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How to Protect Your 401k From a Stock Market Crash in 2023

Gold and other precious metals have withstood historic upheavals throughout human history to remain unscathed as enduring emblems of affluence and abundance. The scarcity of these limited resources, and the difficulty in mining and extracting them, has added extra luster and shine to their value.

Gold’s value has shown steady growth over time, many a time outshining traditional investment instruments such as currencies and stocks. The affluent have used gold as a hedge against economic downturns and inflationary pressures, safeguarding their legacy to pass on immense fortunes to their next generations.

Precious metals in their physical form, such as gold coins and bullion bars, are still a safe, judicious, and dependable haven for wealth conservation and merit serious consideration when planning for your estate.

Below  is a list of just a few of the things that could cause a stock market crash:

  • Rampant speculation
  • Excess leverage·
  • Political risks and changes in politic policies
  • Inflation and spiralling interest rates
  • Changes in the tax system
  • Global conflict
  • Global pandemics
  • Panic
  • Natural or man-made disasters
  • Economic crisis

When considering if you should diversify your retirement savings and how much of it you should diversify, refer to the above list and decide how likely you think any of these events are to occur.


How to Protect my 401k from a stock market crash1929 stock market crash


When considering if you should diversify your retirement savings and how much of it you should diversify, refer to the above list and decide how likely you think any of these events are to occur.

Suppose we were to look at the stock market crash of 1929. In that case, the crash is primarily attributed to the rampant expansion of the stock market during the 1920s known as the roaring twenties, followed by a period of wild speculation, which peaked around August 1929. Production started to decrease, and unemployment increased, ultimately leading to the great depression. On October 28th and 29th the stock market lost around 85% of its value.

Can I Lose My 401k

To go back to the original question, "Can I lose my 401k?",  we said the honest answer was “unlikely”. Still, if it’s possible to lose 85% of the value of your 401k in two days, it’s highly probable that something similar will, at some point, happen again  in the future, even if it’s not to the same extent, however it could be worse.

Given that it’s almost certain that other stock market crashes will happen, we believe that with things like the COVID pandemic, continued difficulties in the middle east, the switch from a republican to a democrat government, and rising stock prices and inflation being at an all time low, a stock market crash or readjustment is likely to happen sooner rather than later.



How to Protect Your 401k Plan From a Stock Market Crash

Suppose you believe it’s even slightly possible that the stock market could crash at some point in the future, in that case, you need to look at what strategies you could deploy to protect your 401k retirement plan and other retirement savings.

We believe that rather than holding all your retirement assets in one 401k plan, bank account or annuity plan, or even worse, still under your bed, you should consider diversifying how you hold the money you have saved for your retirement.

After all, when you retire, for most of us, we have the money we have saved, and there is little, if any, chance that we will acquire vast sums of new money through gainful employment or some other means. Some people may inherit money, but many of us will rely on our savings and any income from, or growth of, our retirement savings. This nest egg is all we will have throughout our twighlight years and we desperately want to take measure to protect it.

Protecting your retirement fund and savings is a crucial worry for many people, especially as you move towards retirement, as you no longer have the security of a monthly paycheck coming from your employer or your business.


Diversifying Your Assets to Secure Your Retirement

Protecting your retirement income through diversification means dividing your retirement funds into different pots and holding each pot in a different type of asset. 

I’m sure we have all heard the adage "don't hold all your eggs in one basket". This is a timeless adage, thought initially to be quoted by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, a Spanish novelist, in his  1605 novel, Don Quixote.  His version is: "It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not to venture all his eggs in one basket". It has been requoted and reattributed many times over the last four hundred plus years, and, when you consider the “eggs” metaphor, it’s fitting that we often call our retirement money a “nest egg”.


What Kind of Assets Should You Consider When Looking to Diversify Your Retirement Nest Egg and/or 401k Plan?

There are many options that you could consider to help diversify your 401k retirement fundsor more generally diversify the way you hold funds for your retirement.

Here is a list of just some of the options:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Cash
  • Gold and precious metals
  • Real estate
  • Art
  • Wine
  • Fixed index annuities

We would suggest that before you decide which assets you want to diversify your retirement funds into, you look at the risk levels of each category and the risks associated with each option. For example, it will be riskier to buy stocks in the AIM market than in the Dow Jones market. Even  beyond this, specific stock in each of these markets will be more or less risky.

You need to figure out the level of risk you’re prepared to accept, and there are many tools on the market that will help you do this. Here’s one we have used before: https://www.calcxml.com/calculators/inv08?skn=

This tool will tell you the type of risk profile you have, based on you answering a few simple questions. Unless you’re in the aggressive or highly aggressive category, we suggest looking at a range of diversification options.

The more risk-averse you are, the more diversified your retirement holding should be because the wider you spread your retirement money, the less likely you are to lose a significant portion of your savings due to any of the situations we have previously highlighted.



