Wise Wealth Advisors

D.Muthukrishnan (Muthu), Certified Financial Planner- Personal Financial Advisor

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Archive for the ‘Gold’ Category

Gold: Interesting facts

Posted by Muthu on April 29, 2017

Just thought of sharing some interesting facts about gold today.

There is roughly 7000 years (beginning of civilization) of history of gold.

We all seek permanency and gold comes near to that.

Gold does not get corroded or rusted. It is not soluble in any acid. It is very difficult to demolish.

Most of the gold digged from time immemorial is still in circulation.

So we may even be using the some of the gold (recycled) that was used in the times of Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Jesus.

It is very soft that you can beat the gold down so thin that sunrays can shine through it.

The quantity of steel poured in an hour in our planet is more than what has been poured for gold since the civilization. That is how limited the availability of the gold is.

It is estimated that total gold available (in circulation and storage) in the world is 1,65,000 tonnes.

1 tonne is 1000 Kgs. At Rs.3000/- a gram, the cost of 1kg of gold is Rs.30 lakhs. So 1 tonne of gold is worth Rs.300 crore.

Indians privately own anywhere between 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes of gold. Even pegging it at 15,000 tonnes, the value comes above Rs.45 lakhs crore.

Since I cannot not talk about equity, the entire fund management industry in the country only manages Rs.6 lakh crore worth of equity assets.

Indian government owns only around 550 tonnes of gold.

No one knows how much gold the Indian temples have.

Tirupathi is estimated to have gold worth Rs.90,000 crores. Around 4000 kgs of gold is offered annually by his devotees to Lord Balaji. Interestingly as per legend, Balaji borrowed from Kubera 1.14 crore coins of gold for his marriage. Marriages have always been expensive in this country. By any standard, Balaji’s wedding with Padmavathi is the most expensive marriage that has ever happened so far in our world.

Till few years ago, we never knew Lord Padmanabha is so rich. Is that why he is very relaxed (ananda sayanam)? The very conservative estimate suggests that the value of gold in his abode is around Rs.4 lakh crore.

Reading various estimates and guesstimates looks like we (including deities) may have even 30,000+ tonnes of gold in our country. So we own around 20% of the entire gold in the world.

This means at today’s price, we have Rs.90 lakh crore worth of gold. India can be amazingly rich and poor at the same time.

Since gold is so malleable, just one gram of gold can be beaten into a sheet of one square metre.

The entire gold available in the world today can easily fit within a cube measuring 67 feet. Just one good shipping container would do. Golden Voyage!

75% of the gold available today has been extracted only after 1910.

The U.S.government (Fed Reserve + FortKnox) has close to 10,000 tonnes of gold.

During great depression, in 1933, U.S. government banned private holding of gold. People were ordered to handover the gold they have and were provided instead with dollars of equivalent value. Once the process was over, the government devalued the currency by over 40% eroding people’s wealth overnight. This coupled with high inflation was an extremely tough time for its citizens.

This ban was subsequently lifted only in 1975 and Americans were again allowed to own gold.

Since China has lot of dollar or dollar denominated assets; they understand the above risk better than anybody else. Chinese people were not allowed to own gold for more than 40 years and possessing gold was a severely punishable offence. Sometime during last decade this ban was removed and China has been encouraging its citizens to buy gold and silver.

Talking about silver, Buffett who rarely touches commodity, purchased 37% of the entire silver available in the world (yes, you read it right) in late nineties and sold it some time in the middle of the last decade. I think that considering the growing industrial demand and limited supply then, he saw value in purchasing the same and selling it at a very good profit. Silver was selling at abysmally low prices during the time of his purchase.

Every year, the new gold produced / recycled is consumed 50% as jewellery, 40% for investments (including ETFs) and 10% for industry. I was under the impression gold has no industrial use whatsoever till one of our client told me that electronics industry uses gold.

Though South Africa has been one of the world’s largest producers of gold, its citizens were not allowed to own gold till 2009.

For sports fan, do you know that Olympic gold medal is not made of gold! A ‘gold’ medal contains only 6 grams of gold. Only till 1912 Olympics, the gold medals were actually made of gold.

In 1991, our country’s situation was so bad that 65 tonnes of gold was taken out of the country  and mortgaged to tide over external payment crisis.

