Royal Mint research has revealed data demonstrating a near 26% uplift year-on-year in the volume of gold investments during 2022.
Gold-bar investments, in particular, increased with sales rising by 33.5%.
The increase in gold investments was driven by Generation Z and millennial customers who increased their volume of purchases by 38% and 29% respectively.
The research showed that this trend is set to continue, as one in four investors (23%) plan to invest in gold this year, rising to 26% among Generation-X investors.
It also found that after UK stocks and funds, precious metals is currently the next most popular investment, with nearly a third of investors (30%) planning to invest in the asset class in 2023.
Some 16% who haven’t previously invested in precious metals before plan to in the future.
Following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the Royal Mint saw a 230% week-on-week increase in sales of gold investments.
More than half (53%) of those surveyed in its poll said they are motivated to invest by the asset’s ‘safe-haven’ status, with almost a third (29%) believing that the asset is less risky than other investments.
The majority (52%) of the 2,000 respondents said they were worried about market volatility impacting their portfolio this year, rising to 58% among millennial investors. Over half (55%) said they are worried about the impact of inflation.
One in three (34%) reported that they are pessimistic about markets in 2023 and nearly half (48%) said they were worried about their portfolio losing money this year.
Investment risk front of mind
Andrew Dickey, Royal Mint director of precious metals, said: “At a time when financial markets are notably more unpredictable and investors are becoming increasingly aware of risk, everyday investors are taking active steps to protect their portfolios. It is clear from the data that investment risk is front of mind for UK investors, with many looking to add precious metals to their portfolios this year.
“We are seeing more investors consider and invest in precious metals as a potential means to protect their portfolios and as an attempt to navigate volatile market conditions. From our experience, gold and precious metals grow in popularity during challenging times for the global economy as investors look to diversify their portfolios and hedge against inflation.
“For many risk-conscious investors, these market moments are a trigger for a long-term investment in precious metals that grows over many decades.”