Gold: I Told You So!

Updated: Feb 7

Around a year ago, I repeated my call to "Buy Gold NOW" Back then, gold was priced at 1300 USD/oz. If you followed that advice; you're welcome.

Gold is now trading at around 1800 USD/oz. Whilst there were fluctuations in that period, ultimately gold is now valued at around 500 USD more, per ounce.

In real terms, this means that if you followed the advice at the time, and say invested 100,000 USD, then you would be around 40,000 USD richer (38%) - by investing in the world's safest asset.

Inflation is the enemy of the currency.

When the cost of goods increases, the cash you have on hand, or its real value to purchase those goods, decreases. In other words, it takes more of your cash stack, to buy the same loaf of bread.

If you were a Venezuelan millionaire five years ago your one million Venezuelan Bolívars would have bought you around $170,000 USD (or approximately 141 ounces of gold ). At an exchange rate in 2015 of $1 USD to 6.35 VEF (Venezuelan Bolívars) .

If you had held that cash, in real terms today, you would barely buy a loaf of bread ($1.98 USD avg cost of bread). That same one million Bolívars is now worth around $2 USD.

Alternatively, if you were a loyal Global Investor client, and had of purchased gold at the same time, to protect your wealth, your cash/gold reserves would be now worth $253,800 USD. BOOM (or bust). Again, you're welcome.

You may be thinking "but that's bloody Venezuela, my money is safe in USD or Pounds".

Again, try to remember that in 2015 the Bolivar was considered stable and represented the currency of a large country with massive oil reserves and solid trading partners. You could also consider, that in living memory, we have seen the same massive devaluation of "cash" in several "first world" economies globally. These include, but are not limited to Cyprus, Germany, The United Kingdom, Japan and Australia.

Again, try to remember that in 2015 the Bolivar was considered stable and represented the currency of a large country with massive oil reserves and solid trading partners. You could also consider that in living memory, we have seen the same massive devaluation of "cash" in several "first world" economies globally. These include, but are not limited to Cyprus, Germany, The United Kingdom, Japan and Australia.


Consider the case of (Venezuela-2018), where the currency crashed overnight. By 2018 inflation was an estimated 80,000%. It’s difficult to say what the rate is now, but Bloomberg’s Venezuelan Cafe Con Leche Index, based on the price of a cup of coffee, suggests it is now about 380,000%.

What would you do? Suddenly, the thousands or millions in cash you have are worthless. It's a question plaguing many in these uncertain times. The financial world seems to be hanging on by a very thin, borrowed, thread.

At times like this, smart money seeks shelter and safe haven. This is when metals come in handy. Gold investments remain relatively stable and are highly valued in the global market."

Gold has long been regarded as one of the most traditional forms of investing. Before we had fixed deposits, stock markets, or mutual funds, buying gold was a popular way to invest, or to store wealth. For good reason. Governments simply cant make more of the stuff, unlike paper notes, or digital dollars.

 Global Investor Group reveals gold can boost your wealth for years to come
Global Investor Group reveals gold can boost your wealth for years to come

So what are the factors that Influence Gold Prices?

A variety of factors influence gold prices. Understanding how these factors affect gold prices will help us understand the gold market.

Currently (and perhaps for the foreseeable future) Gold prices are rising, as investors use it as a hedge against inflation. Since it is not a speculative asset, unlike Bitcoin, or many currencies, so it trades differently. People invest in gold because research demonstrates that it's value remains stable even during the worst economic downturns.

So, let’s look at the gold price in 2021 and crystal ball gaze the next three years.

We’ll start by summarising what analysts are predicting, and then we’ll look into the elements that are most likely to affect gold.

Most price estimates aren’t worth more than a tropical storm shield. There are so many variables and ever-changing factors, that even experts frequently miss the point.

Predictions, on the other hand, have value. They can reinforce why we have invested, reveal previously neglected motivations, or even drive us to modify our expectations.

Gold Price Predictions for the Next Three Years

As predicted, the gold price achieved a new all-time high of $2074.88 per ounce in August of 2020.

Despite a modest pull back, as vaccine confidence heightened the prospects of the pandemics end, gold concluded 2020 up by 20%. That's 20% on what is arguably the worlds safest, and certainly oldest financial asset!

According to Investing Guide forecasts, the end of 2021 will get us to $1919.

By the middle of 2022, the price may have risen to $2145, and this trend will continue until the end of the year when it will be $2309.

In 2023, Two falls are forecast in April and June, so the price will be $1720. The opening price could be $1906 by the beginning of July.

A downward trend could begin in November (the month may well open at $2111 and conclude at $2062, resulting in a rise again in December with closing price of $2776.

The year 2024 may well end with a new record gold price of $3012.

Numerous factors could drive the price even higher over the next three years. One advantage of owning gold is that it's price is not affected by any single factor but through and combination of several triggers which can increase investor concern or uncertainty. Numerous threats surround us at the moment, and as we know, in a crisis, smart money buys, and trades, gold.

However, potential monetary loss (such as those caused by company collapse, economic contraction and inflation) is likely the most crucial trigger right now. When a currency is devalued, actual assets such as gold become more valuable since they cannot be manufactured with a few keystrokes.

For hundreds of years, gold has dominated the safe-haven asset market, whereas bitcoin for example was established just over a decade ago and has only recently gained popular acceptance, despite its massive fluctuations.

Gold outperforms Bitcoin in terms of lack of volatility, increased transparency, and safety.

