The following is a guest post. Enjoy!
To many people, gold is the ultimate safe-haven financial instrument. This is only true if you understand the nature of the financial markets, and how the interactions between elements will impact the gold price. For example, the recent case of the Fed rate hike on March 15, 2017 serves to remind us that traditional theory does not always apply in practice. Typically, a Fed rate hike would increase the interest-rate and drive up demand for the USD. Since gold is a dollar-denominated asset, the demand for gold and the price of gold should decrease accordingly.
We saw a complete reversal taking place. The USD weakened dramatically, hitting 5-month lows against major currency pairs, and the demand for gold skyrocketed. Of course the Fed interest-rate decision does not disprove the correlation between the gold price and the strength of the USD. It is simply the lack of coherence between the Fed rate hike and the USD that let us down in this case. Many people today purchase gold in one form or another to hold as an investment. Some folks purchase gold ETFs such as SPDR (GLD) on the New York Stock Exchange, while others purchase physical gold coins, gold stocks and/or gold jewelry.
Is Gold an Appreciating Asset Over the Long-Term?
One of the things about gold that is almost universally accepted is its safe-haven status. But what exactly does this mean? As we have seen, strong financial markets can also lead to a strengthening of the gold price, despite protestations to the contrary. Many gold ETFs (exchange traded funds) are comprised of multiple businesses such as gold mining companies, physical gold bullion, gold ETFs etcetera. If other investments are falling in value, will the gold price rise in value? Not necessarily. At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, the gold price spiked, and it makes sense because global markets were going into meltdown. But anything other than a financial meltdown should be able to provide direction to gold traders.
Rather than worrying about whether gold is the perfect safe-haven investment when equities markets sour, it’s important to have gold as part and parcel of a balanced financial portfolio. It can be thought of as a hedge against uncertainty and equities weakness. The gold price is extremely volatile, even at the best of times. 10 years ago, the price of gold was approximately $650 per ounce, and it has doubled in price since then. Overall though, the gold price is subject to massive fluctuations.
Back in 2011, gold peaked at $1,900 per ounce, but now it’s trading around $1,250 per ounce. One of the ways to capitalize on gold price movements is with CFD Trading. If you’re not adept at trading the financial markets with institutional brokerages, it behooves you to consider contracts for difference as a better way to dabble in gold trading. CFDs are fully regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) in the United Kingdom, and elsewhere across Europe. Rather than actually owning stocks of gold, traders are speculating on future price movements and generating profit accordingly.
A Fascinating Look at the Performance of Gold in 2016
Gold is one of the most interesting financial instruments to trade. It is revered for its safe-haven status, and it is the go-to investment option when equities markets sour. In 2016, some interesting trends were evident in gold demand. For starters, gold demand increased by 2% (year-on-year) in 2016 and reached a 3-year high figure of 4,308.7 metric tonnes. One of the biggest drivers of gold – exchange traded funds – saw annual inflows of 531.9 metric tonnes, the second best reading ever. However, there were some negatives in gold demand in 2016.
For example, central bank purchases of gold bullion dropped markedly and demand for gold jewelry also plummeted. As far as ETFs are concerned, the recent performance (2016) showed an uptick of 532 metric tonnes of gold, marking the second highest figure ever. For the year ending December 31, 2016, the gold price inched up 8%, largely due to capital inflows. On the flip side, gold jewelry demand plunged to a 7-year low and this offset many of the gains enjoyed by gold.
The Bottom Line – Making Gold Trades Count
CFD trading, ETFs, mutual funds, physical gold bullion, gold shares and other investment options are available to traders looking to capitalize off this precious metal. Gold should certainly be considered as part of a balanced financial portfolio, as it has tremendous resilience over the long-term. However, traders should be cautious not to go all-in with gold as it has proven itself highly volatile over time. Be advised that the performance of gold ETFs does not always mirror the performance of gold itself. Once you’re ready to invest in gold, consider your options accordingly.