If you'll permit me to add an asterisk to the gold commentary.....
Gold is up year to date, year over year, over the past five years, and over the past ten years, over the past twenty years, over the past fifty years, and over the past one hundred years.
Before the creation of the Fed? Well, that's a different story.
But gold is not really an investment in the traditional sense. It's a traditional asset.
My feeling is that trying to draw a distinction between 'investments' and 'assets' tends to simply muddy the waters in a lot of cases. Particularly in times of change, and we are in one now as we were in the early 70's, following WW-II, and countless times before that.
Until the world's debt crisis is resolved, gold will appear to rise, because gold extinguishes debt and has no counter-party risk. I'm talking about decades of price discovery as debt continues to self-destruct.
Bitcoin is also an asset which is nobody's liability. In my mind, BTC is much more like Gold than it is like the USD for this reason. As someone who is light on liabilities, both BTC and PM's appeal to me very much.
It's been a long time since anyone was overtly burnt by this asset/liability issue so it is not front and center in people's minds. (Actually, I would argue that people are covertly burnt by the issue all the time, but anyway...) I have significant paranoia that the asset/liability thing could come to the for with rapidity, and any day.
Depending on who's crunching the numbers, the world's debt is near or above one quadrillion USD against a global net worth of between sixty-five and two hundred trillion USD. How many bitcoins is that?
Understand exponential growth and you understand the problem facing the debt-based monetary system.
Happily for TPTB, very few people do.
From the broadest possible macro perspective, the world's primary economic concern is reconciling actual economic output (taking into account resource depletion, resource distribution, demographics, etc) with a hopelessly unpayable global debt.
I'm not ruling out the possibility that things could limp along in current form for many years. Even decades. But I also feel that it is just as possible that it could collapse happen tomorrow. As long as there is not an excessive opportunity cost in keeping my investments/assets in a form which is more immune from loss if some entity cannot honer their liabilities, I choose to largely do so.
There's no reason gold and bitcoins need to be mutually exclusive. They can function together quite well, I think.
This is a point that I've been trying to make forever.
I feel that Gold is a good 'reserve' but there are difficulties in 'exchange'. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is great on the 'exchange' side of the spectrum, but I (seemingly alone) do not consider it a good 'reserve' currency. Marry the two (or at least get them being regular fuck-buddies) and one has a very robust solution which would be relatively cumbersome for attackers to meddle with.