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The Number One Reason Why Investors Should Avoid Gold ETF’s
The Number One Reason Why Investors Should Avoid Gold ETF’s

Gold may have ended 2016 on a negative note, but the yellow metal is now up 7% since January. A big contributor to its rise is the large inflows into gold exchange-traded fund (ETF’s). In 2016, inflows into gold ETF’s were the second highest on record and accounted for 34% of total investment demand.

With inflows showing continued strength in 2017, why should investors avoid gold ETF’s?

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3 Ways to Quantify Risk in Today’s Murky Markets
3 Ways to Quantify Risk in Today’s Murky Markets

Consumers of financial news will hear the word “risk” thrown around a lot. We hear of “risk-off” moves and “risk-on” days. Although used amply, it’s rarely—if ever—quantified.

As understanding risk is crucial to making informed investment decisions, how can it be objectively measured?

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Here’s Proof Rising Rates Are Good for Gold
Here’s Proof Rising Rates Are Good for Gold

When the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in December—and then laid out a plan to do so three more times in 2017—theory suggested gold should fall. As gold is a non-yielding asset, the cost of holding it increases as rates rise. However, theory doesn’t always convert into practice.

Since the Fed’s decision, gold is up 7.5%—and it’s no anomaly.

Here’s why.

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The Reasons for Owning Gold Are as Strong as Ever
The Reasons for Owning Gold Are as Strong as Ever

In December, we argued gold’s post-election decline didn’t reflect its fundamentals and that now could be a good time to add some to your portfolio. It just so happened that shortly after, the price began rising.

The yellow metal is up almost 8% since the beginning of the year—and the outlook for 2017 is bright. Net bets on higher future prices have almost doubled since January. Assets held by gold ETFs are up 34% from their December lows.

Given its recent surge, is gold still a “buy?”

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What an America First Trade Policy Could Mean for the US Dollar
What an America First Trade Policy Could Mean for the US Dollar

A key pillar of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and now policy formation, is an “America First” approach. So far, this has entailed much discussion around negotiating more favorable trade deals, withdrawing from possible participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, citing potential currency manipulators, and construction of a wall along the Mexican border, to name a few.

While it will take months, and maybe even years for his agenda to play out, a key outcome for investors will be the direction of the US dollar. Still the world’s reserve currency, billions of dollars in transactions are settled in USD every day—including for most commodities.

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This Ratio Suggests Gold Is Entering a Major Bull Market
This Ratio Suggests Gold Is Entering a Major Bull Market

An often cited negative about gold is the inability for investors to value it, unlike traditional investments such as stocks and bonds.

A company’s revenues and earnings can be forecast to arrive at a valuation multiple. A bond’s cash flows can be discounted to come up with a present value. But since gold bullion does not produce either, investors often struggle with assigning a fair value.

Some will look at technical analysis, others fundamentals, interest rates, or expected inflation—but unfortunately there’s no correct answer, and attempting to time the market when choosing an entry point is extremely difficult.

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Now Is the Time to Buy Gold
Now Is the Time to Buy Gold

The Fed finally raised its target interest rate and issued guidance for 2017. Trump shocked the political world and stocks seem to be making new highs daily. Investor sentiment is at two-year highs, fueled by optimism for renewed economic growth, de-regulation, and tax cuts.

Meanwhile, the mood is decidedly negative toward gold.

Mainstream media sites like Barron’s and The Financial Times are claiming the end of the recent bull run in gold and have a very bleak outlook.

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Increased Fiscal Spending Could Spell Trouble for 2017
Increased Fiscal Spending Could Spell Trouble for 2017

Over the past 30 years, America’s economic growth and boom-bust market cycles have been fueled with abundant sources of cheap debt. Whether emerging markets or commodity-rich countries, there’s been no shortage of buyers of US debt.

This has allowed the US—and by extension its consumers—to borrow huge sums of capital to spend on fiscal items or for personal consumption. It was a rather symbiotic relationship from which both parties would benefit, even if longer term prosperity was being jeopardized.

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What’s Behind the Recent Rally in Stocks?
What’s Behind the Recent Rally in Stocks?

With the bull market in US stocks approaching its seventh anniversay in March 2017 and the indexes just hitting all-time highs, many investors are wondering how long the party can continue.

Only time will tell how long this trend will last, but we do know that eventually, there’s always a downturn. Looking at several key metrics can bring clarity to the overall health and sustainability of the rally and reveal what investors can do now to prepare for a slumping stock market in the future.

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Trump’s Agenda Stacks the Odds in Gold’s Favor
Trump’s Agenda Stacks the Odds in Gold’s Favor

"It's the economy, stupid."

This was the catch-phrase Bill Clinton’s campaign used in 1992 to help defeat George H.W. Bush. In this year’s presidential race, the slogan “Make America Great Again” branded the Trump campaign as a referendum against the economic policies of the current administration.

No matter the race—be it in local or national politics—the economy plays a crucial role in determining whether the incumbent party will retain office or relinquish it to another group.

On Election Day, America voted for change amid years of tepid economic growth and declining wage growth. 

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