Warren Buffet thinks buying gold is dumb: specifically, he thinks that buying gold is speculation, not investing, because gold doesn't do anything productive. Here, he waxes eloquent on the subject:
"If you put your money into gold or other non-income- producing assets that are dependent on what someone else values that in the future, you're in speculation," he said. "You're not into investing…."
To illustrate the point, he asked readers to picture the world's entire gold stock melded together into a cube 68 feet (21 meters) on each side valued at $9.6 trillion at then- prevailing prices. For the same amount, an investor could have purchased all the farmland in the U.S., 16 replicas of Exxon Mobil Corp., and still have about $1 trillion of "walking- around money."
A century later, the farmland will be producing valuable crops no matter the currency, and dividends from the companies would probably added up to trillions of dollars, Buffett wrote.
The 170,000 metric tons of gold "will be unchanged in size and still incapable of producing anything," he wrote. "You can fondle the cube, but it will not respond."
Mr Buffet has a lot more faith in the longterm health of soil in an agribusiness context than I do, but the point is still an interesting one.