Returns Of A Diversified Precious Metals Box

This is a guest post from Bron Suchecki, editor at Goldchat and strategic planner at The Perth Mint in Australia.

I was asked about platinum on Friday in a Reuters Global Markets Forum live chat interview, and declined to give a view, saying that the Perth Mint doesn’t follow platinum, as it is a small market, less liquid, and more risky and thus not something you therefore want to push on our generally conservative clients.

However, in 1994 the Perth Mint did recommend some platinum in a portfolio, producing the “Aussie Diversified Precious Metals Portfolio” which was a boxed set of

  • two 1 kilogram Kookaburra silver bullion coins
  • a 2oz Kangaroo gold bullion coin
  • a 1oz Koala platinum bullion coin

It never took off and the sets were eventually scrapped primarily because we charged a premium for the set (ie box) when investors could just buy the coins individually for lower cost. Anyway, the question is: how did that ratio of gold:silver:platinum perform?

Before I get to that, I would just note that our Depository clients are split into three groups. The first are those who only buy gold, the second those who only buy silver, and the third who buy both. What is interesting is almost all of those buying both gold and silver do so on a 50:50 basis by dollar value, say $10,000 worth of gold and $10,000 worth of silver. I’m not sure there is anything scientific about that allocation and probably just comes down to hedging one’s bets.

So let’s compare the performance of those three groups against the Aussie portfolio, using 30 Dec 1994 London Fix prices to 31 Dec 2013:

gold_silver_platinum_strategy_1994_2013

I’d say if you’re not too sure about whether gold or silver will be the better performer, the un-“modern portfolio theory” 50:50 strategy seems to have worked out. Of course, the above figures themselves are highly unscientific with no real basis for the starting date beyond that was when the Aussie was launched, but hey, what do you want from a free blog? As always, do your own due diligence.

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