Is Investing in Gold High Risk?

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Last Updated: July 12, 2024

Have you been considering investing in gold? If so, you are not alone. Many flock to this precious metal, especially during economic downturns.

Is gold high-risk? Should you invest in this metal or put your money into other investment options?

Key Takeaways

Gold Investments Are Not Without Risks

Gold investments are less risky than stocks and fiat money, but there are hazards. Gold is still volatile to a certain degree because the price of gold rises and falls. You can look to central banks and see this in action.

As with any asset, you must understand the potential risks and downsides of investing in physical metals. Weighing the advantages and risks will help you make an educated decision and feel confident in your portfolio strategy.

We will explore the risks of investing in gold below. We aim to inform our readers and help them make wise decisions to hedge against market volatility.

As with all our informative articles and company reviews, we give you the good and bad so you can get a full and accurate perspective on your options.

Capital Loss Due to a Falling Gold Price

Every asset has some degree of market risk. While you are holding physical gold, it is always possible price drops could occur, making your investment less valuable and causing you to lose capital.

There are only a few investments that ensure capital protection, and they include cash ISAs and bank savings accounts. However, your purchase of yellow metal will never go to zero, even if you have to sell at a loss.

People consider gold a safe haven asset because its past performance shows the price of gold rarely loses significant value. Periods of economic uncertainty often lead to an increased spot price, giving more purchasing power.

It is important to compare gold to paper assets, which can sometimes become worthless. At least you will never be in danger of losing your entire investment with a troy ounce of gold over other currencies and other investments.

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Augusta Precious Metals
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Paper Precious Metal Assets Bring Counterparty Risks

Investing in paper gold asset classes is a solid way for investors to diversify their gold investments, but you must be aware of counterparty risks. Counterparty risks are those caused by the possibility third parties will not fulfill their obligations to investors, causing the value to fall.

If the company that issued you the paper gold performs poorly, your investment could become worth far less than anticipated. In a worst-case scenario, your paper gold could go down to zero.

Physical Gold Can Be Volatile Under the Right Circumstances

Those planning to buy and sell quickly must remember that gold prices rise and fall in the short term. Although there are fluctuations in the spot price of gold, it usually retains its value in the long term.

Gold and other precious metals are best used as long-haul investments. These investments are those held for five years or longer.

Insurance and Storage Costs Increase the Risks of Investing in Precious Metals

There is also the added cost of paying for insurance and storage. You do not have to worry about these issues when you purchase gold ETFs from gold companies.

Buying gold coin and gold bullion means you will need to store your metal in a depository, especially if you invest in a gold IRA as a part of your investment strategy.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold: Counterfeit Risks

You also take the risk of buying counterfeit gold. Unfortunately, all that glitters is not a real gold coin. The gold industry has its fair share of fraudsters looking to capitalize on the unsuspecting investor.

When buying gold jewelry, coins, or other assets, you must check their authenticity. A good investment is genuine gold.

Don't be fooled by counterfeits when holding gold. It would be devastating to think your physical metal is worth thousands when the value is not worth a dollar.

Gold Prices Become Impacted By Inflationary Periods

In most cases, gold acts as a hedge against inflation, but there are times, although rare when it underperforms because of inflationary periods. Gold prices were depressed in the 80s and 90s, prompting investors to take notice. Although you can continue to consider gold a hedge against inflation, keep this risk in mind for the medium term.

Economic Uncertainty Plays a Role in Making Gold Investment Risky

Economic conditions impact the price of gold, including interest rates, inflationary rises, global demand, and fluctuations in currency. During high inflation periods, some investors liquidate a small percentage of their gold coins and bars and opt to buy stock to have passive income until the price of gold rises again.

While this is not a bad idea, individual investors should consider their gold, silver, and other precious metals essential to their investment portfolio.

Investments in Precious Metals Offer No Passive Income

Another downside that can lead to potential risks is that gold does not offer a passive income like other asset-class options. Gold and silver are not income-producing, so investors can only rely on price appreciation to see returns on their investments in the future.

Because gold remains a critical part of an investment diversified, many investors opt to keep 5% to 10% of their investment in gold despite the disadvantages.

Tracking Gold's Price History

Although there are price fluctuations, gold has steadily risen over the last few years. Gold began moving significantly in the 1990s when it rose to $400 per ounce.

Back then, no one would have thought it would now be $ 1,927.28 at the time of this writing. Gold is an asset class with a proven track record of performing well, even though no country is under the gold standard anymore.

Advantages of Investing in Precious Metals

  1. Gold has historically been sought as a safe haven investment because it usually retains value during economic distress.
  2. Gold hedges against inflation and typically performs well when the market is floundering.
  3. Investing in gold coins and bars allows you to diversify your investment portfolio on the proper time horizon.
  4. Gold investment options can protect you from losing it all due to market volatility.

Tips for Investing in Gold Safely

You do not have money to burn. Investing your money wisely means knowing how to buy gold safely.

Consider the tips below to ensure you buy safely and make every dollar count toward the value of your retirement savings:

Physical Gold

Physical gold is safe and one of the most popular options, but you must know about dealer markup. Choose American Hartford Gold, Goldco, Augusta Precious Metals, Birch Gold Group, and Noble Gold.

Gold Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are stocks of companies that invest in or mine gold. Mutual funds give you experience in gold without holding precious metals. Remember that you must choose your investments wisely because they are tied to the stock market.

Gold ETFs

There are gold exchange-traded funds that hold gold and those based on gold mining companies. Although gold ETFs are typically cheaper than holding your gold, fees are involved, and more risks because it is a paper-based asset class.

Gold Mining Stocks

You can also invest in gold stocks with gold mining companies, but you must carefully research the company at length. Remember, these assets are based on the gold price and the mining company's performance.

Final Thoughts: Should You Invest in Gold?

Gold is a sound investment that will stand the test of time. While it is not without risks, you cannot go wrong with a gold investment that is part of a diversified portfolio when investing wisely.

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Best Overall
9.7

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5/5
Goldco
Excellent customer service from precious metals experts.
Best For Service
9.4

Bar Code Score Card ™

5/5
American Hartford Gold
5 Star customer service, easy to work with, and a low price guarantee.
Best For Education
8.9

Bar Code Score Card ™

4.5/5
Augusta Precious Metals
Earned best overall gold IRA company of 2022 by Investopedia's most transparent.
4
7.9

Bar Code Score Card ™

4/5
Birch Gold
High level of customer service and a solid reputation
5
7.0

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4/5
Noble Gold
High level of customer service and a solid reputation