Download the exclusive report detailing a 35-year study.

Earlier this year, researchers at Penn State University completed an independent study focusing on the long-term investment performance of gold bullion and U.S. rare coins. The findings may surprise you — and they are detailed in the Blanchard-exclusive slide show available for free download below.

Here are key takeaways from the study:

  • Portfolios that contain at least some gold or rare coins outperform those that don’t.
  • Over the last 39 years, high quality coins and stocks had the highest average annual returns.
  • At the same time, the annual returns on stocks, gold, and coins were the most volatile.
  • Taken together, these findings suggest that holders of stocks and coins were “rewarded” for bearing the extra risk thought to be associated with larger fluctuations in annual returns.
  • The correlation of the return on coins with inflation over the last 39 years is well above that of other assets considered, and twice that of gold; thus, the contention that gold is a better hedge against inflation than, say, rare coins, is not supported by the data. More generally, hypothetical portfolios containing stocks, Treasury bills and bonds, and a modest proportion of rare coins, generally perform somewhat better than those without coins or those with a modest proportion of gold.
  • These findings also imply that when inflation turns up, the response of coin prices could well be quicker and larger than the returns on most other assets.
  • The results continue to suggest that over the longer run including rare U.S. coins within an existing portfolio could improve investment performance. This is especially noteworthy given the sharp cumulative drop in gold prices in 2013-16 (approximately 32 %) and the 2 % gain for rare coins.

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