Social Security is the focal point for the debate on U.S. entitlement spending, and the threats to its future are well-known. Without reform, the Social Security Trust Fund will run out of revenue in 2033, and that point, revenue from Social Security payroll taxes will pay only three-quarters of scheduled benefits.
To fill that potential shortfall, various policymakers and interest groups have proposed several solutions. Each has its pros and cons and would have different effects on various people. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular proposed fixes and how they’ll affect you and your retirement, based on projections from Social Security’s chief actuary.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Fix 1: Raise the retirement age.
Raising the retirement age will reduce the number of people eligible for full benefits and cut the amount that those taking Social Security early will receive. Many people don’t realize that the retirement age has already been raised, with the normal retirement age to reach 67 for those born in 1960 or later. Further proposals include further raises to between 68 and 70, or indexing the retirement age to match rising life expectancies.
Best Gold Stocks To Watch Right Now: Golden Star Resources Ltd(GSS)
Golden Star Resources Ltd., a gold mining and exploration company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of gold properties. It owns and operates the Bogoso/Prestea gold mining and processing operation that covers approximately 40 kilometers of strike along the southwest-trending Ashanti gold district in western Ghana; and the Wassa open-pit gold mine located to the east of Bogoso/Prestea in southwest Ghana. The company also has an 81% interest in the Prestea underground gold mine located in Ghana. In addition, it holds interests in various gold exploration projects in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Cote d?Ivoire, as well as holds and manages exploration properties in Brazil in South America. The company was founded in 1984 and is based in Littleton, Colorado.
- [By Patricio Kehoe] ating price of the commodity, along with the geopolitical risks involved in mining in African nations such as Ghana, are just two of the obstacles the firm is facing. In addition, as one of the smallest gold mining firms in the industry, with a market cap of just $122 million, Golden Star has had a very difficult time financing its latest expansion projects. With share prices tumbling towards all-time lows, gurus such as Steven Cohen, Chuck Royce and Arnold Schneider have already sold out their positions in the troubled firm.
Why Have Gurus Lost Faith in Golden Star?
Despite aggressive expansion over the past decade, the Toronto-based gold mining firm has not been able to take advantage of its increased production output. Gold prices might have exploded over a ten-year period, yet the recent six-month decline has put a huge strain on Golden Star. The expedited maturation of its mines is particularly troubling, since the accelerated extraction rates, which allowed for short-term profits, are now falling considerably. The impact of the company’s excessive overproduction on profits and growth is clear: decreasing gold reserves mean less production, and thus reduced revenue for the gold miner. When the decline in metal prices are taken into account, the outlook is even more grim.
In addition to overexpansion at the wrong time, Golden Star’s position has weakened due to its comparably less efficient operations. Unlike industry peers, such as IamGold Corp. (IAG) or Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI), the majority of the Toronto-based miner’s assets contain refractory ore, which is far more expensive to extract than non refractory ore. And, in an attempt to switch production to the lower cost gold ore, and thus increase margins, Golden Star has depleted its mines’ non refractory ore. With low reserves and mounting cash costs, the firm inevitably turned to new acquisitions.
Overpriced Acquisitions and Geopolitical Risk
- [By Rich Duprey]
Clash of the titans
When bears are raging on the gold bullion market, it’s not surprising to see gold stocks getting mauled as well. Golden Star Resources (NYSEMKT: GSS ) was the biggest loser in the sector, losing a quarter of its market cap on no company-specific news, though a report last Friday indicated that a large number of hedge funds had recently dumped their positions in the mid-tier miner. Yet it wasn’t all that much better among the majors, either, as Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX ) fell almost 13% and Kinross Gold (NYSE: KGC ) was down 14%.
- [By Sean Williams]
Golden Star Resources (NYSEMKT: GSS )
It’s simple physics: The bigger they are, the harder they fall. When gold prices nosedived earlier this week, gold miners with historically higher operating costs took the brunt of the hit. For the most part, that meant that development-stage miners, and those operating in Africa, where labor and political costs make cost-effective mining a challenge, took it on the chin. Possibly no stock was hammered more than Golden Star Resources, a gold miner in Ghana, which lost about one-quarter of its value on Monday alone.
