As 2013 begins, now's a good time to look at the future prospects for the stocks you own. If you don't know where a company's headed in the next year and beyond, then it's impossible to make an informed decision about whether you should add the stock to your portfolio -- or sell it if you already own it.
Today, I'll look at Central Fund of Canada . The closed-end fund posted modest gains in 2012 as the bull market in gold and silver bullion continued, but some aren't so certain about the prospects for precious metals this year. Read on for more about Central Fund of Canada's prospects for 2013.
Stats on Central Fund of Canada
Median Estimate for 2013 Gold Price, Bloomberg
Median Estimate for 2013 Silver Price, Bloomberg
Current Asset Allocation of Central Fund
54.3% gold, 44.9% silver, 0.8% cash
Sources: Bloomberg, Central Fund website.
Will Central Fund keep climbing in 2013?
Based on median estimates for bullion prices this year, Central Fund has a lot of room to run higher. Bullish estimates point to gains of more than 15% for gold and more than 30% for silver, which would lead to a boost in Central Fund's net asset value of 20% or more.
From a fundamental standpoint, many of the positive forces that have pushed gold and silver prices higher over the past decade are still in place. The Federal Reserve is still pushing hard to try to stimulate the economy through easy monetary policy, and all-in cash costs of production and management have been steadily rising, with Goldcorp planning to release figures that Motley Fool gold expert Christopher Barker sees coming in near $1,100 per gold ounce.
Moreover, many of those factors support the idea that bullion will continue to be kinder to investors than gold mining stocks. With Kinross Gold and AuRico Gold both having suffered declines in the past year with mistakes from management that led to ill-advised moves, especially in a rising-cost environment, the advantage of Central Fund is that you don't have to worry about company-specific issues ruining an otherwise sound investment.
The fiscal cliff resolution also favors Central Fund going forward. Low rates on capital gains will continue to give the closed-end fund a tax advantage over SPDR Gold and iShares Silver for certain investors, with only upper-end taxpayers seeing any increase in tax rates at all.
Central Fund's mix of gold and silver gives investors exposure both to the safe-haven status of gold and the industrial applications of silver for a growing economy. With shares currently at a typical premium of 5%, investors can use Central Fund as a reasonable proxy for precious-metals exposure.
Find smart stocks
No matter what sector you like to invest in, it's always smart to find innovators in an industry. That's how Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner has frequently crushed the market, as his picks reveal his insight on popular trends before they actually become popular. Learn more on how David discovers his winners by clicking here and getting exclusive access to your personal tour of David's Supernova service. It's not available forever, so act now.
Click here to add Central Fund of Canada to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.
The article Will Central Fund of Canada Be Golden in 2013? originally appeared on Fool.com.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter: @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.