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Ask Chuck: Is it time to go all in on gold?

Ask Chuck your money question

Dear Chuck,

My husband is convinced that we should convert our entire 401k into gold. He’s concerned about several things, including our nation’s debt, the potential of a stock market bust, and now World War III. I am opposed and told him I would ask you to offer us your opinion.

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Divided Retirees


Dear Divided Retirees,  

Your dilemma is not that uncommon. It is true that our emotions tend to drive our investment decisions, so many are struggling with what to do in the current environment of fear and uncertainty. Gold is currently on a nice run upward.

We often get questions asking about a similar strategy of going all in, but the investment choices can range from cryptocurrency, real estate, oil, gold, or technology stocks to a new get-rich-quick scheme. I hope I can help the two of you find unity around a balanced approach.

A balanced approach

On one hand, the Bible instructs us that no one knows the future; therefore, I do not give investment advice. Run from any advisor who is overly confident in predicting investment returns. On the other hand, the Bible also reminds us to be prudent.

“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (Proverbs 27:12 NLT).

Because we serve a sovereign, wise, and loving God who has given us financial principles for our good, we can avoid the arrogance of thinking we know the future but also the foolishness that comes from being impulsive or the paralysis of indecisiveness that leaves us at the mercy of our circumstances. My advice, taken from Solomon’s wisdom, is to practice diversification.

Diversification explained

King Solomon, contemplating an unknown and potentially disastrous future, wrote:

“Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land” (Ecclesiastes 11:2 NIV).

An investment, unlike savings, is money put at risk in assets with the intention of multiplying or growing it. When we allocate those funds into different asset classes, this is known as diversification. The strategy of owning a variety of assets and investments is intended to reduce exposure, risk, and volatility while increasing potential returns. Some assets will do well in one year, while others perform poorly, and vice versa. Diversification aims to produce steady returns overall. Portfolios will vary depending on investors’ age and risk tolerance. 

Diversification practiced

Years ago, Austin Pryor wroteHow to Make the Right Investing Decisions.” The wisdom is still applicable today:

“The right investing decision is one that is prudent under the circumstances. Does it pass the ‘common sense’ test? How much of your investing capital can you afford to lose and still have a realistic chance of meeting your financial goals? The investments that offer higher potential returns also carry greater risks of loss. The right portfolio for you is not always the one with the most profit potential.

For example, it’s usually best not to have a majority of your investments in a single asset or security. For that reason, people who have large holdings of stock in the company they work for often sell some of it in order to diversify. If the stock doubles after they sell it, does that mean they did the ‘wrong’ thing? No, they did the right thing. After all, the stock could have fallen dramatically as well as risen (ask the former employees of Enron.)

What would a large loss have done to their retirement planning? The right investment step is the one that protects you in the event of life’s occasional worst-case scenarios. Generally, this moves you in the direction of increased diversification.”

In an article at, investing is described as an “ongoing process that requires regular attention and adjustment.” Three steps are suggested to keep one’s investments working well:

  1. Create a tailored investment plan.
  2. Invest at an appropriate level of risk.
  3. Manage your plan: monitor periodically, rebalance when drift occurs, refresh at least annually or whenever financial circumstances or goals change, and make sure it all makes sense. 

Diversification pros and cons

According to the Wall Street Journal, portfolio diversification is a simple, cheap investment strategy that can save you a lot of stress.


  • Lower risk and volatility — this provides more stability to your portfolio over time.
  • More consistent returns — some winners will offset losers, and you can capture gains in the best-performing market at any particular time.
  • New investment opportunities — these allow you to dabble in flashy or alternative assets.


  • Potentially lower returns year-to-year.
  • Extra maintenance to manage over time.
  • Higher costs — fees and possible capital-gains taxes if selling stock to diversify.
  • Potential pitfalls — inexperienced investors may not balance their portfolio well or may unintentionally risk too much on a particular stock or category.

Better returns than silver or gold

Warren Buffett famously said, “Buying gold is going long on fear.” I have written an entire article on the decision to invest or diversify into gold.

Read the article and decide if the two of you can agree on a plan to diversify or remain diversified in your 401K. Should you determine to rebalance your investments, seek the advice of a professional advisor who shares your worldview.

God graciously gave us His Word, which is filled with His financial wisdom. He sent His Spirit to counsel us and His Son as our Good Shepherd to lead and guide us. He, alone, is greater than man’s wisdom or expertise. Pray, and ask the Lord to guide you with His wisdom, which is of greater value than silver or gold. Ultimately, we must put our faith in the triune God and abide by His commands for our good and His glory.

I’d like to invite you to join a free Crown Bible study on the YouVersion app. We have several devotionals regarding money and stewardship that will help bring God’s Word into your daily life.

Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, a global Christian ministry, founded by the late Larry Burkett. He is the host of a daily radio broadcast, My MoneyLife, featured on more than 1,000 Christian Music and Talk stations in the U.S., and author of his most recent book, Economic Evidence for God?. Be sure to follow Crown on Facebook.

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