Pimco’s Gross: ‘I Made a Bad Call’ on Gold

Tuesday, 16 Apr 2013 01:35 PM

By Michael Kling

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Bill Gross, founder and co-CIO of fund giant Pimco, might be wiping egg off his face.

At a Barron’s Roundtable in January, Gross called gold his top investment choice for 2013.

Its price probably wouldn’t change unless inflationary expectations rose to 3 percent or more, Gross said at the time, according to Barron’s. “That’s what gets gold off the dime. It is a decent hedge. It doesn’t earn anything, but not much else earns anything either.”

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“Investors can choose between artificially priced financial assets or real assets like oil and gold or, to be really safe, cash,” he said. “The real risk to the financial markets is the marginal proclivity of investors to put their money in real assets, or under the mattress.”

At the Roundtable, he recommended the SPDR Gold Trust exchange-traded fund. “It has a fee, but it is an easy way for investors to buy a real asset.”

Then gold dropped the most in 30 years on Monday.

In response to the drop, Gross Tweeted: “OK, so I made a bad call at the Barron’s Roundtable. I would still buy gold here. World reflating.”

At the January conference, he noted that central banks around the world are trying to reflate their economies. “If they are successful, gold is an inflationary hedge.”

Gold was increasingly seen as a safe haven after the 2008 financial crisis. Many feared the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy would prompt rampant inflation so used gold as an inflation hedge.

But now the gold plunge is difficult for the many small investors who have poured their savings into gold to understand.

“Momentum investors are in full panic mode,” Ed Moy, chief strategist at Morgan Gold in Irvine, Calif., told the Los Angeles Time. “They didn’t know much about gold before they got in. They got in because it was hot and they were following the crowd. These investors are panicking.”

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