If you have been thinking of investing in gold, congratulations. Why? It shows you think long-term. The truth is that gold has always been a ‘safe refuge’ for investors during times of economic uncertainty. As awesome as global stock markets have been performing lately, the old saying of ‘what comes up must come down’ definitely applies not just to the physical and natural worlds but also to the finance world. Stocks often go through boom and bust cycles. Inflation is always lurking in the background threatening to reduce the value of your hard-earned cash. Governments are not immune from devaluation. These are the key risks investing in gold protects against. You would do well to diversify your investment portfolio by investing in gold. With that said, there are so many ways to invest in gold and precious metals, for that matter, out there. How do you pick the ‘best’ way to invest in gold.The problem with defining ‘the best’Let’s face it, ‘the best’ is a very subjective and slippery term. Maybe this is why salesmen love using the phrase ‘the best.’ Hearing ‘the best’ makes you feel good but chances are you’re just letting your impressions and assumptions regarding the meaning of this overused and abused phrase get the best of you. The sad reality is that what is ‘best’ for your might turn out to be a disaster for someone else. And vice-versa. Moreover, you can’t base your investment decision on what is ‘best’ for a salesperson trying to get you to invest in a particular gold investment option. The good news is that there is a powerful way to define what is ‘the best’ when it comes to your gold investment options: focus on your needs. That’s right-by focusing on what your particular investment needs are, your risk profile, the amount of time and management you’re willing to put into your gold investments, and other factors, you can come up with the best range of options when it comes to owning gold. Keep your needs in mind when examining the different gold investment options listed below.Direct ownership: Physical goldThere is a certain psychological benefit to being able to physically handle the gold you are investing in. Unlike stocks which give you a legal share in a corporation, when you buy direct physical gold, you get to handle the gold. You get to touch it. You get to see it. There is a psychological benefit to this. You simply and directly feel you own something valuable. So far so good, right? Well, the downside with owning gold directly is that you have to worry about robbers. If you think your gold bullion is valuable to you, it is doubly more valuable to people who want to rip it away from you. You have to invest in a home safe or pay to have your gold stored somewhere. Also, you have to get the proper insurance for your gold bullion investment. When it comes time to sell, you would need to pay assay fees so the company (most people usually sell to a company that buys and sells gold when they liquidate) can be sure that you’re selling real pure gold bullion. Keep these details in mind. They definitely add to your cost. Also, there is a psychological price to having physical gold in your home-you can lose sleep due to the risk of crime.Direct ownership: Gold coinsThe great thing about owning gold coins is that you get to play two investments in one. First, you’re obviously investing in the gold market. At the very least, your gold coins will be worth the price of the gold they contain. Gold prices can change dramatically and you can definitely play the gold market by buying gold coins. The second market you’re investing in when you buy gold coins is the collectible coin market. Gold coins get their value from two sources: the amount of gold they contain and the premium collectors pay for the coins. This is a serious consideration. Why? When you buy your gold coins, you actually pay the base gold value and a premium for the coin. This can be a serious headache when you try to unload your gold coin collection. You might end up losing money if the price of gold remains stable or the same and the collector premium of your coins don’t go up.Gold ETFInvesting in gold exchange traded funds is the safest way to invest in gold bullion. Imagine getting into physical gold without having to worry about burglars or paying all sorts of fees for the storage and insurance of your gold holdings. Exchange traded funds work like mutual funds. They are traded based on net asset value (NAV). Gold ETFs only have one asset and one asset alone: a fixed amount of gold bullion. You basically buy the Gold ETF and play it like a stock investment: buy low and sell high. The advantage to this way of owning gold is that it is very liquid. You can easily buy to get in and sell to get out. The biggest advantage to ETFs is that they make investing in gold very easy. The downside is that you don’t get to physically handle your gold investments. Another downside is that the price of the ETF is tied to the price of gold solely.Gold mining stocksOne of the most interesting ways to play the gold market is to invest in gold mining stocks. You get rid of the headaches of physical and ETF gold investments by investing in gold mining stocks. Your stock might go up higher than the appreciation of gold prices. Why? Your stock might enjoy a ‘market premium.’ This is the extra value placed by the market for hot stocks. With gold mining stocks you essentially get the benefits of playing in the gold and stock markets. The downside, just like with playing the stock market in general, is picking the right company to invest in.Thanks to ETFs and a robust stock market, getting into gold investing is easier now than ever. Keep the investment options’ pros and cons firmly in mind when planning your gold investment moves.
