No single asset has the capacity to polarise investor opinion than the yellow metal, and this has certainly been the case in the past 4 years since global central banks turned on the monetary taps.

Normally well respected analysts have been known to start frothing at the mouth when gold is mentioned as a haven for wealth preservation.

It has been likened to spam by some, as well as being dismissed as a useless lump of metal with no intrinsic value by others.

Gold bugs on the other hand trumpet its qualities as a hedge against inflation and monetary debasement.

Analysts argue that gold has no yield and has no purchasing power. Even central bankers have had their say with Fed chairman Ben Bernanke last year in answer to a question, announcing that gold is not money.

Certainly if you look at gold since the peaks of 1980 gold has indeed underperformed relative to inflation, but you could also make the same argument about stock markets, relative to the amount of money now in circulation.

The criticism of gold that it offers no yield is certainly valid yet one could make the same argument for currencies, with the US dollar, sterling, Japanese yen and Swiss franc all having negative interest rates. A lot of equities also offer no yield apart from the hope that the value of the stock will increase in value in line with management expectations.

As such the key reason gold is becoming an attractive investment is it can\'t be printed, manipulated or adjusted to the whims of governments and central bankers, which suggests that the potential for a rise to $2,500 over the next few months continues to look ever more likely.

The recent actions of the Bank of England, Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank in adding to the overall money supply with additional liquidity injections reinforce this perception.

Far from being a useless lump on metal Gold has many uses in industry and has also been used throughout history as a means of monetary exchange with the main attraction for investors being its scarcity.

This is one of the main reasons it is kept in coin or bars as a hedge against inflation caused by irresponsible monetary policy.

Demand looks likely to remain fairly strong from emerging markets such as India and China from an emerging middle class as well as central banks, looking to rebalance their portfolios after spending most of the last decade being net sellers of it.

The one way to settle the argument with respect to gold\'s value, relative to other assets, is to compare the performance of the various assets over a 5 or 10 year period.
This is where gold bears start losing the argument; however as with any asset the return is always determined on the entry level price for any investor.

Since the beginning of this century the price of gold has risen over 600% against the US dollar, while also rising 480% against the euro and 630% against the pound.
Stock markets on the other hand have gone sideways at best, while currencies have lost value.

Bottom line is that gold may not be to everyone\'s taste but that doesn\'t mean that sceptics have to decry its properties as a store of value throughout the recent turmoil in financial markets.