Here's an updated snapshot of the gold price during each recession since 1955.
Clearly, one should not assume that gold will perform poorly during a recession. Even in the crash of 2008, gold still ended the year with a 5% gain. And with the amount of currency dilution we've undergone since that time, it seems more likely gold will rise in any economic contraction than fall. Indeed, if the response of government to a recession is more money printing, precious metals will be a critical asset to have in your possession.
Even if the gold price ends up flat or down this year, the CPI won't. Gold's enduring purchasing power is why we hold the metal.
How about gold stocks?
In spite of the debilitating 1970s that suffered from stagflation, price controls, three recessions, and the Vietnam war, gold producers rose over 600% while the S&P was basically flat. And that includes a roughly 65% fire-sale correction, much like we saw in 2008. To be clear, gold and silver stocks won't be immune to selloffs if a recession or worse temporarily clobbers our industry. But in the end, we're convinced they will prevail.
Don't lose patience with, or confidence in, your gold holdings. What happens to the price over any short period of time is only one chapter in the book of this bull market, and we think you'll be happy by the time that last chapter is written.
[For more information on how to invest in gold, download our free report: 2012 Gold Investor's Guide.]