Conference 2018: Interview: Adrian Ash

Director of Research, BullionVault


I do not think 2018 was actually that bad for gold, when you consider what it was up against. Interest rates have been rising, not only in the US, but also across the world central banks have now finally all started to follow that trend. And we have also had very strong stock markets globally. You have the US stock market hitting all-time record highs, global stock markets, until we had the emerging markets selloff, also doing well. So, gold, as a competitor investment. Gold is a form of insurance for investor portfolios, really it actually held pretty well. For us at Bullion Vault, it has been a year where customers have been taking profit on a price rise and buying more on a dip. That has changed over the last month or so with the selloff in western stock markets, developer stock markets. Now we have actually seen people buying on a rising price, which is a straw in the wind at this stage perhaps.

Well, I think if you look particularly at the LBMA conference’s delegate forecast from last year, people were looking for an 8% rise from where we were back in Barcelona in 2017. Gold has not delivered on that. Against the headwinds that it has faced – rising interest rates and a strong stock market – I think perhaps the enthusiasm for gold last year was mistaken.

People tend to predict what they have just seen. And often at the conference, we are in a relatively strong period for gold prices, so often people extrapolate that forwards and say, ‘Gold is going to continue doing what it is doing right now.’ You know, that may well hold into 2019, if the stock-market stumble continues and investors start looking for insurance and for an alternative to holding equity risk, given that stock markets are at all-time record highs.