A reporter recently asked me why gold was in the dumps. I gave them a two-part answer, first the seasonal story of how gold is strong from September to the end of the year, while the stock market tends to run into problems in September and October. I reminded them that the stock market just set a new high and that many gold investors were telling me they were “waiting until the stock market corrects” before diversifying into gold.” As much as I counsel investors that this could be a mistake – since stock markets tend to correct deep and fast, and gold recoveries can be sharp and fast – most humans are trapped by inertia. Most people sit on their gains until there is a dramatic market shift, after which it they feel it may be “too late” to make a switch.
Secondly, I said gold tends to rise on “uncertainty,” but much of the American mainstream media has been focused almost exclusively on the political uncertainty of the November election and President Trump’s political future, namely the potential for impeachment. The bulk of the American public knows that impeachment is highly unlikely – requiring a two-thirds vote of the Senate, even it passes the House – so all of this “inside the Beltway” nonsense bores most Americans. The real uncertainty is overseas, and our press has totally dropped the ball in reporting on the starvation and social unrest in oil-rich Venezuela, the unrest in oil-rich Iran under nuclear sanctions, the violent confiscation of white-owned farms in mineral-rich South Africa and continuing dangers in Russia, North Korea, Turkey and other hot spots. Many in the mainstream media have become almost 100% focused on dumping Trump, while ignoring similar charges against the Clinton campaign. (For instance, see Kimberly Strassel’s Op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2018: “When Justice is Partial.”)
Gold remains in the summer doldrums, but the “dog days” of summer are almost over. Historically, the best months for gold are about to begin, while the worst months for the stock market are just beginning. In the last 20 years, August and September are the two worst months for the stock market. This September marks the 10th anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, launching the 2008-09 financial crisis. By contrast, September is gold’s best month.
American Gold Eagle Sales Soar in Summer 2018 vs. Summer 2017
Gold maintained its foothold over $1200 during the last week of August after touching a low of $1,160 in mid-August. This week began with a dip to $1190, due to a strengthening dollar, but gold bounced back to $1,198. As we have said, September is gold’s best month of the year and the stock market’s worst historical month, so it will be interesting to see how our year-to-date numbers change for the final four months of the year.
American Gold Eagle Coin sales picked up noticeably over the summer months at the U.S. Mint this year. During the first four months of 2018, only 72,000 ounces of American Gold Eagle coins were sold, but total Gold Eagle sales escalated to 105,000 ounces in the next four months of the year, May to August.
More importantly, sales of American Gold Eagles more than doubled in the summer of 2018 vs. 2017:
American Silver Eagle coin sales also increased in August, even though American Silver Eagle sales are down for the year as a whole. In August 2018, 1,530,000 one-ounce Silver American Eagle coins were sold by the U.S. Mint, almost 50% above the sales of 1,025,000 silver ounces in August 2017.