Gold Bug Profile: Howard S. Katz

JP Buntinx
May 10, 2020

Over the course of history, there have been many individuals who are looking at gold in a favorable manner. Not all of those gold bugs are still among us, unfortunately, but they will be remembered in their own way. Today, Howard S, Katz deserves the spotlight, as he has certainly carved out a legacy in the gold industry.

Howard S. Katz the Gold Bug

In this modern day and age, the term “gold bug” is thrown around rather loosely. Anyone who shows some sort of affinity toward gold is given this unofficial title fairly quickly. Back in the 60s and 70s, that situation was very different, for a variety of reasons. 

To many, Howard S, Katz is credited as being one of the first gold bugs the world has ever seen. In fact, he quickly turned his favoritism toward gold into some solid money, even though the markets didn’t necessarily warrant that much optimism at that point. Even so, the perseverance by Katz certainly paid off in the long run.

Not only did he manage to obtain a fair gold stock, he also invested in gold companies. One particular firm stands out: the Lake Shore Mine. As an early investor, Katz managed to buy shares for $3 per pop. He later on sold the shares at $31 each, even though the company’s stock price hit $39 at the peak in 1980.  

He also worked together with Ron Paul on the American eagle gold coin bill of 1986. 

Howard S, Katz the Student

It is always interesting to learn more about the scholarly background of gold bugs. In Katz’s case, there seems to be something rather peculiar. More specifically, he went to Harvard – and had ample interest in the financial world – but did not follow the regular “path” most graduates would take. Rather than doing things the traditional way, he refused to take courses from the Harvard Economics Department.

That is not necessarily a bad choice, as every school or university teaches very specific things. Katz seemingly did not like what Harvard’s Economics Departments was willing to teach him, thus he began studying economics on his own. His primary focus rested with classical economists and the Austrian school. That is a rather common trend among most gold bugs who lived or studied during that era. 

Howard S. Katz the Analyst

Even though Katz is rightfully called an early gold bug, it is evident that he was all too aware of how the markets evolved at any given moment. Despite showing plenty of bullish optimism toward gold in the 60s and 70s, Katz also knew that this bull run would not last forever. 

In 1979, Katz shared his bearish opinion on the gold market at that time. He acknowledges the final leg of that particular bull run had occurred a year later, prompting him to call a top at a price of $825.5.

The market took a sharp downturn in the following weeks and months. In fact, the market has been pretty volatile for nearly two decades since that time, further confirming that exiting gold positions was the only right course of action.

When the conditions improved in late 2002, Katz became a gold bull once again. He immediately opened some long-term positions, which will have paid their own dividends over time. Gold, while a very interesting investment, is often held to make money in the long run. If the market conditions simply aren’t there, there is no real reason to hold it in one’s portfolio.

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