Gold prices had gold bugs giddy in the fall of 2011. In September, the luminous yellow metal touched an intraday high of $1,920 a troy ounce, putting the precious metal up roughly 35% for the year.
At the time it seemed like investors, traders and even the guy at the corner store were all buying, hoarding, and lusting for gold.
But the stellar gains were short lived, and by the end of the year gold prices had fallen by nearly 20%.
Part of the striking decline in gold was due to the fact that the "smart" money that had once been amongst gold's biggest cheerleaders, sold it.
Some booked profits, some sold it to reflect gains in portfolios, others were forced to sell to meet margin requirements, and others wanted to start the New Year with a clean slate.
Gold Prices in 2012
Enter 2012, and gold prices enjoyed a lustrous January, rising some 10%, helped in particular by Chinese New Year celebrations.
Gold has since languished as investors became more willing to take on added risk, delving more into equities. While gold prices foundered, the Dow rose 8% in the first quarter, the S&P 500 gained 12%, and the Nasdaq enjoyed a nearly 19% gain.
And more recently, not even gold's best friend, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, offered up much help.
Following the commencement of the two-day FOMC meeting last week
, gold experienced a volatile day, but managed to end virtually flat from the previous trading session. The Fed left interest rates steady and extinguished hopes for immediate further monetary loosening measures.
Without a promise of more quantitative easing, long gold holders headed for the exits.
Nonetheless, many sophisticated gold traders are poised to pounce on gold with every dip.
Among them is the storied and accomplished commodities investor Jim Rogers.
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