If you are worried that gold’s supply would get exhausted soon, fear not!

About 10 billion tonnes – 10,000 million tonnes (yes, you read it right) of gold is estimated to be held in the oceans of the world. An economically viable model of extraction is being explored.

Necessity is the mother of invention. If gold prices continue to rise and if the demand would only increase, who knows, a technological innovation can happen in extracting gold from ocean.

May be we can all then plan for building our own golden homes. Midas would be a happy man.

Posted in Gold | 8 Comments »

37 years of performance: Sensex, Fixed Deposits, Gold and Silver

Posted by Muthu on April 2, 2016

For the last 5 years, I’ve made it a practice to give performance comparison of various asset classes: Sensex (Equity), Fixed Deposit (Debt), Gold and Silver and the impact of inflation on them beginning from the financial year 1979-80. Why 1979-80? That is the year from which Sensex came into existence with base as 100.

Please find attached 3 files

a) 37 years return- FD & Sensex

b) 37 years return- Gold & Sensex

c) 37 years return- Silver & Sensex

1) Assume you’ve invested Rs.1 lakh each in FD, gold, silver and Sensex 37 years ago. As of 31’st March 2016 the value is as follows- FD: Rs.19.75 lakhs, Gold: Rs.36.53 lakhs, Silver: Rs.24.46 lakhs and Sensex: Rs.2.53 crores.

2) Unlike other assets mentioned above, Sensex has dividend yield in addition to capital growth. Assuming a dividend yield (duly reinvested) of 2% on an average, the Sensex return works out to Rs.4.76 crores.

3) To put it another way, during last 37 years:

Fixed Deposits has multiplied wealth by 20 times

Gold by 37 times

Silver by 24 times

Sensex by 253 times

4) In terms of percentage, the 36 years return (as given above) is as follows- FD: 8.39%, Gold: 10.21%, Silver: 9.02% and Sensex: 16.13% (18.13% if dividend yield is as assumed above)

5) When we talk about returns, we’ve to talk about inflation too. The average annualized inflation for the above period is 7.67%.

6) If Rs.1 lakh has been kept under the mattress instead of being invested, it’s value has come down to mere Rs.5208 (i.e.) purchasing power of rupee reduced by whopping 95% over 37 year period.

7) What we should look for is real returns (i.e.) returns after inflation and taxes. Since tax differs from each asset class and income category, I’ve taken only inflation and excluded taxation. Inflation is common for all.

8) After adjusting for inflation, the asset classes have grown by following annualized rate in real termsFD: 0.72%, Gold: 2.54%, Silver: 1.35% and Sensex: 8.46% ( 10.46% including dividend yield). These numbers matter a lot. This is what our wealth would have grown after adjusting for inflation. Since we know the tax details for each asset class and for our income, we can work out the return after taxes too. FD would automatically turn negative. Gold and Silver would have provided a negligible return. Only equity would have provided a real rate of return of around 9%.

9) Gold’s real rate of return of 2.54% is made possible due to rupee significantly depreciating between 1980s to early last decade. Otherwise we might have got even a negative return; as globally gold fell by around 70% during the above period. I’ll explain this by example. Assume the rupee dollar conversion rate is 1 USD = Rs.65. For illustration purposes, let us assume the price of 1 gram of gold is 1 USD. With the above conversion rate, the value of 1 gm of gold is Rs.65. Imagine a scenario when rupee depreciates by 100% (i.e.) 1 USD = Rs.130. The gold price remains the same at 1 USD. The value of our gold would increase by 100% to Rs.130 though the price has not changed in the international markets and we being the net importer of gold.

10) Please use FD for contingency or emergency funds. Let gold be part of social requirement and not exceed 5% to 10% of investment portfolio. Silver is again part of only social or cultural needs. Equity is for building wealth.

11) Real estate would normally give returns better than fixed deposits but lesser than equity. There is no reliable long term data available for real estate. From what I understand from reading, in the long run, real estate can be expected to give 2% to 3% more than inflation. If inflation is 6%, we may expect a long term price growth rate of around 9%. By providing 16% for nearly 4 decades, equity has scored well over real estate.

12) Please go through the workings and assumptions in the attached files. I’ve tried my best. It may not be perfect but would be a useful pointer. Request your opinion and feedback.

