Weekly Update 18-Nov-2016
Things stabilized a bit this week, with mixed results for most asset classes as investors sorted through the debris of the coming political sea-change in the US. The largest swings were in commodities, with silver the week's biggest loser, down 9.3%, and cotton and crude oil the week's biggest winners, up 7.9% and 7.5% respectively.
Bitcoin was once again the strongest currency, gaining 6.8%, followed by the Chinese Yuan, which gained 2.9%. The weakest currency was the Japanese Yen, which fell 1.5%. Bonds were higher, but again showed a preference for shorter maturities, with the long term TLT gaining 1.1%, while short term SHY gained 1.9% and USD cash rose 2.1%.
Most major stock indexes were higher, with the exception of the Euro STOXX, which fell 0.7%. Gold stocks rebounded this week, rising 3.2%. The S&P 500 added 2.9%, and the Japanese Nikkei gained 1.9% in spite of (or because of?) the falling Yen.
As mentioned earlier, commodities were mixed, led by cotton and crude oil, which rose 7.9% and 7.5% respectively. Silver gave up all of last week's gains and then some, falling 9.3% to close the week at 0.42 grams per ounce. Copper rested after last week's huge rise, closing this week up 0.4%. Palladium continued to soar, gaining another 6.4%, while platinum languished, falling 3.2% to close at 23.7 grams/oz.
I wish all my US readers a very happy Thanksgiving. Looking back on the last year, Bitcoin, up 97.3%, and gold stocks, up 48.6%, have been the standout performers. With the exception of platinum and crude oil, commodities in general have done very well, too. I look forward with excitement to the year ahead, but recommend keeping a substantial part of your assets in counter-party risk free investments like Bitcoin, precious metals, and cash. These may fluctuate in market value, but can't be rendered worthless or inaccessible through the bankruptcy or closure of intermediaries, nor can they be easily confiscated or "bailed-in" by government edict. Gold and silver in a brokerage account or bank deposit box can be easily grabbed by government orders, but when in your personal possession or stored overseas in a non-bank vault, the situation changes drastically in your favor.