Guns, Gold & Steel

An interesting fact from BNY/ConvergEx's morning report. According to Nicholas Colas, ConvergEx Group chief market strategist, every month, Americans file the paperwork to buy +1 million firearms. At $300/gun (a conservative number) that is $300 million spent every month on guns pistols, rifles and shotguns.The Report added the following titbits: Year on year growth rates for FBI background checks are now positive again in 2010, after some giveback from +20% growth rates in 2009. Looking at Google Trends to assess the popularity of the search term Buy a Gun shows an uptrend in 2010. Oddly, the Google Trend for Buy Ammunition is solidly lower from the peak in 2009. People may be interested in buying guns, but they do not seem to shooting them a whole lot. Interestingly, the Google Trend data for Gold Coin shows very steady demand for this search term over the past 5 years. At least according to the worlds biggest search engine, people are NOT flocking to the Internet to scoop up gold coins, or even do the research on the investment class. There is steady demand for information, for sure, but no surge that would indicate a frothy level of interest. There has been a huge increase in silver coin sales from the U.S. Mint. In the context of the rich/non-rich America paradigm outlined in the Gallup data, that makes good sense. Very few people can afford to buy $1,200 American Eagle gold coins. Many more can buy $20 silver Eagles.