Do you really need any reminding of just how troubled America's economy is today? Some analysts actually liken it to the beginning of the Great Depression-in fact, there's been a startling increase in the use of the word "depression" in the media over the last few weeks. Certainly the news makes sure you get your daily dose of spooky economic developments.
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HARD MONEY INVESTORS ALREADY KNOW
Of all the people on earth concerned about the dangers of these scary days, investors who read articles like this have got to be among the most warned and forewarned of anybody.
Of course...all the warnings and alerts we've received have also come double-edged.
On the one edge, fears over our economic future can be cut right down to size as we diversify our portfolios with the gold and silver we've been advised to get since just about forever.
But, on the other edge, we can be cut right to the bone if we haven't diversified when tough economic times do overtake us, (and we're left wondering, among other things, where our stock-based retirement plans are headed).
So if you've managed to procrastinate the gold diversification decision up to today, the big question is...is it too late now?
Fortunately that answer is no...You already know part of that answer if you've been to a supermarket lately. Simply put, food prices are up.
Take wheat, for instance. For years, wheat typically traded in a $3 to $5 a bushel range. But last February, that price shot up to $24 a bushel.
Well, it tells us that inflation is rocketing right through the roof. It tells us that, just like in the late 70s, we'll be piling up less food in our grocery carts for the same dollars. And it tells us that the price tag of just about everything we need, thanks to the ridiculous run-up in oil prices, is going to get scary big.
So, with inflation off and running, with the dollar bearing a spooky resemblance to a third-world currency, with banks toppling like one of those falling domino demonstrations, your investment dollars will now buy you a lot less gold than they could have just six months ago.
Remember, if anything, gold is like this shiny bobber floating on floodwaters. Doesn't matter how high those floodwaters get, that bobber will still stay on top of it all.
So there's a decent chance that the higher inflation gets and the more wretched the economy becomes the more comfortable gold ownership will make you feel.
In fact, if ever there was a time for gold, this might be the moment. But...shouldn't it bother you that gold has hit the vaunted $1,000 an ounce mark? Isn't that a sign that gold is overbought and, like most investments that have had a breathtaking run, is now ready to head south? Many analysts would probably be thrilled to death if it did exactly that.
Because that might signify an economy getting back on track.
Sadly, it's possible that the return to wonderful normalcy may still be quite a ways down the road. Since there are likely some wild twists and turns yet ahead of us, getting out of gold-or not getting into it at this point-may be like lowering your shield just as the economy comes swinging its mighty ax at you.
Sure, for many traditional stock-and-bond investors, diversifying a portfolio with gold involves a little bit of faith. But, judging by the ominous look of today's economy, it's not as much faith as you would have needed even six months ago.