If I had a piece of copper wire for every time that someone exclaimed that gold was in a bubble... well, the copper wire would be worth 2x what it was worth at the start of 2009. The iPath UBS Copper ETN (JJC) is up an astonishing 128% YTD, hitting a new 52-week high on 12/2.


A Where's-the-next-bubble-crazed media see the rise in copper price as anything but sane. Yet, the 66% drop from July 08-Jan 09 wasn't particularly sane either; it was panic/pandemonium that initially required a 194% gain to fully recover.

Perhaps the 128% gain... returns that have made up 2/3 of the lost ground... reflect a combination of items: (1) genuine world demand for copper and (2) extraordinary weakness of the U.S. dollar in which commodities are priced.

As for the record-breaking surge in the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the peaks in the spot price for the commodity are entirely nominal. $1200 per ounce is nowhere near the inflation-adjusted highs of $2000 per ounce in the early 80s.

Gold in a bubble? Hardly. That said, the slope of the trendline is hinting at euphoria for the yellow metal. One should expect a correction... maybe even a severe one. But if gold gets back into the $1000 - $1050 range... right down to that 50-Day MA... my interest would be elevated.


A third area that's had the media chomping at the bubble bit is emerging market bonds. For one thing, emerging market bonds experienced their largest monthly inflow on record this past October. And then, the Dubai debacle added fuel to the is-there-a-bubble fear such that... everyone is searching for an emerging nation that might default on its obligations.

However, the excess yield over comparable U.S. Treasuries in June 2007 was 1.4%. Today, the excess yield is still 4.0%... down from 5.0% in October 2008 when the financial crisis began to accelerate... but still offering reasonable risk-v-reward. The iShares JP Morgan Emerging Market Bond Fund (EMB) also offers a measure of portfolio diversification.