The last bull market in gold began in 1971 with US president Richard Nixon’s closing of the “gold window” and ended in a euphoric blow-out 10 years later. Buying gold in its last parabolic surge proved to be a disastrous decision as the yellow metal then entered a 20-year bear market in which its real price fell 80 per cent. A house can be lived in. Corporate stocks generate dividends. Gold generates nothing and therefore cannot be valued in its own right, only as a measure of revulsion towards other assets. Rather than being a store of value, it is doomed to obey bubble dynamics. When bubbles burst, they usually return to pre-bubble valuations. In 2001, gold was no higher in real terms than in 1972.