Douglas Charney is vice president of investments with Wachovia Securities. He's a pretty smart guy and recently issued a rather fascinating paper on gold, especially if a financial planner is interested in having such items added to a client's portfolio.For one thing, Charney says that gold has special characteristics that set it apart from other commodities. One is that gold has been used in trade as money because it was scarce, transportable, nonperishable, divisible, and easily sold. Gold has also been used to store wealth in areas of economic or political instability and many people kept bags of gold dust or coins hidden in doorjambs or under the floors of their homes. Some even resorted to gold teeth to keep the precious metal with them at all times.

Gold sometimes, as Charney points, out, has a negative connotation, strange as that seems. History certainly shows that when a country is on the verge of war, the value of gold increases. In fact, most investors will tell you that even if the value of the dollar drops to zero, gold will still have value. Ask my wife. She believes in jewelry, kind of a portable wealth. After all, you can always sell it if things get tough.

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