At more than $US1,700 per ounce, gold looks alluring, but should investors be ploughing their money into the precious metal to help them get rich?
Not necessarily, says precious metals specialist Jordan Eliseo of financial planners LJ Financial Group.
"Gold is not an investment like equities, or property or the bond market," he told AAP.
"You don't buy it (gold) because you think it's going to make you rich; you buy it to protect yourself and potentially hold it as an alternative form of money."
Mr Eliseo said gold was not like shares, which investors buy in the expectation that they will pay a dividend and appreciate in value.
Gold was a means of protecting purchasing power over time because it could not be devalued by lower interest rates or so-called money printing by central banks.
Mr Eliseo said the gold price had been rising significantly during the past few years because, economically, times were uncertain and gold was viewed as a hedge against inflation.
"In any environment where interest rates are low to negative in real terms, where we're seeing more money printing (referred to as quantitative easing by central banks), it's hard to see why one would not be considering holding gold," Mr Eliseo said.
Mr Eliseo said he could not predict how far the gold price could rise.
"Low to negative interest rates and money printing are typically the two things that have been most supportive of gold prices in the past," he said.
"So there's no real reason to expect the price to fall over any time soon.
"As long as we've got low to negative real interest rates and as long as we've got money printing, then a lot more people are going to start thinking maybe they should hold some of their money in this one commodity that can't be devalued via those policies."
Mr Eliseo said that when economic growth is strong, and interest rates on money in the bank are quite high, the opportunity cost of holding gold increases because gold does not necessarily generate a return.
He said people holding gold in an asset portfolio should pay attention to the performance of equities, bonds and property so that they can weigh up which one is likely to give the best return.
Mr Eliseo could not say how much of an asset portfolio should be dedicated to holding gold.
"If somebody is super-conservative and they can't handle volatility, because gold can be and has been volatile, then they probably don't want to hold as much of their portfolio in gold," he said.
Mr Eliseo said there was a perception that gold was an illiquid market and was hard to trade, but $US30 billion of gold was traded each day - six times more than the value of securities traded each day on the Australian Securities Exchange.
"So there's no need to fear buying gold from the point of view of: what if one day no-one wants to buy it?" he said.
Mr Eliseo said one could buy small gold bars weighing only five to 10 grams.
"An ounce of gold is worth $US1,700 today. You don't have to buy a minimum of an ounce. You can buy it in smaller denominations than that.
Mr Eliseo said gold could be purchased through a bullion trader which could also insure and store gold for clients.
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