I had just finished a walking tour of the Royal Canadian Mint when I saw it. Right there, out in the open, was a 400-ounce bar of pure gold.
It was chained to a display table and kept safe by an armed guard. At the time, in 2005, the bar was worth $220,000.
Today, the same bar is worth $549,200. In just eight years, gold prices have jumped by 150% -- and that's even with a 27% drop from the peak of $1,900 in 2011.
But it's not the eternal fascination with gold that has boosted the price. With growing levels of worldwide uncertainties, mounting inflation risks, and government distrust, people are clamoring for gold primarily as insurance.
According to the World Gold Council, 2011 saw gold bars and coins reach nearly $77 billion in sales, versus 2002's $3.5 billion. And in November alone, the U.S. Mint's sales of the popular American Eagle coins jumped 131% in the wake of the election.
Editor's Note: Right now, four separate indicators are saying gold is set to surge. Any one of them is bullish on its own. But when all four signals flash at once...
With the market for gold growing at a feverish pace, it's now more important than ever to know that your gold is the real deal - especially now that gold has begun to show signs of a strong rebound.
Gold counterfeiting is nothing new. In fact, just recently there were reports of fake gold bars from China turning up in New York. Instead of gold, their centers were stuffed with tungsten.
But rest assured there are a number of methods you can use to mitigate the risks of ending up with counterfeit gold. Some are simple, quick, and inexpensive. Others are more elaborate, detailed, and not so readily accessible.
Here are seven ways to find out if the gold you own is real:
10 Best Integrated Utility Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Stage Stores Inc.(SSI)
Stage Stores, Inc. operates as a specialty department store retailer that offers branded and private label apparel, accessories, cosmetics, and footwear for women, men, and children in the United States. The company also offers sportswear, dresses, intimates, home and gift products, outerwear, swimwear, and other products. It primarily focuses on consumers in small and mid-sized markets. The company operates stores under the names of Bealls, Goody?s, Palais Royal, Peebles, and Stage. Stage Stores, Inc. also sells its products through its Web site. As of March 06, 2012, it operated 819 stores in 40 states. Stage Stores, Inc. is headquartered in Houston, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Anna Prior]
Stage Stores Inc.(SSI) said it agreed to sell its Steele’s retail stores to financial services firm Hilco Global later this year, which contributed to a drop in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. The top line missed expectations, and the sales view for the year also fell below the consensus view.
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Stage Stores (NYSE: SSI) was also up, gaining 13.47 percent to $22.41 after the company reported Q4 results and announced the sale of its Steele's off-price division to a new retail unit of Hilco Global.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
On Friday, Stage Stores (NYSE: SSI ) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.
Top 5 Canadian Companies To Invest In 2014: Everest Re Group Ltd.(RE)
Everest Re Group, Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, underwrites reinsurance and insurance in the United States (the U.S.), Bermuda, and international markets. The company operates in five segments: U.S. Reinsurance, U.S. Insurance, Specialty Underwriting, International, and Bermuda. The U.S. Reinsurance segment writes property and casualty reinsurance, on both a treaty and facultative basis, through reinsurance brokers, as well as directly with ceding companies within the United States. The U.S. Insurance segment offers property and casualty insurance primarily through general agents, brokers, and surplus lines brokers in the U.S. The Specialty Underwriting segment writes accident and health, marine, aviation, and surety business within the U.S. and worldwide through brokers and directly with ceding companies. The International segment offers non-U.S. property and casualty reinsurance. The Bermuda segment provides reinsurance and insurance to worldwide property and cas ualty markets and reinsurance to life insurers through brokers and directly with ceding companies, as well as offers reinsurance to the United Kingdom and European markets. The company was founded in 1973 and is based in Liberty Corner, New Jersey.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Emerson]
Last August, I purchased Everest Re (RE) when it fell within the value parameters outlined in today's article. I wrote an article about the stock titled: Everest Re: Low Risk High Reward http://www.gurufocus.com/news/143388/everest-re-low-risk-high-reward
- [By Marc Bastow]
Reinsurance and insurance underwriters Everest Re Group (RE) raised its dividend 56% to 75 cents per share, payable on Dec. 18 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 4.
RE Dividend Yield: 1.92%
Top 5 Canadian Companies To Invest In 2014: Research in Motion Limited(RIMM)
Research In Motion Limited (RIM) designs, manufactures, and markets wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. The company, through the development of integrated hardware, software, and services, provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information, including email, phone, short messaging service, and Internet and Intranet-based applications and browsing. Its products and services principally comprise the BlackBerry wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld product line, software development tools, and other software and hardware. The company?s BlackBerry smartphones use wireless, push-based technology that delivers data to mobile users? business and consumer applications. Its BlackBerry smartphone portfolio includes BlackBerry Bold series, the BlackBerry Torch, BlackBerry Curve series, the BlackBerry Style, BlackBerry Storm series, the BlackBerry Tour, BlackBerry Pearl series, and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. T he company?s BlackBerry enterprise solutions comprise BlackBerry enterprise server, BlackBerry enterprise server express, BlackBerry mobile voice system, and hosted BlackBerry services. Its technology also enables third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services through software development kits, wireless connectivity to data, and third-party support programs. In addition, the company offers BlackBerry technical support services, non-warranty repairs, and nonrecurring engineering services. Further, it provides BlackBerry App World that offers BlackBerry smartphone users an electronic catalogue that aids in the discovery and download/purchase of applications directly from their BlackBerry smartphone. The company markets and sells its BlackBerry wireless solutions primarily through global wireless communications carriers, and third party distribution channels. Research In Motion Limited was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Waterloo, Canad a.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Geoff Gannon]
This is an important question because you may have in mind that you have a lot of faith in Apple right now. That faith may be well founded. But if you have little faith in Apple four or five or six years out ��do you really think you will be the first to spot the company's loss of leadership? Think about how quickly companies like Nokia (NOK) and Research In Motion (RIMM) saw their P/E ratios contract when investors realized just how far they were behind the competition. Do you really think you will be fast enough to spot a change in Apple's position? It�� not enough to see the writing on the wall. You have to see it faster than everyone else. You have to sell before they do.
