Magnificent Kinkakuji

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Magnificent Kinkakuji Powered By Docstoc
					Presented by Daniel Toriola
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Magnificent Kinkakuji By Carl Delfeld

Last week during his tour of Kyoto Japan, President Bush visited the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) and described it as “magnificent”. He was probably referring to the 1398 Japanese architecture but may just as well have been referring to gold prices which are at an 18-year high. Gold has been a magnificent investment and still has considerable upside. It is a rare portfolio that I build for a client that does not have some allocation to gold and other precious metals. There are three basic reasons why investors should still consider adding it to their portfolio. First, gold prices are not normally correlated to other asset class prices. It therefore serves as a buffer or shock absorber to the value of a portfolio when other assets classes are out of favor. Secondly, there are supply and demand factors. Central banks have been net sellers of gold over the past twenty years. Gold accounts for about 9% of the $4.4 trillion in world central bank foreign exchange and gold reserves, down from 15% in early 2000. But some central banks are now going the other way. For example, the Russian central bank wants to increase gold’s share of its reserves from 5% to 10%. Jewelry demand for gold is also picking up especially in China and India. Global investors are also using gold as a hedge for a global recession and potential decline in value of the U.S. dollar or the Euro. On the supply side, production of gold has been relatively flat for the last 5-7 years and does not appear to be turning around due to maturing mines and higher extraction costs. The third reason to have some gold exposure in your portfolio is that it serves as disaster insurance from unforeseen but potentially devastating events such as widespread terrorism or severe economic or political upheaval. Many gold bugs insist that the only true gold exposure is through gold coins. An easier way to gain instant gold exposure is through the iShares COMEX Gold Trust ETF ( IAU) that is up 15.3% so far this year. Another option is investing through the iShares South Africa ETF (EZA) which has considerable

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Presented by Daniel Toriola
exposure to the gold and mining industry and is up 15.9% this year. Don’t come down with gold fever. A 5-10% allocation to your core conservative portfolio should get the job done. Expect some lusterless years as well as some magnificent returns and restful nights knowing you have some gold under the pillow.

Carl Delfeld is head of the global advisory firm Chartwell Partners and editor of the the "Asia-Pacific Growth" newsletter and is the author of "The New Global Investor." For more information please visit

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Presented by Daniel Toriola
Globe—Why Mapquest Just Isn’t The Same By Jennifer Akre

Anyone who has ever played the board game Risk and then tried to play the computerized version can tell you that there is no comparison—it doesn’t even seem like the same game. The same is true about the difference between a magnificent globe and some computerized rendition of the planet on a computer screen—these two extremes are worlds apart. Even though a service like Mapquest may well provide a far more accurate picture and “real world” mapping capabilities, the purpose of a lavish globe is not to serve as a map. World globes are symbols and a computerized version can be more accurate, give you driving direction—heck, tell you about the weather—but it makes no difference because the point of a globe really is to stimulate the imagination. In many cases, a magnificent globe sitting atop some executive’s desk is really a status symbol—but sitting atop a child’s desk—a globe is a portal to adventures they have yet to take. In a word, a world globe is about possibilities. This is why a lavish globe makes the perfect gift during the holidays. If you are looking for something for your father but just can’t ever seem to find something that he truly wants, you may be surprised to see how much his eyes light up when he opens up his present and finds an illuminated desk globe! Or, if he is into somewhat more “dignified” gifts, then try surprising him with an antique world globe to display in his den or office. The fact is that even in this age of technology where we all have GPS systems mounted to the dash of our vehicles, the allure of the magnificent globe has not faded. Sales at Replogle, the largest globe maker on the planet, did not plummet when Mapquest began supplying pictures of the world. In fact, if anything, people wanted globes more than ever once such services began offering digital versions of the planet. People may love to use technology as a tool but when it comes to things involving the imagination, they tend to love something that they can actually see AND touch. So, when you are out shopping this Christmas for gifts, remember that a lavish globe will be warmly received even if it doesn’t seem “practical”. After all, we have to be practical seemingly every minute of the day anyway—sometimes people just like to kick back and look at a magnificent globe on their desk and wonder, “What if….” Jennifer Akre, owner of numerous online shopping, niche home decor, and home furnishings sites, makes it easy to find the perfect world and desk Perfect gifts for anyone, for any occassion. You deserve it - Click to enjoy:

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Presented by Daniel Toriola

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Patricia Johnson Patricia Johnson Management Consultant
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