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Precious Metals Outperforming Stocks Despite ‘Magnificent Seven’ Hype

Published 07/09/2024, 09:20 AM

If you ask average investors what the best-performing asset class is year-to-date, the vast majority of them would get it wrong. The correct answer isn’t stocks, but rather precious metals (led by silver).

Most investors would have no idea that silver is up 32% year to date because they don’t own any, and the mainstream financial media doesn’t report on it.
Their financial advisors probably aren’t aware either. If they are, they probably don’t want to talk about it (even as they, themselves, are usually invested in the monetary metals).

Precious metals remain the red-headed stepchildren among investment assets – at least in the U.S. and Europe.

That is probably good news for gold and silver bugs who are still accumulating. It means metal prices aren’t in a bubble and there is room for them to go much higher... if they can garner attention from the greater herd.

Those multitudes are still blissfully chasing the equity markets higher, apparently comforted by assurances that if the U.S. gets a recession at all, it will be mild. The S&P 500, like gold, is making all-time highs. Only it gets a lot more attention for doing it.

Equity prices are arguably in a bubble. The price-to-earnings ratio for the S&P 500 index is 28.93, just about double the long-term median of 15.
Virtually all investors own U.S. equities. Many of them probably don’t realize just how bubbly the equity markets have become.

Lately, just seven of the 500 companies in the index have been driving a huge portion of the gains. These “magnificent 7” stocks, which include Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), are responsible for the majority of the index's 25% gain over the past year.

The performance of the S&P 500 is anything but a testament to broad strength in the U.S. economy. The mania in just a handful of stocks is driving the entire index.
Don’t ask questions, though! Buy stocks for the long term and forget “relics” like gold or silver, says Wall Street.

Speaking of the long term, it’s worth pointing out that metals haven’t been getting all that much attention from investors for decades, not just the past several months.
The S&P 500 was priced at 1,422 on January 1, 2000. Gold was priced at $283/oz and silver was at $5.30/oz.

Based on last Friday’s close, stocks are 3.91 times higher than they were 24 1/2 years ago. Gold is 8.49 times higher, and silver has risen 5.93 times.
Perhaps metals will finally get their due after another two decades of outperformance. Absent any changes in monetary or fiscal policy, another 20 years of solid gains looks like a pretty good bet.

By Clint Siegner

Originally Published on Money Metals Exchange.

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