When Wall Street is afraid, the world is dazzled by gold. That’s what happened in August and September when COVID-19 panic pushed gold prices above $2,000 an ounce. Gold outperformed stocks during the volatile year of 2020, with gold prices rising 24.6%, compared with the 18.4% total returns delivered by the S&P 500 index. .
Investing in gold based on your short-term prediction for stocks is sheer speculation. But investing a small amount in gold stocks or funds can be a valuable inflation hedge and portfolio diversifier. Here’s when investing in gold makes sense, and why it has nothing to do with what’s happening in the stock market.