By Jeff Clark, Senior Precious Metals AnalystNEW YORK ( Casey Research) -- The historical record shows that those who get washed out during big corrections miss the greatest buying opportunities of a bull market. With that as context, what can we expect from gold moving forward? Let's start with the short term. Full market capitulation is underway. Headlines about gold are almost universally negative today, and all about selling. This feeds on itself, and the process may not be over. In this kind of environment, prices will overshoot to the downside. In other words, the bottom may not be in. What if we get more short-term pain? Differentiate between short-term sentiment and long-term reality. It's not deleveraging and fear that has hit our sector as it did in 2008, but renewed confidence in the broader markets and lack of higher inflation rates that many expected by now. The current thinking by sellers is that crisis has been averted and therefore there's no need to own gold. Contrast the selling by these short-sighted investors against record levels of buying by central banks, China and India gobbling up 20% of global annual production and runaway demand at mints. Fundamentals dictate long-term trends -- and fundamentals don't lie. The longer our fiscal problems are allowed to fester, the greater the eventual structural damage to global economies and standards of living. These forces will sooner or later come to a head, and will play out for several years. The broader investment community does not yet see a compelling reason to invest in gold -- but when inflation starts pinching pocketbooks and budgets, a sea change will take place. Remember, roughly 98% of U.S. investors don't own gold -- that will change when higher rates of price inflation begin making headlines. Should gold end the year down, it will not mean the bull market is over. It will mean that inflation remains contained and that we have a longer-than-expected buying opportunity. My suspicion is that it will also mean the turnaround will be stronger and longer than we've seen before.
Let the sea change come when it comes. In the meantime... Prepare yourself psychologically and financially to act. Emotional investment decisions rarely pay off, so don't succumb. Easy to say, hard to do, I know. We at Casey Research understand the fear -- but giving up and selling is the worst thing to do right now. It locks in a loss and leaves one wondering when to buy back in -- if at all. We heard emotional outbursts in late 2008, too - and that was the best time to buy in years, precisely because so many people were giving up. The bottom line is that we're looking for on-ramps, not exits. The best on-ramps, profitwise, come when most other investors are heading out of a sector. Is that what's happening with gold right now? Is it a dead cat? Or is this a protracted lull... just giving the bull time to catch its breath? Only time will tell for sure -- but investors who wait for the answer will likely miss a once-in-a-lifetime profit opportunity that could be life changing. Don't be among those investors. Casey Research and TheStreet have teamed up to bring you an online webinar that will help you position yourself properly in the precious metals. GOLD: Dead Cat or Raging Bull? features experts, including Eric Sprott, Steven Feldman, Jim Cramer and Doug Casey. They'll address what's going on with gold today and what investors need to do to be well-positioned for tomorrow, including specific, actionable advice. This free webinar is a must-see event. Clear your calendar for Tuesday, June 25, at 2 p.m. EDT -- you can't afford to miss it. Get the details and register now. This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.