Best Gold Stocks To Watch Right Now: NEW GOLD INC.(NGD)
New Gold Inc. engages in the acquisition, exploration, extraction, processing, and reclamation of mineral properties. The company primarily explore for gold, silver, and copper deposits. Its operating properties include the Mesquite gold mine in the United States; the Cerro San Pedro gold-silver mine in Mexico; and the Peak gold-copper mine in Australia. The company also has development projects, including the New Afton gold, silver, and copper project in Canada; and a 30% interest in the El Morro copper-gold project in Chile. The company was formerly known as DRC Resources Corporation and changed its name to New Gold Inc. in June 2005. New Gold Inc. was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.
- [By MONEYMORNING]
New Gold Inc. (NSYEMKT: NGD) completed its takeover of Rainy River Resources back in October. New Gold got 4 million ounces in a good jurisdiction (Ontario) and paid less than book value.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
January is nearing an end, and that means one thing: Gold miners will start announcing earnings. New Gold (NGD) will get things started on Feb 6, followed by Kinross Gold (KGC) on Feb. 12 and Goldcorp (GG) and Barrick Gold (ABX) on Feb. 13.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Hamed singles out Goldcorp (GG) and Yamana Gold (AUY) as two companies that have strong production growth, falling costs, declining capital obligations and less debt than competitors. New Gold (NGD), meanwhile, should have the lowest all-on costs in the group at $731 an ounce, but its capital spending is likely to notes, Hamed says. Hamed rates Goldcorp and Yamana Overweight, while New Gold is rated Equal Weight.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Bridges favorite stocks include Goldcorp, Newmont, Eldorado Gold (EGO) and New Gold (NGD).
Note, however, that these recommendations are all qualified in one way or another. Investors should keep that in mind before going all in on the gold miners.
Best Gold Stocks To Watch Right Now: Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited(AEM)
Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, and production of mineral properties in Canada, Finland, and Mexico. The company primarily explores for gold, as well as silver, copper, zinc, and lead. Its flagship property includes the LaRonde mine located in the southern portion of the Abitibi volcanic belt, Canada. The company was founded in 1953 and is based in Toronto, Canada.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Gold miners are getting a boost today from solid earnings from the likes of Barrick Gold (ABX), Goldcorp (GG) and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM). The exception: Kinross Gold (KGC), which missed earnings forecasts and cut its reserves.
- [By Charley Blaine]
Gold mining stocks are pretty much a disaster. Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM) is down 50 percent in 2013. Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM) is off 51 percent. The NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Index is down 56 percent.
- [By Patricio Kehoe] e, has cash costs of $912 per ounce, and Agnico Eagle’s costs do not even reach the $700 per ounce mark. Hence, it comes as little surprise that revenue has been decreasing steadily, since gold prices are hovering around the $1300 mark at best. As the company is hemorrhaging money, investment gurus the like of John Burbank and Seth Klarman have decided to sell their entire stake in the firm. I agree with this bearish stance, and recommend investors stay away from Kinross Gold.
Any Long Term Investment?
If you were to follow Jean-Marie Eveillard’s purchases, one would be inclined to see good growth prospects for Agnico Eagle, and thus believe in this stock’s potential. And, you wouldn’t be wrong, as the firm has been growing at a steady pace, with no end in sight to its expansion possibilities. However, with a 171% price premium, investors might be better off waiting until a more favorable entry-point is available. Nevertheless, as a long-term investment, I feel highly optimistic and would thus even consider paying the additional cost.
Disclosure: Patricio Kehoe holds no position in any stocks mentioned.
Also check out: Jean-Marie Eveillard Undervalued Stocks Jean-Marie Eveillard Top Growth Companies Jean-Marie Eveillard High Yield stocks, and Stocks that Jean-Marie Eveillard keeps buying John Burbank Undervalued Stocks John Burbank Top Growth Companies John Burbank High Yield stocks, and Stocks that John Burbank keeps buying
The Strategy of Ben Graham – Warren Buffett’s Mentor From 1923 to 1957 Warren Buffett’s mentor, Ben Graham, followed a strategy of investing in net-nets. He said: “It always seemed, and still seems ridiculously simple to say that if one can acquire a diversified group of common stocks at a price less than the…net current assets alone…the results should be quite satisfactory. They were so in our experience, for more than 30 years.”
