Recently, China's younger generations have picked up a new investment fad—collecting gold beans. According to the current gold price in China, a pea-sized chunk of gold weighing 1 gram can be bought at 400-600 yuan ($54.9-82.3). For many young adults on tight budgets, purchasing gold beans on a monthly basis provides a perfect means of forced saving—one that requires only minimal financial commitment.
This phenomenon marks a significant shift in China's gold market. For a long time, gold consumption was associated with the country's older generations, who led a major bullion-purchasing spree in 2013, the year in which global gold prices drastically dropped. Recent years, however, have seen China's millennials emerge as a major force in gold consumption.
Apart from its relatively low barrier to entry compared to other types of investments, the regular purchase of gold also furnishes young consumers with a sense of occasion. The rise of online interest-based communities also allows them to exchange news and tips on gold consumption and thereby find a new way to connect with others.
Of course, these gold beans are not magic beans. Profits are not always guaranteed. Buyers should always understand the potential downsides involved and from there make informed decisions.
(Workers' Daily, September 27)