People who bought an ounce of gold in January have seen a 10 percent gain on the investment.
People who bought an ounce of gold in January have seen a 10 percent gain on the investment. iStockphoto.com
For most investors, 2011 was a lackluster year. Insured savings accounts offered virtually no interest, NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax tells Talk of the Nation's Neal Conan, and stocks mostly moved sideways or down. But there were two big winners: bond holders and gold bugs.
People who invested in U.S. Treasury securities early in the year were smart, says Geewax, because 10-year Treasuries were yielding about 3.4 percent interest in January 2011. Almost one year later, those securities yield only about 1.9 percent. Because those older bonds have become so much attractive, people are willing to pay more for them.
People who bought an ounce of gold in January also are happy today; they paid about $1,450. Now that ounce is worth about $1,600, roughly a 10 percent gain.