Gold prices broke above the $1,300-per-ounce level last week before closing back at $1,275 per ounce.

Two significant geopolitical conflicts continued to develop last week. In the Middle East, tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to escalate, pushing the prices of oil up.

On another front, China has withdrawn from a trade agreement with the U.S. at the last minute, roiling the financial markets. In response, President Trump has threatened another round of restrictive tariffs that would affect almost all Chinese exports to the U.S.

These conflicts are being waged primarily in the economic sphere, and their damage could prove to be destructive to the global economic system. They are also deep, long-running conflicts, which means they could last for some time. Investors may want to prepare for the possible downsides to equity investments by diversifying their portfolios with the “safe haven” asset of gold.

Rick Andrews is president of Avant Capital Management