This article discusses buying gold as an investment.
The usual benchmark for the price of gold is known as the London Gold Fixing, a twice-daily (telephone) meeting of representatives from five bullion-trading firms. The Gold Fixing (also known as the London Gold Fixing or Gold Fix) is the procedure by which the price of Gold is set on the London market by Furthermore, there is active gold trading based on the intra-day spot price, derived from gold-trading markets around the world as they open and close throughout the day. The spot price or spot rate of a Commodity, a security or a Currency is the Price that is quoted for immediate (spot settlement
The following table sets forth the gold price versus various investments and key statistics (Note: the prices on the following table and graphs are expressed in terms of nominal dollars, and thus are not adjusted for inflation):
|S&P 500 ||Dow Jones|
Supply M3 
Farm Wages 
|US Govt Debt |
|1910||20. This article is about the unit of mass For the unit of force see Pound-force. Silver (ˈsɪlvɚ is a Chemical element with the symbol " Ag " (argentum from the Ancient Greek: ἀργήντος - argēntos gen The S&P 500 is a Stock market index containing the stocks of 500 Large-Cap Corporations all of which are from the United States. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( also called the DJIA, Dow 30, INDP, or informally the Dow Jones or The Dow) is one of several In Economics, money supply, or money stock, is the total amount of money available in an Economy at a particular point in time The United States total public debt, commonly called the national debt, or U 67||421. 84||0. 54||11. 02||59. 60||2. 6|
|1920||20. 67||208. 79||0. 54||5. 45||71. 95||25. 9|
|1930||20. 67||249. 04||0. 33||3. 98||164. 58||16. 2|
|1940||34. 50||500. 00||0. 35||5. 07||131. 13||43. 0|
|1950||40. 25||335. 42||0. 80||6. 67||235. 42||257. 4|
|1960||36. 50||248. 30||0. 91||6. 19||58. 11||615. 89||315. 2||290. 2|
|1970||37. 60||195. 83||1. 64||8. 54||92. 15||838. 92||677. 1||389. 2|
|1980||641. 20||1567. 73||15. 65||38. 26||135. 76||963. 99||1,995. 5||3. 50||930. 2|
|1990||423. 80||654. 01||4. 17||6. 44||330. 22||2,633. 66||4,154. 6||5. 52||3,233. 3|
|2000||272. 15||318. 68||4. 60||5. 39||1,320. 28||10,786. 85||7,117. 7||8. 10||5,674. 2|
|2005||513. 00||529. 41||8. 83||9. 11||1,248. 29||10,717. 50||10,191. 4||9. 51||8,170. 4|
|2008||1,002. 00||790. 40||14. 59||14. 29||1,288. 14||11,869. 65||Undisclosed||9. 87||9,090. 9|
Today, like all investments and commodities, the price of gold is ultimately driven by supply and demand, including hoarding and disposal. Unlike most other commodities, the hoarding and disposal plays a much bigger role in affecting the price, because most of the gold ever mined still exists and is potentially able to come on to the market for the right price.   Given the huge quantity of hoarded gold, compared to the annual production, the price of gold is mainly affected by changes in sentiment, rather than changes in annual production. 
According to the World Gold Council, annual mine production of gold over the last few years has been close to 2,500 tonnes. The World Gold Council, formed in 1987 is an industry association of the world's leading Gold mining companies  About 3,000 tonnes goes into jewelry or industrial/dental production, and around 500 tonnes goes to retail investors and exchange traded gold funds.  This translates to an annual demand for gold to be 1000 tonnes in excess over mine production which has come from central bank sales and other disposal. 
Central banks and the International Monetary Fund play an important role in the gold price. The International Monetary Fund ( IMF) is an International organization that oversees the Global financial system by following the Macroeconomic At the end of 2004 central banks and official organizations held 19 percent of all above-ground gold as official gold reserves . Gold reserves (or gold holdings) are held by Central banks as a Store of value. The Washington Agreement on Gold (WAG), which dates from September 1999, limits gold sales by its members (Europe, United States, Japan, Australia, Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund) to less than 400 tonnes a year . European central banks, such as the Bank of England and Swiss National Bank, have been key sellers of gold over this period . The Bank of England (formally the Governor and Company of the Bank of England) is a state-owned institution and the Central bank of the United Kingdom The Swiss National Bank (SNB is the Central bank of Switzerland.
