However, gold continues to attract investor interest, if not retail interest. Even central banks seem interested. RBIs sudden move to buy 200 tonnes of IMF gold, followed by similar purchasesthough in far smaller quantitiesby Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Russia were all noteworthy. The continuous rise of gold has led to a boom in investment in instruments like ETFs. As on November 25, investments in SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange traded fund-backed by bullion stood at 1,127 tonnes, almost 4.5% more than the holdings on September 14. Still, the events of the last days further showed the vulnerabilities that a retail investor has to bear with. A rise in dollar index along with the Dubai debt default crisis which triggered fears of another banking meltdown compelled investors to look for the nearest exit route. Spot Gold dropped almost 3.4% from Thursdays close to around $1,151.60 per ouncein just 24 hours the metal lost almost $40 per ounce. This is precisely the sort of blip that makes us less bullish on gold. Historically, and leave out the last few years, gold has been an underperformer compared to its biggest rival, equities. The World Gold Council data shows that on a five-year basis return on the main 200 stocks listed in the Bombay Stock Exchange has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 24%, while investment in gold in rupee terms has grown at a CAGR of 19.8%. Something worth pondering over in the mad rush towards gold.