Bob Dylan, this year's improbable but deserving winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, sang about "Shelter From The Storm."
During this tumultuous U.S. presidential election, that is exactly what investor portfolios need.
The "October surprise" last week regarding Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's emails has added uncertainty to the race, casting a pall over markets. Traders hate uncertainty, but more to the point, most of the investment community fears Donald Trump.
The gathering political storm makes it more imperative for investors to seek the traditional safe haven of gold. Let's look at two particularly attractive gold investments, in ascending order of risk: SPDR Gold Trust (GLD - Get Report) and Goldcorp (GG) .
Make no mistake, this U.S. presidential election is akin to a national emergency, and it is precisely during emergencies that investors turn to the Midas metal.
In a recent interview on Fox Business, billionaire investor Mark Cuban put it bluntly: "In the event Donald wins, there is no doubt in my mind the market tanks."
Simon Johnson, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, wrote in a MarketWatch column published Tuesday that if Trump wins, "we should expect a big markdown in expected future earnings for a wide range of stocks and a likely crash in the broader market."
In addition to the election, investors this week also are keeping a wary eye on a Tuesday meeting of the Federal Reserve, as well as the October employment report that is due out Friday. The Fed isn't expected to raise rates before the election, but the central bank's economic analysis is bound to affect the market's mood.
Even if the Wall Street establishment gets its way and its preferred candidate Clinton wins, investors are in for a period of extended volatility. The Republicans harbor an implacable hatred of her, and they have already promised to keep a Clinton administration tied up in partisan filibusters, investigations and stonewalling.
Let's take a look at the two gold stocks that not only protect wealth but also offer market-beating growth.
Gold exchange-traded funds hold bullion as their only asset but trade just like conventional equities. They move directly in tandem with gold prices.
SPDR Gold Trust is the most popular bullion ETF, as well as the most liquid physically backed gold offering available. Launched in 2004, SPDR Gold Trust was the first gold ETF available in the U.S., and it seeks to replicate the performance, net of expenses, of the price of gold bullion.
The ETF has gained more than 20% this year, with more upside likely.
The analyst consensus forecast for the price of gold by the end of the year is $1,354 per ounce on average and $1,489 on the high end. With gold hovering at $1,271.50, those estimates would represent gains of about 7% and 17%, respectively.
Expect the price of gold to spike at the slightest whiff of bad economic or political news.
Gold mining stocks also follow the price of gold, but they are riskier because they must deal with the expensive and unpredictable task of running mining and production operations.
Consider one of the world's fastest-growing gold miners, Goldcorp. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, this senior gold miner maintains operations and development projects throughout the Americas.
The company enjoys many advantages over its smaller rivals such as Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining that include a robust balance sheet, operating jurisdictions that are politically stable and production growth combined with low cash costs.
GoldCorp operations extend throughout Canada, Central and South America, Mexico and the U.S. The company's existing mining operations, combined with several expansion projects, set the table for considerable production growth.
The company boasts one of the lowest all-in production costs of any primary gold producer in the world. If gold prices rise this year as expected, Goldcorp's low production costs should pay off in a big way.
Goldcorp is trading at a bargain, in the wake of an earnings report that has been unfairly punished by analysts.
Last week, Goldcorp reported worse-than-expected third-quarter earnings results. Even though management reaffirmed 2016 production and earnings guidance on lower costs, Goldcorp shares were clobbered by an RBS downgrade to underperform.
Goldcorp reported third-quarter earnings of $59 million or 7 cents a share, reversing a loss a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, earnings came in at 11 cents a share, which missed consensus estimates by just a penny.
Earnings were hurt by one-time, accounting-related items unrelated to underlying operational performance, the company said.
In the third quarter, Goldcorp also racked up a 5.36% improvement in all-in sustaining costs, which came in at $812 per ounce, compared with $858 per ounce a year earlier. This metric bodes well for future quarters.
Since the earnings report, Goldcorp's stock has declined more than 3% but is up more than 31% this year. The stock jumped 2.56% on Monday and is up slightly Tuesday, as investors respond to the specter of a strengthening Trump.
The average analyst one-year price target for the stock is $20.09, which would represent a gain of 30.45%.
To maximize the potential gain as well as protect investor portfolios against unexpected shocks, buy the stock before the storm breaks next Tuesday.
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