James Dines Original Goldbug Remembered by His Peers

James Dines, financial analyst, author, and editor of The Dines Letter, died in April at the age of 90.

Colleagues paid tribute to the legendary goldbug and financial analyst James Dines who edited The Dines Letter for more than six decades.

Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter, noted on April 20th, “We just learned that Jim Dines, a long-time friend of mine and of all investors, passed away last week. Jim was an absolutely brilliant market analyst and a true pioneer in the newsletter industry, and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to tell him so over the many years that I knew him. He will be greatly missed.”

Lex Column of the Financial Times noted, “Mr. Dines has done for Technical Analysis what Graham & Dodd has done for Fundamental Analysis.”

Adrian Day, in the April 24th issue of Adrian Day’s Global Analyst, wrote, “The editor of the long-time The Dines Letter and a fixture at gold conferences for decades, has died. An avid market technician and student of investor psychology, he called himself “the original gold bug,” and liked to recount the story of how he was fired from Wall Street for recommending gold at $35 an ounce. He was a showman, famous for his dress, his humor, and for the “Dinettes,” attractive young ladies who would grace his booth, guaranteeing a large gathering! I shared many a panel, and many a dinner, with Dines and he was always good company.”

Gerardo Del Real, on a podcast published on April 26th on Daily Profit Cycle, said, “We lost an original in our space and a mentor to a mentor of ours. We lost Mr. James Dines. We should all be so lucky to live the colorful, original, unique, long life that that man lived. I know he was somebody that was an inspiration to a lot of people way before my time. I’m 43 years old. In hip hop you say, Jay-Z’s your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper? Well, in the newsletter business, he was your new favorite newsletter writer’s favorite newsletter writer. That’s who Mr. Dines was.”

In the same podcast, Nick Hodge added, “A long life, well-lived, over 90 years old. And a fantastic newsletter, well written and well-published and long-lived as well. I counted up the editions, monthly issues, of The Dines Letter since 1960, over 730 of them. That is some staying power. Had the courage to leave his Wall Street firm to write the letter to back the hard money movement. And like you say, I think every newsletter writer’s favorite newsletter writer. I had the privilege of helping him market the newsletter in some of its later years. And of course, we both got to meet him and colorful is the right word, for sure. Whenever you asked him how he was doing, Mr. Dines, at least to me, would say, ‘Never better, my boy; it’s a great day to be alive.’ And on his voicemail message would encourage you to ‘Have a great rest of your day, no, have a great rest of your life.’ And so [he] was always wishing the best for others as well. And that’s part of the High States that he wrote about in one of his books.”

James Dines began his career as a junior security analyst with Auerbach, Pollak & Richardson and rose quickly within the ranks of Wall Street. After just two and a half years with AM Kidder & Co., he was promoted to a senior security analyst. Dines began writing the firm’s weekly market letter, which just one year later Kidder renamed The Dines Letter.

Dines’ contrarian views were to become legendary. In 1960, when gold was trading at $35/oz and the price was fixed by the U.S. government, he predicted that gold would see a “historic bull market” and rise astronomically, to over $400/oz. Against conventional wisdom, over the next 15 years gold rose to $486/oz, and in 1980 hit $850/oz, earning him the moniker “The “Original Goldbug.”

Kidder fired Dines when he refused to renounce his bullish gold predictions. This led him to begin publishing The Dines Letter independently, and he remained actively involved with the newsletter until his death.

In 1980, The Wall Street Journal wrote, “Metals mania vindicates such economic Cassandras as James Dines, who for years have urged investment in gold as a safe hedge in an inflation-weary world.” In the same year, Barron’s noted, “James Dines’ prediction—that the price of bullion would someday cross the Dow-Jones Industrial Average—begins to look like one of the most fantastic investment calls on record.”

Over the years, Dines continued to make controversial calls that would come to fruition. Financial Sense Wealth Management notes that Dines, after a trip to China in 1977, “predicted that ‘China would dominate the 21st Century’ after Mao died; he was the first to prominently recognize the bull market in internet stocks; he predicted a ‘uranium boom’ when the metal was at $8/lb before it rose as high as $138/lb; and a proponent of rare earth metals at their proverbial rock bottom before they skyrocketed.”

Dines authored a number of books, including, in 1972, one of the first books on technical analysis, “How The Average Investor Can Use Technical Analysis For Stock Profits.” A Barron’s Magazine reviewer wrote, “It is the most comprehensive text ever written on the entire arcane field of investment analysis. This book was deliberately designed to attract the novice and then turn him into a pro. The established pro could learn much from it.” Lex Column of the Financial Times noted, “Mr. Dines has done for Technical Analysis what Graham & Dodd has done for Fundamental Analysis.”

Other books in Dines’ oeuvre include “The Invisible Crash: What it is, Why it Happened, How to Protect Yourself Against It,” in 1975; “How Investors Can Make Money Using Mass Psychology: A Guide to Your Relationship With Money,” in 1996; “Secrets Of High States,” in 2005; and “Goldbug!,” in 2009.

Dines served in the U.S. Army in military intelligence, graduated from Oberlin College, and received a law degree from Columbia University.

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