This case is taught in Darden's Investments elective but could be used in introductory Finance classes to explore the concept of diversification of investments or in a portfolio management course as a means to explore optimal portfolio allocation. It is accompanied by several teaching tools including a teaching note for instructors, student and instructor spreadsheets, student and instructor videos, and a PowerPoint deck for class debrief. The case would work well in a module sequenced between CornerStone Partners (UVA-F-1677) used before and Pravda Asset Management (UVA-F-1602) used after.
The global head of investment research at the World Gold Council (WGC) has finished his presentation "The Strategic Case for Gold as an Asset Class" at the 2012 Bloomberg Precious Metals Conference in New York. As a result of the market collapse in 2008 and the ongoing euro-area crisis, investors worldwide have safety and security on their minds, and many in the room were wondering whether gold would provide capital preservation and improve the overall risk-return tradeoff of their portfolios. At the same time, the sustained run-up in the price of gold since 2001 that was mentioned in the presentation was a cause for concern. Was gold the safe haven that it had proved to be in 2008 and 2009, or was it an asset class at the peak of a bubble? The investment case for gold deserved closer examination.