Ever since gold has been discovered by man, it has been categorized among the most precious metals and it has been used as currency. The Egyptians, known for having an extraordinarily advanced culture for centuries, would bury gold with their dead. Perhaps that was the only form of currency practiced at that time!
As a metal, gold has some very unique characteristics, the most notable being that it does not get rusted or corroded. Of all the known natural metals, gold and silver are the best conductors of electricity. These are among the most important characteristics that make such metal precious.
Another quality that makes this metal so precious is its malleability and ductility. It may surprise many to learn that beating one ounce of gold can produce a sheet of three hundred square feet. The sheet becomes so thin that it gets transparent, more commonly known as a gold leaf.
Gold is not only a good conductor of electric current, but also of heat, capable of reflecting infrared radiation. Because of these inherent characteristics, gold is necessarily used in modern technology for the making of satellites and spacecrafts. This metal is also exploited for making many useful alloys of desired tensile strength and conductivity for many applications.
Professionals recommend the inclusion of gold as a part of your retirement investment portfolio. It is considered to be the most reliable hedge against inflation. Currencies may keep changing, but gold continues to remain a solid investment at all times. Although the price of this precious metal may drop at times, over an extended period of time its value is bound to go up. The metal has always remained in demand all over the world as governments, like common people, necessarily maintain large stocks of gold. Investment in gold is quite unlike Forex, stocks or other financial instruments, which are frequently exposed to extreme market fluctuations.
During 1971, the US moved away from following the gold standard. Although the reasons for such a move are debatable, the fact remains that now they can print any amount of money whenever needed, as the currency is no more backed by any physical assets. However, every time it prints additional currency, the value of dollar goes down.
The federal government also owns one of the largest reserves of gold worldwide. It simply remains there as the government keeps acquiring additional stocks. Perhaps they believe that hyperinflation can not be escaped forever, as it has historically been proven time and again. As per the census of 2012, the US has had 315,066,582 citizens, whereas its total debt was $ 16.3 trillion. It implies that the government owes US $ 142,749 to each of its citizens. Given that the current per ounce price of gold is around US $ 1660, the government will need to give you 85.8 ounces of gold! Well, do not expect it to be delivered to you in the near future!
You can secure your retirement by making investments in precious metals, as physical assets offer more stability compared to financial markets. Although the price of precious metals may come down for short periods, it will not collapse like financial markets, which carry the risk of failure, depending on the state of economy and government policies.
Investment advisers frequently recommend investing in gold or other precious metals as a part of your retirement portfolio. Time has proven that the price of metals like gold goes up whenever the inflation increases, during wartime, or at times when the dollar or stock markets show a downward trend.
Should you decide to include precious metals in your retirement portfolio, you have to assess its percentage in your total portfolio. The amount varies as per personal investment goals and philosophy. Factors that matter include your age, the capacity to take risks and the total assets.