As an investment, gold has the advantage of being a rare commodity, a liquid asset (fluidly exchanged), and a tangible object. In addition, because the production of gold is slowing, investing in other assets is becoming a precarious endeavor, and inflation is getting worse, the price of gold is rising higher and higher. Before you begin investing in gold, however, you’ll need to decide in what form you’d like it– jewelry, coins, bars, bullion, stocks, and so on. Each form comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
If your object is to buy gold for personal enjoyment, you may prefer jewelry or collectible gold coins. The benefit of jewelry is that is the most readily available form of gold, and a necklace or ring is more likely to carry some sentimental significance. However, jewelry also has the least liquidity and resale value. It’s doubtful that you’d be able to make back the money that you spent, and you can’t assume that someone else will have the same taste in style. Gold coins, on the other hand, are standard; the quality and content of the gold are guaranteed, and they are fairly easy to sell. They are great for hobbyists who might enjoy collecting a coin from each year, etc. and a good option for investors. Bullion coins are priced according to weight with a premium over the gold spot price.
In terms of large investments, the most traditional form is a bullion gold bar. Bullion is viewed as a safe haven asset, while plain gold bars don’t carry a guarantee of quality or quantity. Gold bullion bars come in various sizes and can be held either in your home safe or in a bank vault or safe deposit box. Because of the difficulty of transporting gold bars, it’s become popular for small investors to acquire a gold account–offshore accounts where gold can be bought or sold instantly like any other currency.
Other ways to eschew the inconvenience of storing gold bars include holding a certificate of ownership, buying shares in gold exchange-traded funds (GETFs), and trading in derivatives: gold forwards, futures, and options. You can also hold shares in gold mining companies. These shares are volatile and high-risk, however, due to the leverage in the mining sector.
There are a variety of options available for the person wishing to invest in gold. Decide what your goals and motivations are, and then explore the avenues that interest you.