Back in 1974 when a person could first could buy and hold gold my dad bought me 24oz of gold for my birthday at the opening price of $33 per oz. I have not run a chart to see if that outran inflation or not but I just took it out to see what 24oz of gold looks like. It aged well.
Just ran the inflation calculator. $792 in 1974= $3658 in 2007
An 8% return over 33 years would yield $11,001 for the same $792.
At today's cost of gold the value is close to $24,000.
You're off by a factor of 10. When gold became legal it was over $300 (maybe $330) and then worked down to $103 on the very day Jimmy Carter was nominated. Whatever, the current washout should be used to buy some.
For those of you that are knocking Jimmy Rodgers, I can only say you are pathetic, or have no real world understanding of what you're talking about.
There may be some outstanding values in the stocks right now, but most of the market that you'll want to own for the very long term are a long way from any significant bottom.
Some of the bank stocks have great yields and have been overdone already - BAC, USB and maybe GS is the best of the worst, but it's all very risky right now.
J - your a pauper - get used to it.