Saturday, August 14, 2010

Is it Too Late to Buy Gold?

Over this entire 140-year period, the average price of one ounce of gold was $480 (in 2010 dollars). If the gold price remains stable through the end of this year—not a given by any means—there will have been only one other year in the last 140 (1980) in which the inflation-adjusted average daily price of an ounce of gold was higher than in 2010...

Bottom line: Any value that gold has as an investment appears, historically, to have accrued to investors who had a position prior to certain episodes of economic or financial distress. And to generate truly eye-popping returns from a gold-based strategy, you’d have needed to be selling at the peaks of these past price spikes, not buying.

The basis for making an investment in gold now is a conviction that the worst is yet to come. I’m not saying it can’t happen. But looking at how far these prices have come already, and thinking about the kinds of truly disastrous events that are included in this 140-year period, I’m skeptical.


My thoughts: The worse is yet to come. If you think gold will hit $2,500, $5,000, or $10,000 as some predict, then gold will remain a bargain at the $1,200-$1,500 range.

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