Gold: safe haven or dead weight?

The lure of gold in troubled times

Gold has in recent weeks become more interesting to investors. After a lengthy period during which an ounce of gold traded around US$1,500 per ounce, it notched up slightly after the March stock market meltdown, to around US$1,700. Since the beginning of June, though, it has been climbing steadily, edging toward a historic high of US$2,000 per ounce in the final days of July.


Should you buy hard assets now?

Precious metals, gems a risky way to hedge risk

The headlines are hard to miss. There’s the seemingly endless tariff war between China and the U.S. Then there’s the truly endless sabre rattling in the Middle East, most recently between Turkey and the Kurds in Northern Syria. How about the tit-for-tat oil tanker attacks and hijackings between Saudi Arabia and Iran? Brexit anyone? Efforts by Democrats to impeach U.S. President Donald Trump. Mass rioting in Hong Kong, Chile, Bolivia. Separatist sentiments rising in Canada following the election of a weak minority Liberal government. For some investors, it’s all a bit much, and many are asking if market risk has cranked up to new highs. Is now the time to switch at least some of your funds to so-called portable hard assets, like gold and gemstones, which tend to keep their value in times of turmoil? READ MORE

How to invest in gold

Use it as a safe haven if you must, but never speculate

Over the past month or so, the price of gold has climbed steadily, gaining nearly US$150 per ounce, to trade over US$1,270 per ounce at the beginning of March. This is the biggest sustained gain in the past 12 months. Does it now make sense to shift a portion of your asset allocation to gold? And if so, with all the vehicles now available, which would be the best way to invest? READ MORE

Diamonds are not a girl’s best friend

Ever since screen goddess Marilyn Monroe breathily sang the famous lyric in the 1959 hit movie Some Like It Hot, diamonds have come to be known as “a girl’s best friend.” You can understand why. They’re flashy and sparkly and pricey. And some girls actually drip with them – usually assorted Hollywood starlets, celebrities, and certain members of British royalty. Diamonds are probably unparalleled as a gem for jewelry and display. As an investment? Not so much. Even if they are, as they say, “forever.”