Gold has been revered as a symbol of wealth and prosperity for millennia. Gold has managed to maintain its value through the ages and unlike paper currency, coins or other assets it has been a stable way to pass on and preserve the value of wealth from one generation to the next. A central bank or a nation will often hold gold reserves in order to store value as a guarantee to redeem promises to pay depositors or to secure a currency. The United States topped the list of the countries with the largest gold reserves this year, with reserves amounting to over eight thousand tons.
Historically gold has been an excellent hedge against inflation because of its tendency to increase in value when the cost of living increases. Because of its stability and the rate of return as an investment, it is an attractive commodity. In 2016, gold had the seventh highest average daily trading volume globally.
Gold is widely used in the global investment industry. In the fourth quarter of 2016, SPDR Gold Shares was the largest physically-backed gold exchange traded funds with 822.2 tonnes of assets under management. Demand for gold bars fell dramatically in 2014, but has remained steady since then, whereas demand for gold coins has remained stable.
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