As a short-term bet, gold has been risky. It has done better over some, but not all, extended periods.
Inflation is back in the news and so, of course, is interest in gold.
After years of dormancy, inflation is expected to rise a bit this summer. It is even possible that as Americans emerge from Covid-19 induced seclusion, their pent-up demand will overheat the economy and weaken the dollar.
Those concerns have put the spotlight on gold, which has long been viewed as a hedge against inflation, a declining dollar and an unstable stock market. Buy gold now and make a quick profit, or so the thinking goes.
But this analysis has problems, starting with the outlook for inflation, which isn't necessarily that bad. The inflation rate ended 2020 at an anemic 1.4 percent, and Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, has said that despite the potential for a modest surge above 2 percent this summer, the Fed doesnt expect inflation to move much higher between now and 2023.