Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 425

Sell Europe

6 March 2009 / Issue 425

Will the recession trash the euro?... PLUS:

  • Cash in on a scarce ingredient for fertiliser
  • The sectors that can survive the slump
  • Forget Sir Fred - private equity is the real scandal


Hold on to your fillings

Gold is everywhere at the moment. I’ve just been reading a piece on the BBC website about ‘tupperware’-style parties in California’s well-to-do Orange County area. Except here the women aren’t lining up to be sold plastic food containers – they’re having a little get-together to sell off their unwanted gold jewellery.

Apparently, the buyer pays 60% of the spot price, then sells the gold in bulk to a refinery for 95% of the going rate. And the women have the chance to ditch embarrassing jewellery or unwanted presents from ex-boyfriends. What do they do with the money? Well, this is Orange County, so it’s not being spent on the gas bill – “many say they will spend the money they realise on treats – a piece of art they couldn’t otherwise justify or a meal for the family”.

Of course, we’re big fans of gold here at MoneyWeek. But we also realise the value of contrarian investing. When you see things like ‘gold parties’ being reported on the BBC, and whole new sections on investing in gold being set up on the websites of national newspapers, then it’s easy to start wondering if the best days have come and gone for the yellow metal. But that doesn’t mean the party’s over for gold. 

• Read the full editor’s letter here: Hold on to your fillings