‘Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold’ – Leo Tolstoy
In a week when apparently the bitcoin implied market value bested that of Coca-Cola (KO in New York) my thoughts drift back towards gold. The shiny metal has enjoyed a respectable 2017 in dollar terms but has been much more of a dull performer in Pound or euro terms and certainly general equity exposure and even most fixed income exposures would have made stronger returns over the last twelve months or so. Gold however tends to help out when other asset classes are less forgiving and looking into the range of scenarios that 2018 offers…I do not think it is going completely out of fashion soon, irrespective of where the so-called (but clearly different) ‘digital gold’ bitcoin trades at. As for gold equities I agree with the recent words of Randgold Resources’ (RRS in London or wonderfully GOLD in New York) CEO Mark Bristow who noted at a recent sector conference that “(T)he one thing this industry does very well is mine gold at a loss”. Too true as many medium-term investors in the shares of gold companies would agree. Find however those select few names with production growth, control of costs, good relations with local governments and an ability to generate cash for shareholders and history would suggest you are adding a bit of diversification for your portfolio…a characteristic which is helpful in most financial market backdrops over time. In the meantime, can anyone help me work out how to buy a can of Coca-Cola’s finest with bitcoin?