New York - How can you make some quick gains in a slow economy? The smart money on Wall Street is flowing out of gold and Into sand, according to a random survey of top investment analysts.
"Sand is a steal compared to other commodities," said Roger Dilly, Chief Price Adjuster of the Sand and Gravel Institute.
"Gold is toying with the $2,000 an ounce benchmark, but you can still buy a ton of virgin sifted sand for just $5.75."
Commodities trader Brace Jenkins pointed out that sand is one of the most versatile materials known to science, as well is being a public safety essential.
"When the hurricane hit, they weren't filling up those burlap bags with gold or platinum or silver," he said. "People trusted their lives to sand."
Even technology analysts are enthused with the granular substance. "You can't have computers without silicon. And you can't have silicon without sand," said Jason Hoffer, the high-tech high priest at Casino Commodities. "That's right. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were essentially sand salesman. Live with it."
Sand's status as a luxury item is also growing. A recent study by the No Trespassing Group Of Luxury Resorts asked a sampling of upscale travelers what their favorite beach material is. A total of 56% chose sand over such alternatives as crushed rock, pebbles and recycled medical waste.
"Best of all, sand is the main ingredient of glass," said the Sand and Gravel Institute's Dilly. "That makes it the most transparent investment that money can buy."
Dilly advised investors to bring back a few buckets of sand every time they go to the beach. "It's like building a sand castle for your retirement," he said. "And if things really get tough, there's nothing better than burying your head in the sand."