Generation X and Y turning into Generation Au

According to a new report by MarketWatch, gold’s allure is shifting to a new generation. Many people in their 20s and 30s have little faith in equities and, unlike older investors, are more inclined to consider alternative investments. Others seek tangible, hard assets as a counterweight to stocks, bonds and cash in the aftermath of the 2008 US financial crisis. And these new investors are not just gold hoarders of the doomsday variety.

MarketWatch quotes Divnain Malik, head of retail sales at Gold Bullion International, a seller of physical gold in New York: “It was only a matter of time.” While around half of his clients are baby boomers and more established gold investors the 25-to-35 year-old age bracket is the firm’s fastest growing segment of buyers.

MarketWatch also quotes Jeffrey Christian, managing director of CPM Group in New York: “Demographic studies on precious-metals investing done in the 1970s and 1980s actually showed a large percentage of college-educated buyers, with only a small portion owning gold for ‘doomsday scenarios’.”

MINING.com reported on Wednesday that Chinese consumers made the most of the dip in the price of bullion and mainland China’s gold purchases via Hong Kong hit almost two tonnes per day in September, a sixfold increase year-on-year and up 30% from August, according to figures released by the Hong Kong government. Quarterly data from the Hong Kong census and statistics office showed the Middle Kingdom imported about 140 tonnes of gold via Hong Kong in the three months from July to September ahead of the festival season, more than the roughly 120 tonnes for the whole of 2010. Read more about gold going viral in China.

MINING.com reported last month according to a survey by esure home insurance British distrust of banks and savings accounts has increased to such an extent that more than one in ten in the United Kingdom now own a stash of gold valued above any cash savings. According to the survey, more than 38% of Britons also say investing in gold is better than keeping cash savings. As gold vending machines pop up in shopping malls and physical gold retailers like London-based Bullionvault surpass some central banks in gold holdings, 14% of Britons bought an item of gold as an investment in the past year. Read more about Brits’ love of stashing gold.

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