Investor sentiment for gold hit its highest year-end level since 2012 at the end of last year, in anticipation of a risk-filled 2017, according to data from BullionVault.
The metals trading platform's Gold Investor Index ended 2016 at 55.5, higher than the previous 12 months' average of 54.3 and comfortably above the 53.0 reading of December 2015.
In November, investor sentiment for the safe haven reached a five-year high of 59.3. Spot gold prices surged in the run-up to President-elect Donald Trump's White House victory, jumping above the $1,300 an ounce mark, but have tailed off since then.
Spot gold prices were up by 0.5 per cent today to $1,164.95 an ounce.
"2017 calendars are packed with risk events, from Donald Trump having to negotiate a new US debt ceiling in March to the raft of Eurozone general elections starting this spring," said Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault.
"As these dates focus the broader investment stresses of slowing growth and growing debt, gold is likely to regain favour with fund managers. Private investors aren't waiting for consensus to turn around. They continue buying insurance at a discount to the Brexit peak hit last July."
BullionVault's investor index measures the number of people starting or adding to their own private gold holding against those reducing or selling entirely. It would read 50.0 if the number of net buyers exactly matched the number of net sellers across the month.