Global demand pushed the price of gold to a new record of $1,921.15 an ounce yesterday indicating the precious metal is retaining its luster amid concerns over sovereign debt crises and an economic slowdown.
Gold and other precious metals typically play a supporting role in building wealth for Millionaires who invest, on average, less than 5 percent of their assets in gold and other alternative investments. As a group, these affluent investors appear unlikely to jump on the gold bandwagon now.
Wealthy investors surveyed by Millionaire Corner over the last few weeks remain interested in gold, but appear less likely to buy at the new peak prices than they were in December when gold traded around $1,400 an ounce. At year end, about 6 percent of millionaires said they were likely to invest in gold and other precious metals in 2011. Eight months further into an 11-year rally for gold, Millionaires seem to be changing their tune.
The stock market’s wild ride in August tested the mettle of investors still recovering from the 2008 selloff that tipped the country into recession. The majority of Millionaires said they were much better prepared for the most recent downturn and weren’t upset by the steep drop in prices. In fact, nearly 30 percent said they took advantage of the downturn by buying additional stock. Less than 4 percent sold investments to buy gold.
Gold had a little more allure for non-millionaire investors with a net worth of at least $500,000, but less for investors with less than $500,000.
Demand for gold was slightly higher for men and senior corporate executives, two investor groups that tend to act more decisively and with lots of confidence. More than 4 percent of men sold investments to buy gold in the most recent downturn, compared to 2.8 percent of women. Nearly 7 percent of senior corporate executives sold investments and bought gold in the most recent downturn, compared to 3.7 percent of investors as a whole. It appears that executives are most likely to fall into the camp believing that gold prices have a lot more head room. Investors bullish on gold predict prices above $2,000 an ounce, while investors fearing a gold bubble warn of an inevitable correction in gold prices.