Gold Investor Index Slips to 5-Month Low

Professional money turning bearish. But the smart money...?

WITH stock markets rising this New Year, it's natural for gold prices to struggle, writes Adrian Ash at BullionVault.

Bond-market interest rates have also crept higher, just about offering a positive yield after you account for inflation.

But as the latest Gold Investor Index from BullionVault shows, a growing number of self-directed investors continue to lose patience with central-bank policy. It's hard to see that changing with household deposit rates near zero and the debt crisis still so far from resolved.

The Gold Investor Index measures the balance of buyers and sellers on BullionVault, the online exchange where live trading in physical gold is settled instantly in the user's choice of New York, London or Zurich vaults.

A reading of 50 would a perfect match betweent the number of people buying and the number of people selling. The index peaked at 71.7 in September 2011.

And last month it dropped from 54.9 in January to 54.4 – virtually the same level as in February 2012.

So despite an increasingly bearish outlook amongst professional money managers, private individuals are continuing to feel positive about gold as an investment option. Nor did February see any reduction in BullionVault users' combined holdings, still at 32.9 tonnes and larger than the gold reserves at most of the world's central banks.

In short, households across Western Europe and North America – where 89.6% of BullionVault's 45,000 users live – show less confidence in the wider economy than Wall Street or the City.

Buy gold at the lowest prices in the safest vaults today...

Adrian Ash runs the research desk at BullionVault, the physical gold and silver market for private investors online. Formerly head of editorial at London's top publisher of private-investment advice, he was City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning from 2003 to 2008, and is now a regular contributor to many leading analysis sites including Forbes and a regular guest on BBC national and international radio and television news. Adrian's views on the gold market have been sought by the Financial Times and Economist magazine in London; CNBC, Bloomberg and TheStreet.com in New York; Germany's Der Stern and FT Deutschland; Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore, and many other respected finance publications.

See the full archive of Adrian Ash articles on GoldNews, or get more from Adrian Ash on Google+

Please Note: All articles published here are to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it. Please review our Terms & Conditions for accessing Gold News, RSS links are shown there.