When most of Wall Street expected the Fed would taper its asset purchases starting in September Jim Grant predicted it would not, and he was right on the money. The editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer is a student of the Fed who closely follows global interest rates and financial markets, but he's not a fan of the U.S. central bank, or any other major central banks for that matter. And that's why he's bullish on gold.
Related: No Fed Taper This Year: Jim Grant
"The world ought to have much less faith in central banks, and as that reasoned distrust of a broken model grows, the gold price, I think, will appreciate," Grant tells The Daily Ticker. "Gold is cheap at this price."
The price of gold has actually fallen in recent months, dropping 3% on Tuesday to under $1,300 an ounce. That's about a third below its September 2011 record high of $1,920. The steep, quick drop surprised many traders and analysts who had expected gold would rally as the U.S. government shut down just weeks ahead of reaching its debt limit.
In addition to gold, Grant likes Russian oil companies, such as Lukoil. "These companies priced as if they were going out of business," says Grant. "They're not. The balance sheets are okay. There's insider buying. They are hugely and glisteningly cheap--2.5 to 6.5 times earnings...[they have] reserves in the ground...pay dividends and nobody likes them."
That final characteristic may be a key factor for an iconoclast like Grant, who explains his approach to investing in the video above. He pooh-poohs investments like modern art, favoring instead assets like historic documents.
"People are paying immense prices for contemporary artists who have no demonstrated staying power," says Grant. In contrast, "Important American documents are really cheap. For $500,000, for example, you could win at an auction one of the original broadside printings of the American Declaration of independence or you could pay $30 or $40 million dollars for a slab of blue paint." No one said--least of all Grant--he was an art critic.
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