Gold as a strategic asset for UK investors

Published 9th July 2012

Categories: Investment

Download (pdf, 1.19 MB)

This report examines gold's role within a sterling-denominated investment portfolio. It uses the respected Michaud et al.'s unique Resampled Efficient Frontier™ optimisation technology to allow analysis of the statistical significance of gold for adding diversification value. The report shows how gold performs as a portfolio diversifier, a preserver of wealth and a risk management mechanism, which is particularly important during times of economic and market stress.

A UK investor holding assets such as cash, bonds, equities, property and commodities can enhance a portfolio by adding a discrete allocation to gold as a strategic asset. 

Gold’s characteristics allow it to play many roles within
an investor’s portfolio. It serves as a portfolio diversifier,
a preserver of wealth and a vehicle to manage risk more effectively, particularly against tail risks. In this paper, we show that gold provides the means for investors to reduce cross-asset correlation and, by extension, portfolio risk. Using an optimisation framework developed by Michaud et al., we analyse gold in the context of a sterling-based investor’s portfolio to determine its optimal allocation and risk-hedging characteristics. 

In focusing on sterling-based portfolios we aim to: 

  • Provide an insight into how an optimal allocation to gold can benefit UK investors during periods of economic and market stress.
  • Add further support to previous findings for sterling-based investors and the existing body of similar research in other currencies.
  • Discuss further uses of gold as a risk-management mechanism for sterling-based investors.