Regular readers know we’re not big fans of gold outside of the hedging benefits it can provide in a portfolio.
The fact is, it’s just a piece of metal. It has no intrinsic value and ironically, it will be even more inherently worthless in an armageddon scenario than it is now.
As we’re fond of putting it, the only thing gold will be good for if we all find ourselves living out Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is as a weapon to bludgeon the cannibals with when you run out of bullets. You can’t burn gold for fuel and you can’t eat gold, so I’m not sure why anyone thinks they need a personal safe full of it to guard against the nuclear apocalypse.
With that out of the way, obviously it can serve a purpose in the portfolio context and given the very real possibility that there’s an acute, indiscriminate risk-off episode in everyone’s future that might not be tied to the Fed (i.e. a risk-off episode that doesn’t result from some hawkish lean somewhere and thus isn’t accompanied by rising real rates), it’s probably worth considering whether allocating more to carefully polished yellow doorstops would be a prudent move.
We’re not going to spend a ton of time on this because frankly we don’t find it very interesting (if you want to own some pretty paperweights, well then by all means stock up, we don’t give a shit), but it’s worth noting that Goldman is out with something new. We’ll just hit the high points. They start by noting the decoupling with real rates:
Before reviewing the basic tenants of the investment thesis (the first bullet point is just all the obvious shit, while the second is a recap of the “3Rs” – more on that here). To wit:
Ok, so what if you don’t care about any of that? That is, what if you’re just interested in holding gold as a hedge against the possibility that a certain “very stable genius” is impeached or else does something so egregious on the foreign policy front that everyone runs for cover?