In the first four months of 2010, the Greek central bank sold more than 50,000 sovereigns at its main downtown Athens office. Bank officials estimate that at least 100,000 other coins changed hands on the black market. The Bank of Greece has received as much as $409 per coin, which works out to a price of more than $1,700 per ounce of gold! Prices paid on the black market are reckoned to be even higher. A popular spot for street vendors to sell their coins is near the Athens Stock Exchange. There the traders wait for citizens to bring payments received from unloading their paper assets like stocks and bonds.
As shown on our new charts page, average hourly earnings in the U.S. is now at a record nominal high of $18.98; but adjusted for real inflation, hourly earnings in the U.S. is now about half of what it was in the early 1970s.
The first thing investors generally ask me is: “Aren’t alternative investments risky?” This reflects the widespread practice of equating “alternative” with “exotic”. It is true that many alternative investments are exotic and risky, just as many “traditional” investments such as small-cap stocks, options and junk bonds are extremely volatile. Risk and volatility are certainly elements of an investment that must be considered, but not simply assumed by the asset class they occupy.
Are alternative investments finally going to make it to the mainstream? Here’s hoping.
The massive plunge and quick recovery for the Dow Jones Industrial
Average might have been the result of a glitch.
Excellent. And yet this is where our government tells us we should have our retirement money.