Not only have central banks added to their gold holdings, so have gold-backed ETFs.
Currently, there are approximately 80 exchange-traded gold-backed funds across the world, which account for one-third of investment gold demand. These funds were first launched in 2003 and, as of the end of the second quarter 2019, they collectively held 2,548 tons of physical gold, a six-year high.
As an asset class, gold has unique properties, and even modest allocations can protect and enhance the performance of an investment portfolio. This is especially true when gold is purchased at or near stock market tops. Globally, gold makes up less than 1% of investment portfolios (which means there is a lot of firepower sitting on the sidelines.)
Investors of all sorts are coming to accept gold as a proven, tangible long-term store of value that moves independently of other assets. The annual volume of gold bought by investors has increased by at least 235% over the last three decades, as gold is again becoming recognized as an asset that will stand the test of time.