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Gold has successfully preserved wealth through thousands of generations. The same, can't be said for paper currencies. This has made gold one of the great hedges against inflation.
In 1970, one ounce of gold equaled $35.8 - enough to buy a suit. If you had an ounce of gold today and converted it at today's prices, you'd still be able to buy a suit. But if you'd kept your $35 in paper money you'd barely be able to buy a tie.
The potential of gold to preserve wealth is even more important in an economic environment where investors are faced with a declining U.S. dollar and rising inflation.
Historically, gold has served as a hedge against both scenarios. With rising inflation, gold typically appreciates.
When investors realize that their money is losing value, they start moving capital into a hard asset that traditionally maintains its value. The 1970s present a prime example of rising gold prices in the midst of rising inflation.
Despite such advantages, investing in gold has suffered from drawbacks, which have limited its appeal to retail investors. Liquidation spreads can be wide, making it expensive to trade in and out of; storage and insurance costs are high, at around 0.4% annually; and it's expensive and difficult to transport.
The rise of gold-backed blockchain tokens, such as Universal Gold [UPXAU] may change that by bringing digital portability, lower fees, and zero storage costs.
What is the gold price today?
The gold price changes 24/7/365, as it’s traded all over the world on many different exchanges.
There’s more gold bullion than we need, so changes in price are linked to market sentiment and events, rather than availability.
Here are the three main factors that affect the gold price:
- Uncertainty: When times are bad and there’s economic instability, demand for precious metals is usually strong as investors seek a safe-haven.
- Economic issues: Changes in economic policy, or the strength of a nation’s currency, or interest rates can all affect the price of gold.
- Demand: Precious metals aren’t just for hoarding by governments or the rich. Gold is used in industrial processes. The other big driver is the jewelry trade. During times of prosperity, people are more likely to buy jewelry. In some eastern countries, precious metals are given as gifts in the form of coins or bars to family members.
What the bears are saying
- Gold is an outdated investment: Sure, gold has been used for centuries by people both rich and poor to hold or transfer wealth.
- There's so much gold; we don't need to mine any more: For all the practical purposes Gold is used for, that’s correct, we have plenty in government and private bank vaults across the world.
- Gold is hard to use for anything (it’s too heavy): True, gold is hefty, cumbersome, and difficult to trade with, even if it's just across the street (let alone across the world).
What the bulls are saying
- We’re in uncertain times, when gold prices traditionally do well: Gold often performs well in times of economic or political uncertainty.
- Gold can be converted into digital forms: Tokens such as Universal Gold [UPXAU] will make gold more accessible and tradable than before for mainstream investors, stimulating demand for the underlying metal that collateralizes each token.
- Gold is in demand: From digital circuitry and medical devices to jewelry and wealth creation, gold is in demand for practical uses, and when combined with economic uncertainty, could be a good investment option.
How easy is it to buy gold with Uphold?
It's easy to buy Gold with Uphold.com
Here’s how to get started:
- Go to Uphold.com and click ‘Sign up’.
- Enter your email address, personal details, and create a password.
- Your account will be created instantly and you can start using Uphold.
Want to buy USD $100 worth of gold? As soon as you transfer USD - or any other fiat currency - to your gold sub-account, it's instantly converted into ounces at our current rates.
This article is for informational purposes only and takes no account of particular personal or market circumstances, and should not be relied upon as investment, tax, or legal advice. For investment, tax, or legal advice and before taking any action you should consult your own advisors.
This content is correct as of October 2020
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