Gold prices peaked a year ago even as the usual laundry list of favorable conditions for the metal has been met repeatedly. Well, price is everywhere a social phenomenon, and math has little to do with it. If you are long gold, you need other humans, not math, to agree with you.
— Gregor Macdonald (@GregorMacdonald) July 30, 2021
This jibes with what I wrote last week about investing, everywhere and always, being a social activity. As with all social activities you can get shifts, even dramatic ones, out of nowhere. If your current wardrobe goes out of style, no big deal. If your entire portfolio goes out of style, that’s a different story altogether.
As you may recall, I co-authored a paper a year ago that took a stab at putting a value on gold. You can see that despite a surge in Covid in the US in the winter and a blast of inflation fears this Spring, gold has struggled price-wise.
Some might argue that the marginal gold buyer has been enticed into the crypto space. Or it may simply be that the so-called fundamentals of gold have brought the price of the shiny metal closer to its fair value. Either way, goldbugs have had a rough year. The question is whether, at some point down the road, the crowd will once again be on their side.