A meme is now circulating that gold is in a bubble and that it's time for the wise investor to sell. To me, that’s a ridiculous notion. Certainly a premature one.
It pays to remain as objective as you can be when analyzing any investment. People have a tendency to fall in love with an asset class, usually because it’s treated them so well. We saw that happen, most recently, with Internet stocks in the late ’90s and houses up to 2007. Investment bubbles are driven primarily by emotion, although there's always some rationale for the emotion to latch on to. Perversely, when it comes to investing, reason is recruited mainly to provide cover for passion and preconception.
In the same way, people tend to hate certain investments unreasonably, usually at the bottom of a bear market, after they've lost a lot of money and thinking about the asset means reliving the pain and loss. Love-and-hate cycles occur for all investment classes.
But there’s only one investment I can think of that many people either love or hate reflexively, almost without regard to market performance: gold. And, to a lesser degree, silver. It’s strange that these two metals provoke such powerful psychological reactions – especially among people who dislike them. Nobody has an instinctive hatred of iron, copper, aluminum or cobalt. The reason, of course, is that the main use of gold has always been as money. And people have strong feelings about money. Let’s spend a moment looking at how gold’s fundamentals fit in with the psychology of the current market.