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What seniors should consider before investing in gold

Keeping your gold investment under 5% to 10% of your portfolio can be a good way to diversify. Getty Images

With a number of economic factors pushing up the price of gold over the past few weeks, investors might be considering adding it to their portfolio today.

Even beyond recent price surges, gold can hold a lot of appeal for investors, whether they're looking for an inflation hedge, a way to diversify or a sense of security against other markets.  

No matter what age you are, these characteristics can have a positive influence on your portfolio. But seniors living on a fixed income with a different investment timeline may be looking for different benefits from their gold investment than beginner investors with time to weather decades of fluctuations. If you're a senior considering a gold investment today, there are some considerations to understand. 

Learn more about how gold can help your investment portfolio with a free information kit.

What seniors should consider before investing in gold

Here are three things any senior interested in gold investing should keep in mind before buying in. 

How much to invest

Gold is a smart way to diversify your portfolio, because it tends to move independently of the stock market and other traditional investments. So when you have a portion of your investment allocated to gold, you can potentially preserve your portfolio's value when the market is volatile. The downside is that you won't have the same growth potential as other investments can offer.

Experts typically recommend keeping no more than 5% to 10% of your overall portfolio in gold. This is especially true for seniors. If you're relying on your investment portfolio as an income source, you may not want to put too much money into an asset that can experience a lot of fluctuations over a short time period. While gold is relatively stable over the long term — and a good hedge against volatility elsewhere — it can also experience short-term price changes

Keeping your gold allocation small may help you benefit from diversification while minimizing any big movements due to gold price changes. If you're unsure about the right allocation for you, consider speaking with a trusted financial professional or advisor before investing.

Explore the ways gold can fit within your plan with a free investors kit today.

Different investment options

Another important decision to make is the right gold investment type for you. 

If you want to invest directly in gold, you may choose to buy gold bullion in the form of bars or coins. For a simple allocation you make through your brokerage, you may invest in gold ETFs, which are typically made up of gold holdings or shares in gold mining companies. These investments have varying levels of liquidity, which can be another important factor.

You may also choose to invest in a gold IRA, a type of tax-advantaged retirement account that allows you to purchase and hold gold (as long as it meets certain IRS requirements). While there's no age limit to contribute to an IRA, you will need to earn some type of "earned income" if you're already retired, acording to the IRS.

If a gold IRA may be right for you, make sure you choose a credible gold company to invest with. These companies can help you ensure the gold you buy meets IRS standards and find an IRS-approved custodian to keep your gold for you. Learn more about investing in a gold IRA today with a free investment guide.

The economic outlook

Because gold tends to perform well both when inflation is high and during periods of economic downturn, choosing the right time to invest could be beneficial for senior investors. 

Inflation may be down from the high levels we saw in 2022 and early 2023, but it's still weighing on many Americans' wallets. Historically, gold tends to hold its value — and sometimes even increases — when inflation is high, since its value generally moves opposite the value of the U.S. dollar. 

On top of that, expert predictions are calling for a recession in the next few months. As seniors who have been through economic cycles know, markets can turn increasingly volatile during recessions, putting your portfolio at risk.

Right now, gold's price is up, but some experts believe it could go even higher over the next several months. Thanks to the Federal Reserve's ongoing fight to reduce inflation, as well as the expectations many Americans have for a coming recession, more investors may be turning to gold as a safe haven today, pushing its price up further. 

The bottom line

Gold can be a smart choice for some investors looking for a hedge against inflation or a way to diversify their portfolios — especially given gold's current upswing. Seniors interested in gold should make sure they invest only a small amount in the precious metal and that they choose the right type of gold investment to fit their overall financial plan. If you're unsure of the right path for you, consider speaking with an advisor about your individual situation.

Ready to start diversifying with gold? Learn more about the process with a free information kit now.

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