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Diamonds, Preparing for the Crisis, Day Trading and Renting vs Owning

Listeners’ Questions, Peter’s Answers- December 8, 2011

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Jonathan from Scottsdale, AZ
I’ve been hearing a lot about diamonds and was curious what your thoughts are about them as an investment during economic turmoil. Any advantages over precious metals? Currently undervalued?

Jonathan from Richmond, CA
Due to the imminent economic crisis, I would like to know how to help my neighbors prepare. I live in a mostly Hispanic community in California, where many lost houses and are struggling with finding a job. Investing in gold and silver may not be an option. Is there something I can do to prepare for them for the high inflation that’s coming?

Jack from Shropshire, England
If Ron Paul is elected president and re-introduces the gold standard, what would the effect on the price of gold/silver be?

Duane from Fort Worth, TX
Thomas Sowell does a good job making the case that things that many people despise, such as price gouging and speculation, are actually beneficial to the economy as a whole. One field he doesn’t mention is day trading. I personally cannot thing of anything beneficial that day trading does for the economy as a whole. It seems that it only makes stocks rise and fall faster than usual, and those who are good at it come away with a lot of money. Is that merely a case where they win and the sellers lose?

Vitaliy from Phoenix, AZ
How do you explain the disconnect between the cost of renting, and owning a home? I live in Phoenix, and according to Zillow, the same house that rents for $1,100/month, would have a mortgage payment of only $300/month.