#80 - Claude Erb - “It Is Possible That We're in the Middle of a Period in Which Gold Becomes the New Frankincense"

65 minutes

In Episode 80, we welcome commodities and gold expert, Claude Erb.

As usual, we start with Claude’s back-story, but it’s not long before the guys jump into investing, with Meb asking about Claude’s general framework and view of the markets.

Claude tells us there are three concepts that guide his broad investing thinking: first, framing investment opportunities in terms of price/value relationships; second, the concept that no one gives away anything of value for free; and third, the idea that there really is no difference between a successful traditional fundamental approach to investing and a successful quantitative approach to investing.

This leads into a quick conversation about how market wisdom compounds over the years, but it’s not long before the guys jump into the topic of “gold.” Claude and his writing partner, Campbell Harvey, wrote the seminal paper, “The Golden Constant”, which explored the possible relationship between the real, inflation-adjusted price of gold and future real gold returns. Meb mentions how gold elicits far more emotion in investors than nearly any other asset, with different investors having an array of reasons or themes as to why they own gold.

Clause gives us some great commentary on the link between fear and gold, touching upon VIX contracts, volatility, and even Buffett’s and Dalio’s take on gold. The guys continue with the gold discussion, with Claude referencing some of the concepts from “The Golden Constant”. All you gold bugs (and historians, for that matter) won’t want to miss this.

There’s way more in this episode, including a discussion of commodities, various practical takeaways, and Claude’s thoughts on something called “the sequence of returns.” And of course, there’s Claude’s most memorable trade.  What are the details? Find out in Episode 80.

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