- [By Geoff Gannon]
This isn�� really true. A stock that is expected to have constant losses in the future ��but has earnings today ��should see no relationship between its current price and its past 12 months of earnings. In reality, there will always be some relationship. Some people buy things like Research in Motion (RIMM) as part of a regular habit of betting that the market gets overly pessimistic when it knocks a company�� P/E down deep into the single digits. They may be right. There are always some value investors like this who buy things purely because they are statistically cheap.
- [By Geoff Gannon] east loved of these is ��of course ��RIMM. Einhorn already has a paper loss in that stock. His average cost was $18.88 a share. Today�� price is $15.05. That�� a 20% loss. And Einhorn only started buying Research In Motion in the last three months of 2011.
But Research In Motion is a pretty small position ��0.81% of Einhorn�� total portfolio ��compared to one of his other new buys: Dell.
Einhorn already owns $255 million of Dell shares. He paid $15.36 a share. The stock is now at $18.08 a share. That�� an 18% gain. And Dell will mean a lot more to Einhorn�� performance than Research In Motion. Dell is a 3.9% position for Einhorn. That�� almost five times the size of his investment in Research In Motion. So ��for now at least ��Einhorn�� paper gain on Dell will more than make up for his paper loss on RIMM.
Finally, there�� Yahoo.
This is a quasi-new buy for Einhorn. He actually bought a 8.5 million shares of Yahoo in the first quarter of 2011 only to sell them for a 2% loss the next quarter. Einhorn was out of Yahoo completely for the third quarter of 2011. And now he�� back in with about 3 million shares bought in the fourth quarter of 2011. Einhorn�� average price is a wee bit lower this time. His original purchase price ��back in first quarter 2011 ��was $16.64 a share. He got his Yahoo shares about 6% cheaper this time around. Einhorn paid $15.66 a share for his 3 million shares of Yahoo. The stock is down a smidge from there. Around $15.25 a share.
There have been reports of a breakdown in Yahoo�� buyout talks. But that�� par for the course in a situation like this where a company is shopping itself around. There will be lots of people leaking stories for lots of different reasons. Don�� believe everything you read about Yahoo. And certainly don�� try to trade on everything you read about Yahoo.
Why is Einhorn buying Yahoo?
Probably on a sum of the parts basis. As everybod
Top 5 Canadian Companies To Invest In 2014: Education Realty Trust Inc. (EDR)
Education Realty Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), develops, acquires, owns, and manages student housing communities located near university campuses in the United States. It also provides third-party management services, including residence life and student development, marketing, leasing administration, strategic relationships, information systems, and accounting services for student housing communities owned by educational institutions and charitable foundations. In addition, the company offers third-party development consulting services, such as market analysis and evaluation of housing needs and options; co-operation with university in architectural design; negotiation of ground lease, development agreement, construction contract, architectural contract, and bond documents; oversight of architectural design process; co-ordination of governmental and university plan approvals; oversight of construction process; design, purchase, and installation of fu rniture; pre-opening marketing to students; and obtaining final approvals of construction. It provides its third-party development consulting services primarily to universities seeking to modernize their on-campus student housing communities, as well as to other third-party investors. As of December 31, 2009, the company owned 40 student housing communities located in 19 states containing 25,454 beds in 7,813 apartment units located near 35 universities. It also provided third-party management services for 20 student housing communities located in 9 states containing 10,186 beds in 3,272 apartment units at 16 universities. The company qualifies as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. As a REIT, it would not be subject to federal corporate income tax if it distributes at least 90% of its REIT taxable income to its stockholders. The company was founded in 1964 and is based in Memphis, Tennessee.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Duprey]
College dorm room operator�Education Realty Trust (NYSE: EDR ) announced today its second-quarter dividend of $0.11 per share, a 10% hike in the payout of $0.10 per share that it made last quarter.
- [By Monica Wolfe]
Education Realty Trust (EDR)
Over the past week two insiders made some buys. Both the CEO as well as the company�� CFO made these buys.
Executive VP, CFO and Treasurer Randall Brown bought 5,500 shares at $9.04 per share. This cost him a total of $49,720. The price per share has increased 1.44% since then. Brown now holds on to 99,346 shares of company stock.