Today we look at some of the history and current discussions surrounding gold ownership from the eyes of an investor. Quantitative study shows that gold has been advantageous for investors as a hedge against other asset-class risk and as an alternative source of return during various economic and financial regimes.
The study notes that while gold has had a far “rougher” trip than equities over the past few decades, it has “demonstrated the ability to outperform equities in times of equity market stress and bonds under several different economic scenarios.”
What part does gold have to play in the diversification of today’s portfolios?
Over the past 15 years, even the most ardent proponents of a portfolio- and gold investment management theory have had their worldviews completely rocked. Traditional advisers and individual investors have been forced to reevaluate risk management approaches and take new portfolio design options in light of the extreme “boom and bust” volatility and unprecedented global systemic risk. Asset classes have pushed the boundaries of conventional wisdom.
Certainty is one thing. It is essential to create a portfolio strategy that reduces draw downs and volatility while generating reasonable returns, all within a unique investor risk profile, given the harsh climate, we have all witnessed.
The discussion of alternative asset classes, particularly the role of commodities and precious metals, most notably gold, has sparked passionate debate. Many conventional wealth and portfolio managers would reluctantly admit that gold should be included in investors’ portfolios, but the justification may be flimsy and more intuitive than scientific.
This article will provide a brief review of the “gold debate,” a thorough analysis of the practical advantages of including gold in portfolio diversification, and some eye-opening facts that point to gold playing a considerably more significant role in portfolios that aim for the best risk-adjusted returns.
· Market scenarios:
Based on historical data from 1973 through 2017, the report offers a thorough analysis of the relative performance of gold under the following seven market scenarios:
· The 10-year Treasury’s actual returns are negative:
This represents what an investor might reasonably expect to earn on a long-term investment adjusted for fluctuations in currency purchasing power as the Treasury return is seen as essentially “risk-free.” Equities and bonds often do well as long-term investments when real yields are positive. The worst-case scenario is when actual rates are negative, which keeps pension-fund and other asset managers up at night.
· The stock market is in a bear market:
Another advantage of buying gold is that it offers excellent protection during stock market downturns. In a bad call or stocks, it would stand to reason that Treasurys would perform best, but this has not been the case.
· Commodity prices are rising:
As you can see, although gold outperformed commodities throughout bull markets in things themselves, it lagged behind them during equities bear markets, where it generated positive returns while commodities could only manage lower losses. Thus, it behaves well and is a suitable replacement for exposure to a broader range of commodities.
· The value of the U.S. dollar is declining:
Many factors can lead to a U.S. dollar bear market, from trade and budget deficits to changes in monetary policy. When the value of the U.S. dollar declined, gold performed remarkably well, exceeding all other asset classes by a wide margin. This can be the case since many investors view it as their last resort currency.
· There is a bear market for the U.S.
Treasury bonds: U.S. Treasurys display lower values as interest rates rise and yields rise. In situations like this, gold has historically provided the most robust returns, even outperforming stocks.
· Rising inflation:
Rising inflation when there was a consistent rise in the general pricing level for goods and services, gold has historically performed well. Rising inflation is characterized as periods when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) one-year rate of change is positive, with the causality either from greater demand chasing too few available items or an environment with rising costs for producers and manufacturers.
· There is high market volatility:
According to our definition, high volatility is characterized by times when the Implied Volatility Index (VIX) levels are in the highest percentile of their 28-year historical range. When volatility was high, Treasurys did well because investors “flew to safety.” However, gold has also performed well throughout these times, averaging about a 5% annualized return and acting, like Treasurys, as an effective “crisis” hedge for investment portfolios.
The variables that affect the price of gold
An investor should be aware of the various elements that influence the price of gold before making a gold investment. Awareness of these elements is necessary for their investments to yield the highest possible returns.
· Demand and supply:
Demand and supply are two main elements that affect any commodity’s price, if not the main one. The same is valid for gold. Since it is a hard commodity, there is a need for mining. There needs to extract more gold each year. This suggests that rising gold prices are a natural consequence of rising gold demand.
As said earlier, gold is a well-liked and reliable hedge against inflation. Even though the value of money declines when inflation rates rise, gold remains the same. Investors opt to invest in gold as a result of inflation rates increasing. As a result, the price of gold may change as the demand for gold rises.
· Interest rates:
Interest rates have an intriguing impact on gold prices. Investors typically sell their gold or gold ETFs as interest rates rise and invest in deposits instead to take advantage of the higher returns. As a result, there will be less demand for gold, which will result in a decline in the price of gold. On the other hand, when interest rates drop, investors are more likely to choose gold over deposits. In this scenario, the cost of gold will rise as the demand for gold rises. As a result, interest rate changes correlate negatively with gold prices.
The volume of imports also affects the price of gold in the nation. India is the world’s second-largest consumer of precious metals. Thus, to meet its needs, it must import gold. The gold price falls when the supply of gold rises and the import duty reduces.
· Other markets’ performance:
The success of different needs, including the equity and currency markets, is equally crucial. Investors may decide to put money in gold during a decline in those markets’ prices. The price of gold can rise as a result of increased demand.