Today net-nets are rare. They are collected under Gu
Best Gold Stocks To Watch Right Now: CME Group Inc.(CME)
CME Group Inc. operates the CME, CBOT, NYMEX, and COMEX regulatory exchanges worldwide. The company provides a range of products available across various asset classes, including futures and options on interest rates, equity indexes, energy, agricultural commodities, metals, foreign exchange, weather, and real estate. It offers various products that provide a means of hedging, speculation, and asset allocation relating to the risks associated with interest rate sensitive instruments, equity ownership, changes in the value of foreign currency, credit risk, and changes in the prices of commodities. CME Group owns and operates clearing house, CME Clearing, which provides clearing and settlement services for exchange-traded contracts and counter derivatives transactions; and also engages in real estate operations. Its primary trade execution facilities consist of its CME Globex electronic trading platform and open outcry trading floors, as well as privately negotiated transact ions that are cleared and settled through its clearing house. In addition, the company offers market data services comprising live quotes, delayed quotes, market reports, and historical data services, as well as involves in index services business. CME Group?s customer base includes professional traders, financial institutions, institutional and individual investors, corporations, manufacturers, producers, and governments. It has strategic partnerships with BM&FBOVESPA S.A., Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, Singapore Exchange Limited, Green Exchange, Dubai Mercantile Exchange, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, S.A.B. de C.V., as well as joint venture agreement with Dow Jones & Company. The company was formerly known as Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings Inc. and changed its name to CME Group Inc. in July 2007. CME Group was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
- [By Lee Jackson]
CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) exchanges offer the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes, including futures and options. CME Group brings buyers and sellers together through its Globex electronic trading platform and its trading facilities in New York and Chicago. The company also operates CME clearing, one of the world’s leading central counterparty clearing providers, which offers clearing and settlement services across asset classes for exchange-traded contracts and over-the-counter derivatives transactions. Investors are paid a solid 2.5% dividend. The consensus price target is $81.54. CME closed Wednesday at $75.71.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Exchange-traded and over-the-counter derivatives trader CME Group (CME) raised its quarterly dividend 4% to 47 cents per share, payable on Mar. 25 to shareholders of record as of Mar. 10.
CME Dividend Yield: 2.47%
Best Gold Stocks To Watch Right Now: First Majestic Silver Corp.(AG)
First Majestic Silver Corp. engages in the production, development, exploration, and acquisition of mineral properties with a focus on silver in Mexico. The company owns interests in La Encantada Silver Mine comprising 4,076 hectares of mining rights and 1,343 hectares of surface land located in Coahuila; La Parrilla Silver Mine consisting of mining concessions covering an area of 69,867 hectares; and San Martin Silver Mine comprising approximately 7,841 hectares of mineral rights and approximately 1,300 hectares of surface land rights located in Jalisco. It also holds interests in Del Toro Silver Mine consisting of 393 contiguous hectares of mining claims and an additional 129 hectares of surface rights located in Zacatecas; Real de Catorce Silver Project comprising 22 mining concessions covering 6,327 hectares located in San Luis Potosi state; and Jalisco Group of Properties consisting of mining claims totalling 5,240 hectares located in Jalisco. The company was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.
- [By Doug Ehrman]
While many precious-metals companies have been in a slump of late, there is one that belongs perpetually in your portfolio: Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW ) . The company is not like other miners — including Pan American Silver (NASDAQ: PAAS ) and First Majestic (NYSE: AG ) — in that it has a unique business plan that insulates it against many of the vagaries of the mining business. Moreover, because silver will always have a significant industrial demand component, even with the heightened volatility you see in the silver market, maintaining exposure to silver is appropriate.
- [By Doug Ehrman]
Despite the weakness seen in precious metals a few weeks ago, silver has been relatively stable ever since mid-April, with the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEMKT: SLV ) trading in a dollar-wide range ever since. With the presidents of the Chicago and Philadelphia Federal Reserve banksÂ releasing conflicting statements, turmoil may be just around the corner. Miners like Pan American (NASDAQ: PAAS ) and First Majestic (NYSE: AG ) are still facing operating challenges, while silver streaming darling Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW ) struggles as well.
