Should investors hold someone in a bear market? Experts weigh in

The precious metal often labeled as an “inflation hedge” and often known as a “safe haven” looks boring.

Gold (GC=F) is 23% off its peak in March, and down 10% year-to-date.

In our series, ‘What to do in a bear market’, we asked the experts to tell us if there is value in holding gold in this environment.

Why hasn’t gold performed better this year?

“First, with major central banks around the world tightening policy, this has helped send bond yields to multi-year highs. Yield-seeking investors have been better off holding government bonds for guaranteed returns rather than holding zero-yielding assets like gold, Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at City Index and told Yahoo Finance.

“Secondly, the strengthening US dollar has weighed on almost all major securities, including gold. Potential buyers who earn in foreign currency have to pay more and are therefore discouraged from investing in gold,”[ads1]; he continued.

Should investors hold gold in their portfolios, and if so, how much?

This is where fund managers and strategists really differ.

“We don’t recommend a fixed allocation to gold unless investors want to speculate on exchange rates or have another short-term bull thesis that could cause gold to appreciate,” Jay Hatfield, portfolio manager of the InfraCap Equity Income Fund (ICAP) ETF told Yahoo Finance .

Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at US Bank Wealth Management generally recommends “little or no permanent gold or metals exposure for portfolios given the price volatility and no consistent income stream.”

“Investors may consider very modest exposures if they are particularly concerned about a reversal in the value of the US dollar, which could further remove inflationary pressures and support gold prices,” Haworth said.

Others support a small exposure in a portfolio.

“Overall, although each investor’s situation is unique, we believe a 3-5% allocation to gold products would seem a sufficient size to capture the benefits of holding gold as an asset class,” said Imaru Casanova, deputy portfolio manager/senior gold analyst at VanEck

WallachBech Capital’s Mohit Bajaj tells Yahoo Finance that he is a “big advocate of always allocating across the board in all kinds of asset classes. Anything from 5-10%…should be more than adequate.”

For investors who want to keep the yellow metal, which is better: Physical gold or paper gold (investments covering gold ETFs) ?

Some experts raise security and storage concerns when it comes to physical gold.

Louis Navellier, founder and chief investment officer of Navellier & Associates, tells Yahoo Finance that he doesn’t recommend physical gold, but he has a tip for those who insist on keeping it: “There’s a big markup on coins, so Credit Suisse bars usually sell with a smaller mark.”

As for ETFs, Navellier says, “I don’t recommend gold ETFs because I don’t like paying the ETF spreads.”

But Bajaj of WallachBech recommends SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), “if you want to access gold without having to physically buy the metal.”

GraniteShares Gold Trust (BAR) “is another one that we’ve seen a lot of strong demand for,” Bajaj said.

“From a price point of view, it’s only like $16 or $17, so for those who are beginners who want to set foot in the space, they can buy it without having to spend that much capital,” he added.

Ines is a market reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @ines_ferre

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