Investing in stocks of companies that extract, refine and trade gold is much more. Buying physical gold bars online is a fairly simple process. A common way to buy gold bars is through authorized online retailers. Search for gold bullion products on reputable retail websites, such as American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX), JM Bullion, and Wholesale Coins Direct.
Select the gold bars you want to buy by weight, quantity and price. There are many ways to invest in gold. You can buy physical gold in the form of jewelry, bullion, and coins; buy shares in a gold mining company or other gold-related investment; or buy something that derives its value from gold. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages.
This can make it overwhelming for beginner investors to know the best way to expose themselves to this precious metal. Investments in other types of precious metal ingots, such as silver, offer another means of diversification beyond gold bars. They also tend to match the price performance of gold (or exceed it, in the case of streaming and royalty companies). Jewelry, especially old pieces that are likely to have a higher gold content, can provide another avenue to buy gold.
This means that the value of gold mutual funds and ETFs may not fully match the market price of gold, and these investments may not have the same return as physical gold. As a government equivalent currency, some banks and investment companies still issue gold certificates that give the holder ownership of a portion of their gold holdings. This collector's look means you'll pay a higher premium than you would for the same amount of gold you have in the form of a bar. When economic times get tough or international conflicts, such as what is happening with Russia and Ukraine, cause markets to stray, often investors turn to gold as a safe haven.
The best times to buy gold are when concerns about inflation or the economic crisis begin to arise, as gold tends to rise during those periods. Diversification gives investors ample exposure to the gold mining segment, helping to reduce risk. Gold bars come in bars ranging from a few grams to 400 ounces, but most commonly they are available in one- and 10-ounce bars. The biggest advantage of using futures to invest in gold is the immense amount of leverage you can use.
Always determine the purity of gold before buying jewelry, so you don't pay 18 carats when you only buy a 14 karat piece. And while holding stocks won't allow you to have gold in hand, it does mean you have the benefit of an asset that you can sell at any time. To successfully buy futures or gold options you need a brokerage account and a wealth of industry knowledge. VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), on the other hand, is a passively managed fund that tracks an underlying basket of shares of gold mining and refining companies.