Is Your Portfolio Ready for 2012?

Accelerating U.S. Debt Load Could Mean A Riskier Economy

Many economists and investors have been focused on the debt crisis in Europe. But did you know that debt in the United States is now more than 90% of GDP, a sign of increasing economic risk? In fact, the gap between debt and GDP has narrowed considerably over the past two years (see Chart 1 below). This is placing increasing strain on the U.S. economy. Is your portfolio prepared to weather this uncertainty? Now is the time to review your portfolio and make sure you’re adequately diversified among stocks, bonds, cash and Gold — the fourth asset class.

In today’s video, APMEX Chief Executive Officer Michael Haynes talks about how growing debt levels in the U.S. are creating greater uncertainty in our financial markets. He also explains how a diversified asset allocation may help minimize risk in your portfolio.

Click to Watch

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Have You Rebalanced Your Portfolio?

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photo: Richard Perry, New York Times

Gold prices are moving up sharply today as the euro is stabilizing against the U.S. dollar. If you have not rebalanced your portfolio in the last six months, now may be the time for a portfolio review. What is your economic outlook for the next 3-5 years? A well-diversified asset allocation strategy — one that includes Gold and Silver — may help mitigate portfolio risk and provide balance.

The Year-end liquidity Push is winding down. Historically, at the end of any calendar year, hedge funds and investors in general rebalance portfolios. Gold can get caught up in this liquidity (move-to-cash) event. With the new year under way, this activity should be settling, and Gold may begin to move more in line with news and events.

An article from CNBC makes three important points about the jump in Gold prices:
1. The price of Gold has breached a key 200-day moving average. Technical analysts say a close above this level could spark fresh momentum for the metal.
2. The market is still dealing with a sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone. Gold should be well-supported against this backdrop.
3. Buyers in India are stocking up ahead of the wedding season later this month. Buying there is expected to continue through March.

What percent of your investable assets should be allocated to Gold? The percent of your portfolio you choose to commit to Precious Metals depends on your personal goals and risk tolerance, as well as your outlook for the economy. Consider your allocations across your IRA, 401(k) and personal portfolio.

To stay ahead of the trends, check out the APMEX Daily Gold & Silver Market Report, updated three times throughout the trading day.

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Consider the well-known, premier Pamp Suisse Gold Bar, As Low As $39.99 per Bar Over Spot. Easy to stack and store, 1 oz. Gold bars are one of the most popular ways to invest in Gold. The 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars are among the purest Gold bars you can own at .9999-fine. Each comes in a tamper-evident assay card stamped with a unique serial number, which guarantees its authenticity. Pamp Suisse bars are well-known, making them easy to sell if you need to liquidate assets. The bars depict Fortuna, the goddess of fortune and luck — widely considered the most beautiful Gold bar design. Order your Pamp Suisse Gold bars today, for as low as $39.99 per bar over spot.

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12.2.11 Weekly Recap

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Merry Christmas from everyone at APMEX!


Gold continued to shine in analysts’ eyes this week as eurozone leaders scrambled to find a solution to Europe’s ongoing debt crisis.  Adrian Day, president of investment firm Adrian Day Asset Management, reflected this week on reasons why people have been buying Gold the past two years, citing “concern and distress of fiat currency paper money.”  Day said, “Gold is a solid asset which is going up.”  Central banks around the world came up with an agreement to aid financial markets, while China made the unusual move to cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for commercial lenders.

Earlier in the week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) denied that it was in talks to provide monetary aid to Italy; many analysts still expect that the IMF will have little choice but to act if the European economic crisis comes to a boiling point.  There was speculation that Germany might float additional bonds together with the eurozone’s five other triple-A rated nations and then use the proceeds to help Italy and Spain, but Germany quickly denied this speculation.  Finance ministers from the eurozone gathered this week at the headquarters of the European Union in an effort to rescue the euro and thereby protect the rest of the world’s economy from a debt-related financial collapse.  Also, global central banks reached an agreement to lower dollar-swap ratios to “ease strains in financial markets and thereby mitigate the effects of such strains on the supply of credit to households and businesses and so help foster economic activity.”  Alan Valdes, director of floor operations and vice president of trading at DME Securities, said, “The markets rallied with the news.  But if you stop and think about it, you have to realize what kind of danger the world is in for all the central banks to get together and save Europe.”Some warned that this agreement could backfire and pose a risk to U.S. economic expansion.

Last week’s Black Friday deals brought record retail sales in the U.S., resulting in a strong start for the stock market this week. Concurrently, a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) indicated that the global economy is slowing, the eurozone is in a mild recession, and the U.S. may soon follow.  Although the economic news in the U.S. was somewhat rosier than the news from Europe this week, the opinion of many is that the European debt crisis is echoed in the U.S. by the inability of American leaders to conquer this country’s own debt crisis.  The congressional Super Committee might return to attempt another deficit cut; the House Minority Whip said that he would like a 90-day extension for the Super Committee to reach an agreement.  The jobs report showed 120,000 jobs were created in November, and that the jobless rate fell to 8.6%.

Credit ratings were predominant in the news this week as reports came out that France could lose its AAA credit rating as the result of a downgrade by Standard & Poor’s (S&P).  Fifteen major banking institutions (including six in the U.S.) had their credit ratings downgraded by S&P this week.  S&P also upgraded two Chinese banks, based on the view that banks in North America and Europe find themselves in greater danger of turmoil in the financial market, while Asia-Pacific banks have experienced relative stability.  Ritesh Maheshwari, S&P’s lead analytical manager of financial services ratings across the Asia-Pacific region, explained, “Money is flowing into emerging markets, so the health of their financial systems is continuously improving, whereas in the West, banks are battling with so many issues.”

For the first time in almost three years, China’s central bank cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for its commercial lenders to ease credit strains and strengthen an economy that is showing signs of weakness. China’s manufacturing sector shrink in November, which helped to clearly define that country’s decision to encourage commercial lending to boost the economy.  Stephen Green, the China economist at Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, said, “This is a big move — this is easing; it’s a clear signal that China is on a loosening mode.  The next move will be another RRR cut in January.”

At least two analysts expressed the view this week that Gold could reach a price of $2,000 as investors consider an exit from riskier investments.  During the week, Oliver Purshce, co-portfolio manager of the GMG Defensive Beta Fund, stated, “What will drive prices higher are fears of inflation … if you see the ECB print money, the Federal Reserve (ease), China change monetary policy — that would all be supportive of $2,000 Gold prices.”  In addition, Bank of Montreal strategy adviser Don Coxe said that instead of equities tied to the economy, investors should consider buying Gold-mining stocks or the metal itself.  Coxe said Gold would surpass $2,000 an ounce in the event of “a full-blown crash of the banking system in Europe.”



Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,714.00. The high was on Friday, Dec. 2nd at $1,767.10, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, Nov. 28th at $1,686.70. Gold ended the week up $33.10 at $1,747.10. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Spot Silver prices opened this week at $32.27. Silver reached a high of $33.74 on Friday, Dec. 2nd, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Wednesday, Nov. 30th at $31.12. Silver ended the week up $0.41 at $32.68. The most popular Silver products on this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,545.30 and ended the week up $5.90 at $1,551.20. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $583.30 and ended the week up $61.00 at $644.30. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at


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Most Pamp Suisse Gold bars are die-struck and bear the company’s famous “Lady Fortuna” design on the bar’s front. The design, widely regarded as one of the most attractive designs in the marketplace, is based on the Roman goddess of fortune accompanied by her traditional attributes: the rudder of fate and the cornucopia of plenty. The back of each bar is hallmarked with its purity, weight and serial number.

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