Where Is the Best Place to Park Money in 2006?
By Craig R. Smith
Phoenix, Arizona

This new year many of us are contemplating where we should invest our hard earned money for a nest egg for the future.
But before we take the usual approach, perhaps we should question the traditional wisdom of investment “gurus”.
The first question that comes to mind is: Why is it that we believe that paper dollars are the highest standard of financial value?
Another is: What is the reason why mutual funds are so widely thought of as a good and stable investment?
Both currency and stocks go up and down every day and the only stability they truly represent is that we can absolutely guaranteed be relied upon to continue to fluctuate for perpetuity.
Our current contemporary culture has become so accustomed to stocks and currency that we have forgotten about gold and other tangible assets that have been the standard to which “money” has been measured for millennia.
Tangible commodities and high quality collectible investments have clearly outperformed intangible investments like stocks, bonds and CD's again in 2005.
US investors, whose returns were eroded in 2005 by high oil prices, rising interest rates, sluggish job creation, slowing corporate-earnings growth and modest retail-sales gains, are hoping 2006 will bring relief. But a growing number of astute investors are hedging their investments with gold, just in case.
And what a hedge it has been! In the past 3 or 4 years, gold has gone up from $270 an ounce to breaking $500.
In the fast moving and sometimes confusing world of finance, not all that glitters has performed as well as gold. In 2006, gold, especially gold coins, deserve a second look.
--Craig R. Smith is CEO of Swiss America Trading Corporation. He is an economist, author, lecturer and president of Swiss America Trading Corporation, a brokerage firm specializing in tangible assets, established in 1982. He has written numerous financial
articles and books.
Craig instantly engages audiences with his common-sense analysis of national and global trends. He knows that people want solid answers to tough questions, especially when it has to do with financial matters that impact the lives of every American.
Craig’s financial, political and geopolitical expert advice has
been sought by many. He has been interviewed by CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNBC, FOX, TNT, CBN, TBN, Time, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Newsweek.
In 2002, Mr. Smith published the 20th Anniversary Issue of Real Money Perspectives which was written to help investors navigate the uncertain economic and market conditions that have caused over eight trillion dollars in equity losses since the bull market in stocks ended in March 2000. This 32-page financial journal features over a dozen perspectives on preserving wealth in the 21st century.

The following is documentation of Mr. Smith’s assertion that gold deserves another look:
Here’s how the numbers stack up for some of the major tangible and intangible investment sectors, including the numismatic category (US Gold Commemoratives,1904-1926 Mint-State 64 grade, eleven-coin series).
Tangible vs. Intangible Investment Overview (2005)
Investment .............. 2005 %RoI
SILVER Bullion -------------------- 36%
CRUDE OIL ------------------------ 35%
*Gold Comm Set. (MS64)---------- 26.9%
REAL ESTATE (median home) ------ 21%
GOLD Bullion ---------------------- 18.2%
10-year Treasury ------------------ 4.37%
S&P ------------------------------- 3.0%
NASDAQ --------------------------- 1.4%
DOW ------------------------------ -0.6%
*According to The Coin Dealer Newsletter
USA Today reported, “2005 was pretty much a washout for stock investors. The major three US indexes ended mixed, with the Dow turning its slim 2005 gain into a 0.6% loss Friday with its year-ending sell-off. The Nasdaq managed to eke out a 1.4% gain for the year. And the Standard & Poor's 500 posted the best performance with its paltry 3% gain. US indexes trailed virtually every foreign market. A buy-and-hold investor who invested $10,000 in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index on Dec. 31, 1999, would now have an investment worth $8,493, excluding dividends.
That equates to an annualized loss of 2.7%. The blue-chip barometer (Dow) is down 6.8% since the end of 1999.”


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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