Authored by Lee Quaintance and Paul Brodsky of QBAMCO,
Gold bugs can’t understand how the public can be so unaware, how highly intelligent policy makers can be so immoral, and how the mainstream media can be so incurious. We can’t understand why more men and women in the investment business haven’t joined some of the more successful ones that have come around to precious metals and have taken substantial positions in them for their funds and personal accounts. The list of high profile independent-minded investors that have come out of the proverbial closet is impressive and growing: Kyle Bass, John Paulson, David Einhorn, George Soros, Bill Gross and Paul Singer, to name only a few.
Conventional financial asset selection guidelines for professional investors are becoming increasingly uneconomic and problematic. Current macroeconomic conditions leave little doubt as to why. A zero-bound rate structure across developed economies, heavy monetary policy intervention, guaranteed negative real returns of benchmark financial assets and cash, impossible discount cash flow models,cacophonous (and economically meaningless) fiscal political wrangling diverting attention from legitimate budget arithmetic ($800 billion over ten years when we’re running $1 trillion-plus annual deficits?), dubious short and intermediate-term prospects in already-emerged emerging economies, and non-trending financial markets, all suggest something has changed.
Regardless of whether one is investing personally or as a fiduciary, conventional financial asset allocation models and procedures are obviously failing and the reason is simple: the currencies in which financial assets are denominated are gravely flawed – levered beyond reconciliation and incapable of generating positive real returns for assets denominated in them, or ongoing consumer and business confidence while the leverage is being transferred from banks to central banks, and from central banks to government balance sheets. The political/policy dimension is boxed. We think prudence demands stepping away from conventional financial asset allocation models.
Here is what matters…