NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- "Gold Gets Saved (This Time) by the Fed as Rate Rise Is Deferred," the Bloomberg headline reads. After all, the Fed's decision not to raise rates, and its slightly dovish tone, alongside brewing troubles in China, could mean that gold has narrowly escaped a meltdown, right?
That's what conventional wisdom would say, but it's wrong. If you own gold, you should ditch it while it's high, because the gold meltdown is coming sooner than you think. Ask Yourself: Why am I holding gold?
Usually, those who hold gold buy it as a hedge against a crisis -- it's a type of protection, isn't it? Let me break the news to you: If you're holding gold, it's actually using you for protection. Here's why:
1. The Fed Move Will Crush Gold
Sure, when the dollar is in the doldrums and there's no sign of an imminent rate hike, gold has a certain allure. But unlike bonds, which pay interest, or stocks, which distribute dividends, gold pays nothing. In fact, it costs you to hold it. So, as the Fed moves to raise interest rates, and inflation is practically zero in most of the world, what incentive is there to hold gold in the long term? None.
2. China Will Flood the Market with Gold
Another good reason to hold gold would be to protect yourself from the escalating crisis in emerging markets. With the troubles in China and Russia -- two of the biggest holders and producers of gold -- any deterioration would push investors to buy more gold for protection. That's the argument, anyway. But, in reality, being big gold producers, both China and Russia have been accumulating gold for a rainy day.
But when this rainy day arrives -- and it might be coming soon for both China and Russia -- what do you think will happen? Both countries will be forced to sell their gold by the ton in order to protect their currencies. This has already started, with China and Russia diluting their reserves. If the crisis in emerging markets takes another negative turn, not only will gold fail to act as protection but it will be heavily sold by the world's largest producers.
3. Look at Gold During the 1990s
Remember the Asian financial crisis? Not the one we're experiencing now, the original one. In the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s, Asian economies across the board, including China, were in the midst of a deep financial meltdown, caused by their unstable currencies. The problems were amplified by a default by the Russian government and a severe crisis in the Russian ruble. It was a classic time to buy gold, the ultimate safe haven. But guess what? Historical data shows the opposite. During the crisis, investors flocked to U.S. treasuries, gold was sold and it fell in price. Once again proving that, in reality, it doesn't protect you at all.
Time to Face the Ugly Truth
Gold had an allure between 2008 and 2010, when the dollar was weak and the Fed was printing trillions of dollars. But those days are long gone. The way it currently stands, gold provides no protection and no interest. Warren Buffett likes to say that when the tide turns, you can see who is swimming naked. Well, the tide is about to turn and gold is naked, so you should ditch it before it's too late.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.