401K’s, Aquaculture, Short-Selling and Commodities Investments

Listeners’ Questions, Peter’s Answers- June 23, 2011

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Scott from Winston Salem, NC
I have retirement assets through work 401k at Vanguard. Since there is no way to own gold or silver or go short or get in other currencies besides the US dollar, what would you recommend?

Nathan from San Francisco, CA
I noticed that you had a company called Marine Resources at the investment conference. I was wondering about your thoughts on the future of aquaculture in the U.S. and abroad as an investment opportunity. I’ve started a marine biology graduate program and worked at an experimental shrimp farm for the South Carolina DNR prior to becoming a dentist so I have some interest in this field.

Eric from Sacramento, CA
I’m a native New Yorker from Queens who moved to California 6 years ago and purchased a home when the rates were good. The home was purchased at $210,000 and is now worth $190,000. I want to sell my home, but this would mean short-selling, which would severely hurt my credit. Do you think the housing market may get a little better over the next year or are we headed for a total economic meltdown?

Mary from Reisterstown, MD
I believe you said that when gold investments declined in value in 2008 it was due to hedge fund managers covering their positions by selling gold. Do you think they might do the same in the event of another economic decline?

Thomas from Oslo, Norway
Precious metals and commodities crashed along with all asset classes during the financial crisis. Will they crash again along with other asset classes? If they will decouple, as you seem to believe, what will be different this time?