of wages rising. Look at what is happening in Venezuela. It takes two weeks' worth of minimum wage to buy a dozen eggs. Having a job there will not guarantee you enough to eat, let alone afford anything else. Having hard currency or precious metals will save you, but only if you keep them out of the clutches of the government, and even then the best you can do is leave the country and set up somewhere else. If you have debt you may be lucky and see it inflate away. But again, it depends on the government. When the Weimar Republic experienced high inflation they passed a law allowing all debt to be inflation linked. Who is to say what might happen? If mortgage lenders are faced with the prospect of seeing their loans inflated away they may choose to call in all the loans so they can possess the properties. These are not situations anyone wants to be in. This is why owning precious metals is more a kind of insurance than a way to get rich.
  13. Bumble

    Retirement...

    You don't really want silver to go to $500 per ounce, or gold to $50,000 per ounce, because if that happens it probably means that a loaf of bread is $20, filling your car with gas costs $400 and a beer is $80. All it will mean is that you are less poor than others who have no precious metals, because at least your wealth has retained its purchasing power.
  14. Since we're already in a politically incorrect hole, let's dig some further. Here's an ad for a device that translates womanspeak into manspeak. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezVib_giTFo