Can I buy gold with my Fidelity 401k account?

In the world of retirement planning and investment, the Fidelity 401(k) account has gained immense popularity for its flexibility and diverse investment options. One common question that arises among investors is whether it is possible to buy gold using a Fidelity 401(k) account. This article aims to provide an extensively researched analysis of the feasibility of purchasing gold within the framework of a Fidelity 401(k) account.

Understanding Fidelity 401(k) Accounts

Before delving into the possibility of investing in gold through a Fidelity 401(k) account, it’s crucial to understand the nature of these retirement accounts. A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that allows employees to save and invest a portion of their pre-tax income for retirement. Fidelity, one of the largest providers of retirement plans, offers a wide range of investment options within their 401(k) accounts, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and more.

Gold Investment in a Fidelity 401(k) Account

This information will help you understand that Fidelity 401(k) accounts generally do not allow direct investment in physical commodities, including gold. This means that you cannot directly purchase physical gold coins or bars and store them within your Fidelity 401(k) account. However, this limitation doesn’t necessarily mean that gold is entirely off-limits as an investment option within your 401(k).

Gold-Related Investment Options

Although direct ownership of physical gold might not be possible, investors seeking exposure to gold’s potential benefits can consider alternative investment options available through their Fidelity 401(k) accounts:

  1. Gold ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds): Fidelity provides a variety of gold-related ETFs that track the performance of gold prices. These ETFs offer a way to gain exposure to gold’s price movements without owning physical gold. Some popular gold ETFs include the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) and the iShares Gold Trust (IAU).
  2. Gold Mutual Funds: Fidelity also offers mutual funds that invest in gold mining companies and related industries. These funds provide indirect exposure to the performance of gold by investing in companies involved in gold exploration, mining, and production.
  3. Precious Metals Funds: Some Fidelity 401(k) plans offer precious metals funds that invest in a diversified portfolio of precious metals, which may include gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
  4. Brokerage Link Accounts: Some Fidelity 401(k) plans include a feature called “Brokerage Link” that allows participants to access a wider range of investment options, including individual stocks, ETFs, and potentially gold-related investments. However, it’s important to note that not all plans offer this feature, and there may be additional fees associated with using it.

Considerations and Risks

Investors should carefully consider their investment goals, risk tolerance, and the potential benefits of adding gold-related investments to their portfolio. While gold can provide diversification and act as a hedge against economic uncertainties, it’s also important to acknowledge that the value of gold can be volatile and may not always correlate with traditional investments like stocks and bonds.


In conclusion, while direct ownership of physical gold within a Fidelity 401(k) account may not be feasible, investors have alternative options to gain exposure to gold’s potential benefits through gold ETFs, gold mutual funds, and precious metals funds. The specific investment options available to you may vary based on your employer’s plan and the features they offer within the Fidelity 401(k) framework. As investment landscapes evolve, it’s recommended to consult with financial professionals and stay updated with the latest information provided by Fidelity or your employer regarding investment choices within your 401(k) account.

Please note that developments beyond September 2021 are not covered in this article, and it’s advisable to verify the latest information before making any investment decisions.