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Gold Is Still Relevant as Insurance Policy, Franklin’s Land Says

At a time when gold is in a bear market amid record outflows from investor holdings, bullion remains relevant in portfolios as inflation may accelerate, the U.S. dollar weaken and global economic growth stall, according to Franklin Templeton Investments.

“As part of an overall diversified portfolio, gold does serve a role because some of these things are still real risks as we look forward over the next 12 months,” said Steve Land, lead portfolio manager at the firm’s Franklin Gold and Precious Metals Fund (FKRCX), which has over $1.34 billion in assets under management. He spoke by phone from San Mateo, California.

Gold has slumped 18 percent this year and entered a bear market in April as investors sold the metal in favor of riskier assets, spurred by expectations that stimulus programs would be scaled back as the global economy recovers. Holdings in exchange-traded products shrank 17 percent this year, after climbing every year since the first product was listed in 2003, as U.S. equity indexes reached an all-time high.

Bullion is reversing a 12-year bull run even as central banks around the world including the U.S. Federal Reserve print unprecedented amounts of money to strengthen their economies. Analysts from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Credit Suisse Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG called for the metal to peak this year.

Gold for immediate delivery was at $1,377.21 an ounce at 11:41 a.m. in Singapore. Prices have retreated 28 percent from the record $1,921.15 in 2011.

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