According to Ireland’s “Sunday Independent” newspaper, Michael Noonan, Ireland’s finance minister, has sold his shares in funds that track European and US stocks and diversified his portfolio to include gold ETFs.

The fact that a finance minister puts more faith in gold than he does in stocks speaks volumes. Noonan is dumping stocks to buy gold and using his own personal wealth to do it – not tax-payers’ money. The difference has not gone unnoticed.

Michael Noonan, Ireland’s Finance Minister buys gold.

Noonan’s investment in gold was published last week in the Register of Members Interests where members of the Irish Parliament must declare any financial interests over £13,000. Noonan’s move was described by the The Sunday Independent as “as a hedge against Euro deflation”.

Clearly the move is something I personally support – although choosing ETFs with the associated counter-party risk is not as safe in my opinion a move towards physical gold.

With physical gold there there is no reliance on a third party as the physical gold is in your possession. This is not a big factor for most people at the moment but remember, with 100 ‘paper’ claims for every ounce of physical gold in existence, you can see why I prefer to hold the real deal over an IOU.

Not surprising, the Irish Finance Minister has a reputation for sound financial management. The Independent writes:

Noonan’s personal investments give an insight into his thinking and his views on the risk and opportunities facing the global and European economies and markets. He has a track record stretching back decades of canny private investments.”

You may be wondering why a Finance Minister would be putting his own money into gold.

You may also be wondering why central banks around the world own so much gold themselves considering their claim that it has no relevance in todays digital world. If gold is no longer money, why are central banks so keen to hold onto it and indeed why are they so keen to acquire more?

Why is China desperately trying to increase the amount of gold it currently holds? It wouldn’t be anything to do with the fact that they want the Yuan to have greater respectability as a global currency would it?

Mmmmm – I think it might.

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