The first stock exchange was established in 1602. The real estate industry as we know it has its roots in property rights established in the 1800’s. But at least as early as 600 BC, humans have used gold as currency. 

And yet a 2019 survey by the Fed revealed that a mere 10% of American households had any kind of exposure to this most ancient and durable of asset classes — gold and other precious metals. 

This fact continues to astound Simon Popple, founder of Brookville Capital, recognized expert in the gold market, and author of the beginner-friendly book Investing in a Recession: Time to Think About Gold. 

“It’s an asset class that very few people — and I mean very, underlined in bold — have got any exposure to,” Popple told Michael Duncan of the Road to Financial Freedom Podcast, “which is amazing.”

Popple is clearly fascinated by the unique qualities of his favored asset class. “It’s probably the only asset I can think of that is universally valuable,” he said. “You can cut a gold bar in half and you still have the same amount of gold. Whereas if you cut a diamond in half, you have a dramatic impact on its value.”

Compare that to real estate. Cut a house in half, and you reduce its value considerably. “I think you’d probably find the owner would be quite cross as well,” Popple said.

Popple compares a diversified portfolio to a football team. Each teammate performs a different role — takes different actions with different levels of risk and reward — but you can’t have an entire team of linebackers or wide receivers and be successful. (Popple is British, so he has to specify that this is “American football.”)

That being said, gold doesn’t have to be boring and inert. Popple emphasizes that as investors acquire experience, the gold industry can fill many roles in their portfolio.

“I picked a company called Chalice Gold years ago that went from 15 cents to over $10,” Popple said. “Super high risk, but phenomenal returns when you get it right.”

Listen to the full podcast with Simon Popple