The yellow metal also makes a habit of performing poorly when the stock market is doing well. But gold is the ultimate store of value, according to precious metals expert Ronan Manly of Singapore’s BullionStar.
“What this means is that gold retains its purchasing power over long periods. Gold’s purchasing power is not eroded by inflation as it is an inflation hedge,” the analyst told RT. “In contrast, fiat currencies such as the US dollar are not stores of value. Fiat currency purchasing power is consistently eroded by inflation, and over time fiat currencies, such as the US dollar, lose nearly all of their purchasing power relative to gold.”
Widely accepted as a safe haven, gold is commonly seen as financial insurance in times of crisis, conflict or war, with investors rushing to the asset during these periods, according to Manly. He compares the precious commodity to a “safe harbor when there is geopolitical turmoil.”
The expert points out that the physical commodity has a low correlation with the prices of other financial assets and securities, as it is less impacted by business and macro-economic cycles compared to most other assets.
“Gold therefore also aids portfolio diversification since by adding an investment in gold to an existing portfolio of other assets such as stocks and bonds, the overall volatility or risk of an investment portfolio can be reduced while boosting portfolio returns,” Manly said.
Accept no paper substitute: Buy physical gold
The research analyst stresses that the best way to invest in the precious asset is to buy physical gold as opposed to gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or gold futures. “Physical gold has a limited supply unlike fiat currencies because gold is difficult and costly to mine and process, and is therefore scarce,” the precious metals expert said.
According to the expert, gold-backed ETFs only provide exposure to the gold price and not to gold. Unit holders of gold-backed ETFs are shareholders, not gold holders. Gold-backed ETFs are also complex trusts or securitized products, where the trust owns the gold, and there are many moving parts and a lot of counterparty risk to the various entities-backed ETFs, there is also no option to take delivery of the underlying gold or to convert the units or shares into physical gold.
The expert adds that the advantage of physical gold is that it is portable and anonymous, difficult to counterfeit, cannot be debased and is highly stable to counterparty risk or default risk since it’s not issued by any corporation, government, central bank or other entity.
“It’s also portable across international borders and due to the universal acceptance of gold around the world, the gold market is highly liquid and gold bars and coins, as long as they are recognized as being fabricated by well-respected mints and refineries, can be sold in almost any city in the world so as to raise cash at any time,” Manly said.
According to the precious metals expert, physical gold is beyond the banking system and ring-fenced from financial repression, as well as from the risks that are essential for the current global monetary system.
“So if you want wealth preservation that is outside the banking system and that doesn’t have any counterparty and no contract or entity that can default, then you have to choose physical gold or at least something that has a direct claim on allocated physical gold,” concludes Manly.
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