Google, Not Gold

By: Ned W. Schmidt | Fri, Jul 9, 2004
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HEADLINE from future:
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Sometimes one has serious things to say. Sometimes one does not have something really important to say. Then one wakes up, and whole world makes one feel like totally insecure. What is one to do? Should one put all the money in Google or Yahoo? Should one diversify by putting half in Yahoo and half in Google? Perhaps buying three more condominiums is the real answer, diversifying by only one each in any particular Florida city.

What brought on all this insecurity was the shocking news on Bloomberg radio this morning. Yahoo reported only eight cents per share in earnings. How can that be? The Street thought is would be more. The news of the tumbling price of the stock surely was bringing people around the world to their knees, their individual worlds crushed under this disappointment. No longer would memories of that Chicago team not winning the World Series be so important. Here, right in our ears, was real tragedy.

At this point any good author would insert some important statistics on the valuation of Yahoo. Certainly important ratios like price-to-sales versus the market should be reviewed. But why? Any stock trading at or anywhere near thirty dollars and earning only eight cents in a whole quarter does not justify any serious analysis. The whole concept of valuation on such a stock is on par with trying to ice fish in July. Go ahead, just shove your shed out onto the lake and see what happens.

Finally though rationality took hold. In this news was the answer. The answer which had been sought for months was now clear. All the money goes on Google. After all, they are in a real business. A business that is on par with a cure for cancer, or those new square golf balls.

Part of this insecurity sprung from an article in The Wall Street Journal on the day before, Wednesday, "Coal Stockpiles Sink 20% Below Normal Levels". Such shocking news should require a warning note on the front page. You know, "Beware. Shocking news of coal shortage is on page B2A. This article may contain news bothersome to insecure individuals". Maybe some important trial lawyer will hopefully file a class action on the behalf of all those individuals lacking security, providing us protection against such inhumane violations in the future.

For years so many of us had relied on the wisdom of the Federal Reserve and the Street to give guidance to our lives. Security was provided in knowing that the internet meant never a shortage of anything, and global competition meant prices could not go up. We need to remember number three also, that gasoline prices do not matter as they are not part of the cost of living.

Technology, meaning the internet and computers, was such a productivity miracle that no shortages should occur. No matter how much was consumed, technology would keep advancing the art of production in a way that means more of everything would always be available. What were these coal companies missing? Did they not know that technology could turn an old ton of coal into two tons of new coal? Where were their PCs? Where were their PCDs? Where were their iPods?

But right there in the article, "14% less than they had on hand a year ago."

And then we find out that the railroads can not ship all the coal everyone wants. How can that be? Don't they have the internet at railroads? Maybe they need to buy another router or server or something. Technology was supposed to make such bottlenecks impossible. Technology was to convert one railway into two railways. Or, maybe we don't understand the miracle of technology.

And then there is the mystery of coal prices going up in global markets. How can that be? Global markets and competition are supposed to keep prices low. Well, apparently the Chinese and a few others forgot to read those reports. They are competing for coal by bidding up the prices. Insecurity is being piled upon insecurity.

Why did those coal companies not dig more coal mines? Why did those coal companies not buy more equipment to dig coal? Why did those railroads not order more cars and build more track? Why did they not spend more money on the internet? Why? Because this country, the U.S., has been squandering its capital on building houses. What nations needs factories, coal mines, rail roads or the like when it is busy building 3000+ square foot houses? Why waste capital on producing real stuff when money needs to be spent on technology to allow the processing of a mortgage application in 7 seconds rather than 15 seconds?

No wonder all this insecurity developed. Our misunderstanding of economics is the root of the problem. Certainly building another condominium project is more important than another plant to generate electricity, or a factory in North Carolina so people can have jobs.

This day is the last straw. No more worrying about the $500 billion trade deficit of the U.S. No more worrying about the $1.2 trillion that the U.S. government owes foreign investors. No more worrying about the Chinese government financing the U.S. government deficit. All this worry does is create insecurity. Just buy Google and not worry anymore must be the answer.

At least the Russians have the banking problem rather than the U.S. In the same devastating issue of The Wall Street Journal was an article on Russian banks. Apparently they do not have deposit insurance and the banking system currently reminds one of the song that goes, "Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant," or something like that.

Those silly Russians putting their money in banks anyway. Where have they been? Don't they know about growth stocks mutual funds? Don't they know that they could put their money into Google or Yahoo? Certainly a Russian with a couple of million roubles to invest would not put that money into Gold when they could soon buy Google.

Insecurity will soon be gone once we all put our money into Google. Why own that Gold and Silver? Just makes you insecure. Means you really do not understand technology and economics. We now know that David Morgan has it backwards. A shortage does not mean the price of Silver should go up. A shortage means that the price should go down. Quick, someone call David and warn him. Technology, the internet and global competition mean that prices can not rise. Don't tell him about coal. It would just make him insecure. Tell him to switch from Silver to the new opportunity in "drive by real estate" while there is still time.

Maybe though some of you like your insecurity. Maybe you enjoy owning Gold and Silver. Despite technology, the internet and global competition, Gold and Silver make some sense for you. What to tell you? How to arrest your fears? Maybe you just want to keep buying Gold despite what we have learned today. Well, if you do enjoy your own personal insecurity, we give you one piece of wisdom. Focus on wisely buying your Gold and Silver.

Buy when the others are not. Buy on dips. Forget buying the day CNBC is talking about Gold going up. They never seem to talk about Silver, so what to tell you about that is hard to discern.

In closing, some seriousness. This chart comes from our weekly TRADING THOUGHTS. Buying on those dips, when others are moaning their holdings, is a workable strategy. Just remember the fundamental rule of present value. Only a lower prices raises future returns!


Author: Ned W. Schmidt

Ned W. Schmidt,CFA,CEBS
The Value View Gold Report

Ned W. Schmidt,CFA,CEBS is publisher of THE VALUE VIEW GOLD REPORT and author of "$1,265 GOLD", published in 2003. A weekly message, TRADING THOUGHTS, is also available to electronic subscribers. You can obtain a copy of the last issue of THE VALUE VIEW GOLD REPORT at The Value View Gold Report. Ned welcomes your comments and questions, and tries to answer most all. His mission in life is to rescue investors from the abyss of financial assets and the coming collapse of the U.S. dollar. He can be contacted at

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