Best Gold Stocks To Watch Right Now: Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc.(TC)
Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in mining, milling, processing, and marketing molybdenum products in the United States and Canada. The company?s principal properties include the Thompson Creek Mine and mill in Idaho; a metallurgical roasting facility in Langeloth, Pennsylvania; and a joint venture interest in the Endako Mine, mill, and roasting facility in British Columbia. It also holds interests in development projects comprising the Davidson molybdenum property and the Berg copper-molybdenum-silver property located in northern British Columbia; the Howard?s Pass property, a lead and zinc project situated in the Yukon territory-northwest territories border; and the Maze Lake property, a gold project located in the Kivalliq district of Nunavut. The company produces molybdenum products, primarily molybdic oxide and ferromolybdenum, as well as soluble technical oxide, pure molybdenum tri-oxide, and high purity molybdenum disulfide. As o f December 31, 2010, its consolidated recoverable proven and probable ore reserves totaled 462.2 million pounds of contained molybdenum in the Thompson Creek Mine and the Endako Mine. The company was formerly known as Blue Pearl Mining Ltd. and changed its name to Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. in May 2007. Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. is based in Denver, Colorado.
- [By Selena Maranjian]
Beaten-down companies that you think are likely to recover strongly are also good candidates. Molybdenum miner Thompson Creek Metals (NYSE: TC ) , for example, sports average annual losses of 35% over the past five years, and carries substantial debt, but molybdenum’s long-term outlook is promising, with price increases likely, and the company has a promising gold and copper mine on track to start producing by the end of the year. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE: FCX ) is another major molybdenum player, with considerable operations in other metals, as well — along with new investments in oil and gas production.
- [By Selena Maranjian]
The biggest new holdings are Chesapeake Energy puts, and shares of Discovery Communications. Other new holdings of interest include Halcon Resources (NYSE: HK ) , and Thompson Creek Metals (NYSE: TC ) . Oil and gas company Halcon, operating in the promising Bakken region, as well as Texas’s productive Eagle Ford shale region, among others, is expected to grow by 30% annually over the coming years. It recently reported 2012 net daily production 128% higher than year-ago levels, and proven reserves up 417%. Halcon was recently one of my colleague Joel South’s top two energy holdings, and analysts at Stifel recently upped its rating from Hold to Buy.
Best Gold Stocks To Watch Right Now: Australian Dollar(AU)
AngloGold Ashanti Limited primarily engages in the exploration and production of gold. It also produces silver, uranium oxide, and sulfuric acid. The company conducts gold-mining operations in South Africa; continental Africa, including Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Namibia, and Tanzania; Australia; and the Americas, which include Argentina, Brazil, and the United States. It also has mining or exploration operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, and Colombia. As of December 31, 2010, the company had proved and probable gold reserves of 71.2 million ounces. The company has a strategic alliance with Thani Dubai Mining Limited to explore, develop, and operate mines across the Middle East and parts of North Africa. AngloGold Ashanti Limited, formerly known as Vaal Reefs Exploration and Mining Company Limited, was founded in 1944 and is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa.
- [By Jim Powell]
In addition to holding Goldcorp and Barrick Gold, the fund tracks the performance of Newmont Mining (NEM), Newcrest Mining (NCMGY), AngloGold Ashanti (AU), and several other industry leaders.
- [By Patricio Kehoe] stion arises: Why is First Eagle bullish regarding such a company? The answer might lie in the huge discount at which the third-largest gold producer by output is trading, along with a certain degree of long-term optimism.
Huge Holdings Point to Long-Term Commitment
Since First Eagle recently increased its stake in Anglogold by more than 20%, bringing his total holding to over 32.5 million shares, I believe we are looking at a long-term investment. I am keen on pointing this out, since the stock is currently performing very poorly, and has already lost around 275% of its value year to date. Above average production costs and plummeting gold prices have put a huge deal of pressure on the gold miner, leading to very poor results. In addition, since many of its operations are in geopolitically risky countries such as Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo, shareholders have been shedding this stock in large volumes.
Although Anglogold had a very rough year, and will continue to face elevated cash costs and reduced margins going into 2014, there are some positive signals looking forward. One of the most promising features, are the firm’s operations in South America and Australia, which are enjoying solid organic growth. Although investors will have to wait some years for assets in these regions to reach full production, large profits should be achieved in the long-term. In other words, First Eagle surely has its eyes set on the company’s new projects, and their future growth potential.
Projected Growth and Low Price
Another attractive feature investors must keep in mind is a stock’s growth potential. When looking at Anglogold, this becomes especially relevant, as a comparison to Barrick Gold Corp (ABX) will demonstrate. Anglogold currently offers 13.6% returns on invested capital, compared to Barrick’s -2.8%, and has an EBITDA growth rate of 465.7%, the highest in the industry. Thus, whereas the Canadian mine r has a negative EPS