Learning more about gold, and its history, may help you answer that question.
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Since the Sumerians melted the first gold to create jewelry 5,000 years ago, it’s been one of the most sought-after commodities in the world. Learning more about gold and its history may help you answer the question, do I want to own gold?
The World Gold Council estimates that 174,000 tons of gold has been mined since the beginning of civilization. Melted down and lumped together, it would form a cube 66 feet on each side, roughly the size of 168 UPS delivery vans stacked together. Each year, new mining adds another 27 hundred tons, roughly the weight of a 747 airplane, to the total.
Today, you can own gold, but it wasn’t always that way. In 1933, with the US at the depth of the Depression, Franklin Roosevelt ordered all citizens to deliver gold coins, gold bullion, and gold certificates to the Federal Reserve which paid $20.67 an ounce for the metal. Four decades later, Gerald Ford signed legislation that permitted Americans to once again own gold.
Gold has climbed from a low of $256 an ounce in February 2001 to $1895 in September 2011. There continues to be much disagreement about what’s next for gold prices. Should gold be a part of your diversified portfolio? That depends on many factors, including your time horizon, risk tolerance, and goals.
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