QE or Quantitative Easing is a monetary policy that governments and central banks globally use to stimulate the economy. Typically, this policy comes into action when other monetary policies become ineffective.
Under QE, banks start printing and injecting money into the economy by purchasing assets. This method ultimately swells up the bank reserves and lowers the interest rates, which, in turn, increases economic activities. The recession in 2008 witnessed the application of this theory worldwide.
Central banks in major economies like the USA, Japan, and certain European countries started enforcing this system to encourage banks to lend. This economic policy shares a close relationship with the value of gold.
This relationship is inversely proportionate. It means when the injection of the paper currency increases in a system, the price of gold drops. Even though the presence of additional money in the system may seem like the gold price is increasing, the reality is quite the opposite.
When compared with other papers assets like stocks and bonds, the price of gold remains mostly similar or may go down in certain cases.
A concept to know here is Quantitative Easing Tapering. It means when central banks decide to stop printing currency, it creates a vacuum in the system. Therefore, less amount of money is chasing the same amount of gold. Consequently, the price of gold skyrockets owing to the laws of supply and demand.
In its 3000 year history of trade, the price of gold has never dipped below zero. This is a very compelling fact when you pit gold against cash, whose value keeps is in a constant state of flux. This is only one of several reasons to put your gold to good use! Some of the other benefits of investing in gold are:
1) High Yield Returns: Gold is the best choice of investment if one is looking to make a low-risk investment for a high yield return.
2) Demand for Gold: In the wake of gold ETFs and Sovereign Gold bonds, the demand for gold has been constantly increasing.
3) Hedge Function- Gold functions as a hedging instrument against financial market fluctuations. This makes it a safe bet in the face of recession.
4) Liquid Asset- Being a liquid asset that can be transported and stored anywhere, gold can easily be sold or pledged against an instant loan.
5) Authenticity- Gold is a precious metal well known for its purity and value. This makes it easy to recognize high-quality gold which can simply be bought after verifying if the seller is authorized to do so.
Gold derives this value from several factors, some of which are listed below:
Gold, in its elemental form, is a relatively hefty atom. Although it is not the rarest of metals, it isn’t easy to find and extract gold in large quantities. This contributes to its high perceived value.
Gold is a highly coveted metal in a county like India. So, it generally enjoys a high demand all year round, but its supply falls short to meet that. As a result, gold prices tend to increase with time.
One of gold’s many attractive aspects is its liquidity. Gold has an active, reliable and a ready market of buyers at almost all times. As a result, it can be readily converted to cash, which makes it a highly liquid asset.
It is universally accepted as a commodity of value, especially under a free market system. Gold reserves ensure the strength and stability of the currency and eliminate the pitfalls of fiat money.
Gold holds an impeccable value in terms of quantifying one’s wealth as well as for investment. Thus, judging the quality and purity of gold is of utmost importance, both for buyers and for traders.
Primarily, the gold’s purity is determined through the Karat system that measures the same on a scale from 0 to 24. For instance, a 24 karats gold jewellery contains 100% gold. On the other hand, in a 14K gold jewellery, the percentage of gold is 58.33%, and the rest is other metal or alloy.
The gold purity can be measured both by percentage and parts per thousand. However, to convert the Karat into a percentage, one needs to divide the Karat number by 24 and then multiply it by 100.
Another easy way to determine gold’s purity is by checking the hallmark stamp on gold jewellery. This hallmark includes the authorised logo, date of manufacturing, carat weight or fineness of the gold in question. In several countries, including India, it is mandatory to sell gold jewellery with hallmark stamp.
Lastly, the traders generally use an electronic gold tester to measure the quality and purity of gold. It shows the result accurately within seconds.
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