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As an Investment, Gold’s Just a Brick

June 20th, 2009

Gold is an important but very different asset class that competes with stocks and bonds. Unlike stocks and bonds, its main attractions are scarcity, durability and resistance to oxidation - it simply never stops shining.

In fact, most of the gold ever mined is around today. It is exhibited in museums, worn as jewelry and buried deep in the vaults of the central banks. Peter Bernstein, in The Power of Gold, wrote:

Despite the complex obsession it created, gold is wonderfully simple in essence. Its chemical symbol AU derives from aurora, which means “shining dawn,â€� but despite the glamorous suggestion of AU, gold is chemically inert. That explains why the radiance is forever. In Cairo, you’ll find a tooth bridge made of gold for an Egyptian 4,500 years ago; its co…Read more »

Gold sold from German vending machines

June 20th, 2009

Shoppers in Germany will soon be able to buy gold as easily as bars of chocolate after a firm announced plans to install vending machines selling the precious metal across the country.

TG-Gold-Super-Markt aims to introduce the machines at 500 locations including train stations and airports in Germany. The company, based near Stuttgart, hopes to tap into the increasing interest in buying gold following disillusionment in other investments due to the economic downturn.

Gold prices from the machines – about 30% higher than market prices for the cheapest product – will be updated every few minutes.

Customers using a prototype ‘Gold to Go’ machine at Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday had the choice of purchasing a 1g wafer of gold for €30, a 10g bar for €2…Read more »

Why Gold Won’t Fold

June 8th, 2009

“I don’t get no respect,” the late comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, repeatedly lamented. Unhappy gold buffs know the feeling. Despite mounting political, economic and financial turmoil worldwide, the precious metal, many gold traders gripe, is not getting the respect it deserves, as evident by what they view as its listless performance in recent years.

That listless showing they’re complaining about refers to gold’s lethargic performance since November of 2007–a 31-month period during which the metal has basically been languishing in a narrow trading range of between $800 and $1,000 an ounce.

Granted, gold, currently trading at around $955, is a bit above 9% from its 2008 close of $880.80 and it did scoot to an all-time high of $1.034 an ounce on March …Read more »