Although reflective and hypothetical, it is occasionally useful to look back by several years to see how equal investments in different assets might have fared differently. If you had invested $10,000 in gold, the S&P 500, and Bitcoin back in July 2010, how would your money be doing in the middle of 2017?
If you invested in gold in July 2010, your investment would have essentially stayed the same at this point. By May 25, 2017, your investment would be worth about $10,230. Gold, seen as a safe haven asset, has generally flatlined in recent weeks and months. On one hand, gold has performed exactly as a safe haven asset should: it has maintained its dollar value. However, a closer look reveals that this is not really true. In fact, accounting for changes in the market and for inflation, gold has actually declined somewhat in value. Can it still be considered a safe haven asset?
A $10,000 investment in a broad array of stocks from the S&P 500 in July 2010 would have done quite a bit better than one in gold. By May 25, 2017, you would have $26,037, according to data provided by Pension Partners. The S&P 500 has gained more attention than usual, perhaps, as hedge funds across the country have scrambled in the past few months to try to keep up with its returns. Suddenly, funds tracking the performance of the S&P appear more noteworthy than ever for that reason.
A $10,000 investment in Bitcoin in the middle of 2010 would have had the highest impact by far. Your initial investment would have grown to be worth more than $309 million by late May 2017. How is this possible? Much of those gains have been achieved in the past few weeks, actually, as Bitcoin has continued a meteoric rise in price. Still, the cryptocurrency went from being a fledgling and largely unknown commodity in the early part of the decade to one of the most talked-about global currencies toward the end of the period. Many investors and financial experts see Bitcoin and other digital currencies as representative of a new trend in the financial world. As the earliest successful and most prominent of the cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin has garnered both the highest levels of attention and the largest investor interest, along with the most dramatic jumps in price. That being said, it’s unclear if anyone had the foresight and patience in 2010 to invest $10,000 in the fledgling currency.
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