Gold - a Valuable and Strategic Asset

Demand for gold comes from different directions, including as an investment, a reserve asset, jewelry, and a part of technology. Due to its high liquidity, lack of credit risk, limited access, and lack of liability, it has historically maintained its value throughout time.


The Relevance of Gold as a Strategic Asset


The majority of the most popular methods for valuing stocks or bonds do not directly apply to gold. Standard models based on projected cash flows, expected earnings, or book-to-value ratios struggle to accurately measure the underlying worth of gold in the absence of a coupon or dividend. The World Gold Council saw this as an opportunity to create a framework for better comprehending gold valuation.

The interaction of four major factors can be used to explain the price behavior of gold:

  • Economic expansion: boom eras are extremely favorable to long-term investments, technology, and jewelry.
  • Market turbulence: fluctuations frequently increase investor demand for gold as a safe haven due to risk and uncertainty.
  • Opportunity cost: Investor perceptions of gold are influenced by the prices of rival assets, particularly bonds (through interest rates) and currencies.
  • Momentum: Price trends, positioning, and capital flows can all help or hurt gold's performance.

Recent decades have seen a strong gold performance, supported by significant structural changes.


Monetary Policy

A rise in central banks' interest in gold, which is frequently used in foreign reserves for security and diversification, has prompted other investors to take into account gold's advantageous investing characteristics.

Central Bank Demand

A surge of interest in gold among central banks across the world, commonly used in foreign reserves for safety and diversification, has encouraged other investors to consider gold’s positive investment attributes.

Market Risk

Due to the global financial crisis, risk management has received renewed attention, and uncorrelated, highly liquid assets like gold have gained value. Trade disputes and worries about the future of the economy and politics have prompted investors to reconsider gold as a traditional hedge.

Market Access

Access to the gold market has been made easier due to gold-backed ETFs, which have also significantly increased interest in the metal as a strategic investment, decreased total cost of ownership, and improved efficiency.

Emerging Market Growth

The consumer and investor base for gold has grown and become more diverse as a result of economic expansion, particularly in China.

The Strategic Role of Gold

Gold is a clear complement to stocks, bonds, and broad-based portfolios, according to analysis. Gold has historically boosted portfolios' risk-adjusted returns, delivered positive returns, and supplied liquidity to pay liabilities in times of market stress. It also serves as a wealth store and a hedge against systemic risk, currency depreciation, and inflation.

A Source of Returns

Gold has always been seen by investors as a valuable asset during times of uncertainty. It has historically produced long-term gains in both prosperous and difficult economic times. In the nearly 50 years following the end of the gold standard in 1971, the price of gold in US dollars has risen by an average of approximately 11% a year. The long-term return on gold during this period is higher than bonds and on par with stocks.

Over the last five, ten, and twenty years, gold has also outperformed several other important asset groups. This contrast sets gold apart from other investment assets and illustrates the variety of factors driving gold demand.

Since gold is not anyone's property and has a high level of global acceptance, it is frequently used to safeguard and increase wealth over the long term. Additionally, consumers all around the world value gold in the jewelry industry. It is also a crucial element in electronics. Due to its numerous sources of demand, gold is particularly resilient and has the ability to produce respectable returns under a variety of market circumstances.

During times of increased risk, gold has consistently benefited from 'flight-to-quality' inflows.

Effective diversifiers might be challenging to come by. As market volatility and uncertainty increase, many assets become more and more connected as a result of risk-on/risk-off investing decisions. As a result, many diversifiers fall short of preserving portfolios when investors most need them. The difference between equities and other risk assets and gold is that as these assets decline, so does gold's negative correlation to them.

With few exceptions, systemic risk periods have seen gold perform very well, providing positive returns and lowering overall portfolio losses. Another significant benefit of gold is that it enables investors to pay obligations when less liquid assets in their portfolio are hard to sell or are overpriced. .

However, gold's correlation does not only benefit investors amid instability. Gold is a well-rounded, effective hedge since it may also generate a favorable correlation with stocks and other risky assets in favorable conditions. This two-fold advantage results from gold's dual status as a consumption good and an investment. As a result, income growth supports gold's long-term performance. This is supported by our data, which demonstrates that when stocks surge dramatically, their correlation to gold might rise. This is caused by the wealth effect, which supports consumer demand for gold, as well as investment demand for protection against expected increases in inflation.

Over the past two decades, attitudes toward gold have significantly shifted, as a result of rising wealth in the East and a growing understanding of gold's place in institutional investment portfolios on a global scale. Given its distinctive characteristics as a rare, highly liquid, and uncorrelated asset, gold can serve as a long-term diversifier. Over the past 50 years, gold has produced average returns of 11%, higher than bonds and commodities and equivalent to equities due to its dual status as an investment and a luxury good.

Due to its historical status as a safe-haven asset, gold performs best in high-risk situations. But gold may also make a profit in prosperous times due to its dual appeal as an investment and a consumer commodity. This dynamic, which is a result of continuous political and economic unpredictability, stubbornly low-interest rates, and economic worries about the equities and bond markets, is likely to continue.

According to our analysis, adding between 4% and 15% of gold to typical hypothetical portfolios, depending on their composition and region, can improve performance noticeably and increase risk-adjusted returns over the long run.