While the good is definitely getting better in metals, is the best yet to come?
All the metal prices are up and even in areas like palladium, platinum, etc, they are all moving up very quickly. That will be reflected downstream.
Is it imperative now to have some portfolio allocation to Bitcoin and continue with investments in gold as an asset class along with equities?
I do not think Bitcoin is a good asset class for the average investor and the simple reason is that to convert Bitcoin into cash that can be used is an extremely difficult and even dangerous proposition. The US government is after many of these Bitcoin exchanges. So, this is something I would not recommend.
However, gold at this level sounds like a good investment. In fact, I have added some gold to my own portfolio because I think it has reached a sort of turning point where we are going to see a recovery in gold prices. But even if you are not following gold on a day-to-day basis, from a long-term point of view, you are better off with 10% or 15% of assets in physical gold.
Would it be the same case for silver as well?
Yes silver, platinum and palladium as well. It is a good idea to diversify in these precious metals. The four key ones would be gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
Where do you stand as an investor in the entire home decor segment including paints?
We have not been able to find a company meeting our requirements in terms of the fundamentals in this area. Most of them are rather small. There are some exceptions but we have not found the right investment in that area. But I would not discourage anybody from looking at that and investigate more carefully because companies like paint companies and companies that are doing furniture might be an interesting entry into that sector.
What happens to the real estate revival in India? While the second wave could put a bit of a dampener, is this a sector one should stay invested in?
The real estate sector is very interesting, particularly in India, because the demand for housing is almost endless. We are not going to see a let up in demand for many years to come. Many Indians are living in substandard housing and they want to do better and as incomes rise, there will be a greater demand for housing.
The issue in the housing market is of course having reliable systems of registration and financing these houses and apartments. This is a big challenge for not only the federal government but also the individual states. In fact there has been the idea of using blockchain to track ownership of houses and apartments. I am familiar with the US system of title insurance which might be an answer for India going forward.