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Michael Checkan

Gold is safe. Gold is timeless. Gold is good.

After about 25 years of legal gold ownership in the US, most Americans still do not have an appreciation of gold. This is not true in most other parts of the world, especially Asia.

Americans buy gold as an investment for logical reasons. For example, gold was stable and held value during the post September 11th period. Gold will continue to gradually appreciate due to a lower dollar, record demand and slowing production.

Asians buy gold for emotional and cultural reasons. They wear their wealth in the form of jewelry and pass it down from generation to generation. Many have owned gold and been spared the ravages of political, economic and social instability.

I personally experienced the importance of gold ownership in May 1975 with the Vietnamese refugees. Vietnam fell to the Communists and thousands fled to the US, entering mainstream American through military facilities.

Gold is portable and I bought from these refugees their jewelry and gold taels (pure 24K sheet gold weighing 1.2 ounces) at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and these prudent individuals were able to begin a new life in a new country.

I traveled to India on two occasions in the past five years and hope to return again next year. I saw the average men, women and children wearing their wealth in the form of jewelry. There is a culture of gold in India, a country that is the biggest importer of gold in the world. India is the most sophisticated country in the developing world when in comes to the “new economy” Internet business. Yet, they continue to hold onto the oldest, "old economy" investment in the world.

The mainland Chinese and the South Koreans have a cultural appreciation of gold. The Chinese, as they embrace their own form of capitalism, place their wealth into gold as a store of value against their manipulated currency. Many nationalistic Koreans, during the 1997-1998 developing world crisis in Asia, volunteered to give up their gold jewelry to help their country during this difficult period.

I live in the Washington, DC area which today has the 6th largest Asian population in the US. The Indians, Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese and others from Asia continue to buy and hold gold in the form of jewelry. This emotional attachment by these "new" Americans to gold continues to live on.

The "old" Americans should start to think with their heart and not just with their head. You don't become a "gold bug" by just thinking smart. But, there are worse things, like investing only in stocks and becoming a "paper worm."

Action to take: Consider purchasing gold in the form of coins and bars. Also, consider buying gold in the form of pure gold jewelry. Both are logical and emotionally correct.

Michael Checkan is President with Asset Strategies International, Inc. of Rockville, Maryland, a firm specializing in precious metals, foreign exchange and overseas asset protection. They are also one of the principal developers of the Perth Mint Certificate Program.

Copyright © 2001
The Investor's Library has reprinted this copyrighted article with the permission of the copyright owner, Asset Strategies International Inc.

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