Sunday, January 22, 2012

Blogging Wealthtrack 1/22/2012

This morning I tuned in to Consuelo Mack Wealthtrack. It is one of my favorite shows to listen to with respect to personal finance, but more tuned in on the investing side. I think that the subject matter is quite fascinating, although not as titillating as say the Suze Orman show (which I also happen to like).

On this week's show, Consuelo interviewed Phil DeMuth, author of the little book on alternative investments. I found that this was a very interesting author and he seemed like a down-to-earth kind of guy, which is a nice, refreshing change compared to many guests that appear on the show who sometimes seem like they are a little bit divorced from the plight of everyman.

Her other guest was John Hathaway, founder of the Tocqueville Gold Fund. During an interesting interchange, there was a comparison of a large sum of gold versus an equal amount of the assets of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, and the preference seemed to be Berkshire for Phil. However, John Hathaway was quick to point out that gold had done much better in the trailing period.

Two common points about gold were countervailing points, however:
1. Gold has now earnings stream to buoy the price
2. In order for gold to see a similar run up that it has had percentage-wise, the world would have to be dramatically different than it is today.

Of course, alternative investments are good because they are alternatives to existing asset classes, something that many people are stuck with in traditional mutual funds that hold stocks and bonds. Phil recommended that your holdings in these alternative investments should be largely based on your experience and knowledge, indicating that perhaps you would start small around 5-6% and increase over time to 10-25% if you became really comfortable.

Personally, even if I really knew what I was doing, I think 10% would be my limit. For the same reason Gold can't run up, I don't want to bet against the market at that level. I have to believe that over the long term, things will continue to get better for everyone.

Go to to see the show/learn more. You'll be glad you did.


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