Is Gold a Safe Investment Now?

Investors have flocked to gold to hedge against inflation and market volatility in 2024. But with inflation at elevated levels, a weakening economy, and rising interest rates, there are a wide range of factors that can impact the price of gold. That’s why it’s important to assess the current state of the gold market and how certain circumstances can influence its performance.

Gold has historically been regarded as a safe investment, protecting the value of investor capital. Allocating money toward gold has been a normal course of action, especially during times of economic uncertainty. Yet investors may still be wary over whether gold is a safe place to park their money right now. Financial news media and even financial regulators reinforce this misconception. This is particularly relevant given the evolving state of economic affairs in the U.S. and around the world.

Reasons Why Gold Is Safe Now

Gold has some of the most favorable characteristics investors seek in any kind of investment. These make it a strong contender to have in an investment portfolio during good and poor economic conditions. As investors around the world make sense of the fragile economic state we live in today and forecast where it’s headed next, they seek out securities that have these strong characteristics and should be a safer bet. Here are some of the reasons why gold is a secure investment to own right now:

Gold Is an Inflation Hedge

Gold is considered one of the best inflation hedges of our time because its value tends to increase as inflation rises. This is because gold is in limited supply. When demand for the precious metal increases while its supply stays the same or is slower to increase, the gold price is pushed up. This is a standard ‘supply and demand’ economic principle.

For added context, in today’s economy, inflation or the rise in prices of goods and services, is at very high levels. When it costs more to buy things, the value of the U.S. dollar declines. Consumers have to spend more dollars today for something that was less expensive a few years prior. As a result, the dollar has been getting weaker.

But if investors have some of their money in gold they can minimize the impact of inflation since gold’s value rises with inflation. While gold may not be the ultimate solution, it may certainly lessen the blow of inflation. It’s important to keep in mind that like any other investment, gold is subject to price volatility. If inflation stays as high as it is, gold may not perform as the greatest inflation hedge in the future.

Gold Is a Store of Value

Another reason why gold is considered a safe investment now is because it is a store of value. It retains its value overtime. Gold is a strong store of value because:

  • it’s in limited supply
  • it's a durable precious metal
  • it's considered a safe haven asset during time of geopolitical instability
  • it can easily be bought and sold in financial markets all over the world

Since the value of gold is not tied to anything other than itself, its value is not subject to the same risks as other assets.

1933 indian head gold eagle

Gold has maintained its purchasing power for hundreds of years.

What Makes an Investment Safe?

One might consider a certain type of investment safe while another may not, depending on the investor profile. However, investments characterized as being safe are considered to be low risk with little volatility.

Every asset class has some degree of risk. There are no such investments that are "risk-free" or carry no risk whatsoever. Moreover, safe assets can hold on to their value in any type of economic climate and have liquidity, meaning they can easily be converted into cash.

For example, certificates of deposit or CDs provided by banks or credit unions are a safe way to manage money for a short period of time. CDs are considered a low-risk tool because they’re backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The FDIC guarantees each account holder is insured up to $250,000.

Similarly, U.S. Treasuries are considered safe investments because U.S. Treasury bonds are issued by the Department of Treasury. Investors buy bonds from the U.S. government who guarantees to pay investors back with interest. Bond holders tend not to question the risk of bond investments since they’re backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

Some precious metals like gold have these characteristics as well. Gold has a track record of being a stable security that has demonstrated price appreciation over the course of history. At the same time, the value of gold may be subject to short-term volatility. There are longer-term material macroeconomic issues that could limit its potential as well.

Reasons Not to Own More Gold

Instead of thinking of gold as an “unsafe” investment, it’s probably better to consider that in some circumstances, gold may not serve some investors who may be looking to make high returns. Other investments like stocks or real estate, for example, can have a higher return on investment. This is because they tend to generate income in the form of dividends or rental income, whereas gold does not provide any income or yield. Rather gold preserves the value of your money.

So, investors who hold gold must rely on the price of gold increasing to get a return on investment. Furthermore, gold is known to be a good portfolio diversifier which limits risk. (The basic reason that stocks or real estate can offer higher returns is that they are higher risk than gold.) Yet if an investor allocates too much in gold, that could leave you diversified too much, leaving you with increased risk.

Gold is not an unsafe investment by any stretch of the imagination. There is simply an opportunity cost associated with owning gold rather than assets that may offer higher returns over a particular period of time. It's all about the right balance.


Gold has historically been a great asset to diversify an investment portfolio with. Still, its success as an asset depends on many factors. Given the sensitive state of the global economy, it's questionable that gold can single-handedly serve the troubles that plague investments right now.

Gold may seem to be an attractive investment to help resolve the challenges present in our world today. These include high inflation, wars between nations, and weaker economies. However, given the magnitude of these risks, gold may have limited potential.

Importantly, what one investor considers safe, another investor may consider risky. So, whether gold is a safe investment right now also depends on an investor's risk profile, investment goals, and overall portfolio strategy. For some, gold may be a way to diversify their assets while for others, it may not be the best way to reduce risk. Investors should carefully weigh the potential benefits or setbacks before making a decision to invest in gold.

Written by Paulina Likos

Read more about investing in precious metals from the author:

How to Buy Gold With a 401(k) Rollover

Fortifying Your Financial Security: Why Precious Metals Are the Real Wealth Creator

Gold vs. Real Estate: Investment Analysis

6 Best Precious Metals to Invest In: Pros and Cons

Gold Mutual Funds vs. Gold ETFs: What's the Difference?

How to Invest in Gold and Silver IRAs

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