The gold market has seen some of the highest levels in decades. If you are thinking of taking advantage of the boom in gold and gold bullion, consider adding precious metal funds to your 401k. Depending on your fund manager and the firm your company uses to provide the 401k to employees, you may have the option to invest in gold, silver and platinum.
Knowing how to trade gold is a specialized skill so not every 401k is going to allow the option. You can check with your Human Resources department or benefits administrator to find out more about your individual 401k. It is important to realize that you are not buying gold coins when you invest in a precious metals fund within your 401k. This is gold at a
level. That said, precious metals are risky. Yes, gold has been steady or rising for the last 14 months. While that is a good sign, what goes up will come down. Commodity trading is one of the riskier ways to invest. There are too many variables for the average investor to keep in mind.
Certainly you can have gold in your retirement fund, but it should be a small percentage of the overall fund. Better to take little to no risk with your 401k account. Save the risks for a separate account like an IRA. If you are looking to shift gears, don’t discount gold. 401k rollover accounts usually have some precious metals funds available. So if you are transitioning from one job to the next or doing a 401k rollover/IRA, you can consider portioning some of the money to gold.
You may want to get your feet wet first by buying gold bullion coins. Invest a little bit of money and see what the next six months brings. Be clinical about it. How much did your initial invest buy? What was the cost of gold per ounce when you bought in? What is the price at 30 days? 60 days? How the investment goes for 6 months is not an absolute indicator — especially not with something as volatile as gold — but it can help you decide your next steps.
It is important to be smart with your retirement account. This is the money that must see you through the last 20 years of your life so you want to hit just the right balance of risk and safety. Having some of your 401k invested in gold might be just what you were looking for,
it might not be the right fit. Ultimately this is for you to decide. A fund manager or a financial planner can help you, but they can never care about your money and your financial success like you do. Not to say that anyone would purposefully do a bad job for you, but it is simply the truth that no one cares about your money as much as you do!