The Coke Standard

We certainly make our share of mistakes, so don’t misread the absence of any gold mining exposure in our client portfolios as bragging. Regular readers of this blog will be aware of the occasional wrong turn. One of the most insightful lessons of Behavioral Finance is the overconfidence many people have in their forecasts of all kinds of things, from jellybeans in a jar to quarterly earnings. A recognition of how little short term certainty there is creates some humility around position sizing, and hopefully makes the inevitable mistakes small.

Writing about gold when it’s just had its biggest drop in 30 years is only for those who weren’t involved. The all-too-obvious problem with gold is that you can’t figure out its NPV, because it generates no cash. Instead it consumes a lot to dig it up, move it and store it. So we don’t avoid it because we’re bearish, we just can’t figure out its value. From time to time I’ll run in to people who own some gold as their, “when all else is lost at least I’ll have some” investment. The game’s not over, and they may turn out to be smarter than we are. But I always respond that if inflation is your fear, wouldn’t you rather own shares in companies that sell products everybody wants and have pricing power? Like Coke (KO), which reported earnings this morning ahead of analysts’ expectations.

There are some scenarios involving civil strife and a complete breakdown of civilization in which shares in KO or any other financial investment might be useless, and a stash of gold plus an armory a more appropriate position. You can’t be certain of very much, so even that has a probability > 0%. But 5%+ inflation and the discrediting of fiat money is a higher probability (albeit not yet the most likely outcome in our view). A portfolio of investments in companies that look like KO will probably offer a better prospect of holding its value than a lump of yellow metal. Businesses that can sell a little more product annually to the growing consumer base in emerging economies, and can be relied upon to pass through the cost increases that higher inflation might impose, can remind you why you own them each quarter

Gold will not have many days like yesterday, maybe not for at least another 30 years. But if you prefer the Coke Standard to the Gold Standard at least you have some future cashflows to estimate and present value back to today.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Important Disclosures

The information provided is for informational purposes only and investors should determine for themselves whether a particular service, security or product is suitable for their investment needs. The information contained herein is not complete, may not be current, is subject to change, and is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by, the more complete disclosures, risk factors and other terms that are contained in the disclosure, prospectus, and offering. Certain information herein has been obtained from third party sources and, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified and its accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. No representation is made with respect to the accuracy,  completeness or timeliness of this information. Nothing provided on this site constitutes tax advice. Individuals should seek the advice of their own tax advisor for specific information regarding tax consequences of investments.  Investments in securities entail risk and are not suitable for all investors. This site is not a recommendation nor an offer to sell (or solicitation of an offer to buy) securities in the United States or in any other jurisdiction.

References to indexes and benchmarks are hypothetical illustrations of aggregate returns and do not reflect the performance of any actual investment. Investors cannot invest in an index and do not reflect the deduction of the advisor’s fees or other trading expenses. There can be no assurance that current investments will be profitable. Actual realized returns will depend on, among other factors, the value of assets and market conditions at the time of disposition, any related transaction costs, and the timing of the purchase. Indexes and benchmarks may not directly correlate or only partially relate to portfolios managed by SL Advisors as they have different underlying investments and may use different strategies or have different objectives than portfolios managed by SL Advisors (e.g. The Alerian index is a group MLP securities in the oil and gas industries. Portfolios may not include the same investments that are included in the Alerian Index. The S & P Index does not directly relate to investment strategies managed by SL Advisers.)

This site may contain forward-looking statements relating to the objectives, opportunities, and the future performance of the U.S. market generally. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of such words as; “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “should,” “planned,” “estimated,” “potential” and other similar terms. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, estimates with respect to financial condition, results of operations, and success or lack of success of any particular investment strategy. All are subject to various factors, including, but not limited to general and local economic conditions, changing levels of competition within certain industries and markets, changes in interest rates, changes in legislation or regulation, and other economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory and technological factors affecting a portfolio’s operations that could cause actual results to differ materially from projected results. Such statements are forward-looking in nature and involves a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, and accordingly, actual results may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements or examples. None of SL Advisors LLC or any of its affiliates or principals nor any other individual or entity assumes any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, subsequent events or any other circumstances. All statements made herein speak only as of the date that they were made. r

Certain hyperlinks or referenced websites on the Site, if any, are for your convenience and forward you to third parties’ websites, which generally are recognized by their top level domain name. Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services does not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship by or affiliation with SL Advisors LLC with respect to any linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by SL Advisors LLC. Any such information, products or sites have not necessarily been reviewed by SL Advisors LLC and are provided or maintained by third parties over whom SL Advisors LLC exercise no control. SL Advisors LLC expressly disclaim any responsibility for the content, the accuracy of the information, and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites.

All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will be suitable or profitable for a client’s investment portfolio.

Past performance of the American Energy Independence Index is not indicative of future returns.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.