Where there’s a will, there’s a way, no matter how stupid the proposition. I couldn’t help but start running through all the problems this situation is going to create, but according to Reuters you’ll soon see an ATM spitting out gold bars coming to a mall near you. If this doesn’t spell “Bubble”, I don’t know what does.
Apparently, a German company will be using the “Gold to Go” brand and set up a few hundred units in the US next year. I’m sorry, but when I think of something to go, I think of a spur of the moment splurge or food item like coffee, donuts or a newspaper. I don’t think of an asset class. This convenience factor will likely further inflate a possible growing bubble and have many retail consumers/investors buying into an asset class they don’t fully understand – and possibly at much inflated prices.
The company claims that the machines will update their pricing based on the gold spot price every 10 minutes, but no mention of what the actual markup will be. Also, since gold is treated as a collectible and must be taxed as such, it will be interesting to see how these taxable transactions are handled. And if you thought robbing an ATM of $20 bills was profitable…
Disclosure: I do have a slight long position in gold via the ETF GLD since I can’t help but notice the devaluation of all western currencies. If you’re considering buying gold, watch out for markups, tax problems and other considerations – see more on gold investing basics.