Posted in General, Gold, Stock Market, Wealth | 9 Comments »

It’s real

Posted by Muthu on August 27, 2015

As you are aware, in April of every year, we provide comparison charts of various asset classes since 1979-80, the year in which Sensex was formed with a base as 100.

Just to refresh your memory I want to share here the annualised return of Fixed Deposits (FD), Gold and Sensex for last 36 years:

FD: 8.41%

Gold: 10.25%

Sensex: 16.93%

This shows equity has given 2 times the FD returns and 1.65 times the gold returns.

This number doesn’t convey the reality.

As I’ve repeatedly told you, what matters is real returns; the returns after inflation.

Inflation during the above period was 7.73%

So the real returns look like this:

FD: 0.68%

Gold: 2.52%

Sensex:9.2%

This shows equity has given a real return of 14 times the FD and 4 times the gold.

So when it comes to real return; which is how our wealth actually multiplies, FD and gold stands no chance in front of equity.

We’ve only accounted for inflation. What about taxation? FDs are taxed at the tax slab you belong to and gold at 20% of the indexed cost. But long term capital gain of equity is completely free.

So if we adjust for taxation also, FDs would not provide any real return and gold would provide significantly lesser than 2.52%. Whereas Sensex would still provide 9.2%.

You may be wondering about real estate. There is no reliable long term data for real estate. Real estate would normally provide around 3% above inflation. So what is true for gold above would more or less hold good for real estate as well.

Also one more thing. Sensex had a dividend yield of close to 2% over 36 years. That is not included in the above calculation. Equity is already a huge winner in terms of real returns and adding dividend yield would only make it returns further extra ordinary.

Go for the real wealth creator. Go for equity.

Posted in Basics, Gold, Real Estate, Stock Market, Wealth | 2 Comments »

Warren Buffett on Gold

Posted by Muthu on July 28, 2015

We’ve been writing for many years as to how gold is not an investment and why it should only be bought for consumption.

Today I felt like sharing with you some thoughts by Warren Buffett on gold.

1) “Gold is a way of going long on fear, and it has been a pretty good way of going long on fear from time to time. But you really have to hope people become more afraid in a year or two years than they are now. And if they become more afraid you make money, if they become less afraid you lose money, but the gold itself doesn’t produce anything.”

2) “What motivates most gold purchasers is their belief that the ranks of the fearful will grow. During the past decade that belief has proved correct. Beyond that, the rising price has on its own generated additional buying enthusiasm, attracting purchasers who see the rise as validating an investment thesis. As ‘bandwagon’ investors join any party, they create their own truth – for a while.”

3) “I will say this about gold. If you took all the gold in the world, it would roughly make a cube 67 feet on a side…Now for that same cube of gold, it would be worth at today’s market prices about $7 trillion – that’s probably about a third of the value of all the stocks in the United States…For $7 trillion…you could have all the farmland in the United States, you could have about seven Exxon Mobils and you could have a trillion dollars of walking-around money…And if you offered me the choice of looking at some 67 foot cube of gold and looking at it all day, and you know me touching it and fondling it occasionally…Call me crazy, but I’ll take the farmland and the Exxon Mobils.”

4) “The problem with commodities is that you are betting on what someone else would pay for them in six months. The commodity itself isn’t going to do anything for you….it is an entirely different game to buy a lump of something and hope that somebody else pays you more for that lump two years from now than it is to buy something that you expect to produce income for you over time.”

5) “Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.”

6) “Gold, however, has two significant shortcomings, being neither of much use nor procreative. True, gold has some industrial and decorative utility, but the demand for these purposes is both limited and incapable of soaking up new production. Meanwhile, if you own one ounce of gold for an eternity, you will still own one ounce at its end.”

7) “I have no views as to where it will be, but the one thing I can tell you is it won’t do anything between now and then except look at you. Whereas, you know, Coca-Cola will be making money, and I think Wells Fargo will be making a lot of money and there will be a lot – and it’s a lot – it’s a lot better to have a goose that keeps laying eggs than a goose that just sits there and eats insurance and storage and a few things like that.”

