While reflecting on the distorted world in which we live and thinking about the woes of owning real estate which weather and time have a way of ravishing I started to think about value. Owning any tangible object seems to have its drawbacks, especially if it has no utility value. Still, they do have at least one thing going for them, they are real. Liquidity is also an issue and unless you can sell an item safely and without a lot of bother, it is difficult to argue it is liquid.
The recent pullback in the price of gold brings front and center the reality no investment is free of risk. When leveraging a position by using borrowed money this risk grows substantially. There is also the issue of where to store it, and even whether what you have purchased is real. Nobody wants to be made a fool of, and that is what a person becomes when they spend their money on what they think is gold only to find out later the item purchased is a fake.
People may claim there is huge demand, that a commodity is rare, and that the cost of producing it is soaring but that does not mean its value is destined to rise. Supply and demand remain king when it comes to valuing a commodity, and gold’s role in our future has yet to be determined.
A recent post on AdvancingTime looked into how once magnificent Grandfather clocks have now become obsolete symbols of wealth and conspicuous consumption. The fact these large clocks are hard to move and maintain has led to their value dropping like a stone. In fact, many of them can now be found in storage rooms and the back corner of the garage in homes across America. Value is not a constant and whether something is in vogue matters.
It is easy to adopt the view that with the rapid and huge surge in both debt and the money supply gold and inflation have nowhere to go except up. Gold has for a long time been touted as the ultimate place a person can store wealth. Still, we should ask, do the trends taking place in modern society also undermine its value? While many gold bugs are astounded by such a suggestion, it is a question that should be asked. The rise of a slew of cryptocurrencies has called into question gold’s staying power as a defense against inflation.
We must never forget how gold quickly rose in value several times over the years only to slump in price for long periods of time. As charts showing the value of gold indicate, the precious metal has seen many ups and downs. Without a great deal of utility value, the value of gold tends to often move based on shifts in interest rates and the cost of money. Efforts to magically tie the value of gold to historic relationships with other commodities and currencies generally prove futile.
The eroding ability of anything to stand up against governments growing ability to confiscate and steal our wealth brings into question the future of gold and its mantle of the best place to store wealth. This means that a person best have the gold they own in their possession and hidden away from prying eyes or it may not remain theirs for long.
My Precious! Is The General Consensus
One of the sad realities we face is that gold has become so valuable that today many people that wore gold jewelry for years no longer wear it because it increases the risk they will be robbed. Crooks are everywhere, if someone will kill for a few hundred dollars, it does not take a rocket scientist to recognize that anyone wearing a $2,000 chain around their neck has a bullseye painted on them.
Central banks know that gold is a threat to fiat money and by occasionally causing it to retreat in value they can damage those that hold it dear. Many gold bugs and even silver investors claim this exploitation has gone on for decades and won’t stop until economies collapse. They see gold and silver as two of the most manipulated commodities on the planet.
It was recently pointed out to me that many younger people are not as enthralled by gold, many of them are more focused on cryptocurrencies than this precious metal. Also, it must be noted that some cultures and areas of the world hold gold in higher esteem than others. This often has to do with their history and how their ancestors were to the idea gold and wealth flowed together as one.
The reason many young people may not be as captivated and dazzled by gold’s charm could be their interests have turned to other things, they simply can’t afford gold, or they are not familiar with how inflation can destroy the value of currencies. With all the above in mind, the biggest threat facing those that own gold is that it may at some point be confiscated by governments or that it may be made illegal to sell or owned.
In no way should any of the things written above be considered a stand that holding gold is not the ticket to a prosperous future or a bad investment. The above is simply a reminder of how fragile and dangerous the investment world is, it is a place where nothing is carved in stone, and if it were, that stone would be sitting next to a giant stone crusher.