Monday, July 29, 2013


Greg Mankiw has a post on investing in gold.  I think I actually agree that gold investing has a bad name; it's the people who suggest putting all of your wealth into it that scare me the most.  Any single commodity as an asset class is a bad investment.  Gold tends to be volatile in price, which isn't ideal either. 

But I also think there can be one more good reason to hold gold -- you like collecting it.  As collectables go, I would be more confident in a gold coin collection holding value than a baseball card or comic book collection.  I could be wrong on this point, especially for specific items.  But it's not an insane hobby to have.  I am actually more sympathetic to it than I am to junk silver, where the collections tend to not have the aesthetic appeal of gold and the circumstances under which the silver would make a good store of wealth seem more limited. 

So it's not an insane idea to invest in gold as a collectable or as a part of a portfolio.  But it is an odd stance to take as a principal means of savings.  But that doesn't seem to make it ever go completely out of fashion.

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