“Baruch liked gold mines. There is always a market, he pointed out, for their product, and at a satisfactory price. Gold, he insisted, is one of the very few things in the world that approaches the status of a permanent investment. Baruch told the story of a Rothschild who set up a ‘permanent trust’ consisting of five different currencies. By the time Baruch heard about the trust, it had shrunk to one-fifth its original value. ‘But gold doesn’t yield any interest,’ a friend protested after listening to the story. ‘True’, replied Baruch, ‘but consider the fabulous wealth of some of the Indian princes and rajahs. I had dinner with the Maharajah of Kapurthala on one occasion in Vittel, France. Several of us talked afterward about his wealth, and someone said that among the treasures of these Indian moguls were gold coins brought to the East by Alexander the Great, hundreds of years before Christ.”
“Their gold and jewels had earned no interest during these more than 2,000 years, but they still had their capital. Suppose they had attempted to provide income from it. They might have been no more far-seeing than the Rothschild I mentioned. If they had tried speculation there have been many times in each century that they might have gone broke. No, save for gold, jewels, works of art, perhaps good agricultural land, and a very few other things, there ain’t no such animal as a permanent investment. Even in agricultural land, Baruch pointed out, there is some risk. Lands that made men rich in rice cultivation years ago in Baruch’s own state of South Carolina, are not nearly so valuable now that rice is produced more economically in other sections. City real estate is subject to all sorts of hazards, as he learned when he no longer needed his big Fifth Avenue mansion.”
Looking at the chart below, we can see that gold is now continuing with its prior uptrend after breaking above its triangle pattern (denoted as 'B') recently.
Chart: Gold price from Jan 4, 1982 to Oct 21, 2009 (Source: Bloomberg)