Seeking Alpha posted commentary on metals and fiat currencies titled "Is Gold A Risk Asset Or A Safe Haven" which offers an interesting argument.
One of the reasons the debate over whether gold is a risk asset or a safe haven seems to live on is the fact that one troy ounce of gold has a monetary value priced in fiat currency. This monetary value fluctuates up and down. As it does, people like to call gold a risk asset or a safe haven, based on how the fiat monetary value is performing relative to asset classes such as equities or fixed income. It seems like every time we see gold, in dollar terms, move in a direction opposite the S&P 500’s (SPY) daily movement, the debate heats up. Furthermore, people like to point out the bear market that dollar-priced gold suffered during the 1980s and 1990s as evidence that gold is neither an inflation hedge nor worth owning over long periods of time.
All of this misses the point about what gold as a store of value represents in a fiat currency world. When owning gold as a store of value in a world dominated by fiat currency, the only thing that should matter to the owner is the number of ounces owned. If gold is being owned to protect against the destruction of the current monetary system, then debating its daily moments when priced under the current monetary regime is pointless. All that matters is how many ounces an investor owns. These ounces, kept as a store of value, would then either be converted into whatever new currency regime comes about, if the current one fails, or continue to be held as a store of value in those instances in which the owner simply doesn’t trust the new currency structure.
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