Should you ‘Trump-proof’ your portfolio with Gold Shares?

It’s been a rough week for investors, unless you’re up to your neck in gold shares.

Investors have endured plenty of volatility in recent sessions as markets around the world brace for a possible Donald Trump presidency. While shares have been taken to the cleaners, the spot price of gold has rocketed higher.

One factor driving the gold price higher has been a weaker US dollar. As the precious metal is priced in US dollars, a weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for foreign buyers which can result in an increase in demand.

However, demand for gold typically also increases as a result of fear and uncertainty, which is exactly what investors are feeling as the probability of Trump winning next week’s election steadily increases. One ounce of gold is now fetching US$1,305, up more than 1% since yesterday, and a significant improvement on the low of around US$1,248 struck as recently as October.

Here’s how some of the gold miners have performed since the beginning of the week…

One of the few exceptions is Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO). Its shares have fallen 2.1% this week. Otherwise, those gains compare to a 1.3% decline for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) over the same period.

Before investors get too excited however, there are a couple of factors working against gold. First up is the probability of an interest rate hike from the US Federal Reserve in the near future – most likely in December. A rate hike would most likely act to strengthen the US dollar, whilst also providing investors with a greater incentive to keep cash in the bank (which earns interest), as opposed to gold, which yields nothing at all.

The second major factor working against the price of gold is history itself. As gold tends to rise in price as a result of fear and uncertainty, it also tends to fall when calm starts spreading through the market again. Whatever happens in the US election next week, volatility will eventually pass which would likely weigh on the gold price in the long run.

Given the number of high-quality businesses that have been sold off in recent sessions, I believe investors could do a lot better by searching for a few bargains that are outside of the gold sector.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.

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