The bulk of the buying seemed to have occurred in two waves according to UBS. The first wave was when gold was trading between $800 and $1,000 – about 43moz of gross buying occurred around these levels. The second wave came when gold was trading above $1,200 – where additional 59moz of gross gold ETF purchases were made.
"ETF holders who belong to the second buying bucket are likely feeling jittery right now. With gold hovering only $70 away from the psychological $1,000 level, these ETF holders are likely feeling the pressure ahead of the Fed," Teeves said.
Looking at average returns across asset classes in a U.K. sterling portfolio, 2015 has been a tough year for private investors, according to data from gold broker BullionVault.
"A portfolio split equally between U.K. shares, bonds, cash and property investments has returned just 2.6 percent, the smallest gain since the 7.5 percent loss of 2008,"said head of research at BullionVault, Adrian Ash.
Looking at how central bank policy into 2016, Ash said monetary policy will continue to be front of mind for gold and silver investors.
"Gold tends to do well when other assets repeatedly fail to perform, but does best when markets lose confidence in central banks. 2016 risks crystallizing that threat, boosting private investor gold demand again, as the phoney war of hinting at interest-rate rises leaves the Bank of England, like the US Fed, in a position where they need to put up or shut up," Ash added.