Although central banks do not generally announce gold purchases in advance, some, such as Russia, have expressed interest in growing their gold reserves again as of late 2005 . In early 2006, China, which only holds 1. 3% of its reserves in gold , announced that it was looking for ways to improve the returns on its official reserves. Many bulls hope that this signals that China might reposition more of its holdings into gold in line with other Central Banks. 
In general, gold becomes more desirable in times of:
The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee was organized in January 1999 to advocate and undertake litigation against illegal collusion to control the price and supply of gold and related financial securities. The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA is an American non-profit organization whose charter purpose is to advocate and undertake Litigation against GATA underwrote the federal anti-trust lawsuit of its consultant, Reginald H. Howe -- Howe vs. Bank for International Settlements et al. -- which was pursued in U. S. District Court in Boston from 2000 to 2002. While the Howe suit was dismissed on a jurisdictional technicality, it became the model for Blanchard Coin and Bullion's anti-trust lawsuit against Barrick Gold and J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. , which was filed in U. S. District Court in New Orleans in 2002 and prompted Barrick Gold's decision to stop selling gold in advance for 10 years. 
Investors may buy gold for a variety of reasons: among them include a desire to diversify their assets; to hide wealth from tax authorities; for reasons of political belief (e. An investor profile or style defines an individual's preferences in Investment decisions for example Short term trading ( Active management g. libertarian); or out of fear of an economic depression or other serious crisis (e. Libertarianism is a term used by a broad spectrum of political philosophies which prioritize individual Liberty and seek to minimize or even abolish the g. gold bug). The term gold bug is a (sometimes pejorative term used to describe Investors who are very bullish on buying the Commodity Gold (XAU - ISO
Investment in gold can be done directly through bullion ownership, or indirectly through certificates, accounts, spread betting, derivatives or shares. This is a sub-article of Gold as an investment. Investment in Gold can be done directly through ownership or indirectly through certificates
Investors using fundamental analysis analyze the macroeconomic situation, which includes international economic indicators, such as GDP growth rates, inflation, interest rates, productivity and energy prices. Troy weight is a system of units of Mass customarily used for Precious metals Black powder, and Gemstones Named after Troyes Macroeconomics is a branch of Economics that deals with the performance structure and behavior of a national or regional Economy as a whole An economic indicator (or business indicator) is a Statistic about the economy. In economics inflation or price inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services over a period of time Interest is a fee paid on borrowed capital Assets lent include Money, Shares, Consumer goods through Hire purchase, major assets Productivity in Economics refers to measures of output from production processes per unit of input They would also analyze the total global gold supply versus demand. Over 2005 the World Gold Council estimated total global gold supply to be 3,859 tonnes and demand to be 3,754 tonnes, giving a surplus of 105 tonnes . The World Gold Council, formed in 1987 is an industry association of the world's leading Gold mining companies Others point out that total mine production is only about 2,500 tonnes each year, leaving a 1,300 tonne deficit that must be made up by central bank or private sales. . While gold production is unlikely to change in the near future, supply and demand due to private ownership is highly liquid and subject to rapid changes. This makes gold very different from almost every other commodity.  
