Ritholtz On What To Learn From The Gold Bust

After a huge decade-long runup, gold has tumbled in recent years, pounding portfolios of many gold bugs. “The mania for gold, like all manias preceding this one, is ending badly,” Barry Ritholtz of FusionIQ and The Big Picture blog explains in a Washington Post column. “And while gold may yet establish a comeback, much of the damage has already been wrought.”

Ritholtz says the gold bust is a good learning opportunity for investors, however, as it provides several broader lessons. Among them: Beware the narrative (investors get attached to powerful stories even after the facts change); don’t ignore history (no investment goes up forever); and don’t guess (unlike equities, gold has no  fundamentals, so many tried to guess how its price would change based on nearly impossible to predict macro factors).

“The ups and downs of gold over the past 10 years are not unique,” Ritholtz says. “Like any other investment, people became emotionally involved with the trade. Mistake were made, money was lost.”