News, by definition, is usually bad. Accidents, genocide, suicides, divorces, scandals, corruption — where on earth would we be without the info.
Granted, media may not present financial news in the darkest light; yet, facts and figures may often be presented to support a particular bias. (If you read enough from certain resources, you might come to believe that everyone is unemployed, uninsured and underpaid.)
The reason for mentioning media bias in today’s post is to discuss the possibility that the U.S. is on the verge of economic collapse. I am not a member of the doom-n-gloom society… but stay with me here. Even if you do not accept the premise that the U.S. dollar’s decline, off-shoring of labor, demographic shifts, rate increases, housing woes and deficits are going to combine to bring about calamity, there’s a reason to address the sky-is-falling crowd.
What’s the reason? Gold. That’s right, gold. It is the most popular recommendation by the "batten-down-the-hatches" folks. And yet, you may have other reasons to own "gold."
The most popular of precious metals is commonly considered a strong hedge against inflation as well as a decline in the U.S. dollar. It’s also the place many run to when they lose faith in any currency worldwide. If the U.S. dollar continues its 7-year slide against many of the world’s currencies, most tend to agree that gold will appreciate.
Even if the U.S. dollar strengthens, even if the U.S. economy surges, some feel that gold is a commodity in demand. Some say that you should own gold because of the huge demand by 40% of the world’s population in China and India, where gold still holds extreme reverence.
So how might you own the metal?
All sentimentality aside, the most practical way, and probably the least expensive way to get gold in your portfolio is through one of the ETFs discussed: iShares COMEX Gold Trust (IAU) or the streetTRACKS Gold Shares (GLD). While I am not recommending gold at this time, I would use an exchange-traded fund as the vehicle of choice for ownership.