Low oil prices are stealing all the headlines right now, and the media has decided to focus only on the negatives. However, in America there are strong headwinds building that will only propel the American economy higher. Investors would be wise to invest in these sectors and avoid gold.
It's no secret that gold is a long bet on fear.
And the fear trade works, until it doesn't — what that means is that none of the major market selloffs have led to an all out stock market collapse. Eventually cooler heads prevail and the market moves higher.
Ever since 2004, gold has been transformed into a speculative asset. Ten years ago the World Gold Council (formed by mining companies) pushed for the creation of a gold ETF, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD).
The GLD allowed anyone and everyone to buy and sell gold. And after the GLD was created, gold traded above $500 an ounce for the first time in more than 20 years.
There's hundreds of miners out there trying to find new gold sources, while another few hundred companies are working feverishly to extract as much gold as possible out of the mines they do have.
However, gold isn't consumed, it merely changes hands. Yet, we continue to mine more and more of it. When you think about other commodities, they are valuable because they need to replenish — think: coffee, oil, beef, corn, wheat, etcetera.
Gold is only valuable because other people think it is valuable. Or think it will be more valuable in the future. However, after a tremendous run in the price of gold, the market finally came to its senses in 2012. Gold peaked at over $1,900 and at a time when the GLD was the largest equity holding in 401ks, behind only Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL).
As a long-term investment, it's hard to see how gold has a place in any portfolio. Throughout the '80s and '90s, gold did nothing. It provided investors with no income or return and was literally just dead weight.
Warren Buffett has long questioned the usefulness of gold. One of his most famous quotes goes something like this,