One of the main concerns for most investors in retirement is remaining financially independent. Everyone wants to have enough money to retire on, and no on wants to run out of money. That would mean having to go back to work if you’re still young enough, or having to rely on the charity of family and friends if you’re older. The stress that would cause could end up taking years off your life.
That’s why investors planning for retirement need to make sure that they invest wisely to make sure that their retirement assets last them not just to the point of retirement but well into retirement. That requires a careful investing strategy and a commitment to investing in assets that will continue making gains far into the future.
Diversification Is Key
One of the keys to a successful retirement investment portfolio is proper diversification. Diversification is a strategy that is undertaken to minimize an investor’s risk to a certain class of assets, industry, geographic area, etc. The greater the diversification, the less risk that a major correction in a single market or asset class will result in large losses for a particular investment portfolio.
Many American investors fail to diversify in a number of ways and for a number of reasons. For one thing, financial media are often awash with discussion of stock markets, but discuss other investment assets often only in passing. Listening to or reading financial media, you would think that 90% of investments in this country are in equities, but that’s not really the case.
Aside from stocks you have bonds, CDs, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and a whole host of other investment opportunities. Add to that precious metal coins and bullion, commodities, real estate, and other investment assets and you end up with dozens of investment possibilities. But because so many people choose to save their money in an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, they may not be aware of all the options they have.
Don’t Be Myopic – Focus on the Long Term
Because American investors have become so accustomed to the US being the top dog in international business and trade, their focus has historically been on investing in US companies and US assets. But that again shows a lack of diversification. In an increasingly globalized and interconnected economy, the US is becoming just one economic powerhouse among many. China and the European Union are growing stronger all the time, and their economies already provide numerous opportunities for investment by savvy investors who know what they’re doing.
Then there’s the problem of currency risk. Americans haven’t had to worry about this since the dollar has been the world’s reserve currency for decades. But that won’t always be the case. If you’re planning to retire in the next couple of years, you likely won’t experience life without the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. But if you’re just starting your career, or even midway through your career, it’s not inconceivable that the dollar may be dethroned as the world’s reserve currency before you die.
The upcoming tariff war may be just the first shot in a long-term battle that sees the dollar’s status diminish. When that happens, we could see the yuan and the euro take much more important roles on the world stage. And we could even see the reemergence of a gold-backed monetary system as dollar-denominated assets lose popularity and value.
The Importance of Gold
Gold has acted as a hedge against inflation and financial crisis for centuries. Gold maintains its value no matter what governments decide to do to their money, and the worse the currency is debased the more valuable gold becomes. That’s one reason that after successive failures with paper currency governments always come back to gold.
Gold can’t be created out of thin air like paper money and electronic bank deposits. And when you store your gold in an investment vehicle like a gold IRA, you can guarantee that that gold won’t be loaned out, pledged as collateral, or in any other way encumbered. It’s your gold and it will continue to work for you until you choose to take a distribution.
Even better, because your gold IRA holds physical gold, you can elect to take your distribution either in cash or in gold. You can’t do that with a gold ETF or with many other methods of investing in gold.
Gold’s performance has been better than stocks this century, and looks to continue that performance as stock markets are stumbling. Watch for more and more investors to flock to gold as stock markets tumble throughout the year.
And because gold is an internationally traded and widely demanded asset, it isn’t susceptible to currency risk in the way that other financial assets such as stocks and bonds are. While fluctuating exchange rates can make dollar-denominated investment assets unpopular at times in other countries, gold always maintains its appeal. Whether it’s the United States, Germany, India, China, or some other country, there is always a ready and liquid market for gold, which makes it an ideal asset for investors looking for a high-performing asset that they’ll be able to sell anywhere when the time comes to do so.