As the world around us continues to adapt to a new sense of normal in light of COVID-19, we at Smythe LLP (Smythe), recently sat down (virtually) with Kendall Hanson from CHEK News to discuss how we’re adapting to working from home and what is means for us as a firm, as well as the communities we live and work in.
Although we may be smack dab in the middle of our busiest time of year, things at Smythe are still business as usual – with a few notable exceptions.
The first, and probably most obvious, is that nearly all our staff have now transitioned to working from home.
“The first week of office closures and having everyone work from home was definitely a week of transition, but I think everyone’s really quickly adapted to it and gotten used to it and a lot of people are really enjoying it,” said Partner, Trevor Topping.
During a time where our offices would normally be a buzz with client visits and meetings, our offices are now closed to the public and a skeleton crew has been put in place to ensure clients are able to safely drop off necessary files and mail is being received and sent out.
To read the full article and to hear what Trevor had to say about Smythe’s new normal, click here.
For more information on our response to COVID-19, or to learn what support is available to you, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre, or reach out to your Smythe Partner directly.
Given the current economic uncertainty, effective cash flow management will be critical for the success of many businesses. This will likely involve a combination of:
Managing working capital levels
Managing discretionary expenses
Obtaining additional financing
Working capital management can take the form of:
Implementing Credit Policies
By implementing credit policies with your customers you can speed up the collection process. This could include requiring upfront deposits, reducing the credit terms or offering incentives for early payment. Always ensure you follow-up on overdue accounts.
Utilizing a Just-in-Time Inventory System
Unless it will hurt your ability to sell, don’t carry extra inventory.
Using Credit Terms to your Advantage
Unless they are offering worthwhile incentives, don’t pay your suppliers until it is necessary.
A tool that should be utilized to help with managements’ decision making, is a cash flow forecast. This will help you assess the impact of working capital and expense management decisions, as well as determine whether additional financing will be required.
If you decide that you need to obtain financing (see below), it is likely that the lender will require a forecast as part of the application process.
Obtaining Additional Financing
As part of the economic stimulus package, the Government of Canada is working to ensure businesses have access to traditional financing, from both the government and private lenders.
Among the products being targeted to COVID-19 relief are:
Working Capital Loans
Funds to provide working capital for the operations, and cover general operating expenses, as opposed to capital purchases or expansions. There are currently programs in place where loans can be approved within 48 hours or maybe available without any payments for the first six months. BDC loans of up to $100,000 can be applied for online.
Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
As part of the Business Credit Availability Program, EDC is partnering with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new loans or credit requests up to $6.25 million for small and medium-sized enterprises. Financing is meant to be used for operating costs and is available to exporting and non-exporting companies. The idea behind the program is to encourage additional funding from banks as the EDC provides a re-payment guarantee of 80%. This program is now available through your bank or credit union.
Bridge Financing Program
Offered through BDC Capital, this special program may match (with a convertible note) a current financing round being raised through qualified existing and/or new investors made into eligible Canadian start-ups. This program is best suited for high-potential companies that have venture capital investors willing to support them. BDC will then invest alongside these groups. There are separate criteria for both companies and investors who wish to take advantage of this program – for full details, click here.
Term Loan and Lease Payment Relief
Ability to delay payment of principal for up to six months on existing loans.
Increases to Existing Line of Credit
Financial institutions are providing increases to the borrowing limits on existing lines of credit.
Purchase Order Financing
Flexible terms are being offered to ensure existing and future orders can be fulfilled.
Export Development Canada is providing buyer financing and direct financing for international sales to ensure Canadian businesses are able to participate in international trade opportunities.
If your business requires cash flow management or additional financing, please contact your Smythe Partner directly as additional reporting may be required. Our team can match your business with the appropriate product and guide you through the process and provide financial information to the lending institutions.
the Government of Canada announced the Canada Emergency Business Account interest-free loans that provide up to $40,000 for small businesses and not-for-profits that have been financially impacted by COVID-19. On December 4, 2020, the program was expanded to offer an additional $20,000 to businesses that continue to be seriously impacted by the pandemic. The loans are available through eligible financial institutions, and businesses must apply through a financial institution where they had an existing relationship. The loans are interest-free, and 25% of the original $40,000 of the balance and 50% of the additional $20,000 of the balance is forgivable if the business repays the loan by the end of 2022. Businesses are required to have had an annual payroll of $20,000 to $1,500,000 or non-deferrable expenses of at least $40,000 in 2019 to qualify.
Businesses have until March 31, 2021, to apply for a loan or the $20,000 expansion. In the case where applicants are waiting for their financial institution to finalize the submission of additional information, they will have until May 7, 2021, to complete the submission.