The performance of gold bullion is often compared to stocks. They are fundamentally different asset classes: gold is a store of value whereas stocks are a return on value (i. e. growth plus dividends). Stocks and bonds perform best in a stable political climate with strong property rights and little turmoil. The attached graph shows the value of Dow Jones Industrial Average divided by the price of an ounce of gold. Since 1800, stocks have consistently gained value in comparison to gold due in part to the stability of the American political system. This appreciation has been cyclical with long periods of stock outperformance followed by long periods of gold outperformance. The Dow Industrials bottomed out a ratio of 1:1 with gold during 1980 (the end of the 1970s bear market) and proceeded to post gains throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The ratio peaked on January 14th, 2000 a value of 41. 3 and has fallen sharply since. William Anton III wrote in the 2004 issue of Jefferson Coin and Bullion ". . . downward movement in the Dow/gold ratio is unlikely to stop precisely at the mean trendline. The extreme distension of the the 90s will likely overshoot to the opposite extreme in the current cycle. " Source:   
In November 2005, Rick Munarriz of Motley Fool. com posed the question of which represented a better investment: a share of Google or an ounce of gold. Google Inc is an American public corporation, earning revenue from advertising related to its Internet search, e-mail, online The specific comparison between these two very different investments seems to have captured the imagination of many in the investment commuity and is serving to crystalize the broader debate. Source:   At the time of writing, a share of Google's stock and an ounce of gold were both near $700. On January 4, 2008 23:58 New York Time, it was reported that an ounce of gold outpaced the share price of Google by 30. 77%, with gold closing at $859. 19 per ounce and a share of Google closing at $657 on U. S. market exchanges. On January 24th 2008, the gold price broke the $900 mark per ounce for the first time. The price of gold topped $1,000 an ounce for the first time ever on March 13, 2008 amid recession fears in the United States. Events 1138 - Cardinal Gregorio Conti is elected Antipope as Victor IV, succeeding Anacletus II. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common The United States of America —commonly referred to as the 
As with stocks, gold investors may base their investment decision partly on, or solely on, technical analysis. Technical analysis is a Financial markets technique that claims the ability to forecast the future direction of security prices through the study of past market Typically, this involves analyzing chart patterns, moving averages, market trends and/or the economic cycle in order to speculate on the future price. A chart pattern is a Pattern that is formed within a Chart when prices are graphed In Statistics, a moving average, also called a rolling average and sometimes a running average, refers to a statistical technique used to analyze a In Investing, Financial markets are commonly believed to have market trends that can be classified as primary trends secondary trends (short-term and secular trends The term business cycle or economic cycle refers to the fluctuations of economic activity during its long term growth trend
Bullish investors may choose to leverage their position by borrowing money against their existing gold assets and then purchasing more gold on account with the loaned funds. In Investing, Financial markets are commonly believed to have market trends that can be classified as primary trends secondary trends (short-term and secular trends In Finance, leverage (or gearing) is using given resources in such a way that the potential positive or negative outcome is magnified and/or enhanced In order to keep the cost of debt to a minimum, these individuals would normally seek a loan in the currency with the lowest borrowing rate, which, as of April 2006, was the Japanese yen. Debt is that which is owed usually referencing Assets owed but the term can cover other obligations A loan is a type of Debt. This article focuses exclusively on monetary loans although in practice any material object might be lent Interest is a fee paid on borrowed capital Assets lent include Money, Shares, Consumer goods through Hire purchase, major assets This technique is referred to as a "yen-gold carry trade". The carry of an Asset is the return obtained from holding it (if positive or the Cost of holding it (if negative Leverage may increase investment gains but increases risk, as, if the gold price decreases, the investor may be subject to a margin call. In finance a margin is collateral that the holder of a position in securities, options, or Futures contracts has to deposit to cover Leverage is also an integral part of buying gold derivatives and unhedged gold mining company shares (see gold mining companies). Derivatives are Financial instruments whose values depend on the value of other underlying financial instruments In Finance, a hedge is an investment that is taken out specifically to reduce or cancel out the Risk in another investment This is a sub-article of Gold as an investment. Investment in Gold can be done directly through ownership or indirectly through certificates
Historically, increases in the supply of fiat currency through increased money supply have caused the demand for gold to increase. The terms fiat currency and fiat money relate to types of currency or Money whose usefulness results not from any intrinsic value or guarantee that it can be In Economics, money supply, or money stock, is the total amount of money available in an Economy at a particular point in time There was a time when gold was money and vice versa. If citizens felt that there may be insufficient gold to cover the paper money in circulation, they would queue up at the bank to change their paper currency back into gold.
However, since the gold standard was ended on August 15, 1971, governments have been free to print as much money as they choose, without fear that their populations will come knocking on the central bank's door demanding to change their paper money back into gold. The gold standard is a monetary system in which a region's common media of exchange are paper notes that are normally freely convertible into pre-set fixed quantities of Gold
In January 1959 US M3 money supply was $288. In Economics, money supply, or money stock, is the total amount of money available in an Economy at a particular point in time 8 billion , and the official gold reserves of the United States was then 17,335. Gold reserves (or gold holdings) are held by Central banks as a Store of value. 1 tonnes, or 557,336,000 ounces  (there are 32,150. 7 troy ounces in a tonne). That means that in 1959, there were $518 in circulation for every ounce of gold reserves held by the USA. Although the actual ratio of dollars to gold was $518 per ounce, the actual price, as fixed under the gold standard, was only $35 an ounce.
