Buying gold as an investment
Gold doesn’t care whether a financial collapse destroys the value of money (inflation) or the value of debt (deflation). Its unique characteristics — indestructibility and tight supply — mean its owners can thrive amid either.
But that doesn’t make gold a “forever” investment. Gold will always lose value during stable periods of strong economic growth.
Over the twenty years to 2000, for example, gold lost 95% of its value in terms of US real estate. So it’s no surprise that, as a proportion of world investment portfolios, gold fell from around 2% to effectively zero.
The trend in gold prices finally turned higher at the start of this decade, just as Gordon Brown — now the British prime minister — sold half the UK’s national gold reserves at less than $300 an ounce.
Since then gold has trebled and more. But this gain remains small in the context of previous gold trends. It’s also been limited by Western governments persuading their citizens that “core” inflation in the cost of living is running at just 2% per year or below.
These official CPI figures, of course, exclude the cost of housing, mortgages, taxes, fuel and saving for retirement. But this trick cannot go un-noticed forever, so why not think about how to trade gold bullion to offset the effects of inflation.