In your opinion is it worthwhile for those in 20s/30s to invest in

  1. Gold (and or precious metals ETFs)

  2. Bond ETFs.

Of course you will all have different opinions and I welcome healthy debate.

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Surely it can’t hurt to hold gold over a long period of time. I’m a big believer in the phyisical yellow metal and been holding for several years now.

A 15 year chart has shown a return.

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  1. People view gold as save haven but will eventually see that it doesn’t really have much value in todays world. I wouldn’t buy gold, but go for it if you believe people will stay irrational.

  2. No, in this interest rate and inflation environment, bonds’ risk profile just doesn’t add up. If you’re young and have a 20-40 year investment horizon I don’t see a point in investing in bond ETFs.

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The underlying question here is, ‘is the risk/reward ratio,’ of the security types that you have identified ‘sufficient?’

The next question would then be in comparison to what?
In your 20/30s there is still a lot of time for returns on investment.
Every individuals situation will differ but I’ll make some broad assumptions;

  1. Your salary is raising
  2. You may be renting a room.
  3. You may have debts from student times that may need to be paid off
  4. might be considering staying a family etc.
  5. many more assumptions

Those aside from what I’ve read the idea would be to remove all debts and costs (credit charges, rents, mortgages etc) before investing.
Depending on your risk/reward profile commodities and bonds might be what you are looking for but when you are young the risk appetite is generally suggested to be higher.

Bonds are generally seen as less risky, especially government bonds. ETFs are considered as ways of exposing yourself to a sector of market(s)/areas and are done with someone else more actively managing the investments.

So all to say that there is a lot more research needed by anyone looking into these things but…

  1. Gold has traditionally been seen as a way of hedging against inflation (inflation is generally considered to be rising). In recent years some have considered crypto as a hedge against inflation. I’m not in the crypto group but do have some Gold/ resources as both commodities and also as stocks in companies exploring and producing.

  2. Bonds are considered lower risk than stocks (you are basically giving cash in the expectation of returns as interest payments), but it depends on the securities those bond agreements are made on. An ETF is a managed fund. They take a commission for ‘actively’ monitoring and rebalancing a portfolio. So you are taking a low risk version of a traditionally lower risk security, so the rewards usually will be quite low.

Many investment strategies around and schools of thought. There are lots of guides on freetrade and other sites to get versed in this all that you should get familiar with before you make investments. Everything that anyone suggests, especially on forums is an opinion and you have to make your own decisions.
In this climate of rising inflation and lowering of affordability if you don’t have on going costs / debts and have money just sitting in a low interest earning, savings account then you might consider having a little of both in your portfolio but it shouldn’t be the only thing (IMO).

Good luck!

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None for me.

The key is ‘diversification’ made up of multiple asset classes

A person in their 20s or 30s may still have a short investing horizon (e.g. saving for a house in <5 years) which could be a good reason to hold these as equity may not be appropriate.

For longer term I think bonds could still be a reasonable choice to reduce volatility. I don’t really see the point in holding a non-productive (‘wasting’) asset like gold long term though.

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I don’t necessarily see gold as ‘wasting’. It has value, it can increase and decrease in value just like any other asset class but looking at long-term charts has seen a rise over time (of course past results are not indicative of future returns).

It can be a good way to preserve wealth and beat inflation.

I would rather hold gold than fiat currency over the long-term. I see UK current/saving accounts as ‘wasting’.

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Given the the timescales involved it’s probably a bit too strong to use that term. It just means that strictly in the long run it costs money to hold gold, it must be safely stored and it produces nothing. It’s not a subjective assessment of gold’s performance in the short term.

Savings accounts don’t meet the same definition, the money can be used to productively (i.e. holding bonds). Clearly gold can outperform this though, especially in shorter timeframes.

Completely agree, I’m not saying it has no place and it is very important for preserving wealth (arguably it has a lower correlation with equity than bonds) which is very important for someone with a short horizon, hence why I noted as an exception.

Expectations of long term negative real bond return are I guess a reason someone might want to hold gold long term because then gold could outperform bonds in the long run, but at that point we are moving away from historic trends so there’s nothing to look back on.

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I definitley wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but my strategy as a 20s investor has been to throw money at extremely risky investments until something sticks. I’m trying to build wealth, not just preserve it. Things like

  1. Crypto, NFTs
  2. Private equity (Go Freetrade!)
  3. Meme stocks
  4. Options

I think it’s not as feasable when you’re older to take on that level of risk as when you’re in your 20s

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I would say

1 minerals (lithium, copper, tin) ect
2 graphene
3 crypto

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I would also keep in mind, taking on substantial risk opens you up to potentially losing capital - which might otherwise compound.

As Buffett would say, time is the friend to a compounding sum of money.

It’s actually easier to make an argument for taking on more risk once you are older and already built a substantial pool of money, through safely compounding.

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I suppose that the other way to think of it is that if you’re in your 20s you don’t need to take on risk to become rich. 30-40 years in a low cost global index tracker would deliver it very nicely. The luxury of getting rich slow :slight_smile:

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It’s actually easier to make an argument for taking on more risk once you are older and already built a substantial pool of money,

I had the opposite advice.
Take risks while you’re young and have little to lose. Once you’re older, you might have mortgages, children, retirement as reasons not to take risks. Most people in their 20s don’t have a whole lot, so worst case scenario: you lose everything, but you still have more than enough time to get up again.
Once older, there may be regret for not taking more risks while young.

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Also, at the risk of being morbid, any money decisions have to be made remembering that you’re going to die one day. The standard index tracker stratergy is great if you want to have a 9-5 career and retire at 65, which is probably most people.

If you want something different out of life e.g. money to bootstrap a business, philanthropy or even just to lounge around on the beach all day most people without trust funds will have to take financial risks to have a shot at that.

I would have to politely disagree.

The truth is, you do not need to make 200% a year to have a very comfortable life into adulthood - 20% + would do it.

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Here is an ULTRA conservative idea…

Start with £2k - invest it and see returns of 20% per annum.

Whilst doing so, find just an extra £2k a year to add to this pot, which is already invested and being reinvested.

Then, after 20 years or at 40 (by no means old) you would be sitting on £6,324,958.74 for doing very very little and living very comfortably I suspect.

The truth is. everyone wants to be rich now and to be quite honest, if you can buy anything you want and live any life you want so young, how on earth are you going to keep yourself entertained for the rest of your life?!

Yes you would - having a very long investing horizon is a beautiful thing.

However if we’re talking about conservative… I’d guess the average annual return for equities is more like 8% nominal / 5% after inflation. Rather than 20% :slight_smile:

I don’t believe I mentioned making 200% a year, not sure where that came from tbh. I was simply saying that taking risk is easier when younger because you have less to lose.

Not sure how many people invest in NFT’s, Crypto or the like for a typical 7% p/a…

Good luck to you - the point I’m making is, don’t rush or believe it’s totally fine to lose money when your young, time isn’t a given and the setback can be dramatic.