People add gold to their investment portfolio for all kinds of reasons… it’s pretty, they accidentally read Zero Hedge, their Mom suggested it, or they plan on trading it for food after the apocalypse.
Those are all obviously terrible reasons.
This is true in part because there is really only one good reason to own any gold at all. Dentistry.
Adding Gold to the Portfolio
Recently Winnie and I had the pleasure of adding His & Her crowns to our molars. (Better than wedding bands!)
Alas, post root-canal my tooth broke while nomming on some yummy bacon in Vietnam… so my tooth was no longer a good candidate for a gold crown. However, thanks to the wonders of community property, we now have some gold in our portfolio.
Taiwan Dentistry is great.
My root canal was done by a PhD graduate from the University of Minnesota (go Big Ten!) for a total cost of about $25. This occurred over 4 separate visits, each with a copay of ~$6 as I am now covered by the national health system. (Dentists receive about $100 USD reimbursement for the procedure, per Dr.) (Even when I didn’t have insurance, the costs were very reasonable.)
To support the crown a post was required. This wasn’t covered by insurance and had a total cost of 6,000 TWD ($200 USD.)
When my tooth broke (mmm, bacon) it was recommended that I have crown lengthening surgery to expose more tooth. This had a cost of 12,000 TWD ($400.) Instead, I sought a 2nd opinion which said no surgery was necessary.
Ultimately I got a Zirconia crown for a total cost of 25,000 TWD ($833 USD.) Winnie’s post and gold crown had a total cost of 27,000 TWD ($900.)
How much gold?
Naturally I was curious about the dental benefits of gold vs other materials, but not nearly as curious as I was about the financial aspects.
As I understand it, a typical gold crown uses 16 carat gold which is ~60% pure. Total gold weight is about 1/10 oz. At today’s prices, total gold value is ~$75 USD.
This means about 0.0000001% of our total investment portfolio is now precious metals. (See full portfolio details here.) This will definitely help if inflation rears its ugly head. Or the apocalypse, whichever comes first. It’s not as much (nor as transactional) as a gold coin, but it’s better than nothing… and if not, at least it’s pretty.