MENU

Why gold doesn’t glitter as an investment

Gold and other precious metals are often seen as an alternative investment class, with similar standing to shares and property. It may be another asset, but I think it’s one of the worst for long-term growth.

Albert Einstein once described compound interest as the eighth wonder of the world, he who understands it earns it, he who doesn’t pays it. It’s a fantastic quote and it’s the reason why shares are the best to own in the long-term.

The key thing to remember with compound interest is that the asset produces profit and that profit can be reinvested into producing more profit.

Gold is a beautiful material, it has attracted people throughout the centuries. However, ultimately, it is just a shiny material. It doesn’t generate any profit, dividends or rent. It can’t compound if it can’t generate any money.

All it can do is go up and down in price. If you want to make any money then you have to hope that you can sell it to someone who will buy it for more from you. Over the last century gold hasn’t grown much faster than inflation.

The ASX has a number of gold miners such as Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM), St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM), Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX: SLR), Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST). This is an alternative way to get exposure to gold and at least some of them generate profit and dividends.

However, gold mining is exposed to all the cyclical forces that BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) is. Just because they mine gold doesn’t mean they are better than any other miner, just that they move with gold prices.

The only commodity businesses that I’m interested in owning are food companies and CSL Limited (ASX: CSL).

Foolish takeaway

To truly take advantage of compound interest you have to put your money into businesses that are making profit and can grow the profit such as Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL).

Other options could be some of our favourite growth stocks for this year.

Top 3 ASX Blue Chips To Buy In 2017

For many, blue chip stocks means stability, profitability and regular dividends, often fully franked..

But knowing which blue chips to buy, and when, can be fraught with danger.

The Motley Fool's in-house analyst team has poured over thousands of hours worth of proprietary research to bring you the names of "The Motley Fool's Top 3 Blue Chip Stocks for 2017."

Each one pays a fully franked dividend. Each one has not only grown its profits, but has also grown its dividend. One increased it by a whopping 33%, while another trades on a grossed up (fully franked) dividend yield of almost 7%.

If you're expecting to see the likes of Commonwealth Bank, Telstra and Wesfarmers shares on this list, you'll be sorely disappointed. Not only are their dividends growing at a snail's pace, their profits are under pressure too due to the increasing competitive environment.

The contrast to these "new breed" blue chips couldn't be greater... especially the very real prospect of significant share price gains, something that's looking less likely from the usual blue chip suspects.

The names of these Top 3 ASX Blue Chips are included in this specially prepared free report. But you will have to hurry. Depending on demand - and how quickly the share prices of these companies moves - we may be forced to remove this report.

Click here to claim your free report.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: My #1 Dividend Pick for 2017!

With its shares up 155% in just the last five years, this ‘under the radar’ consumer favourite is both a hot growth stock AND our expert’s #1 dividend pick for 2017. Now we’re pulling back the curtain for you... And all you have to do to discover the name, code and a full analysis is enter your email below!

Simply enter your email now to receive your copy of our brand-new FREE report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2017.”

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.