Time to dig up a gold story.
It has been a rough week, between a terrorist attack in Spain and inflamed racial tensions in America stemming from the deadly Charlottesville protest, the U.S. and international markets have not fared too well. Investors are adjusting their portfolios, creating an exodus from the equities market as they look toward notable safe havens, such as gold. But, depending on investors' views regarding geopolitical concerns, it may not be the right time to stock up on gold.
August and September are "notorious" for selloffs in the market, said TheStreet's founder and Action Alerts PLUS portfolio manager Jim Cramer on CNBC's Mad Money. On Thursday, the CBOE Volatility Index I:VIXclosed up 25% as the Dow tumbled 274 points, marking the biggest drop in three months. The Dow continued its decline on Friday while the S&P 500 hit its lowest level on Friday since July 11 and the Nasdaq was on pace for its fourth consecutive weekly decline -- that is until news that White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was out.
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Gold prices, meanwhile, jumped Friday morning to $1,305.40 per ounce, hitting what TheStreet contributor and President of Sarge986, Stephen Guilfoyle, called the "giddy-up spot." Gold ended up finishing slightly lower at nearly $1,300 per ounce.
"Dependent upon dollar valuations, this is where I believe that if taken and held, we will see an acceleration to the upside for the yellow metal," Guilfoyle wrote.
Gold, which is often called the "crisis commodity" and serves as a hedge against geopolitical chaos, is a largely reliable investment over the longer-term and generally outperforms other investments as world tensions rise. Kirkland Lake Gold (KL) - Get Report CEO Tony Makuch said on Wednesday that gold prices should be higher given the heightened tensions regarding nuclear war with North Korea.
"Yeah, I think it should be higher, it could be higher," Makuch said on CNBC's Mad Money. "And that's why we put our investment in gold. We think gold is the right thing to be not only producing, but it's also the right thing to be investing ourselves in."
Granted, those tensions have slightly subsided. President Donald Trump praised North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in a tweet on Wednesday for backing away from his threat to attack the U.S. territory of Guam.
Famed investor Jim Rogers is urging investors to be "very careful" when preparing for the next financial downturn. He's staying away from gold for now and instead prefers "a lot" of U.S. dollars and agriculture.
Cramer echoed Rogers, recommending that investors begin selling the worst stocks in their portfolios and have some cash on hand for the next downturn.
But some investors are looking toward cryptocurrency in these times as "both gold and bitcoin possess the properties of a viable currency," said Tom Price, an equity strategist at Morgan Stanley.
"But the popular view that this immature currency is also superior to gold as a hedge against inflation/uncertainty, still needs to be tested," wrote Price in an Aug. 14 research note.
"Over millennia, gold has demonstrated its ability to endure and preserve value under all circumstances," he continued. "By contrast, bitcoin's global platform literally requires the lights to stay on."
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