Fox Business: Gold Could Be a Way to Avoid a Wealth Tax, Hedge Against Global Recession

December 11, 2019

Article by Megan Henney in Fox Business

Investors, rattled by a global growth slowdown, the U.S.-China trade war and vows by several Democratic presidential candidates to tax the rich, are flocking to gold.

Prices of the precious metal, which climbed to a six-year high in September, are up nearly 20 percent for the year, according to a Goldman Sachs analyst note to clients.

“Political risks, in our view, help explain this because if an individual is trying to minimize the risks of sanctions or wealth taxes, then buying physical gold bars and storing them in a vault, where it is more difficult for governments to reach them, makes sense,” the analysts, including Sabine Schels, said in a note Friday.

By 2020, the firm estimates the price of gold will reach $1,600 per ounce.

“High political uncertainty due to continued trade tensions and the approaching U.S. elections should also be supportive gold in 2020,” the analysts wrote.

Essentially, growth in gold is surging at least in part because wealthy investors are stockpiling bullion.

The build-up can also reflect ultra-wealthy individuals making hedges against what they perceive to be risky economic and political scenarios “in which they do not want to have any financial entity intermediating their gold positions due to the counterparty credit risk involved.”

“Geopolitical uncertainty is already translating into greater gold demand,” the analysts said.

According to a report released by UBS Wealth in November, more than 3,400 high-net-worth individuals said they think there will be a significant market sell-off before the end of next year. Overall, almost fourth-fifths -- 79 percent -- expect volatility to increase next year, with almost 72 percent characterizing the investment environment as “more challenging” than five years ago.

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