Billionaire "Bull of Bullion" Holds Roughly $2B in Gold-Related Assets

There’s a great deal of debate about where gold is headed next, but at least one billionaire investor has more than made up his mind.

Thomas Kaplan, the chairman and chief investment officer of Tigris Financial Group, fears excessive government spending has failed to stop contagion in the world financial system, and that the downturn is likely to get worse before it gets any better. In light of the situation, gold is his favorite investment… by far.

From The Wall Street Journal:

“Many fund managers and high-rollers have allocated small percentages of their portfolios to gold as a hedge against inflation. But Mr. Kaplan is the bull of bullion. He has gone further than perhaps any other major investor, betting the majority of his wealth on gold and other precious metals. And it reflects his deeply held conviction that global economic instability could bring rising demand for gold.

“Through his firm, Tigris Financial Group, and affiliates, Mr. Kaplan has loaded up on bullion and bought up properties in 17 countries on five continents, where geologists are exploring for more. Tigris subsidiaries have taken stakes in mining companies, including tiny firms that have yet to produce an ounce.

“Though he won’t disclose how much physical gold he owns, Mr. Kaplan, who is 47 years old, controls up to 30% of the shares in some so-called junior miners. Together, his holdings amount to a nearly $2 billion bet on gold, more than the Brazilian central bank’s bullion is currently worth. ‘I’ve reached a point where I feel the only asset I have confidence in is gold,’ Mr. Kaplan said in an interview at Tigris’s midtown Manhattan headquarters.”

Kaplan sees a bet on gold as being relatively conservative, and that either way markets turn there’s hope in the yellow metal. He describes his view, “If the world does well, gold will be fine. If the world doesn’t do well, gold will also do fine… but a lot of other things could collapse.”

His confidence largely stems from the lack of major recent gold mine discoveries, especially given how much time is required to get a new find up and running. He points out that if gold demand holds steady, or continues to increase, the supply still won’t be there, and prices are likely to stay higher.

You can read more about the “bull of bullion” in The Wall Street Journal’s coverage of a billionaire going all-in on gold.


Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning