When a stock you hold shows up on the list of 52-week lows, it is never a good feeling. When it drops to a 5-year low, depression starts to set in as half a decade has been wasted holding on to such a dog. Gold is closing out the week at 5-year lows, and while not an equity, you can trade it using an ETF (GLD). Also, given the fact that GLD briefly overtook SPY as the largest ETF in the world back in 2011, it probably takes up a spot on the portfolio holdings page of many investors out there.
The path of gold over the last several years has been painful. After a 30% rally in 2010, Gold picked up in 2011 right where it left off. At its closing high of $1,889.70 in August 2011, gold was up over 30% on the year, and traders piled in for the ride. With nearly everyone in on the trade, gold peaked for good that month and was followed by a series of vicious double-digit percentage swings over the next year. While it never made it back to its highs from August 2011 it got close, and a lot of investors started to rationalize their positions thinking that the decline wasn’t that bad and that gold was a good hedge anyways.
If you have ever rationalized a trade gone bad, you can guess what happened next with gold. In October 2012, it closed just under $1,800 and was down less than 5% from its high a year earlier. From there, though, it has been all downhill, and this time around there haven’t even been any rallies along the way to help ease the pain. Just this week, gold traded down to its lowest levels since early 2010, while the S&P 500 still sits within 5% of its all-time highs. Where gold’s decline ultimately ends is anyone’s guess, but it will probably be sometime after those cable commercials promoting it have completely stopped airing.