Over the last few days, America has been rocked by the largest cyberattack the world has ever seen: the so-called “WannaCry” virus.
Europol described the WannaCry attack as “unprecedented.”
The devastating strike has infected over 300,000 computers so far in more than 150 countries, including institutions, government offices, bank machines and hospitals. Customers have been left unable to access ATMs and vital services.
As the virus spreads, the implications are scary to consider:
• In the U.S.A., high profile targets like FedEx were affected
• The UK’s National Health Service suffered a critical blow, with 7 out of 50 NHS trusts still facing serious problems
• In France, carmakers were forced to suspend production
• In Germany, railway info screens showed only red error screens with the WannaCry warning sign
What is going on?
Incredibly, this attack seems to be the work of relatively unsophisticated hackers who are utilizing highly hazardous code.
It appears certain that this code was originally developed by and stolen from America’s own National Security Agency. It targets a known Windows vulnerability that could lurk on any Microsoft-powered computer.
What can be done?
Microsoft itself has announced that all digital systems remain highly vulnerable. Highly-destructive code is now easily available today to anyone. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, says “as cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems.”
In a time of cyberwarfare and digital recordkeeping, holding physical gold and silver in your retirement account – and your safe deposit box – is a critical part of protecting your wealth.
GOLD HOLDING STEADY IN THE STORM
U.S. political turmoil and security leaks, a successful long-range missile test by North Korea and the worldwide cyberattack have kept gold prices firm as investors have fueled demand for gold as a safe haven asset. Also, weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data has pushed bond yields and the U.S. dollar lower, benefiting gold.
According to the U.S. Commerce Department, consumer spending came in way under expectations last month. U.S. retail sales rose only 4.0% in April, when economists were expecting to see a 0.6% rise.
The U.S. Labor Department also reported that annual core inflation has increased 1.9%. All of these trends cast doubt on the Fed’s plans to continue to raise rates later in 2017.
WHY GOLD NOW
U.S. gold exports have nearly doubled during January and February 2017 versus the same period last year. Hong Kong/China and India received nearly two-thirds of these total gold exports in January and February this year.
India and Chinese gold investors are exchanging their endangered paper-based assets for tangible wealth immune from manipulation from governments and central bankers.
Former Fed Chair Allan Greenspan understands why Chinese and Indian investors are buying more gold than ever before. Greenspan says significant increases in inflation will ultimately increase the price of gold. To Greenspan, investing in gold is now insurance and not for short-term gain, but for long-term protection.
U.S. Global Investors chief executive officer Frank Holmes is bullish on gold in large part due to strong Indian and Chinese demand for gold and suggests investors have a 10% gold allocation in their portfolios.
Victor Dergunov, founder of Albright Investment Group, thinks positive fundamentals surrounding gold and the gold mining sector mean that gold and silver could be on the verge of a major surge higher. According to Dergunov, economic unrest and geopolitical risks support gold miners by making it more lucrative to explore for new sites. Although Dergunov expects the looming Fed rate hike in June to proceed as planned, he notes that any delay by the Fed would cause gold prices to skyrocket. With inflation on the rise, Dergunov thinks the any downside for gold is limited.
DON’T LET CYBERCRIMINALS DESTROY THE SAFETY OF YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN
In a time when your digital assets could vanish with the stroke of a keyboard, physical gold remains the ideal medium of wealth preservation and exchange: safe, portable and highly liquid throughout the world.
Any reasonable person can see that threats to globalism and American hegemony are on the rise, putting the need for preparedness back on every one of us as individuals. Rogue states like North Koreas are testing missile technology and Washington, D.C. has ground to a halt due to hyper-partisanship.
Western gold and silver investors could view the current price levels of precious metals as an ideal time to consider diversification for their retirement plans, IRAs, TSPs or even 401k rollovers.