May 22, 2024 - Business

New investing acronym: Why BEGS prices are soaring

Four line charts showing the daily price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, gold and silver from May 22, 2023 to May 21, 2024. Bitcoin prices have risen from $26,858 to $70,037. Ethereum has risen from $1,818 to $3,783. Gold has risen from $1,971 to $2,426 per ounce. Silver has risen from $24 to $32 per ounce.
Data: FactSet; Note: Gold and silver prices are per ounce; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

The current market looks like a goose that lays the golden BEGS.

The big picture: The full range of popular investments with no associated cash flow — bitcoin, Ethereum, gold, silver — is at or near all-time highs. Let's call them BEGS.

Between the lines: Investors seem to be seizing on any or no reason to keep on buying into this rally.

  • Gold is rising on geopolitical tensions and Chinese central bank purchases; Ethereum on hopes for an ETF; silver on increased industrial demand. Bitcoin is anybody's guess.
  • All of them in theory would benefit from falling interest rates, which reduce the opportunity cost of holding investments that pay no interest. It's possible that some of the buying is taking place in anticipation of future rate cuts.

Flashback: The zero-cash-flow asset class used to be known as SWAG — an acronym standing for silver, wine, art, gold.

  • Wine and art, however, are not particularly investable — certainly not in comparison to the BEGS. They're also increasingly competing with other collectibles, like watches, cars, and sneakers.

The bottom line: The collectibles market, from art to watches, looks pretty depressed at the moment. The BEGS, by contrast, are on fire.

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