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===Seasonality=== ===Seasonality===
Like many other commodities, gold also exhibits some seasonality in prices. In addition to the seasonal Indian demand for weddings and festivals mentioned above, gold has also historically shown a mid-March low that sets up a rally through May, and a weak period from June to late July. These trends tend to prevail even in secular bull markets. <ref>[ "The Season for Gold? Not Yet" 4 June 2009] </ref> Like many other commodities, gold also exhibits some seasonality in prices. In addition to the seasonal Indian demand for weddings and festivals mentioned above, gold has also historically shown a mid-March low that sets up a rally through May, and a weak period from June to late July. These trends tend to prevail even in secular bull markets. <ref>[ "The Season for Gold? Not Yet" 4 June 2009] </ref>
-[[Image:Goldprice.png|thumb|center|400px|<ref>[ Historical Gold Prices]</ref>]] 
==Gold Coin Production== ==Gold Coin Production==

Revision as of 07:22, April 20, 2011

This article is about investing in the commodity gold. For the article on the company with ticker GOLD, see Randgold Resources (GOLD). For other uses, see Gold (Disambiguation).

Gold is one of the most highly-sought after precious metals in the world. It is used in jewelry, electronics, and coinage. Gold is widely considered to be an effective hedge against inflation, which means that when the dollar depreciates, demand for gold increases. In addition, during times of economic and political uncertainty, the demand for Gold rises due to its high intrinsic value and relative stability. Moreover, the introduction of gold ETFs and the increasing wealth in emerging markets, such as China, India, and Latin America have contributed to rising demand for gold. While demand for gold has been rising, supply has been dropping as many of the top gold producing countries have had decreasing production over the past few years.

Gold has been used as money for more than 3,500 years as it doubles as a currency and a store of value. Gold is one of very few assets that are not the obligation of someone else. It has also proven to be a good hedge as inflation since the experiments with unbacked fiat money began in Europe and the USA in the 18th century.


Gold futures contracts are traded on the COMEX under ticker symbol GC and are delivered in January, February, April, June, August, October, and December of every year. (For more information on commodity tickers, check out the commodity ticker construction page.)

Investors Gold

A soft metal with a characteristic deep lustrous yellow or yellow-brown color. Au chemical symbol, [1] with the chemical element of atomic number 79, valued for use in jewelry and decoration, and to guarantee the value of currencies. The purest form of money, and the oldest, most durable. Gold, Aurum was already legal tender before the first coins. The oldest gold coins derive from the seventh century BC.

Investors use Gold as a store of value. Gold metal offers the appearance of capital appreciation compared to depreciating currencies. Gold has always had favorable liquidity, but Gold is sterile, it does not provide any current income. [1] Gold does not provide positive cash flow to the owner. Gold owners must pay to maintain, store, and insure Gold, which is an expense. On a cash flow basis Gold a liability, Gold costs you to own it. [2]

As an example, if returns were adjusted for inflation from 1802 to 2001. $1.00 invested in stocks would have returned $599,605.00 while bonds and bills would have returned $952.00 and $304.00. The results for investments in gold and the US dollar would have resulted in losses, since that $1.00 investment in gold would have been reduced to 98 cents and the US dollar only seven cents. [3]

Companies Who Benefit from Rising Gold Prices

Gold Companies

  • DRDGOLD (DROOY) is the fourth largest gold miner in South Africa. South Africa is the world's top gold producer after India.
  • Goldcorp (GG) is a gold mining company based in Canada that has the lowest cash costs of any tier 1 mining company. It is the 5th biggest gold producer.
  • Harmony Gold Mining (HMY) is the 5th largest gold producer in the world, is the largest gold producer in South Africa and also has mines in Papua New Guinea.

For a complete list of companies involved in the gold industry, see Gold Industry

Gold Exchange Traded Funds

Most gold ETFs buy gold as backing for the fund. [4]

Other Gold Exchange Traded Funds

High End Jewelry Companies

High end jewelers actually benefits from rising gold prices because as prices rise, gold jewelry becomes a more valuable and coveted option.[9]

Companies Who are Hurt by Rising Gold Prices

Low to Mid End Jewelry Companies

Low to mid end jewelry companies tend to suffer from increasing gold prices because the company's lower income clientel are less flexible to price changes.

Individual Consumers

In addition, individual consumers are hurt by the rise in gold prices as they are now longer able afford it. This is particularly true for cultures which rely on gold articles as a symbol or key aspect to ceremonies.

Factors that Influence the Price of Gold

Gold Demand rises as Governments issue debt and print money

Due to the period of economic downturn, government's across the globe, particularly in developed countries, have increased government debt in order to stimulate the economy.[10] In addition, many countries print money to buy bonds and increase the money supply.[11] The combination of rising government debt and the printing of money increases inflationary pressure and lowers the real returns of other investments. In addition, the high levels of debt the governments issue and potential for inflation increases fears that bonds will not be as valuable in the future. The combination of these factors push investors towards gold as a secure and inflation hedged investment[12]

China, India, and Others Consider Gold for Reseves

In the past, China and India have purchased US Securities and and held US Dollars in Reserves. For China, this has helped to maintain a devalued currency and keep exports high since they are relatively less expensive.

