Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why invest in gold? Gold’s role in long-term strategies

World Gold Council - Gold Investor Volume 4, October 2013

Download Gold Investor, Volume 4

Download the infographic: Gold as long-term strategic asset

The merits of gold as an investment receives a lot of attention. Investors and market commentators fervently debate whether it could or should be used to protect against inflation, to hedge US dollar exposure, or even tail risk events. And while there is enough literature for and against gold’s roles in a portfolio, or what measures should be used to assess its effectiveness, they are quite often inadequately defined.

Misunderstandings about gold’s properties have led to multiple articles contesting gold’s role as an inflation hedge, currency hedge, and tail risk hedge, among others. We contend that by properly defining these functions and using appropriate measures, gold’s purchasing power preservation qualities and risk management characteristics become apparent. While gold’s ability to hedge inflation or protect against a very specific kind of risk could be replicated by including securities constructed specifically with that objective, these can often be costly and add an additional set of risks, such as credit or counterparty risk exposure.

Gold is a well rounded, cost effective strategic asset, which held even in a modest amounts (typically 2%-10% of a portfolio) can help investors reduce risk without sacrificing long term returns.