QUESTION: Mac in Florida has noticed many people pushing gold as an investment, and wants to know Dave's thoughts on it.
ANSWER: It sucks. Gold is a horrible investment. It's speculating in precious metals, and you're going to lose you butt when you play with gold. The deal with gold is really simple.
Gold has a 70-year track record of 4.2% returns. That's about the rate of inflation. It's awful. All the rate of return that gold has made has been in the last seven years, and even then it will go up and down and up and down. It's very volatile.
If there are any end-time conspiracy theorist nutburgers who think that gold is stable and will cover us if the economy collapses, I tell you that gold and money are spiritual. Gold is only as good to you as someone else is willing to take it as payment. There is no guarantee that someone will take it as payment.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and that economy collapsed, the first thing that happens is commodities become valuable. Paper money isn't valuable and gold isn't valuable. A bottle of water, a tank of gas or a pair of blue jeans in that mess was a big deal, but a bar of gold wouldn't have gotten you anything. People are after survival in those situations. The idea that we return to the gold standard after a crash is bogus.