From the NY Times, Soros Doubled Gold ETF Investment:
Billionaire investor George Soros' hedge fund more than doubled its bet on the price of gold during the fourth quarter, a portion of the firm's total U.S.-listed equity holdings of $8.8 billion at the end of 2009.George Soros is undeniably one of the best investors in the world. His truly global and dynamic (i.e. theory of reflexivity) view of markets definitely puts him a step ahead of most fund managers. So when Soros picks up on an investment theme, most people listen.
Soros Fund Management owned 6.2 million shares of SPDR Gold Trust -- an exchange-traded fund that owns gold bullion -- at the end of the year worth $663 million. That was up from 2.5 million shares at the end of the third quarter.
Soros and other noted investors like John Paulson have previously touted gold as a hedge against inflation, further economic turmoil or a decline in the value of the U.S. dollar. Last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Soros said "the ultimate asset bubble is gold," but he declined to say whether he was investing in the precious metal.
Much was made of Soros calling gold the "ultimate asset bubble" last month. Gold bears latched onto this statement as evidence of the top being in for gold. Of course he didn't give a time frame for when gold would reach bubble valuations, which led me to believe he was buying. Based on Soros' 4th quarter filings, my hunch was correct.
Central bankers from China and South Korea have made similar statements over that past couple of months, which means they are probably buying as well. After all, they manage billions of dollars in capital- so every dollar they can talk down the gold price, before buying, is substantial.
It bears repeating that gold will not be a bubble until people stop giving you blank stares every time you mention the "barbaric relic." We need to see lines around the block in gold bullion stores across the country like we did in the 1980's. We need gold shares to explode past their all-time highs in short order. We are seeing nothing of the sort yet.
The small money has no clue gold is in a bull market. The big money already has huge physical positions in the yellow metal. Which side do you want to be on?
This article has been republished from Moses Kim's blog, Expected Returns.