Long term UK stocks vs #Gold

 

A very close friend sent me some graphs and comments and I think it is valuable to read it.

I would like to present you the longest chart I have on a stock market:  The British stock market.

The first chart is the stock market index in nominal terms.

Before the 20th century, stocks were a different investment. They were judge to be risky and had to offer big dividend yields to compensate for the risk. Dividend yields on stocks were higher than bond yields. But at the time, money was linked to gold (most of the time).

In the 20th century, everything changed.

During WWI, the gold standard was abandoned to finance the war.

Different attempts to link money to gold were tried at different times and at different prices.

Finally, in 1971, the gold standard was totally abandoned.

Money became totally fiat.

With no more restriction, money could be printed and printed which lead to the accelerating destruction of its purchasing power (see 2nd chart).

And log scale (awful view or the 99% loss, accelerating from around 1914)

If you take account of that, the performance of stocks over the long term (so in real terms) is quite different (see 3rd chart).

Now, in the last chart, I would like to show you how British stocks have performed against gold (see 4th chart). Here again, we have a totally different picture.

Some of you can say that I have to take in account the dividends received (if someone has the long datas with dividends, I would be glad to provide the information) but also we have to take in account some frictions like safe keeping feees, purchasing fees etc.)

There are times to own stocks, others to own gold…

Source : https://www.globalfinancialdata.com/

  1. All my english articles here : English
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Despite hellish swings, gold kept its value

Before talking about currencies, we must have a quick look at some important dates :

-1850, replacement of provincial currencies by the Swiss Franc (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_franc)

-1907, Creation of the Swiss National Bank  (SNB).

-1926, End of the latine monetary union. Only CHF has an legal price in Switzerland (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Monetary_Union)

-1931, Bimetallism is abandoned, and the Swiss Franc is only defined using the gold price (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bimetallism)

-1936, 30% Swiss Franc devaluation compared to gold (https://snb.ch/en/mmr/reference/festschrift_summ/source/festschrift_summ.en.pdf)

-1971, end of convertibility of USD in gold

-1973, end of fixed currencies exchange rate system

On the following graph, we can notice that the purchasing power of currencies faced a huge decrease over time.

However Swiss Franc was (is) worldwide considered as a very strong currency !

It is easy to imagine how much purchasing power the other currencies have lost in the mean time  (my old articles : 200 years of Sterling Pound VS French Franc et 200 years of French Franc vs Swiss Franc )

 

And the evolution of the USD against CHF on a 200 years period and the gold price in CHF on the same long time frame

After reading this article, only a Central Banker can tell you that paper money is what you must hold.

I am hearing about purchasing power for ages (especially on French TV)  !

Happy paper investing

PS: here are all my english articles https://www.crottaz-finance.ch/blog/category/english/

PS 2: Thanks to the my friend who contributed to help me in writing this article

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