It's been a brutal market lately, unless you're a bullion buff. Gold futures for April delivery passed the $1,000 milestone this morning.
I'm not an avid tracker of precious metals, so I have no insight to offer you regarding the nuances and direction of the yellow stuff. As a stock investor, I just want to lay an ounce of gold on one side of the balance, and show you how much that $1,000 value could fetch in equities on the open market.
After all, an ounce of gold these days can buy you any of the following:
- A round lot of 100 shares of General Electric
(NYSE:GE). The conglomerate -- only a few years ago, the most valuable company on the planet -- opened at less than $10 a share this morning.
- Nearly three shares of Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG). This one stings personally. Back in 2005, Google and gold were both barreling towards the $500 mark, and I made my case for buying Google over gold.
- Roughly 8,000 shares of Sirius XM Radio
(NASDAQ:SIRI), based on last night's close. I often refer to Sirius XM as a lottery ticket, given the speculative nature of buying into the satellite radio operator these days. However, truth be told, a buck spent on a lottery ticket is now good for eight shares of Sirius XM.
- Nearly three shares of NVR
(NYSE:NVR). The homebuilder peaked in the summer of 2005, with its stock closing just 5% below the $1,000 mark. Remember when metals and real estate were considered hard assets? How times have changed!
- A hundred shares apiece of Bank of America
(NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and General Motors (NYSE:GM), with more than enough spare change to take that special someone to a really good steakhouse. I'm lumping these three companies together because they are part of the 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average index. Can you believe that five of the 30 stocks in the Dow are trading in the single digits?
This isn't necessarily a shopping list, though I'll risk further embarrassment by claiming that I would rather own three shares of the world's leading search engine than an ounce of gold at the moment.
Gee, $1,000 can go a long way on Wall Street these days.
Further 24-karat Foolishness:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't consider himself to be a gold bug, though he can bug people and ruin a golden moment. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.