Is your Bear Market strategy in place?

You’ve seen the news: continued weakness in the U.S. market and lots of economic and political uncertainty ahead. The Dow Jones Industrials finished last week down over 7% year-to-date and oil down over 13%.

Do you think this will turn around? Some analysts say yes, some say no. But you can’t gamble with your retirement. If markets don’t recover right away… is your bear market strategy in place?

The smart investor thinks in terms of diversification in addition to potential price appreciation. Markets inevitably rise and fall, so you want to own assets that don’t fluctuate in lockstep with the DJIA or S&P 500.

Year to date, gold has appreciated over 3% and silver is up close to 2%. The reason is no surprise: investors often look to precious metals as a safe-haven asset when economic prospects look shaky and stocks perform poorly.

Consider the state of your portfolio after the last three weeks and ask yourself… is there more you could do to dampen the unsettling effect of market volatility on you? If you don’t yet own precious metals, I urge you to do your research about them right now.

You just might sleep better at night. I know I do.

Diversification aside, there is reason to think gold and silver prices could be headed higher.

Reduced Supply: Analysts are suggesting that peak gold and silver production may be behind us. The average gold or silver mine cannot make money in the current environment, so mines are actually being shut down or operated at a reduced capacity. Also, since most silver is produced as a by-product of copper and other metals, expected decreases in copper production could result in a significant decline in silver production too.

Robust Demand: Physical gold demand remains strong, particularly in China and India—the world’s two largest consumers of gold. Gold market analyst Koos Jansen notes that Chinese gold demand—as measured by Shanghai Gold Exchange withdrawals—is at a record levels. It is easy for Chinese retail investors to buy and sell gold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, so individual buyers account for half of this demand. Indian demand has also skyrocketed over the last year.

Foreign Currency Fluctuations: Gold analyst Jason Hamlin pointed out recently that gold rose in 2015 in terms of most foreign currencies. This means that, for most of the world’s investing community, gold has been a favorable investment for some time now. This has likely sparked some of the foreign physical demand we have seen and could lead to further buying, especially as foreign equity markets remain weak.

No surprise, then, that Mark Müller and Michael Riesner, analysts at UBS Technical Research, recently issued a research note titled “The 7-Year Cycle in Equities is Rolling Over… Buy Gold!” arguing that 2016 forms the “basis for the next multi-year bull market” in gold.

Bull or bear market… will your retirement plan be ready in 2016?

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