What Are Some Downsides To Only Having Gold As An Asset?

Thursday, June 20th 2024

Gold’s glittery sheen and rich history has long made it the go-to investment metal of choice, considered by many to be its premier asset class. Gold is irresistibly attractive; from ancient Egypt it was considered an icon of wealth and power and today investors view it as protection against economic downturns and inflation (1). Yet investors should remember that an investment strategy focused solely on gold can present certain disadvantages that need to be carefully taken into account before making their decisions – placing these limitations within context can still highlight gold’s undeniable worth as an asset class.

Liquidity and Accessibility

Gold’s liquidity differs significantly from that of stocks, bonds, or real estate investments; its liquidity cannot match any immediate sale processes like stocks or bonds would. While you can sell gold quickly once an opportunity presents itself, selling physical gold transactions might require extra steps that take longer or hinder flexibility, which could prove inconvenient in emergency situations.

But this drawback can be offset by considering gold’s global appeal; its appeal makes sure there’s always someone interested in buying your precious metals, while digital platforms make buying and selling simpler – further mitigating this disadvantage.

Storage and Insurance

Holding gold bullion incurs storage and insurance expenses, unlike digital assets or stocks which do not need secure places for safekeeping – usually renting out a safe deposit box or purchasing high security safe. Furthermore, insurance is usually necessary to safeguard investments against theft or damage and this expense could eat away potential returns of your investments.

On the flipside, gold’s physicality makes it one of its major draws – owning physical gold can provide a tangible sense of security that intangible investments cannot. Furthermore, technological innovations have reduced storage costs significantly while increasing safety measures to store physical gold safely.

Gold Doesn’t Generate Yield

In contrast with stocks and bonds, which often produce income via dividends and interest payments, gold doesn’t produce yield. This makes investing less appealing for investors who require consistent monthly payouts from their investments.

Gold should not be looked upon as an income-generating asset; rather it should be seen as an insurance policy and store of value. Gold’s price tends to increase during economic downturns or periods of inflation thereby protecting purchasing power – so viewing gold as an insurance policy rather than income-generating asset might be wiser.

Pricing and Valuation

Gold’s worth cannot be assessed using any tangible utility or revenue stream, making its valuation difficult and uncertain. Other assets like stocks, bonds or real estate may be valued using cash flows from cash flow statements but gold’s price relies solely on market sentiment for its valuation – making its price susceptible to fluctuations and speculation.

Gold’s unique properties make it a valuable hedge against economic instability; when other investments’ values decline, gold usually retains or even increases in value, providing essential balance to a portfolio’s diversified mix.

Economic Conditions Influence Gold Value

Gold prices can be profoundly influenced by international monetary policies, particularly interest rate trends. When interest rates increase, holding non-yielding assets like gold becomes less profitable – thus exerting downward pressure on gold prices.

Remember, however, that economic conditions that negatively impact gold tend to be worse for other asset classes - for example, during periods of economic instability or high inflation, gold can outshine other investments.


While these points may seem to paint gold in an unfavorable light, these realities apply equally well to all investments – not only gold. Each investment comes with both benefits and drawbacks that must be carefully considered prior to investing. We do not intend to discourage ownership but rather stress the importance of understanding each asset fully before investing. Despite any downsides associated with gold ownership, its universal acceptability, historic stability, and protective nature makes it worth exploring as part of an asset diversification portfolio; diversifying will ensure success when considering investment portfolio assets like gold as one asset class alone will.

Ready to invest in a gold IRA?

Every person wants peace of mind, regardless of their retirement goals. If you’re interested in adding gold and silver in your retirement investment portfolio and want to make it happen, you can do so through a self-directed IRA. These types of accounts permit you to build your retirement portfolio that increases in value on. As with all investment instruments ensure that you conduct your research. For more information, take a look at our gold IRA custodians reviews for the “top firms throughout the United States below.

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  • Henry says:

    Exactly, as much as I love gold, I still spread my investments across asset classes to mitigate risks.

    • Hi Henry,

      Indeed! This is a measured approach that has proven its efficiency over time. Same goes the other way, if you only have stock for instance, adding gold to your portfolio is often advised by financial experts, which everyone should consult before investing.

      Happy investing!