Expense Account, Mint
The circus around Akshaya Tritiya (the auspicious day to buy gold according to Hindu tradition) this time tells me that we should be near the peak of the gold cycle. It’s when the retail investor gets it, that the party is really over. The exchanges have extended trading hours and knocked off transaction charges. Full-page ads, TV spots, hoardings and expert columns (I declined one last week that I see in another pink paper) are talking about this great investment opportunity. Returns data is pulled out to showcase the super returns gold has given: 23% per annum returns over the last five years (Rs 1 lakh is now worth Rs 2.8 lakh), comparing poorly with the broad market index that has done worse than bank fixed deposits at just under an inflation negative 5% return a year (taking the investment to Rs 1.27 lakh). This is just the time that you will be the most vulnerable to making a hasty, lumpy investment decision.