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3.27.15 - Economy weak, stocks rigged, robo-advisers?

Gold last traded at $1,199 an ounce. Silver at $17.07 an ounce.

ECONOMY: The U.S. Commerce Department reports the U.S. economy grew 2.2% in 4th quarter, less than half of the 5% growth in the third quarter and the 4.6% growth in the second quarter. Analysts are expecting a slowdown in the first quarter of 2015, which ends next Tuesday, with U.S. GDP falling to the range of 1.6% to 1.8%. Next Friday, the job creation and unemployment data from March will give us a clearer economic picture. Next week the government will also report on the U.S. trade balance, home sales, personal consumption and construction from February.

STOCKS: U.S. stock indices ended slightly higher Friday, but fell 2-3% for the week. The New York Post reports, "Stock market rigging is no longer a 'conspiracy theory'". "The dirty secret is out," according to John Crudele of The Post. "With stock prices rushing far ahead of economic reality over the last six or so years, more experts in the financial markets are coming to the same conclusion - even if they don’t fully understand how it's being rigged or the consequences." Meanwhile, Charles Schwab has introduced "robo-advisers" for some of its clients in the U.S. and U.K. They say these new robots offer customers logical financial advice to help manage their portfolios while removing the greed factor.

GREECE: According to Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Greece might need to impose capital controls to control the accelerating risk of capital outflows from the country's banking system. As we reported Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department has begun to call for capital controls in America. The Justice Department's criminal head said banks may need to go beyond filing suspicious activity reports. What began in Cyprus back in March 2013 now appears to be slowly spreading around the world, just as we reported.

GOLD: The latest rush into precious metals took a small breather Friday. Gold prices have steadily risen from $1,150 an ounce to $1,200 an ounce since the Fed announcement on March 18th. Meanwhile, Fed Chair Janet Yellen issued her latest round of Fedspeak, saying the Fed would keep rates at zero if inflation weakens, but adding that rising inflation or wages may not prompt the Fed to raise interest rates this year either. So it's a definite maybe. This week one of the first American minted coins, a Birch cent, sold for nearly $1.2 million. This classic coin features Lady Liberty surrounded by the words, "Liberty Parent of Science & Industry." Swiss America recommends a balanced portfolio which includes gold, silver and U.S. collector coins for long-term protection and growth potential.

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3.26.15 - Mid-East Turmoil Boosts Oil and Gold

Gold last traded at $1,204 an ounce. Silver at $17.06 an ounce.

OIL: Today, investor worries over Yemen security boosted crude oil prices above $50 a barrel. UPI reports, "Multilateral military operations in a collapsing Yemen injected a layer of risk to global oil markets, pushing crude oil prices up 2 percent Thursday." Enjoy lower gas prices while they last, which may not be much longer.

DOLLAR: The buck bounced up modestly today on rising geopolitical concerns. But the stronger dollar also has a downside for businesses, such as Buffalo, NY-based manufacturer Eastman Machine. "As Dollar Heats Up Overseas, U.S. Manufacturers Feel a Chill," reports The New York Times. "Confronted with a steep drop in the value of the euro against the dollar, customers in Europe warn that they can no longer afford to buy Eastman’s American-made cutting equipment without deep discounts." Meanwhile, the IMF may boost the Chinese Yuan currency's status. Marketwatch reports, "In what would be a huge milestone in China’s emergence as a major world financial power, the International Monetary Fund looks likely to adopt the country’s currency into the basket that makes up its global forex benchmark." Move over Dollar, Euro, Pound and Yen; China's Yuan will soon be joining you at the table.

FED: "The Federal Reserve's efforts to stimulate the U.S. economy after the financial crisis ended up costing savers nearly half a trillion dollars in interest income, according to report released Thursday," reports CNBC. "In a landmark report, Swiss Re quantifies just how much savers and others have languished while the policy has pushed the Fed's balance sheet past the $4.5 trillion mark but failed to generate above-trend economic growth or substantial core inflation." Swiss Re went on to say that 'financial repression' has taken its toll not only on savers but also on investors. Sound familiar? If not, read The Biggest Bank Heist In History! ?

STOCKS: U.S. stocks gyrated Thursday, ending lower for a 4th session. U.S. stock returns have been impressive in recent years, but what about the longer term? Numismatic News reports Gold, Silver and Mint-State U.S. coins have all out performed stocks over the last 15 years - by a long shot.

GOLD/SILVER/COINS OUTPERFORM STOCKS
15-Year Comparison (1999-2014)

Gold +337.0%
Silver +219.8%
$20 St Gaudens MS-63 +171.0%
$20 Liberty MS-63 +161.0%
Morgan Silver MS-65 $1 +73.9%
DJIA +53.7%
S&P 500 +39.5%
NASDAQ +16.2%

GOLD: Precious metal prices rushed to fresh 4-week highs Thursday, for an 8th-straight session, despite a firmer U.S. dollar. It appears the dollar volatility is not distracting buyers from gold's long-term upward trajectory. The World Gold Council thinks changing global currency landscape is trumping the usual dollar-gold price relationship. "While the fact that the gold price is quoted in U.S. dollars gets a lot of attention, its relevance is overstated,” said Juan Carlos Artigas, director of investment research at the World Gold Council. "Changes in global markets and the structure of the gold market should soften the dollar’s influence on gold in the long run."

The trend is your friend. Over the last 10 to 15 years, precious metals have been one of the top performing asset classes. Let Swiss America help our you balance your portfolio with physical gold and silver - the best performing wealth insurance assets on earth.

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3.25.15 - Gold Outshines Zero Interest Economy

Gold last traded at $1,197 an ounce. Silver at $17.00 an ounce.

STOCKS: The DJIA suffered a triple-digit decline for 3rd day after weak durable-goods data and despite the Kraft-Heinz mega-merger announcement. "U.S. Stocks are overpriced, over-leveraged, headed for trouble," says the U.S. Government's Office of Financial Research. Meanwhile, merger mania is off and running in this year. Marketwatch reports this year's merger and acquisition tally is at about $802 billion globally - the highest year-to-date global M&A total since 2007. Hard times can bring together strange bedfellows.

ECONOMY: The recovery took another step backward on Wednesday as orders for durable goods unexpectedly dropped 1.4 percent in February, a sign the slowdown in global growth may be weighing on American manufacturers. Today 47% of American households live paycheck-to-paycheck, unable to save anything. The Middle Class is shrinking, but that is not necessarily a bad thing, according a new Pew Research Center study. "The share of adults in middle-income households has fallen from 61% in 1970 to 51% in 2013. But many households are moving up. The share of upper-income households grew from 14% to 20% in that time period, while low-income households narrowed from 29% to 25%.

FED: At least one Federal Reserve policy maker sees no need to raise interest rates this year. "I see no compelling reason for us to be in a hurry to tighten financial conditions until inflation rates rise," Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said to the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum in London. This may be yet another example of Fedspeak. Some Fed leaders talk tough about returning to normalization of interest rates while other explain why zero interest rates are in our best national interest ... indefinitely, as Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte explain in The Biggest Bank Heist In History!

GOLD: Precious metal prices rose to their highest level in three weeks on Wednesday, as weak U.S. data bolstered the argument the Federal Reserve would likely take its time before raising interest rates. WSJ reports, "The data subdues growth expectations and implies further upside for gold," said Bart Melek, head of commodities strategy at TD Securities. "Prices are likely to reach $1,250 an ounce in the second quarter," Mr. Melek said. The mainstream gold bears have begun a slow retreat, which confirms today is a smart buying opportunity for physical U.S. gold and silver coins. Precious metals have great upside potential even in a zero interest world!

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