This “Fear Gauge” for Gold Says It’s Now Time to Buy

Nick’s Note: Gold is one of our favorite chaos hedges… And it belongs in every portfolio. Back in October, we told you gold was a good buy. But we’re not the only ones who think so.

Jeff Clark is one of the world’s best market timers. And right now, he believes gold is about to go up. Read on to find out why.


By Jeff Clark, editor, Market Minute

The CBOE Gold Volatility Index (GVZ) is similar to the stock market Volatility Index (VIX) in that it measures the market’s expectation for volatility over the next 30 days. We often refer to the VIX as the stock market’s “fear gauge.” And we use it as a contrarian indicator.

For example, when the VIX is high and investors are fearful, that’s often a good time to buy stocks. When the VIX is low and investors are complacent, it’s often a good time for caution.

The GVZ is also a good tool for measuring fear and complacency. And it can provide excellent timing signals on when to buy or sell gold stocks.

But traders have to look at it differently than they look at the VIX. Let me explain…

In the stock market, volatility increases as investors grow fearful and sell stocks. So, the VIX tends to go up as stock prices fall. They move in opposite directions.

In the gold market, though, the GVZ and gold stocks tend to move together. In other words, gold stocks rally as GVZ moves higher. Gold stocks fall when GVZ falls.

It all makes perfect sense when you think about it.

Gold and gold stocks are often seen as a hedge against bad times. So, as investors grow more fearful, they tend to buy into the gold sector. The “fear gauge” and the gold sector move higher.

When investors are complacent and don’t see a need to hedge against bad times, GVZ and the gold sector move lower.

And just like the VIX can trigger buy and sell signals for the broad stock market when it moves outside of its Bollinger Bands, the GVZ triggers the same sort of signals with gold stocks.

Take a look at this chart of GVZ plotted along with its Bollinger Bands…

Bollinger Bands help identify the most probable move for a stock or an index. It’s uncommon for a chart to move much outside of its Bollinger Bands. So, when it does happen, it’s an extreme move – and it’s a move that will likely reverse.

The red circles on the chart show each time over the past year that GVZ closed above its upper Bollinger Band. This indicates extreme fear among investors, and an overbought condition for the gold sector.

The blue circles indicate each time GVZ closed below its Bollinger Bands. That shows extreme complacency and an oversold condition for the gold sector.

Now look at how the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners Fund (GDX) performed after each of those signals…

Three of the past four sell signals marked almost the exact top of the gold stock rallies. All three of the past year’s buy signals occurred near the exact low for GDX.

Last Friday, GVZ closed below its lower Bollinger Band. Investors are complacent. They’re not worried and they see little or no reason to be buying gold and gold stocks. The three previous times we’ve seen this condition this year, gold stocks were sharply higher 30-60 days later.

We may not have hit the exact bottom of this particular gold stock decline. But I’ll bet that we’re close enough to a bottom that the gold sector will be higher two months from now.

Aggressive traders should consider adding some gold stock exposure on any further weakness.

Best regards and good trading,

Jeff Clark
Editor, Market Minute

P.S. If you’d like to receive my free daily market insights, Jeff Clark’s Market Minute, click here and I’ll automatically add you to my list. You’ll also receive a link to my “Guide to Options Trading” just for signing up. This free report will teach you how to trade options the right way… and dramatically boost your overall returns.

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