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The economic volatility that marred the financial markets at the end of 2018 was nothing short of a nightmare. Assets are resources that are owned or control with expectations that they will increase in value. Many would be investors are frightened to put their funds into the current stock market.  To understand what assets to hold in volatile and uncertain times, you need first to understand the various asset types.

Asset Types

  1. Tangible Asset - assets with a physical presence. Examples include cash, property, buildings, equipment, inventory, art, and precious metals.

  2. Intangible Assets - assets that do not have a physical presence. Some examples include intellectual property like patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

  3. Financial Assets - assets with a value that is contract-based. Some examples are stocks, bonds, and derivatives.  

  4. Fixed Assets - assets that are pay out over time and are not easily converted into cash.  Examples of fixed assets include buildings property, equipment, and furniture. 5.

  5. Current Assets - assets and cash resources where conversion, expansion or consumption is expected within the next year or current operation period.

The most favorable type of assets in times of uncertainty are intangible assets; real estate and precious metals to be exact.  

Real Estate

Real estate is generally most expensive than other more commonly thought of investment instruments--like stocks and bonds.  The rebound of the real estate market helped to solidify property values. During a time when financial markets are volatile, many investors seek shelter in the real estate market.  

Real estate is for the long-term investor that knows that a good real estate investment will weather any storm that market volatility may bring in the short term. For instance, Kansas City houses for sale today may be a goldmine in the next five to ten years--depending on the future market landscape.

Precious Metals

Precious metals are rare, naturally occurring metallic elements of high economic value.   These metals are known to be ductile and have a high luster. Precious metals have historically been known to be used as currency by civilization s of the past but are currently regarded as investments and industrial commodities.


Gold is the most popular of all precious metals (even those more rare and valuable). In times when the financial markets and Wall Street are uncertain, gold has long been seen as a safe haven for investors.  Gold and other precious metals are available through government mints and sold on the secondary market by coin dealers.


Investors often find that silver is grossly undervalued. When you compare the prices of silver in the year 1980 and the value of gold, you see that the price of silver was not much different than it is now. While gold is always a good investment as a hedge against financial market uncertainty, silver often offers the most significant potential for an increase in value.  


Platinum is a real enigma when it comes to investing. While this precious metal is far more precious than gold, it is sometimes sold for less than gold based on demand.  This is shocking because of the rarity of platinum. In fact, all the platinum ever mined can fit in your living room.  So when you see the price of platinum in the striking range of (or being surpassed by) gold, it is time to pay attention to this asset.


In times of uncertainty, there are always safe places to invest your capital. Tangible assets are known to provide the security that volatile financial markets cannot offer. Assets like real estate and precious metals are just what the doctor ordered for the cautious investor in 2019.

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