Surest sign of a gold bubble?

Since Bank of America and LaSalle Bank merged a few years ago, there has been a nice corner storefront available for rent in the upscale suburban Chicago city where I live.

Now it seems a new tenant has moved in: the fourth national retail location of
Bullion Express.

I didn't have time to wander in. But it appears to be the sort of place where, after a day of shopping or a long commute home, you can stop in and pick up a few gold bars or South African Krugerrands. You know, just because.

I realize there is a reasonable case to be made for gold right now—a case the markets have certainly been making for years.

That case, briefly: Central banks have been flooding the global economy with money. Inflation is tame right now, but that could change. Gold, with its supposedly timeless value, provides a hedge for nervous investors against rising prices.


None of this is unreasonable. Still, take my non-professional financial advice for the little it’s worth. Doesn’t it seem like we’ve seen this movie before? Remember tech stocks being different in 1999? Or the home price models in 2007 which
a sustained drop in housing prices literally didn't compute.

Think about it: Gold prices have to be high and rising long enough for someone to notice the trend, formulate a business plan, find the appropriate real estate and open multiple storefront locations.

By the time all this can take place, might it be time to start looking for the
next financial opportunity?

A busy year

Mutual fund shareholder reports have long been the cornerstone of my financial copywriting business. They've carried me through several recessions. Even as clients are loathe to spend marketing dollars, fund companies still have to communicate to shareholders, once or twice a year, in good markets and bad.

So shareholder reports have been my bread and butter for a long time. In 2011, I wrote 197 quarterly, semiannual and annual reports. If that seems like a lot…well, it does to me too.

I like writing investment commentaries. It's fun to interview portfolio managers and translate what they say into language regular people can understand. It's important work. If I didn't think so, I wouldn't do it.

Still, shareholder report writing is formulaic, and doesn't demand huge reservoirs of creativity. Which is why I'm glad to have an expanding marketing collateral business. Close to 30% of my practice now emphasizes promotional and sales-oriented copy. Primarily brochures, but plenty of online and other work too. Most of this was helping elite financial advisors around the country market their practice -- a growing subspecialty of mine.

LKC 2011 service mix

The rest of my workload in 2011 included various newsletter projects, some strategy consulting and miscellaneous editing and rewriting.

I'm grateful for my clients and the opportunity to stay busy on a wide variety of projects. Here's hoping for another productive year in 2012.

If you need help with any projects, or want to find out more about my services, please
contact me today.

Jan 2012
Mar 2011
Feb 2011
Apr 2010
Mar 2010