With realized positions, I'm up 14.3%.

Unrealized is down 3.7% . . . and that's all paper gold -- CEF, GTU, GLD.

I made most of my income from jumping in and out of paper gold (Since it was held less than a year, I'm hoping I can claim at the normal tax rate, although I realize some believe it will be taxed as a "collectible.)

I know EJ recommends holding, but I haven't calculated whether I would have been better off doing that, or not. metalman, what % has your gold gone up or down so far this year?

I also dabbled in Jack Crooks options program. I made some money there, but bailed out when he made 11 bad (or what looked like would turn bad) calls in a row IIRC. This is not a criticism of him, since what counts is the ultimate ratio of winners to losers, and for all I know his subscribers are making tons of money now.

I stuck my toe in the commodity waters, and made a little profit. But I fortunately realized that demand destruction in the current recession/depression bode ill for commodities . . . and I was also fearing a market crash . . . so I bailed out before things went down.

Also made a bit of money following EJs "Short the Market" tips.

One thing that's not included in the 14.3% profit for this year are my TIPS. About 45% of my portfolio is in TIPS, and they are bringing in over 7% now (so after tax, I'm probably just keeping up with CPI inflation). In the past, I got some criticism of my TIPS holdings on this site, but if EJ's inflation call is correct, they are going to be a desirable investment in a world where just preserving what one already has is a laudable achievement. (I'm hoping profits in gold will compensate for the TIPS shortcomings.)

About 95% of my self-education in economics has come through iTulip. By listening to EJ and the wise folks here at iTulip, I have learned a lot. But I also profited from following my own judgment . . . with the TIPS and going in and out of gold. I imagine there are people here who made a lot more . . . but as a total novice as of two years ago, I'm happy with how things have turned out so far . . . .