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Approach / Strategy
Long-Term Investing Based on Fundamentals
When I invest, I take a long-term fundamental approach. I don't speculate or trade. Similarly, in my analyses of the gold market, I look beyond media reports and short-term price fluctuations, focusing on gold's true fundamentals. There are many relevant factors when analyzing gold, but three of them are critical: (1) the U.S. dollar exchange rate, (2) the level of real interest rates, and (3) the level of confidence in the global economy and its monetary/financial system, but in particular in the US.
A fundamental analysis of gold can be challenging, as gold doesn't generate any cash flows, and it behaves more like a currency than a commodity. This is why my analyses don't focus on issues like mining production, but rather the broad macroeconomic picture. For example, I carefully examine the monetary policy, the stock market, the fiscal policy, the pace of GDP growth, the strength of the labor market, the inflationary pressure, etc. With a Ph.D. in economics I make good use of my educational background in analyzing the trends of the global economy and its impact on the gold market. However, I fully acknowledge that the price of gold does not always behave in line with its fundamentals, as market sentiment is also an important factor in the gold market. Gold fundamentals are important, but they play a different role than the fundamentals of copper, equities, or other cash-generating assets. It means that gold cannot be valued as an asset which generates cash flows or even as a commodity whose value can be estimated by looking at the balance of demand and supply. As gold behaves like currency, it has no intrinsic value - only a relative one. Hence, investing in gold is more of a pricing game, not a value game. With no cash flows and miniscule industrial use, we cannot determine the intrinsic value of gold, but we can try to guesstimate the future price direction, which is affected by the market sentiment.
To be clear, I'm not implying that fundamentals don’t matter for the precious metals market. After all, the shifts in market sentiment are not a ‘deus ex machina’. People’s opinions don’t come from a void, but are based on the observation of the changes in objective reality and fundamental drivers. What I am saying is that gold market fundamentals are substantially different from cash-flow-yielding assets or commodity markets. As gold is a currency (or anti-fiat currency), the influence of these factors on gold prices occurs via investors’ perceptions and moods. In other words, the fundamentals affect the gold market through market sentiment, or the narratives, so I include them in my analyses.
Hi, my name is Arkadiusz Sieroń. Call me a liar, but I’m writing about precious metals thanks to Arthur Laffer, Alan Greenspan, John Keynes and Fredrich Hayek. Really! Would you like to know how these economists, some of whom have been dead for a long time, triggered my adventure with gold?
In high school I took part in the Entrepreneurship Olympics, one of the biggest thematic competitions for secondary school students. During that time I was studying an academic textbook, in which I came across a Laffer curve. Eureka! If the tax revenues are the same at low and high tax rates, the government should lower them! I did not win the competition, but I achieved much more. I decided to become an economist! And I loved the idea of small government and economic freedom since that very moment.
After graduating from high school, I moved to Poland’s capital, Warsaw. I was going to be studying at the best economics university in the country and I was excited! However, the professors disappointed me very quickly. Why? They all were statists, supporting extensive government intervention and fiat currencies. Gold? That’s a relic of the past! Have you not read Lord Keynes?
I was very depressed. I even considered giving up my economics studies and enrolling in the Philosophy Faculty! You can see now that I was really desperate. When I was contemplating nothingness and the vanity of vanities, a few of my classmates lent me a handful of fascinating books, such as Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman. I also discovered the publications of the Austrian economists who supported the idea of the gold standard. It sounded crazy in the 21st century, but it was inspiring. I rediscovered the sense of studying economics.
I continued my studies and one day I read these words: “Gold and economic freedom are inseparable”. Guess who wrote them. Don’t give up, try once again. Don’t know? Alan Greenspan. Shocking, right? This is a quote from his “Gold and Economic Freedom”, an article published in 1966 - several years before he became the Fed Chair, and several more before the bursting of the real estate bubble that he helped to pump up. Quite ironic, don’t you think? Both his essay and the Great Recession (and the accompanying bull market) motivated me to study investment portfolio management and precious metals.
I quickly became a Registered Investment Adviser and started to work for the biggest pension fund in the country. My corporate career seemed to be very promising. However, I also quickly discovered that the company invested most of the participants’ funds into treasuries or shares of the big state companies, and they didn’t even want to hear about investing in precious metals.
I quit. I found shelter at the university as a Ph.D. candidate and – after a defense of my thesis about certain negative consequences of inflation (i.e., the Cantillon effect) – as an Assistant Professor. I was finally free to study economics, freedom, and gold.
The more I read about gold, the more I was terrified. Most of the so-called experts who write about the precious metals don’t have a clue about the subject. They treat gold as a mere commodity, or they claim that gold is either worthless as it does not bring any yield or that its price should always be rising. I was really let down by the state of understanding of the gold market among analysts and investors, but I couldn’t do too much - until the sun shined down on me.
Without hesitation I accepted a job offer at Sunshine Profits, although many professors discouraged me. “You are a scholar, focus on science and do not write silly newsletters about bullion," they advised me. But I didn’t listen, as they clearly didn’t understand the nature of gold.
It’s not a barbarous relic - it’s the longest used money in history and a witness of human civilization. Gold is the asset which used to serve as a safe-haven and portfolio diversifier for investors from the entire world for years. I wanted to study its properties and to share my knowledge with a larger audience. I wanted to help investors to better understand the fundamentals of the gold market and improve their investment decisions. By publishing my analyses, Sunshine Profits helped me expand my readership base.
If you want a great way to understand what makes gold tick and how the precious metals markets work, then you can start off by simply signing up to the Sunshine Profits gold newsletter. You’ll stay up-to-date with my analyses, as well as those of my colleagues. You’ll see if and how our work can help you. Plus, it’s free, so sign up today!