Gold’s reputation for being a good hedge against inflation doesn’t necessarily hold up to the bright light of data. In nominal terms, gold spiked to more than $650 an ounce in 1980 and then to an all-time high of $1,921.17 in 2011, but it hasn’t seen the same performance in real terms when adjusted for inflation. In those terms, investors buying gold in 1980 for $650 would never have recouped their initial investment, even at gold’s nominal peak in 2011.
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