Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Investing in gold - the currency of fear

For thousands of years, human beings have had a primal attraction to gold.

With a powerful magnetism cultivated via legends, mythology and bloody conquest, gold inspires awe like nothing else.

And though it's been at least 40 years since our monetary systems were based on the otherwise unremarkable metal, some of us are finding it hard to shake off the allure of the shiny stuff.

Last year, the price of an ounce of gold soared to new heights of US$1889. In 2001, it was trading at US$271.

But as dazzling as that ascent may be, it holds no sway over Ben Brinkerhoff, general manager of Bradley Nuttall financial advisers.

Over the course of forty minutes, Brinkerhoff methodically strips gold of its mysterious charm until it resembles nothing more than an expensive paperweight.

"I'm not going to sit here and argue that gold hasn't gone up 500 per cent in the last decade- that's obvious to everyone", he says.

But what he does argue, and in no uncertain terms, is that investing in gold is a fool's game. Gold is not productive. It doesn't "do" anything. It lurks under mattresses. It moulders away in bank vaults.

"The only way I can make money in gold is for someone to buy it from me for more than I bought it for", he says. Read More