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Avoiding the Gold Trap

Finally, I particularly dislike the gold and mining stocks -- mostly because they've massively outperformed the metal itself so far this year. Even if the run-up in gold continues, I'm not going to bet on the continued strong run up in mining stocks. For example, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX - Get Report) has rallied from a low of $16 dollars when it suddenly cut its dividend to trade Tuesday at $68.50 a share.

Now, Freeport was woefully underpriced in December 2008, as I pointed out then and recommended buying it. But now I think it's gotten far too far ahead of itself. In the gold trade, I'd much rather be long the physical metal than long the metal mining stocks, based on comparative value. That goes for Yamana Gold (AUY - Get Report), Randgold Resources (GOLD - Get Report), Newmont Mining (NEM - Get Report) and most of the other mining stocks which have followed a similar pattern to Freeport.

For all these reasons, I'm waiting for a better value in gold to add to my positions, both with the metal and associated stocks. But let me be clear: I believe you need gold as part of your portfolio. I believe that gold will trade $2000. I believe in the inflation thesis and don't see how the federal government can raise interest rates in so delicate a way as to avoid at least some significant inflation.

But as with all trades, timing is everything -- and right now it's just too obvious to be a buyer of gold and gold stocks.

That's why it has to be wrong.

-- Written by Dan Dicker in New York
At the time of publication, Dicker owned SPDR Gold Shares, but positions can change at any time.

Dan Dicker has been a floor trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange with more than 20 years' experience. He is a licensed commodities trade adviser. Dan's recognized energy market expertise includes active trading in crude oil, natural gas, unleaded gasoline and heating oil futures contracts; fundamental analysis including supply and demand statistics (DOE, EIA), CFTC trade reportage, volume and open interest; technical analysis including trend analysis, stochastics, Bollinger Bands, Elliot Wave theory, bar and tick charting and Japanese candlesticks; and trading expertise in outright, intermarket and intramarket spreads and cracks.

Dan also designed and supervised the introduction of the new Nymex PJM electricity futures contract, launched in April 2003, which cleared more than 600,000 contracts last year alone. Its launch has been the basis of Nymex's resurgence in the clearing of power market contracts over the last three years.

Dan Dicker has appeared as an energy analyst since 2002 with all the major financial news networks. He has lent his expertise in hundreds of live radio and television broadcasts as an analyst of the oil markets on CNBC, Bloomberg US and UK and CNNfn. Dan is the author of many energy articles published in Nymex and other trade journals.

Dan obtained a bachelor of arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1982.
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GLD $122.35 -0.50%
AUY $4.20 -7.70%
FCX $11.75 -2.20%
GOLD $85.26 -11.00%
NEM $32.34 -4.40%


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