Pre­par­ing for the apoc­a­lypse

Financial Mail - - DIAMONDS & DOGS -

If to­day’s global macroe­co­nomic map were to be drawn by a 16th-cen­tury car­tog­ra­pher, you could ex­pect more than a smat­ter­ing of fan­tas­ti­cal beasts, deadly ob­sta­cles and warn­ings along the lines of “here be dragons”.

The mar­kets have given in­vestors a full-on Glas­gow kiss to cel­e­brate Hog­manay, and the worry is that the tra­di­tional hang­over will reach into the new year, with the dread com­bi­na­tion of slow­ing GDP growth and ris­ing debt bring­ing on a re­ces­sion that could morph into a crash that makes 2008 look like a car park nudge.

The nat­u­ral re­ac­tion is to turn your port­fo­lio into the in­vest­ment equiv­a­lent of the Maginot Line — prefer­ably with­out the slight hitch that al­lowed the at­tack­ers to pop around the end.

The global com­men­tariat has been full of dystopian talk of in­vestors pil­ing into eas­ily trans­portable forms of wealth and sew­ing jewels into the lin­ings of their coats in the man­ner of the Ro­manovs circa 1917, though this may be due to a slow news week rather than any con­firmed sight­ing of hed­gies get­ting out the nee­dle and thread.

Gold has been the tra­di­tional safe haven for mil­len­nia, and cur­rent cir­cum­stances may well be for­tu­itous for the merger be­tween Bar­rick Gold and Rand­gold Re­sources, led by

Mark Bris­tow.

The com­pany points out that it has five of the in­dus­try’s top 10 tier-one as­sets, as well as the low­est to­tal cash cost po­si­tion among its se­nior peers, and an as­set port­fo­lio po­si­tioned for growth around the world.

If you’re pre­par­ing for the apoc­a­lypse, this might be a good place to start.

The nat­u­ral re­ac­tion is to turn your port­fo­lio into the equiv­a­lent of the Maginot Line

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