Here’s a short story that illustrates an all-too-common investment mistake, one that most investors make.

A stock market bull and a stock market bear are enjoying a sumptuous lunch at the New York Stock Exchange Luncheon Club, seven floors above the Big Board’s hectic trading floor. As they’re eating, a sharp knife falls off the table. The bear moves his foot, while the bull is stabbed and bleeds profusely. Once the bull’s foot is bandaged, the bear asks, “Why didn’t you move your foot away from the knife?” The bull replies, “I thought it was going back up.”

As the stock market plummets like a knife, perma-bulls are watching their portfolios bleed. They try to calm their nerves with the belief that the stock market will go back up, even as the Federal Reserve relentlessly raises interest rates in its war on inflation that threatens to drive the economy into recession. 

The stock market again is demonstrating its risky side, after years of muted volatility. Knives are falling across the investment world, yet all too many investors have failed to move their feet. 

When the stock market turns dangerous, it’s smart to move your foot—not necessarily by panicking and running for the exits, but by shifting some assets to relative safe havens, like physical gold.

Over the years, many stocks have plummeted like knives; some never recover. Gold, on the other hand, has always held universal appeal and been an excellent store of value, particularly through tumultuous times. This is why investors who are overly-exposed to the stock market should think about moving their feet and buying some gold.