Without it, much of what we say may seem capricious or outlandish, crazy ideas readers tolerate only because we've been so right about the big trends. But the basics in speculating and investing are like the basics in martial arts: Just remembering them isn't enough; they need to be second nature. That means reviewing and practicing over and over.
It's not an accident that we usually make good investment calls; the selections arise from a constant awareness of the basics. So I want to briefly review those fundamentals. Let's start with gold. We're very gold-oriented around here.
You undoubtedly have a good position in gold. Many of your friends are aware that you're a gold bug, and more than a few of them question your wisdom. Are you able to give them a succinct and cogent explanation not just for why gold is cyclically a good speculation, but why it's money? I'll wager the answer in many cases is, "No."
I say that because when I give a speech, I often offer a prize to the audience member who can tell me the five classical reasons gold is the best money. Quickly now; what are they? Can't recall them? Read on, and this time, burn them into your memory.
If you can't define a word precisely, clearly, and quickly, that's proof you don't understand what you're talking about as well as you might. Here, we talk a lot about money, so it only makes sense to know the subject completely. So, what is money? The proper definition of money is: Something that functions as 1) a medium of exchange and 2) a store of value.