Jeff Clark’s Market Minute: Lessons From My Very First Gold Trade

The longer-term reasons for holding gold are as solid as ever

It was October 1980. I was sitting on a public bus with my girlfriend, discussing what sort of engraving I should have on my high school ring. I mentioned how unfortunate it was that gold prices were so high and that I would have to work extra hours at the shoe store to buy the ring.

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A stranger in the seat in front of us turned around and uttered this…

“Be careful trading gold during a full moon.”

There was a full moon that evening. But I ignored the stranger’s advice and bought the gold ring anyway.

That was my very first gold trade. I bought at the absolute peak of the market. Just after I placed the order for my ring, gold began a 20-year bear market.

Ever since that day, whenever I see a full moon, I’m reminded of the unsolicited advice from that stranger on the bus, “Be careful trading gold during a full moon.”

It may seem absolutely crazy to you, but that advice has saved me from much financial heartache. And, I suspect it will prove valuable right now.

Gold has enjoyed a fabulous rally over the past month. It was trading near $1,400 per ounce on the date of the last full moon (July 16). It traded as high as $1,550 earlier this week. That’s a “breakout” move. No one can argue with the bullish momentum.

And the longer-term reasons for holding gold are as solid as ever. The entire world is buried under a mountain of debt – much of it at negative interest rates. The potential for a catastrophic financial event is about as high as it has ever been.

So, it’s no wonder just about everybody seems to be rushing to buy gold right now.

That’s also why I am so conflicted about gold right now. You see… the financial market rarely rewards the popular trades. And, let’s face it… Buying gold is a popular trade.

I love the idea of owning gold for the long term. But, the short-term looks sketchy. The public is rushing in to buy at the same time the “smart money” is amassing a large short position.

So, like I said… I’m conflicted.

That conflict resolved itself early yesterday morning. I looked out my kitchen window to see the biggest, brightest full moon I’ve seen in months slowly descending behind the hills to the west.

Now… before you start thinking I’m totally nuts to consider trading anything on the basis of moon phases, you should know that many popular technical analysis theories are based on lunar cycles.

It’s true. The formulas behind both the Elliott Wave Theory and the Bradley Siderograph indicator are derived from lunar cycles. In fact, much of modern-day mathematics can trace its roots to the early astronomy of Galileo.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should look to your horoscope for financial advice.

But strange things do sometimes happen during a full moon. And, one of the strangest things I’ve learned in nearly 40 years of trading is that gold often changes its short-term direction within a day or two of a full moon.

Bullish moves often reverse and turn bearish. And, bearish moves often lead to bullish turnarounds.

There’s a lot of action going on in the gold market right now. Traders are going to have lots of opportunities to trade the moves. But, before you go chasing after one, maybe take a look up in the sky first.

Best regards and good trading,

 

 

 

Jeff Clark

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