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Beware of the Beguiling Allure of Gold, says Fund Quest BNP Paribas

Gold galAh, the barbarous relic, the one that lay dormant for 20 years in the 1980s and 1990s (think strong dollar), has been on a tear. Are your clients asking you to chase it? Have you missed the run? What kind of exposure and how should you play it? (Probably via GLD.) We've written on this exetensively. But here is some cogent advice from Fund Quest, a unit of BNP Paribas.

"The rise of gold is largely due to the increasing demand from investors to use it as a tool to hedge against or profit from turmoil. It is fair to say that its popularity as an emerging asset class among investors has yet to peak. However, it is important to remember that gold itself does not generate cash flow and has few practical uses. Since its price is largely driven by the psychological demand of investors and, as we all know human nature is volatile and hard to predict, it is extremely challenging to determine its intrinsic value. While it is passable for investors to make some tactical moves into gold or an insignificant allocation to gold as insurance to the overall portfolio, it is not advisable to make gold a key component of strategic allocations despite its rising popularity." Making Sense of Gold," Fund Quest.

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