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Gold’s shove not a pat on the back

Time once again to confess my failings as a prognosticator. My annual forecasts have not compiled a stellar record. Gold is still king, up in price 12 years in a row. I wish I could have a forecasting track record like that for a dozen years running. Instead I have gold’s tracks across my back as my forecast that it would decline in 2011 was once again wrong.

Gold closed 2010 at $1,421.10 an ounce. At the end of 2011 it stood at $1,565.80, up over 10 percent. Almost anyone owning it is well pleased even though it did give back quite a bit from the August high of almost $1,900.

Silver, on the other hand, did go down as I had forecast. Its end-of-2010 price of $30.915 was sliced by approximately 10 percent 12 months later to $27.87. It spent most of the year higher than its close and at the end of April it was nearly $50, partying at the Central States Numismatic Society convention in Chicago’s Rosemont suburb like it was 1980.

But even getting one of two metals right did not improve my accuracy. By my reckoning I had six out of 10 correct, the same number as last year.

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My third forecast that the 2010 collector versions of the 5-ounce America the Beautiful silver coins would each sell out their 27,000 mintage was correct – or was it? The first three designs rapidly disappeared while the Grand Canyon was marked sold out, but the final sales number was 26,019. Mount Hood, which is still not declared sold out, stands at 26,831. I’m going to say I was right, but it is not clean cut, is it?

No. 4. Some of the authorized purchasers will drop out of the 5-ounce ATB program for 2011. I am going to call this incorrect on the grounds it was an overly obscure and pointless forecast.

No. 5. I forecast the success of the first American Numismatic Association fall show in Pittsburgh. Instead the results were mixed. These shows could still have a solid future, but it is an open question and I will color this one incorrect.

No. 6. Repeal of the 1099 report form for business purchases exceeding $600. I got this right, but even Congress could see the angry crowd, so I won’t brag.

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No. 7. Morgan dollars will head higher. Whether it was circulated dollars pushed up by silver, or rising high-end coins, interest and prices have picked up. Count this one correct.

No. 8. A new Mint director will be chosen. I got this one wrong. There is still no new political appointee.

No. 9. The Mint will have difficulty creating the new palladium coin. I will count this as wrong because I got the calendar wrong. The Mint wasn’t due to start on it in 2011.

No. 10. I said it would be a good year for the U.S. dollar. If you count as a good year the very small rise against a major currency average last year thanks to the swoon of the euro, then I was correct and will count it as such
Nobody threw rotten tomatoes at me as a result of my forecasts for 2011. Next week I will offer my picks for 2012. I will wear red just in case.

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