People value gold because it's a dependable source of protection that has withstood the test of time. Arguably, this isn't about to change any time soon, thus protecting, or increasing gold intrinsic value.

Is Gold Now Better Than Cash in a Bank?

Yes.

To be fair, it's harder to spend and trade with, however, this little wrinkle is being resolved by companies looking to combine the traditional elements of gold with modern transactional ease using new technology through the Blockchain and fintech industries. Companies such as GoldEx.co.uk and Wise look to make transactions faster, and safer.

Is Gold Now Better Than Cash in a Bank? Image by Global Investor

The Holy Grail

It could be argued that the Holy Grail in Fintech right now is being able to combine the benefits of holding real physical gold reserves, with being able to use the same for the purchase of everyday goods and services. GoldEX points out "we are not trying to advance modern payments, we are trying to re-establish a gold standard. A means by which people can store and trade wealth with safety, security and privacy again".

Here, we look at the age-old dispute of cash versus gold, the benefits and drawbacks of cash, and why we believe gold is superior to cash in the bank!

Let's begin with the advantages & disadvantages of cash, there are many, as noted below:


Advantages of cash


Advantages & Disadvantages of cash by TheJollyCapitalist
Global Investor Group explores the potential advantages and disadvantages of cash.

  • Everyone is familiar with this form of investment. Cash can be easily exchanged for products and services. Cash is highly liquid, which is a significant advantage. In times of necessity, the currency owner can utilise it for whichever reason they see fit.

  • There is no counterparty risk when you keep physical currency. Cash in the bank is subject to the risk (however minor) of banking failure and asset seizures by government authorities.


Disadvantages of cash


  • Destructible - Currency in tangible form is destructible; for example, notes will burn.

  • Devaluation - Cash may physically lose value due to an overnight currency devaluation by the issuing government.

  • Fraud – Currency can be fraudulently copied, leaving the owner with worthless paper (when stored physically)

  • Inflation - As inflation rises, the value of cash falls; an investment might suffer significantly in times of excessive inflation.

  • Most currencies can only be used locally; they must be converted for global use, which usually imposes an exchange rate and other conversion costs.

  • There is no chance for financial gain - there are practically no capital gains to be generated from cash (other than perhaps in an economy of deflation, which is rare). Physical cash may be stolen or misplaced. Cash in a bank account could be taken as a result of fraud and bank employee negligence.

Why should you invest in gold rather than cash?

Why not? At least in both.

Looking at the above list of the benefits and drawbacks of cash, it is easy to see that physical gold possesses all of the benefits of cash, with few of the drawbacks. Gold has withstood the test of time and has been used as a medium of exchange in trade for over 5,000 years.

It is worth noting that physical gold is found in both coin and bullion (brick) forms, is highly liquid, and has no counterparty risk.

Physical gold is virtually indestructible, and it cannot be devalued by a government's whims or economic demands. Physical gold maintained by the owner is not susceptible to fraud, and historically, when inflation rises, so does the price of gold, which is renowned as an investment commodity to use to hedge against inflation.

Gold investments should be part of a balanced investment portfolio. Gold is the same everywhere; there is no need to pay to convert it into a local currency. Unlike cash, there is a prospect of capital gains with gold, and gold prices have traditionally done well. Many jurisdictions maintain a capital gains tax-free status for gold. Thus profits from holding the metal are not subject to common taxation.


Physical gold is vulnerable to theft however. Thus, the owner must ensure that adequate security measures, including third-party storage, must be thoroughly vetted to reduce counterparty risk. The old adage of putting all of your eggs in one basket applies. Spread your gold around. Ideally in multiple sites, in multiple countries to avoid political risk.

Companies such as GoldEX are trying to solve this problem however as well. GoldEx claims to be establishing a global network of "cold storage" solutions for the secure storage of their members' gold reserves.


GoldEx's business model is that once a new member buys gold, it is stored in the network and represented digitally as a "token" in a blockchain wallet. The member can trade or spend these tokens with other members and with authorised merchants, without cost of conversion and safe in the knowledge that they are spending real gold, in real time. Should they wish to "cash out" GoldEx suggests they will either send the physical gold to the member via Brinks courier or convert to cash at current rate in their wallet.

Is the Pound More valuable than the Dollar?


One would think that the most powerful economies would have the most powerful global currencies, but this is not necessarily the case.

Long-term changes in currency prices appear to be more relevant than exchange rates, which explains why the British Pound is worth more than the US Dollar.

Historically, one British pound has been worth more than one US dollar, despite the UK having a far smaller economy.

Is the Pound More valuable than the Dollar?  Image by Global Investor

The value of one currency to another is not always a reflection of riches, power, or strength. A currency that gains value versus another over time is often seen as a stronger currency. Governments may deliberately reset currency values, particularly after periods of excessive inflation. Even though the British pound is more valuable than the US dollar, the US dollar remains the world's most traded reserve currency.

GBP USD - Annual Data

Year

Avg Closing Price

Year Open

Year High

Year Low

Year Close

Annual % Change

2021

1.39

1.37

1.42

1.34

1.34

-1.83%

2020

1.28

1.33

1.37

1.15

1.37

3.21%

2019

1.28

1.27

1.34

1.20

1.33

4.04%


This is intended to share ideas rather than to direct them. Only you can determine where to invest your money, and every decision you make may put it at risk. I’d love to hear from you. Follow me @FreeFromTax on Twitter and subscribe here.