Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Angela Vossmeyer

Rights Information

© 2017 Samuel C Firth


This paper examines the role that gold and other precious metals play in portfolio construction as hedges and safe havens in comparison with the Volatility Index (VIX), a derivative of market volatility. Gold has long been considered to be among the best assets for reducing portfolio volatility due to its lack of correlation with the overall market. However, the major finding of this paper is that while gold and the other precious metals do serve in this role to varying extents, the VIX performs this function far better. Both econometric and portfolio analyses reveal that the VIX improves overall portfolio performance to a greater extent, and most importantly serves as an effective safe haven relative to the market.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.