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8 hours ago, Zhong Lu said:

The problem is the opportunity cost.

I agree.  That's why it's not an investment.  It's a protection against a worst case scenario.   Here are the numbers for conversation purposes.

DOW start of 1938  - $121
DOW start of 2020 - $28,462
Cummulative Rate of inflation since 1938:   1729%

If you do a constant dollar comparison,  the $121 dollars is like $2195 in today's dollars.  So a return on the DOW is 1300% in constant dollar terms.  Munging the numbers in a similar way, Gold "returned" only 115% in constant dollars.  

All this shows is its not an investment.  Your point and one I never disagreed with.  However, the Dollar is a fiat currency backed by nothing.  It will go to zero or near zero eventually like the German Mark between WW1 and WW2 or Confederate Dollar after the Civil War or the Argentine Peso many times.  During those times, Gold has an intrinsic value independent of currency.

As I said in my first post,  it's hard to wrap you head around holding hard assets.  Gold is just one asset one could hold for the unthinkable.   A prudent person's portfolio should have a small percentage set aside to pick-up the pieces when society or the mother of all black swans hits the restart button.   I think your first question was why hold gold?   It's the protection of last resort.


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10 hours ago, ronwagn said:

My requirements for a large van

Yea, my daughter has a growing family and I feel so sorry for her when I look at what the family van costs.  It's a wassting asset.  My wife is in a 2017 Honda CRV which I thought was expensive, but far less than a full size van.  I bought my second daughter's 2013 Rav4.  I over paid for it, but that's what Dad's do for daughters!

I'm looking for a good used, beater, pick-up truck.  I miss my 5-speed, 1995 Dodge Dakota.  So easy to maintain and very utilitarian.  The body rusted beyond my skills to repair and the engine / drive train had 260K miles on it so I thought I was pushing my luck.  Junk yard gave me $275.   

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23 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

A 1933 Chrysler Imperial 2 door convertible went for USD520,000 at auction in 2013

Yes, collectors will pay rediculous prices.  If you're in the right market at the right time you can make a lot of money trading this stuff.  It seems like an investment, but when the economy crashes and those collector pieces usually crash harder.   

I know this first hand.  I have a number of antique clocks in my house.  Spending money on a clock on the wall is truly surplus cash.  When everything crashed in 2008,  antique clocks never recovered.  Younger people don't have the surplus cash and those that do, would rather spend it one something else.  Older owners like me would like to liquidate in the near future to retire and aren't looking to buy.  Several of my clocks have stopped working since 2008 and the cost to repair exceed the value of the clock!   

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