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Keeping an Eye on Gold's Silver Lining

Can you buy gold? Sure, all you want. $1,200 or so per ounce.

Should you buy any precious metal and expect to make money from it as an investment? Maybe. Or maybe not. Currently, there’s not much to draw an investor to something that doesn’t earn interest or a dividend and can present a security concern unless properly stored.

Gold is seen as a hedge against inflation. It also tends to perform well during disruptive geopolitical times, as it is seen as a hard asset that always will carry some sort of value.

"Gold and other precious commodities come into favor when people start to worry about inflation," says Matt Busick, managing director at River Glen Private Capital in West Des Moines. With inflation stuck in the low 2 percent range, gold is stuck pricewise, as well.

Busick says there might be some uptick in inflation if higher employment rates push up wages, and if the 2017 tax cut pumps too much money into the economy.

You can own gold physically, by purchasing bars or coins. Or you can own its proxy in exchange-traded funds or shares of mining companies. The advantages of owning stock in, say, Newmont Mining Corp. is that you can trade in and out of your position in the blink of an eye. Still, their fortunes rise and fall with the underlying price of the metal.

At Coins, Stamps ‘N’ Stuff, in Clive, owner Jerry E. Koepp and his crew will sell you the real dealbars and coins made of gold. The typical sales unit is 1 ounce, either in a bar or in government minted coins such as the American Gold Eagle ($50 face value) or the popular Canadian "Maple Leaf" coin that is 0.999 percent pure gold.

The reason for picking up an ingot or coin is pretty simple, said Koepp."Gold and silver have had value since the beginning of time," he said. Some people buy coins or bars as a hedge against inflation (or perhaps a longing for the good times of 1980, when gold hit $4,800 an ounce during a double-digit inflation year). Some fear global calamity. Some just want a trinket for their grandchildren.

As a current investment play, Koepp mentions silver, not gold. That’s because historically, it takes 30-60 ounces of silver to equal the value of 1 ounce of gold. Today, the difference is around 84-1, so an investor might take a position in silver in hopes that spread will work its way back toward the norm.
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Legacy Bridge

Angel Investors Find Des Moines to be Heavenly

Des Moines may not yet be in the league of Silicon Valley as a national innovation hub, but there’s a lot of local investment money pouring into ways to make business and industry here thrive. Take, for instance, Plains Angels, a Des Moines-based investment startup group that is hosting this week's Best of the Midwest Angel Capital Association Conference.

It has brought together angel investors, accredited individual investors and seed capital managers to, in its words, minimize geographic barriers, improve syndication and build lasting relationships (there are several angel investor groups in Des Moines).

One focus of the conference, held at the downtown Hilton, is a discussion on the Global Insurance Accelerator efforts taking place in the city. Speakers include two executives from Principal Financial Group and Nick Gerhart, former Iowa insurance commissioner and current chief administrative officer at Farm Bureau Financial Services.

As one of the nation's hubs for insurance, Des Moines has developed a knack for bringing funding—along with advice from leading industry experts—to entrepreneurs serving the industry. What better time or place to make this happen, and in a city that has the power to spark change across the globe?

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Denton Homes
801 Chophouse

Wealthy Investors Have a Big Cybersecurity Problem
BY GINGER SZALA for the website ThinkAdvisor

Cybertheft is important to all investors, but especially to high-net-worth individuals who might have greater exposure, less knowledge and more endpoints of access for thieves, according to Aon’s Cyber Solutions CEO Jason J. Hogg.

In fact, more than half of 664 high-net-worth respondents of a 2017 Aon online survey said they either had experienced a cybersecurity event or knew someone who had.

Most interesting to Hogg was that the survey found that 77 percent of respondents were concerned about risks posed to their finances by cybersecurity, and 78 percent were concerned about related issues on identity theft, numbers far above traditional financial worries such as market volatility (60 percent), or changing interest rates (39 percent).

"People are more concerned about cybersecurity than they are with regard to their actual wealth," Hogg told ThinkAdvisor. "That was incredibly telling and most resonating to me." Click here to read the complete article.
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Estate Planning in a Digital Age
Stacie Neussendorfer, JD, CFP®, CAP®, Lead Advisor

You know an estate plan is important to dispose of your property at death. Did you know that, without a specific plan regarding your digital assets (Facebook, iTunes, etc.), your loved ones may not be able to access these when you’re gone? > FULL ARTICLE

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