If you'd invested all of your retirement fund in Transocean 11 years ago—in other words, put all of your eggs in the Transocean basket—you would’ve lost 95.7% of all of your retirement funds; a loss that I am sure you will agree would have been unacceptable to the majority. However, if you'd bought gold at the correct time,  you would’ve seen more than a 100% increase in the value of the pot of money you held in gold for your retirement.

On the other hand, if you’d gone for what, at the time, looked like a hazardous option and invested in a new movie streaming business, like Netflix, before most people even knew what a movie streaming business was, you would’ve seen the proportion of your retirement pot held in that stock rise by over 6500%.

As with all things in life, your optimal goal is finding the balance between diversification risk and reward that best suits your future retirement plans. You want to gauranmtee with as much certainty as you can you can live the kind of life you want in retirement. We can say with 100% certainty that finding the balance of diversity within your retirement holding is key to a happy and prosperous life beyond your working years. Starting your diversification planning should be done as early as possible, if however as you approach retirement or shortly afterwards, you have not diversified your retirement nest egg it is essential you do this as soon as possible.




One of the Most Secure Retirement Savings Diversification Options

We all know and understand that gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and other precious metals have historically been a safe haven—a secure way of investing our money to make sure it’ll be there when we need it.

Perhaps precious metals  aren’t the highest-performing investment, but they have histrocially been very low risk. You also haven’t seen the radical and devastating drops that some types of investments have suffered, as highlighted above. Buying and holding precious metals is an excellent means of both diversifying some of your retirement holdings or savings because they’ve historically performed well when we’ve experienced stock market crashes or global economic crises, or when there’s been wars and conflicts.

Diversifying part of your investments away from the stock market and traditional 401k stock-based retirement plans will ensure that if the stock market were to crash or significantly adjust, you have  a portion of your retirement wealth in a form that’s been proven to be resilient in turbulent times.

The table below gives you our guidance on what portion of your retirement funds to consider holding based on how risk-averse you are:


de-risk a 401k into a gold ira plan

When you have made your decision on how much of your retirement funds you want to secure by buying gold, silver, platinum or palladium, you then need to decide which company you think is the best company to use to buy your precious metals and what the best way to hold your precious metals is.



How to Hold Gold and Other Precious Metals to Diversify Your Retirement Funding Risks

By far, the best way of holding gold and other precious metals for your retirement years is to have them within what the industry calls a Gold IRA or to give it its fuller name, a Gold 401k Independent Retirement Account.

We have undertaken extensive research and looked at most companies currently offering gold IRA products in the United States. For full details of the best IRA companies, see our home page.

In summary, we believe that Goldco or Hartford the American Gold Company are the two best providers of gold and precious metal IRA plans.

Choose Goldco if you’re looking for a step-by-step approach where your hand will be held through every step of the process, from funding your gold IRA or transferring part of your existing 401k plan into a gold IRA, right the way through to eventually cashing in your precious metals.

If you feel you don’t need as much hand holding, choose Hartford the American Gold Company, Hartford American Gold say the will never be beaten on price, so if price is your main driver they are a great precious metals company to help you protect your 401k nest egg.


free $10,000 in silver


Secure Your Retirement Savings by Acting NOW!

When you choose one of our top two recommended gold, precious metals and bullion companies and click the relevant link, they will swiftly send you an information pack at no cost.

This information kit will be packed with all the information you need to help you understand retirement planning diversification and determine if investing in precious metals could be the right choice for you in your particular circumstances. 

We’ve chosen these two companies above all the others in the market because we know they won’t spam you or pressure you into making a decision that isn’t right for your future.  Unlike many other companies in the market, these companies will help you understand the options that may be appropriate in your circumstances.

They are friendly, helpful companies staffed by people who always have your best interests at the forefront of their minds.

Could you request more information and see if this option is right for you?


We’re no experts in the other assets we have listed as potential means of diversifying your retirement account savings. However, we firmly believe that holding your funds in multiple types of assets is essential. Remember that many websites and advisors only make money if you buy certain products or services. For example, your financial advisor might steer you away from investing in precious metals because they don’t make any money from this transaction.

We believe in total transparency, and we would like to let you know that if you go with any of the recommendations listed on our site, we will likely earn a commission or referral fee.  Even if any of the companies pay us any monies, we independently review them, and this will never cost you a dime more than if you’d gone directly to the company concerned. Our thoughts and ratings are always based on extensive research and our experiences dealing with the companies involved.


Our Recommended Best Gold IRA Companies & Precious Metal Companies

#1 Recommendation

Best Overall Precious Metal Provider


#2 Recommendation

Best  Gold IRA Based On Price


#3 Recommendation 

Most Reliable IRA Provider


Frequently Asked Questions About Protecting your 401k

Can I Invest in Gold within My 401k Retirement Plan

You cannot directly invest in Gold within the majority of 401k plans to turn part or all of your 401k to Gold see this page

Can I rollover my 401k to a gold IRA?

Yes you can perform a 401k to gold IRA rollover see this page for more details

What Portion of My 401k Should I Roll Over into Gold or Other Precious Metals
We are often asked what portion of my 401k, 403b or 457b plan should I rollover into gold or precious metals. click this link to read our full article

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