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Most people regard precious metals as commodities these days. So you are very much betting on future supply and demand situations. There was a time when gold was a secure investment in times of high inflation but I am not sure that it is anymore.

There was a time when paper money was backed by gold. Not any more, most places. In a sense, paper money is like junk bonds. Its backed by the governments promise to pay, not by any real fixed assets.

There are those who think a return to the gold standard is the solution to many problems, but with world economies doing pretty well these days, I doubt that is likely to happen anytime soon.

Other precious metals like platinum are used mostly in catalysts like catalytic converters and in industrial processes.

For most of us, gold would be regarded as a speculative investment. Experts can probably make money at it. Most Fools can probably do better elsewhere.
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