In 2018, rising interest rates that coincided with an extended bull run in U.S. equities for most of the year fueled a strong dollar, tamping down gains for gold. However, when investors got washed in a cycle of volatility that started in the fall and lasted through year’s end, investors were quick to reconsider the precious metal as a safe haven, which helped ETFs like the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD)–an industry leader with a $34 billion market cap.
Gold has long been used as a safe haven asset, particularly when the value of the dollar declines. Furthermore, it provides a hedge for inflation since its price typically rises in conjunction with consumer prices.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, gold was also a hedge against deflation. While the prices of assets were dropping during this time, the purchasing power of gold rose to prominence.
Fast forward to the financial crisis in 2008, the price of gold increased sharply while faith in U.S. equities was languishing. In essence, gold has proven to withstand times of geopolitical and economic uncertainty.
Furthermore, the value of gold has risen steadily over the years.