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Should I sell my gold post-Brexit and take the profit?

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28/06/2016
Demand for gold rose in the run-up to the EU referendum and prices soared as the Brexit result came in. But what should gold investors do now?

One of the big winners of the UK’s decision to leave the EU has been gold.

Market turbulence following the Brexit vote has seen nervous investors flock to this relatively safe haven asset class.

As the results were coming in early Friday morning, the gold price surged 22% against the pound to £1,000 per ounce, its fastest move ever.

Customers of BullionVault, the online bullion exchange, had traded over £10m by 6.30 on Friday and went on to set a one-day bullion record of £30m by midnight.

So should investors cash in and take some profit or does the gold price have further to go?

On Tuesday, the gold price fell 2%, due to profit taking largely from institutions, according to Josh Saul, founder of The Pure Gold Company.

BullionVault chief executive Paul Tustain said clients have been net sellers of gold since the Brexit vote.

“This is unusual and counterintuitive, because people tend to think you only ever buy gold because of a crisis, and that retail investors are the tail-end-charlies who always get burned when markets get volatile, buying late at the highest prices.

“This is absolutely not the case at BullionVault. Our users bought a lot of gold into this crisis, and some are selling to bank substantial profits from Friday’s shock.”

However, continued uncertainty as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU means the demand for safe-haven gold could continue apace and the gold price could increase further.

“If the Brexit shock develops anything like the global financial crisis did, gold’s underlying direction could keep rising for another five years,” says Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault.

Banks including UBS are implying that gold forecasts are at an all-time high, with some suggesting the gold price could jump by another 30% by the end of the year.

Then it comes down to timing the markets, which is tricky and comes with a high risk of getting it wrong.

“If you plan on selling to buy back into the market you may end up paying more than you sold for,” says Saul.

“If you are simply selling to take profit you may get more if you wait a little longer.”

Notwithstanding Brexit, there are other contributors to market uncertainty, which could add to the allure of gold, such as the slowdown in China and indecision over interest rates in the US.

“Gold is viewed as more of a long term investment and a means of protection as opposed to a short term opportunity to make money,” says Saul.

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