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All That Glitters?

December 15, 2011

We’ve been going to a few Christmas get togethers in the past few weeks and one thing is for sure—someone always wants to talk about the economy.  That comes as no surprise, given that it’s something that affects all of us and things are looking, well, really bad.

I’m sure you’ve been in these discussions before, and if you’re like me, you forget what was said and by whom fairly quickly because let’s face it, no one knows what’s going on or what will happen tomorrow much less next year.

But the other day someone raised an issue that got my attention and has had, as they say persistence.  The idea is that the best thing to do with idle assets (if any) is to buy gold.  Sell your stocks and bonds, cash in your certificates of deposit and buy real gold and put it in a safety deposit box because it’s going to keep going up.

Now it’s true that if someone had given me that advice ten years ago and I’d listened to them, I’d be very happy today.  The price has gone up over $1,000 per ounce over that time.

So I decided to do some research on buying gold.  Like where you buy it and how you get it home and stuff like that.

And that’s when things started to go wrong.  There are tons of gold buying websites out there but what got my attention was the advertisements for gold-related Christmas presents.  It might not be too late for you to add some of these to your Christmas list.

Here they are, in no particular order of incomprehensibility.

T.T Trunks of Paris provides upscale trunks.  They look like storage trunks but they’re not the black and silver sorts of things you are probably familiar with.  These trunks, for people who have it all, have it all.  The website says:  “We designed our trunks in order to meet the lifestyle of the XXI century, that is more mobile, more interconnected.  In addition to their intrinsic functions, our trunks are equipped with applications to allow recharging portable devices such as your computer or telephone.  Thus, no matter where you are in the world, you stay connected.”  One model is designed to “complement first class hotel suites” and includes a refrigerator.

I like the idea of luggage with “intrinsic functions.”  But, why, you might ask do you want to be able to charge your phone via your luggage?  And what does this have to do with gold?  You guessed it.  The website continues:  “All our metallic pieces are available in several finishing like Nickel, Palladium or 24 carat Gold.  We also realize any metal engravings to personalize your lockers and other rivets.”

Twenty-four carat gold luggage?

But wait.  If you think that gold on your luggage is wretched excess, it gets better.  A company called Mr. Kennedy will provide you with 24 carat gold shoelaces for $19,000 a pair.  They are made out of woven gold threads using “ancient artisan jewellery techniques.”  And when you buy a pair, “they will be delivered by security and laced for you anywhere in the world.”

And of course there is the gold cheese you may have heard about.  A cheese company in England is selling a cheese “shot-through with a combination of real edible gold leaf, and real gold-Cinnamon Schnapps.”  It sells for sixty pounds for 100 grams, which is roughly $422 a pound.

As I say, investing in gold is a complex business—I thought that all you could do was buy krugerrands or bullion but there are a lot more choices out there.  Except I don’t think the cheese will appreciate in value.

Have a great holiday season!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2011 6:49 pm

    I’ve been telling my beloved this for a long time. “Buy gold.” A woman can”t have too much jewelry. But so far all the gold I’ve got is in my teeth. Maybe this Christmas.

  2. Snoring Dog Studio permalink
    December 16, 2011 1:02 am

    Excess. It just overwhelms, doesn’t it? I’m not a fan of people who have so much discretionary income they can waste it on useless, overpriced junk. I recently sold some gold jewelry to raise some cash. It made sense to since I was no longer wearing the stuff. My sister sold all the gold jewelry given to her by her ex. She made out like a bandit!

  3. December 16, 2011 3:43 am

    The mark-up and service fees mean you would have to see a 15% to 20% increase in gold to be even for what you paid for it. Buy silver and not on paper in case to company goes broke. By actual keep in hand bullion. Copper and zinc too as China is buying up all world’s industrial metals so no one can produce manufactured items that are composed of them. Or chase rainbows…..

  4. December 16, 2011 6:09 am

    I think I’ll put all my money into golden aglets.

  5. December 16, 2011 6:23 am

    I had to visit the Mr. Kennedy website to see the $19.000 shoelaces…120 hours to make them…really? I think I could find something better to do with that time. They look rather ordinary to me…

    I like silver better than gold anyway…sigh…


  6. December 16, 2011 12:01 pm

    And how does T T Trunks recommend you should transport your gold luggage? I’m thinking a gold-plated forklift.

  7. December 17, 2011 12:55 pm

    The last I saw, the price of gold was tumbling. In the States the main promoters of gold investment are schlubs like Glenn Beck and the Watergate era relic G. Gordon Liddy, both Foxy talk-show heroes of the type that make your jingoistic Grandpa do a fist-pump with his quad cane.

    Where’s WIlliam Jennings Bryan when we need him? The Occupiers would do well to resurrect his oratory.

    We say to you that you have made the definition of a business man too limited in its application. The man who is employed for wages is as much a business man as his employer; the attorney in a country town is as much a business man as the corporation counsel in a great metropolis; the merchant at the cross-roads store is as much a business man as the merchant of New York; the farmer who goes forth in the morning and toils all day, who begins in spring and toils all summer, and who by the application of brain and muscle to the natural resources of the country creates wealth, is as much a business man as the man who goes upon the Board of Trade and bets upon the price of grain; the miners who go down a thousand feet into the earth, or climb two thousand feet upon the cliffs, and bring forth from their hiding places the precious metals to be poured into the channels of trade are as much business men as the few financial magnates who, in a back room, corner the money of the world. .

  8. Gail robertson permalink
    December 17, 2011 2:25 pm

    Tom, I remember my father telling us more years ago than I care to remember to buy gold. Not the bullion type as that is all accounted for by Big Brother – buy jewellers gold, which he meant off cuts from work done by jewellers. Can be hidden in your sox. Never did take his advice, cheers Gail.

  9. December 19, 2011 3:44 am

    Yep…When everyone is telling you to buy gold it’s time to sell or avoid it all together. From a chart point of view, Gold peaked in September, has had a massive decline, and technically in a bear-market as it’s price is under its 22 day moving average. Does anybody remember the the early 80’s and gold’s meteoric rise, and subsequent long bear market?? Can’t eat gold when all turns to shit.

  10. December 20, 2011 6:03 pm

    A golden Christmas tree would be cool.

  11. January 3, 2012 1:25 pm

    I came to check on you for the New Year. What’s up?

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