Eight times in the last decade, in fact, the softer prices of early to mid-summer offered UK investors a chance to buy gold and then sell it higher at year's end.
That's a much better hit-rate than the old chestnut about summer being the best time to sit out the London stock market. "Sell in May and come back on St.Leger's Day" the saying claims. But only five times in the last decade has the FTSE All-Share index of UK stocks closed May higher than it closed the month of September.
Indeed, if your stockbroker repeats that old chestnut to you this May, you should ask for an invite to his retirement party. (You'll be paying for it, after all.) Because as you can see on this chart of the FTSE All-Share's monthly averages, the last time that "Sell in May" was really true for UK shares was back in 1975-84.
Bottom line? More active investors – looking for the best time of the year to buy gold at a discount and then sell again at a peak – might find this seasonal pattern to be useful. But no one gets to trade the average monthly moves, and history tells us nothing about what will happen for sure this year.
Just ask those dollar-gold traders who took profits in springtime four years ago...only to watch the gold price surge to all-time record highs during the US debt downgrade, eurozone crisis and then English riots of summer 2011.
Meantime in India, Akshaya Tritiya hasn't been the best time to buy gold over recent years. Not according to analysts who miss the point, even if stumbling over the same seasonal pattern in rupee prices as UK investors enjoy. Making an auspicious investment isn't the same as expecting it will turn a profit directly itself. And besides, buying gold at any time of year has proven pretty smart for Indian savers over the last few decades anyway.
Gold prices have risen in rupee terms in 30 of the last 41 years. How auspicious is that when you're trying to save for the future?