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Earning in an Economic Crisis: Where are the Opportunities?

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By Musa R. Kaiser

What does one do when almost everyone is affected, is in a crisis and is in need of help and support?

We all know someone who has lost a job or whose business has shut due to the pandemic. Yes, things have picked up and the economic environment is looking better, but don’t be lulled into complacency and too much optimism – yet. So, when jobs are being lost in the millions and businesses are being shut, where does one go to “earn money”? Afterall, the bills don’t stop, do they? The rent or EMI, the school fees, other bills and of course food, is still to be paid for,isn’t it?

Of the two “opportunities” available to everyone in the public, by far gold is the easier, more accessible and tangible option that the ‘common man’ could have used to ‘earn money’.

It’s one thing to be able to ask for help if you alone or a few are in a difficult situation. What does one do when almost everyone is affected, is in a crisis and is in need of help and support?To reframe the question, “Was (andis) there any place where the ‘common man’ could have gone to ‘earn money’ during the economic downturn?”


There are two places that the ‘common man’ could have significantly benefitted from. And I would like to emphasise that it will be well worth one’s time and energy to learn and absorb the lessons therein, for surely hard times will come again.
The two places are:
1. Gold: The price of gold in the second half of 2019 was around 38,000 / 10 gms ($1,350 / oz). As the pandemic broke out, the price jumped to 43-44 thousand levels ($1,600 / oz). As the pandemic got worse and jobs and business were being lost by the millions, the price of gold reached 55,000 / 10 gms ($2,050 / oz). An increase of 45% in about 6-10 months.
2. Stock Markets: The Sensex (the popular main Index of India), prior to the pandemic was around 42,000 in Jan 2020 (Dow Jones 29,000), fell to 26,000 (Dow Jones 18,500) in Mar 2020 (a fall of 38%) and then rose to over 51,000 (Dow Jones 31,500) in Feb 2021 (a rise of 21% from 42 to 51 thousand and a 96% rise from its Mar 2020 lows).
Of the two “opportunities” available to everyone in the public, by far gold is the easier, more accessible and tangible option that the ‘common man’ could have used to ‘earn money’.
I know, all this is easy to say in retrospect, but for those who know some basics of how the world of money works, the gold option was and is by far the obvious and easy one to take advantage off.
In the in light of the above, I would like you to ponder upon what you could have done differently and helped yourself (and your family and friends) to earn at least something (or a lot) during the pandemic.
Post Script:
At the time of sending this article to the press, Covid 19 infections have surged to the highest ever. As this happens, Gold has started to rally up again. It is up from its recent lows of 44,000 / 10 gms to 47,000 (a 7% rise in 4 weeks). Is a run back to the highs of 56,000 on the cards?

(The authoris a doctor, financial educator and investor. He is working on a hobby-project on sharia compliant global, multi-asset investing and trading. If you have questions, suggestions and comments, you can write to the author at [email protected])

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