Posted in Gold | Leave a Comment »

36 years of performance: Sensex, Fixed Deposits, Gold and Silver

Posted by Muthu on April 1, 2015

April is the time for annual review. I would be sharing your portfolio summary along with my note. I aim to complete this task by end of this month. If any one of you does not receive the report from me by 30th of April, request you to inform me. I’ll take care to ensure that each one of you receive this.

Please note that for those of you who have become our clients after December 31’st 2014 would be receiving the report and review only in next April (2016). Three months or less is too short a period for review.

As always, other than the above, whenever you need a report or review during any time of the year, please feel free to get in touch with me.

For last 4 years, I’ve made it a practice to give performance comparison of various asset classes- Sensex (Equity), Fixed Deposit (Debt), Gold and Silver and the impact of inflation on them beginning from the financial year 1979-80. Why 1979-80? That is the year from which Sensex came into existence with base as 100.

Please find attached 3 files

a) 36 years return- FD & Sensex

b) 36 years return- Gold & Sensex

c) 36 years return- Silver & Sensex

1) Assume you’ve invested Rs.1 lakh each in FD, gold, silver and Sensex 36 years ago. As of 31’st March 2015 the value is as follows: FD- Rs.18.33 lakhs, Gold- Rs.33.54 lakhs, Silver- Rs.24.91 lakhs and Sensex- Rs.2.80 crores.

2) Unlike other assets mentioned above, Sensex has dividend yield in addition to capital growth. Assuming a dividend yield (duly reinvested) of 2% on an average, the Sensex return works out to Rs.5.13 crores.

3) To put it another way, during last 36 years:

Fixed Deposits has multiplied wealth by 18 times

Gold by 34 times

Silver by 25 times

Sensex by 280 times

4) In terms of percentage, the 36 years return (as given above) is as follows: FD-8.41%, Gold- 10.25%, Silver- 9.34% and Sensex- 16.93% (18.93% if dividend yield is as assumed above)

5) When we talk about returns, we’ve to talk about inflation too. The average annualized inflation for the above period is 7.73%.

6) If Rs.1 lakh has been kept under the mattress instead of being invested, it’s value has come down to mere Rs.5500 (i.e.) purchasing power of rupee reduced by whopping 94% over 36 year period.

7) What we should look for is real returns (i.e.) returns after inflation and taxes. Since tax differs from each asset class and income category, I’ve taken only inflation and excluded taxation. Inflation is common for all.

8) After adjusting for inflation, the asset classes have grown by following annualized rate in real terms: FD- 0.68%, Gold-2.52%, Silver-1.61% and Sensex- 9.2% ( 11.2% including dividend yield). These numbers matter a lot. This is what our wealth would have grown after adjusting for inflation. Since we know the tax details for each asset class and for our income, we can work out the return after taxes too. FD would automatically turn negative. Gold and Silver would have provided a negligible return. Only equity would have provided a real rate of return of above 9%.

9) Gold’s real rate of return of 2.52% is made possible due to rupee significantly depreciating between 1980s to early last decade. Otherwise we might have got even a negative return; as globally gold fell by around 70% during the above period. I’ll explain this by example. Assume the rupee dollar conversion rate is 1 USD = Rs.60. For illustration purposes, let us assume the price of 1 gram of gold is 1 USD. With the above conversion rate, the value of 1 gm of gold is Rs.60. Imagine a scenario when rupee depreciates by 100% (i.e.) 1 USD = Rs.120. The gold price remains the same at 1 USD. The value of our gold would increase by 100% to Rs.120 though the price has not changed in the international markets and we being the net importer of gold.

10) Please use FD for contingency or emergency funds. Let gold be part of social requirement and not exceed 5% to 10% of investment portfolio. Silver is again part of only social or cultural needs. Equity is for building wealth.

11) Real estate would normally give returns better than fixed deposits but lesser than equity. There is no reliable long term data available for real estate. From what I understand from reading, in the long run, real estate can be expected to give 2% to 3% more than inflation. If inflation is 6%, we may expect a long term price growth rate of around 9%. By providing 17% for nearly 4 decades, equity has scored well over real estate.

12) Please go through the workings and assumptions in the attached files. I’ve tried my best. It may not be perfect but would be a useful pointer. Request your opinion and feedback.

Posted in Basics, Gold, Muthu's Musings, Real Estate, Stock Market, Wealth | 5 Comments »