However, due to large US deficits, many countries, China and India in particular, have begun to reconsider diversifying their reserves to protect themselves from a devaluation of the US Dollar. The decision of these large countries to shift increasingly towards Gold and away from US Dollar denominated assets would further increase the price. As Central Banks and Governments move to purchase Gold for reserves and to store their excess income from trade, Gold Prices will continue to rise.[13]

Scarcity and Falling Gold Supply

There is an estimated 5.5 billion ounces of gold above ground with central banks officially holding about 30,000 tons of gold. Mine production, which historically makes up 60% of the world supply of gold, has been consistently decreasing. Only China has been able to increase output - largely due to the opening of new mines. In addition, central banks, which made up 14% of the supply of gold in 2005, have become net buyers of gold. This decrease in supply from both production and central banks raises the prices of gold.[14]

Political and Infrastructure Risk

Political risks can erupt anytime in mineral-rich but impoverished African countries, putting investor's capital in local mining ventures at the whim of political change. Political change in Congo has led to similar events there, leaving investors in a costly wait-and-see attitude that may not be resolved soon.

In addition, many regions fail to have efficient or complete infrastructures. Without this, the supply lines from gold producing countries can break or cause drop offs. These shocks to supply increase the price.

Global Inflation

Gold is often purchased to hedge against inflation risk. Because inflation makes the returns on securities such as US Bonds less valuable, Gold is purchased instead. Because Gold is a real good, inflation will only cause the price of Gold to rise. So, while a rise in prices will make investments less profitable, gold maintains its value.Thus, during times of high inflation, Gold prices also rise.[15]Inflationary pressure increases as governments keep interest rates low.[16]

Inflation has a 14-month time lag to gold, a study of McClellan Financial Publications from 2005 shows. Gold and inflation have only diverged in the event of external disturbances, like wars, which drove inflation higher for short-lived periods. Including such exogenous factors the correlation coefficient of gold and inflation still comes in at a very high 0.69 on a scale from -1 to +1.

Demand from Emerging Markets

As per capita wealth increases in such emerging markets as China, India and Latin America, demand for US goods increases considerably and that is only augmented by a depreciating dollar. Aside from traditional goods, these emerging economies demand jewelry, gold, gems, and other precious metals because growing middle classes in these economies have more money to spend on wares that aren't just necessities.

Indian savers are the single biggest group of gold buyers. Indian demand from the wedding season usually ends the time of seasonal lows during the summer. The buying of gold (and silver) in India is also influenced by important Hindu religious holidays.


Like many other commodities, gold also exhibits some seasonality in prices. In addition to the seasonal Indian demand for weddings and festivals mentioned above, gold has also historically shown a mid-March low that sets up a rally through May, and a weak period from June to late July. These trends tend to prevail even in secular bull markets. [17]

Gold Coin Production

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Historical Gold Prices

Whether as the basis for the monetary unit of a country, or in its role in comparison to the currency price of silver, the history of gold price has long been a subject of great interest to both the scholar and the general public.

Below are five series for determining the value of gold price historically:

Read More

Gold Futures


  1. A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing by Burton Gordon Malkiel ISBN-10: 0393062457 pg359
  2. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki ISBN-10: 0446677450 pg61
  3. Equities: An Introduction to the Core Concepts (Mark Mobius Masterclass Series) ISBN-10: 0470821442 pg 16
  4. Have gold ETFs bottomed
  5. Wikipedia:Gold Exchange-Traded Fund
  6. Wikipedia:Gold Exchange-Traded Fund
  7. Wikipedia:Gold Exchange-Traded Fund
  8. Wikipedia:Gold Exchange-Traded Fund
  9. High Prices as Good as Gold in Jewelry Market
  10. International Monetary Fund "Crisis-Hit Countries To See Sharp Rise in Government Debt" 6 Mar 2009
  11. Telegraph "China alarmed by US money printing" 6 Sept 2009
  12. Street Directory "Why Invest in Gold and the Many Ways to Invest in Gold"
  13. Globe Investor "Golden sale heralds economic force" 4 Nov 2009
  14. Seeking Alpha "Gold Soars on Falling Supply and Rising Demand" 1 Dec 2009
  15. Inflation Data "Using Gold to Hedge against Inflation" 14 Aug 2009
  16. The Federal Reserve Board "Open Market Operations" 16 Dec 2008
  17. "The Season for Gold? Not Yet" 4 June 2009
  18. Mint's American Eagle Bullion Sales
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