For over a decade, I’ve had fun (and some rewards) with playing in the stock market. Between purchasing shares of SBA Communications, Edison Schools, and the likes, I have more than offset my losses in stocks such as WorldCom and Countrywide. However, one of my biggest mistakes was not purchasing gold bullion, gold coins, or a gold IRA.
In 2001, gold was sitting comfortably below $300 an ounce – well within my range of investing. Since then, it has gone up over $1000 an ounce (see the chart below). This return on an internationally appreciated commodity is impressive and probably the best investment during the global economic pinch over the past few years.
Gold is used around the world in so many different applications. NASA uses gold in the construction of their satellites because the metal is corrosion-resistant and shields delicate components (and astronauts) from solar radiation. Due to the non-allergenic properties of gold, doctors and dentists use gold in treatment of patients; using gold for filings, treatment of arthritis, and fighting cancer. Gold is even found in your cars airbag, since the contacts and wiring provide reliable contacts to ensure the airbag deploys when you need it the most.
While it is unlikely that it will continue this level of growth, the fact that gold is a finite resource might mean that it will remain a safe investment until the economies around the world recover. Gold is unique because the value placed on the metal comes from two completely different points of view. Industries need the metal for its unique physical properties, while nations need the metal because bullion is internationally accepted as a form of financial backing for their currencies. Until a time comes when there is a synthetic material developed to replace the application of gold in electronic devices, odds are this precious and finite resource will maintain its value for years to come.