The Cons of Using Gold as an Investment

Gold has long been prized as an investment due to its rarity and beauty, used for ornamentation, money storage and store of value purposes by ancient civilizations around the globe. But in today's contemporary financial landscape, its place as an investment remains uncertain: some view gold as haven, while others see it as terrible choices. Let us examine both sides and decide whether gold really makes for poor investments choices today.

Understand Gold's Attraction

Gold holds an intrinsic appeal due to several reasons:

  • Gold has long been considered an asset with lasting value in times of economic crises and turmoil, due to its indestructibility versus other forms of depreciation such as real estate investments or paper securities.

  • Gold as an Effective Hedge against Inflation: When fiat currencies lose value due to economic instability or inflation, gold often remains stable or even increases its worth, providing an excellent hedge against it.

  • Gold can serve as an asset diversifier by having low correlations with stocks and bonds in an investment portfolio.

  • Liquidity: Gold can easily be bought or sold worldwide, facilitating its conversion into cash quickly and effortlessly.

On the Downside

While historical significance and aesthetic appeal may draw criticisms for any project, critics can still find fault with its completion:

  • Gold Is an Unproductive Asset: In contrast to stocks or real estate, gold does not generate dividends or rent payments and therefore its value depends on what someone else will pay for it.

  • Storage and Insurance Costs: Storing physical gold requires proper protection, which may prove expensive.

  • Opportunity Cost: By investing money in gold, investors could potentially access other asset classes with potentially higher returns such as stocks or bonds.

  • Gold Price Volatility: Though often seen as a haven, gold prices can be extremely volatile. In the early 1980s alone, prices experienced significant boom followed by long-term decline.

  • Macro-economic Sensitivity: Gold can be highly reactive to global economic indicators and geopolitical events, potentially leading to unpredictable price movements that impact its price fluctuation.

Assessing the Arguments

Gold may or may not be considered an unwise investment depending on one's investment goals and strategies. For those seeking regular income or high returns, gold might not be ideal, while investors looking for inflation protection or diversification purposes could find its use more appealing.

Important to recognize is how investment has developed; now there are various means of investing without holding physical gold assets such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) or mining stocks.


Painting gold as an ineffective investment would be oversimplification. Like any investment, gold presents its own risks and opportunities; its place within any modern portfolio should be carefully assessed considering individual investment objectives, risk tolerance levels and market conditions; rather than immediately dismissing gold outright, investors should carefully weigh its pros and cons against an overall diversified strategy before dismissing outright its role as part of any diversified strategy. Afterall, for some investors, gold is a great investment.