01 Dec Emas oh emas !
Gold ? Emas ?
Siapa tak suka emas ? Emas motivates pedagang-pedagang zaman dahulu untuk berdagang antara Eropah, India, Arab & China. Emas motivates raja-raja zaman dahulu untuk conquer dan jajah negara lain. Emas digunakan sebagai matawang, ufti (pokok emas), aksesori wanita (dan lelaki), bahan komoditi yang boleh disimpan sebagai harta karun…
Di masa kini, emas berubah fungsi. Emas sebagai “hedge against inflation” especially during economic or political uncertainties. Imagine in 1990s gold was traded between US$300 ke US$400 se ounce. Sekarang ? SInce tahun 2000 gold naik sehingga US$1350 se ounce. Tak silap baru-baru ini cecah USD$1400 se ounce ! Hebat ! Sebenarnya sebahagian sebab harga emas continue to naik, adalah sebab currency US Dollars (diguna sebagai harga emas) sedang menurun nilainya. So each time USD weakens, gold price rises to maintain and reflect gold value. So, partly sebab gold price naik adalah illusi yang datang dari kelemahan USD.
Now, why USD weakens ? Maybe sebab US government and central bank decided to print more money to boost economic recovery and improve purchasing “feeling”, since unemployment rate still high (almost 10%). Also sebab investors perlu “hedge” againts huge US government’s deficit in its expansionary fiscal policies.
Emas juga sebagai alternatif kepada matawang, juga as diversification in an investment portfolio. It is said that return in gold investment tak berkait dengan pasaran ekuiti dan commodity lain. Apa pun, the present gold price rise is mainly due to investment demand versus declining (or flat) production (supply side), tambahan pula many central banks around the world start build up (simpan) gold reserve and reduces selling of gold.
So, if interested to invest in gold, what is the legitimate way ?
A few avenues available :
1. hold physical gold wafers or bars or maybe jewellery, although potential risk loosing it if not safely kept. In addition holding jewellery may suffer other costs – workmanship (tukang)
2. start an “Gold Investment” account – this method is getting more attention and thus many banks offer such investment. It is more convenient and safe, without hassle of storing the physical gold. Usually a passbook is given to track balance. The buying and selling price ada “spread” or a margin – selalunya around 4% difference between buy/purchase and selling price. The “spread” can be wider during volatile market situation. Gold investment via banks are bought or sold directly with bank, so no professional advice given as investing in unit trust.
some “gold Investment” account in the market offered by :
a) Maybank – Gold Savings Passbook Account – minimum initial purchase 5 grams (at prevailing market price). Conversion to physical gold (wafers) in 10, 20 and 50 grams. Maybank also sells the Kijang Emas gold bullion coins on behalf Bank Negara Malaysia.
b) KFH Gold Accoint-i – minimum initial purchase 10 grams (retail) and 50 grams (corporate). Withdrawals in 1, 5, 10 or 50 grams denominations
c) Citibank – minimum initial purchase US$5,000
d) Public Bank’s Gold Investment Account – initial purchase 20 grams.
3. Open gold account via gold futures, spot gold, gold-linked exchange traded funds.
Still, as in any investment, investment in gold also carries risk – fluctuation in price of gold and movement of US Dollars & conversion to Ringgit Malaysia. Investors can also suffer capital losses if sell gold during times when markets are low.
My advice ?
1. Diversify, not all investment in gold.
2. Gold as in other “investment” are not meant for short-term speculative strategy.
3. Start small, grow the account as you grow your knowledge & confidence in this commodity.
4. Be careful of the many, many illegal gold schemes especially those you can only observe “online” as most of them operate by taking monies (deposits) without license from Bank Negara. So, if and when Bank Negara raids their operation, investors monies are frozen together with other assets of such scheme. It may take years to unfreeze the assets pending lengthy court and legal proceedings. Often by then the operators abscond overseas and yang terima padah are the investors !
5. If given physical gold bars, quickly go to goldsmith and check – gold or tungsten disalut gold ! Lagu haru biru…. Please be careful…