The world's wealthiest people have responded to economic worries by buying bars of gold, sometimes by the ton, and moving assets out of the financial system, bankers catering to the very rich said. UBS is recommending top-tier clients hold 7-10 percent of their assets in precious metals like gold.
"They don't only buy ETFs or futures, they buy physical gold," said UBS executive Josef Stadler."We had a clear example of a couple buying over a ton of gold ... and carrying it to another place,". At today's prices, that shipment would be worth about $42 million.
Julius Baer's chief investment officer for Asia is also recommending that wealthy investors park some of their assets in gold. "I see gold as an insurance," Van Anantha-Nageswaran said. "I recommend 10 percent as minimum in portfolios and anything more than that to be used for trading purposes, to respond to short-term over-bought or over-sold signals."
Billionaire financier George Soros, echoing comments from investment guru Warren Buffett, last month described gold as the "ultimate bubble" because it is costly to dig up and has no real value except its market price.