By Adam Hamilton
Gold surged this week on massive buying from stock investors and speculators. This critical group of traders and their vast pools of capital utterly abandoned gold in the past couple years. So to see them start to flock back is a watershed event, heralding a major reversal in gold’s fortunes. And with their gold exposure remaining near extreme lows, they have vast buying left to do to restore prudent portfolio diversification.
Successful investors have always practiced this essential concept of not putting all their eggs in one basket. This great wisdom is ancient, stretching back at least three millennia to King Solomon’s reign in ancient Israel. In the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes he advised, “Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.” Portfolio diversification is absolutely critical.
Most investors today keep the vast majority of their capital in stocks and bonds, which is fine. But truly wise ones also diversify into alternative investments, which simply mean not stocks, bonds, or cash. Gold has always been the leading alternative asset, largely thanks to its strong negative correlation with the stock markets. Gold thrives when stocks are weak, making it indispensable to managing overall portfolio risk.
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