By August 2005, the US M3 money supply had risen to $9,873. 9 billion, whilst at the same time the Official Gold Holdings of the United States had fallen to just 8,133. 5 tonnes, or 261. 50 million Troy Ounces . This means that by 2005, there were $37,831 in circulation for every troy ounce of gold held by the United States.
However, this increase of 75 times in the ratio of central bank gold holdings to debt does not allow for the fact that the gold standard was abandoned in 1971 and gold holdings have been deliberately and considerably reduced. Another far less dramatic way of looking at the same figures is this: In 1959 US government debt valued in gold was 8 billion Troy ounces, in 2005 US government debt was 20 billion ounces gold - an increase of 2. 5 times!
The US Federal Reserve ceased publishing M3 data on 23 March 2006, with the last published data indicating a year-on-year growth rate of 8. In Economics, money supply, or money stock, is the total amount of money available in an Economy at a particular point in time Events 1174 - Jocelin, Abbot of Melrose, is elected Bishop of Glasgow. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. 23%. Central banks may see this as a reason to limit further increases in their reserves of dollars, and thus alternatives such as gold or the euro might be considered. Jon Nadler, an analyst at Kitco Bullion Dealers, said gold was still benefiting from August 30, 2006 release of the minutes to the last rate-setting meeting of the US Federal Reserve. Events 1363 - Beginning date of the Battle of Lake Poyang; the forces of two Chinese rebel leaders— Chen Youliang and Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. The minutes to the August 8, 2006 meeting, at which the Federal Open Market Committee kept short-term interest rates unchanged for the first time since 2004, supported the view that US borrowing costs have peaked. Events 1220 - Sweden is defeated by Estonian tribes in the Battle of Lihula. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC a component of the Federal Reserve System, is charged under U "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " 
Since April 2001 the gold price has more than tripled in value against the US dollar (as seen here), prompting speculation that this long secular bear market (or the Great Commodities Depression) has ended and a bull market has returned  . In Investing, Financial markets are commonly believed to have market trends that can be classified as primary trends secondary trends (short-term and secular trends The Great Commodities Depression is a term used in economic history to describe the protracted declines in the prices of raw materials roughly from 1982 – 1998. In Investing, Financial markets are commonly believed to have market trends that can be classified as primary trends secondary trends (short-term and secular trends In March 2008, the gold price increased above $1000 , which in real terms is still well below the $850 peak in 1980. The distinction between real versus nominal value occurs in many fields In the last century, major economic crises (such as the Great Depression, World War II, the first and second oil crisis) lowered the Dow/Gold ratio (which is inherently inflation adjusted) substantially, in most cases to a value well below 4 (as seen here). World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including The 1973 oil crisis began on October 17 1973 when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC consisting of the Arab members of The 1979 (or second) oil crisis in the United States occurred in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. During these difficult times, investors tried to preserve their assets by investing in precious metals, most notably gold and silver. Silver (ˈsɪlvɚ is a Chemical element with the symbol " Ag " (argentum from the Ancient Greek: ἀργήντος - argēntos gen The long-term trend in the Dow/Gold ratio since 2001 shows that such a scenario is currently repeating. Major reasons are, among others, the rapid increase in money supply M3 in Europe  and the USA   (monetary inflation) and the high double deficit of the USA. In Economics, money supply, or money stock, is the total amount of money available in an Economy at a particular point in time Monetary inflation is the term used by some economists of the Monetarist tradition and Austrian economists, to differentiate direct inflation in the Money supply An economy is deemed to have a double deficit (also known as a twin deficit) if it has a Current account deficit and a fiscal deficit   These severe economic problems have been leading to the financial crisis, high price inflation and the strong depreciation of major currencies against commodities, most notably of the US-Dollar. The subprime mortgage crisis is an ongoing financial crisis characterized by contracted Liquidity in global credit markets and Banking In economics inflation or price inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services over a period of time The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been