Gold's Inflation Bogey, Part II

By: Adrian Ash | Fri, Jan 29, 2010
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It isn't rocket surgery. Gold appeals - and thus rises - when the better alternatives don't...

DURING THE 1980s and '90s...when US consumer prices rose at what would have been record rates if it hadn't been for the '70s...the price of gold fell by three-quarters.

Peering back at the recent past therefore, analysts and economists all agree:

When looking for a sure-fire "inflation hedge", you surely won't find it in gold.

Thing is, however, US investors and savers didn't need an inflation hedge back in the 1980s and '90s. Not in gold, at least. Because the better alternatives - productive assets such as real estate and stocks...or the "risk-free" assets of cash, Treasuries and investment-grade bonds - all paid way more than inflation anyway.

Who needs a lump of dumb metal if just holding cash pays 4.5% real returns each year on average, as it did in the '80s?

Why bury your savings in a rare, deeply liquid but unyielding asset when stocks keep rising by one-fifth per year - and paying a 2.4% yield each year on top - as they did in the '90s...?

And why buy and hold anything else when stocks, cash, bonds and property all fail together, as they have so far this century...?

It isn't rocket surgery. In two of the last four decades, people have twice turned to buy gold...pushing the price higher...when alternative stores of wealth failed at the task. During the intervening two decades, gold wasn't required.

And today? Second-guess where the major alternatives will head - cash, bonds, stocks and real estate - and you might just work out what to do about reliably rare, indestructible gold.

 


 

Adrian Ash

Author: Adrian Ash

Adrian Ash
BullionVault.com

Formerly City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and head of editorial at the UK's leading financial advisory for private investors, Adrian Ash is the head of research at BullionVault, where you can buy gold today vaulted in Zurich on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

About BullionVault

BullionVault is the secure, low-cost gold and silver exchange for private investors. It enables you to buy and sell professional-grade bullion at live prices online, storing your physical property in market-accredited, non-bank vaults in London, New York and Zurich.

By February 2011, less than six years after launch, more than 21,000 people from 97 countries used BullionVault, owning well over 21 tonnes of physical gold (US$940m) and 140 tonnes of physical silver (US$129m) as their outright property. There is no minimum investment and users can deal as little as one gram at a time. Each user's unique holding is proven, each day, by the public reconciliation of client property with formal bullion-market bar lists.

BullionVault is a full member of professional trade body the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). Its innovative online platform was recognized in 2009 by the UK's prestigious Queen's Awards for Enterprise. In June 2010, the gold industry's key market-development body the World Gold Council (www.gold.org) joined with the internet and technology fund Augmentum Capital, which is backed by the London listed Rothschild Investment Trust (RIT Capital Partners), in making an $18.8 million (£12.5m) investment in the business.

For more information, visit http://www.bullionvault.com

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Source: The Contrarian Take http://blogs.forbes.com/michaelpollaro/
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