No new treasure troves of gold reserves have been found in untapped wilderness areas for some time now. Nevertheless, those marketing gold funds, coins and other precious metals products have found a new source of wealth, mining for elderly investors. Older folks are always concerned about keeping what they have. Any perceived threat to their savings or investments is met with alarm. Fortunately for them, the metals investment sellers have a solution.
Given that minor matters like a shuffleboard court shutdown for resurfacing maintenance sends shock waves through retirement communities, getting the elderly to react to a potential depletion of savings is like shooting fish in a barrel. These marketers of precious metal investments obtain email lists of elderly folks and send them business and economic studies. While the studies appear unbiased on their face and in their presentation, they generally predict economic collapse and upheaval. The business world is coming to an end. Luckily for them, the Great Recession provided real life fodder for their economic studies. Elderly investors with significant positions in real estate and equity shares certainly saw their investment values tumble substantially. While the stock market has recovered well, real estate values in many areas remain depressed and in some cases may take years to re-establish pre-recession values.
Elderly concerns regarding the economy are real. The metals investment marketers have capitalized on this concern. Fox News, which tends to have an older viewing audience, constantly airs ads in which trusted actors such as William DeVane advise on the virtues of precious metal investments as a hedge against potential devastating losses. This type of hedge is well respected advice in financial circles. Investors are often told to keep some small portion of their portfolio invested in precious metals as a hedge against losses in other assets such as stocks. Mr. DeVane in particular comes across as a well-respected old friend and authority figure who is concerned about the financial well-being of those viewing.
The new aspect of the elderly investor gold rush taps into current economic fears. The fears are real and will only subside after the business climate improves. The older viewers of Fox News will likely not see and hear much good news because the network serves to advance a conservative agenda which ignores positive developments during a democratic administration. While reasonable arguments certainly exist that job creation has lagged and the jobs created are a poor substitute for the jobs lost in the Great Recession, the economic outlook has improved substantially. The furor over the inept Obamacare rollout has partially obscured the recent business recovery. Although the Affordable Care Act may yet slow down the recovery, the trend is in the right direction.
Elderly alarm over the state of the economy will likely continue as world conditions always provide potential investment risks. Every time a Saudi sheik sneezes the price of oil spikes and shock waves ripple through the economy. When those things happen, those mining for elderly gold investors will be there with a proposed solution to the problem.
Opinion by William Costolo