Friday, April 17, 2009

Guns: A better buy than stocks

Posted Apr 16 2009, 12:20 PM by Todd Harrison Forget stocks and bonds, the real money's in guns.

The Wall Street Journal reports artillery enthusiasts are stocking up on guns and ammo, not necessarily ahead of widespread civil unrest resulting from our ongoing economic swoon, but as an investment. These trigger-happy speculators are betting President Obama will institute a ban on assault rifles, which would crimp supply and send prices, well, shooting up.

For it's part, the Obama administration says it has no plans to enact such legislation and supports the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

During the federal ban on semiautomatic weapons from 1994-2004, prices soared. Recent buying has reached almost a frenzied pitch, creating backlogs for popular models and enabling resellers to list certain guns well above suggested retail prices. AK-47s doubled in price between September 2008 and the end of last year.

Ammo, as well, has become a hot commodity. As one supplier said, "(Ammunition) beats the hell out of money markets and CDs. You can double your investment in ammunition in a year."

Platinum and palladium markets find their own stimulus

Potential launch of first U.S. ETF backed by the metals holds promise
By Myra P. Saefong, MarketWatch
Last update: 2:27 p.m. EDT April 17, 2009
TOKYO (MarketWatch) -- The platinum and palladium markets have found their own stimulus plan -- in the form of the potential launch of the first U.S. exchange-traded funds physically backed by the precious metals.

In the down economy, couples getting married may find palladium more attractive, with the cost about 70% less than that of platinum. Investors seem to be keen on the metal, too. Stacey Delo reports. (April 17)
And if the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD
SPDR Gold Trust ETF & SLV) are good examples of what ETFs can do for a specific commodities market, then the latest ones backed by platinum and palladium may be no different, analysts said.
These ETFs would be a "huge boon for retail investment into the PGMs (platinum group metals)," said Scott Wright, an analyst at financial-services company Zeal LLC.
Indeed, the timing may be just right. Prices for platinum and palladium have been climbing from lows hit late last year.
Platinum prices have gained more than 60% from their low in October of last year to trade as high as $1,247 an ounce this week on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Palladium's up close to 50% from its December low to a high above $242 an ounce this week.