gold prices

[SPONSORED] What You Should Know About Gold Prices In 2008-2018

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As someone who keeps gold and regularly checks the price, I thought I’d cover the gold price movement in the last decade. Here’s what happened to gold prices between 2008 until mid-2018. Think of this article as an explanation of the 10-year historical gold price chart below.

gold prices
The price of gold from 2008-2018, per kilo (for some reason can’t change setting to grams)

For the benefit of this article, I’ll use price of gold per gram, not per kilo. Most people track the price that way anyway (unless they’re from the US, in which case they use ounces).

Late 2008 – Late 2011: The Wild Increases

If you bought gold at its lowest price in 2008 and sold it off at its highest peak in 2011, you would have made a fortune. Gold prices increased by more than 100% in those three years, from RM82.97 per gram on 30 October 2008 to RM181.38 per gram on 20 September 2011.

Now you have to know that steady increases in gold prices were considered normal, even expected for gold until that point in time. Save for minor dips, gold prices have only climbed in the previous decades, so what else is new?

That’s part of the reason why Gen X tends to love gold so much: it gave dependable returns on investment on most years.

the price kept increasing every year

2011, in particular, was a memorable year for gold. The price rose more than 30% within one year, from RM135.39 per gram on 5 January 2008 to RM181.38 per gram on 20 September 2011.

While investors were naturally overjoyed, some cautioned about it being a bubble. The demand is too much, too soon, they said. It’s not sustainable.

They were right.

Late 2011 – Early 2013: The Gold Market Tried to Maintain Itself

During the late 2011 – early 2013 period, we can see how the gold market tried its hardest to maintain its high prices. It was a tumultuous two years, full of ups and downs. Here’s a snippet in Quarter 4 of 2011 alone:

  • 20 September 2011: RM181.38 per gram
  • 4 October 2011: RM166.28 per gram
  • 15 November 2011: RM180.05 per gram
  • 27 December 2011: RM162.28 per gram

The swings continued in 2012, when gold prices dipped to RM154.11 per gram on 15 May 2012 before bouncing back to RM173.93 on 18 September 2012.

For a while, investors thought they had nothing to worry about. After all, gold prices still followed long-term historical patterns. Short-term dips in gold prices are not uncommon, and always temporary up until then.  

Price history and optimism wasn’t enough to sustain the gold prices after all. It fell to RM135.36 per gram on 16 April 2013.

Mid-2013 – Mid-2015: Testing the Lows

By 27 June 2013, gold price bottomed at RM123.32 per gram. It practically reversed the gains in the last three years. Simply put, if you bought gold in mid-2010 and sold it off in mid-2013, you wouldn’t see much, if any returns on your investment at all.

I have to emphasise that this was highly unusual behaviour for gold up to this point. There were no equivalent precedence; it never behaved this way, historically speaking.

During mid-2013 until mid-2015, gold prices mostly hovered between RM130-140 per gram, except for the few times it tried but failed to break higher.

each of those peaks signifies market demand, which didn’t last at the time!

Late 2015 – Mid-2018: A Comeback?

While only time will tell, it appears that gold prices might be making a comeback. Gold has had small but steady increases in price from late 2015 until mid-2016, and has been trading between RM160-180 per gram ever since (Note: this article was written in May 2018).

What Causes All The Price Movement?

Simplistically, prices of all commodities reflect market sentiment. Because gold is treated as a hedge against other riskier types of investment vehicles, investors tend to buy gold if they are not confident with the stock markets, and vice versa.

There are complex analysis-type reports relating gold’s performance in relation to the world economy, including but not limited to trade agreements and strength of fiat currencies between nations around the world. Those are separate (and lengthy) discussions on their own.

That’s the big picture. But what does the historical price movement mean to the average, individual investor? What does all this mean to you?

What Investors Can Learn From Historical Gold Prices

The primary takeaway is that gold has maintained its status as a ‘safe’ investment vehicle.  Gold have shown perseverence, even through market dips.

You can’t say the same about some other types of investments, like stocks. The hardest-hit stocks in the ‘dotcom bubble’ never recovered and wiped out all of their investors’ money with them.

In comparison, gold prices in mid-2018 have returned to 2012-levels, signalling investors’ continued confidence in gold as a store of value for the long term.

The secondary, but equally important takeaway for investors is to be aware of herd behaviour. Gold’s amazing performance in 2008-2011 caused a gold bubble, which popped in 2013.

During those bullish years, gold prices were constant headlines in the business and investment sections. It attracted a lot of attention, which in turn attracted more investors to buy gold. As you can see, that didn’t last.

As we’ve seen with gold, and more recently bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, hype is great for the short-term but can be unsustainable. In a way, the safest time to buy into a sound, solid investment is when there is little coverage about it in the media.  

I can’t predict the future, and I definitely won’t tell you to buy gold (I don’t give financial advice, I only share what investments I do and why). BUT I can share where to get great rates if you want to get gold as investment.

You can get RM5 discount if you buy RM50 worth of gold from them! Simply download HelloGold app here (note: referral link) or insert the promo code ‘SURA024F’.

Disclaimer: I’m also an investor in HelloGold (the company)

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  1. Hi Suraya,

    Sorry, I think you have missed a very important point here in Malaysia or the Malaysian gold investors.

    Gold standard benchmark is always measured in USD internationally. When you use USD on gold chart, the price of gold is ONE chart, with its peak in 2011.When you transposed in MYR, the gold chart seems toppish in 2011 and 2017. This is where you have inadvertently missed it. The weakening of MYR vis-a-vis USD from 2011 to today is the reason here, not the price of gold.

    Malaysian gold investors should monitor both the fluctuations of gold price (in USD) and the foreign exchange of USD/MYR. Price of gold may go up in crises but if the ringgit strengthens much more than the uptrending price of gold, all gains are negated.

    1. Hi Fred,

      I LOVED the quality of your comment. Loved it so much, I reached out to CEO of HelloGold, told him about it, and asked for his comments. Robin Lee is the former CFO of World Gold Council, so he knows his gold pretty well. You can check his profile here:

      Copying his reply from our chat here, lightly edited for clarity:

      What he says depends on how rich you are
      If you are rich, then measuring gold v USD might make sense
      Because you will have an international portfolio of assets and loans. Houses in London, Dubai, international stocks and funds

      But if you are not so fortunate, then you only have RM exposure
      So comparing against RM makes more sense (my notes: this is true. Most of us would only buy gold in RM, not in USD)

      The other point is this – gold is ultimately a hedge (insurance against bad things like a weakening RM)
      Not a means to make loads of money
      So when the RM is weak, gold will generally go up
      And hopefully the money from the good increase will help people
      If the RM is strong, the rest of your RM portfolio will do well and it doesn’t really mater what gold does

      The way I describe gold is like house insurance – you buy it every year hoping that it is a waste of money
      But when something happens, you are thankful you had insurance but you still wished it was a waste of money

      Bottom line is that I personally believe gold is a good thing for saving
      Not for speculation
      That’s why HelloGold was built as a ‘savings’ platform and not for trading

      Thanks again for commenting, and keep them coming!

  2. Hi Soraya,

    really enjoyreading your post.

    May i ask you what do you mean by, ” Disclaimer: I’m also an investor in HelloGold (the company)”.

    1. Hi Jayne,

      I participated in HelloGold’s fundraising via ICO last time, and keep some of their tokens. That’s what I mean 🙂

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