Gold Is Not Liquid; It Is A Highly Volatile Asset

Remarkable run for gold starting the yearRemarkable run for gold starting the year

There no asset which is safe, liquid and provides a good return all at the same time, since these variables usually go in the opposite direction; as can be seen in the graphic, gold has an extremely high VIX or volatility index and it sometimes exceeds the Standard & Poor 500 index.

As a result, an asset which has similar volatility indices to shares cannot be “the most liquid”, nor even slightly liquid. If someone wants a good return, then they have to more or less give up safety and liquidity. That’s common sense. The most liquid asset is money, and then there is a scale which ends with property and other physical assets like, for example, land. The fact these assets take the biggest beating show that they are not liquid, but speculative.

A lot of people would like to see money going back into gold, which would seem to be an aberration looking at the graphic. If gold was the guide for money, countries would be girating violently to the rythm shown in the graphic. That’s because it’s the stability of the economy as a whole which interests us, not that of one single asset which has been mythologised. At the end of the day, it’s all about common sense.



About the Author

Miguel Navascués
Miguel Navascués has worked as an economist at the Bank of Spain for 30 years, and focuses on international and monetary economics. He blogs in Spanish at: http://