Contrary to popular belief, gold is not a good long-term investment compared to the stock market. But during the early stages of a stock market crash, it can provide a good alternative investment asset.
Why is gold widely perceived as the best haven for your capital as the stock market goes through a bear market correction or a full market crash?
Is Gold a Safe Haven During a Stock Market Crash?
Gold has long been seen as a safe haven during times of economic distress and stock market crashes. It is seen as one of the few asset classes that have historically held its value during market volatility. During periods of economic uncertainty, such as during a stock market crash, investors often turn to gold as an investment that can provide some protection against losses in other asset classes.
There are several reasons why gold can act as a safe haven during a stock market crash. The first is that the price of gold tends to remain relatively stable and does not fluctuate wildly like other investments such as stocks or bonds. Gold also preserves its purchasing power over time, meaning it maintains its value even when compared to inflation-prone currencies such as the dollar or euro.
Additionally, gold prices tend to increase when investors sell off stocks and other assets to protect their portfolios from losses, thus providing investors with an extra layer of security during volatile times.
Gold’s status as a safe haven should not be taken for granted, though; its performance during times of economic crisis is not always certain. Many factors influence the price of gold, including global demand and supply levels, interest rates set by central banks, geopolitical tensions, production costs, and more. Therefore, investing in gold may not always be the safest option during a stock market crash and should be considered carefully with all available variables taken into account.
Why gold is a bad investment during a stock market crash
For several reasons, gold can be a bad investment during a stock market crash. First, gold prices are highly sensitive to market trends, so they can rise and fall quickly depending on how investors react to news and events. This means that even though gold tends to hold its value during times of volatility, it can still decline as investors rush to sell their holdings to protect their portfolios.
In addition, gold is not always guaranteed to provide investors with positive returns; the price may decline if global demand for gold decreases or production costs rise too high. Finally, investing in gold does not offer much liquidity because it is difficult to convert into cash quickly; therefore, investors may find themselves stuck with a large sum of money tied up in the metal at the worst possible time in the market cycle.
The facts about gold
For gold to be a good hedge, it would need to move in the opposite direction (have a negative correlation) to the broad market index, in this case, the S&P500. To protect your 401K, you would want to see evidence of gold being the right bet.
Looking back 15 years, we can see this is not the case for Gold (GLD) versus the market.
2005 to 2007
Gold outperformed the S&P500 with 52% gains compared to 25% for the S&P500.
2007 to 2009
During the financial crisis, gold provided a safe haven for seven months until it lost all its gains. This meant those moving their capital to gold at the beginning of the crash would have made no profits. But if you had invested in gold in 2008, you would have incurred severe losses. This does not sound like a haven to me.
2009 to 2020
The S&P 500 goes on a staggering bull run making 481% to January 2020
Gold made 138% from 2009 to 2012, moving in correlation with the market, then suffered a serious crash wiping out 42% of its value. The crash and stagnation last eight years.
Gold is still 13% lower than its previous all-time high.
So during an 11-year stock market bull run, gold lost 13% of its value.
- Gold might provide a very temporary solution as a safe haven during the early part of a stock market correction.
- During the Credit Crisis, Gold should have been a perfect store of value because, as it seemed the Fiat Currency system was failing, gold would have been a great replacement currency along with silver. But that did not work out.
- Gold is only a safe haven if people think it is.
- Since the 2009 stock market bottom, gold has increased by 65% and the SP500 by 232%.
Is gold a better long-term investment than the stock market?
The stock market offers investors higher returns than gold over the long term. However, there are many factors that should be taken into consideration when making an investment decision. Gold is often seen as a safe haven during times of market volatility and economic distress, as its price tends to remain relatively stable, and it preserves its purchasing power over time. This makes gold an attractive option for investors looking to protect their portfolios from losses during periods of uncertainty.
However, it is important to note that gold prices can still decline if global demand decreases or production costs rise too high. Additionally, investing in gold does not guarantee positive returns, and it can be difficult to convert into cash quickly.
Ultimately, the decision between whether to invest in stocks or gold depends on the individual investor’s risk appetite and financial goals. For those who are comfortable taking on more risk in exchange for potentially higher returns, investing in the stock market may provide a better long-term investment opportunity than gold.
On the other hand, those who prefer more conservative investments with lower volatility may find that investing in gold is a better option for them. It is important to do your own research and consult with a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
Would I use gold as a safe haven?
Personally no. Not based on this evidence. But short-term, it may provide relief until people stop believing.
What is a good alternative? Holding cash and dollar-cost averaging into the market again as we near the bottom.