With the recent economic downturn, many people have watched helplessly as their retirement portfolios consistently drop in value. Because so many retirement portfolios are built primarily around stocks and bonds they are subjected to the
uncertain roller-coaster ride of the stock market. Employer sponsored plans such as a 401(k) plan is a great way to prepare for retirement. With this type of plan the employee makes a pre-tax contribution and generally the company will also contribute to the plan based on a pre-determined formula. However, even these types of retirement savings plans are not safe from the ups and downs of the stock market.
Because of this many people are looking for a more reliable means of saving for retirement. For most people buying gold may be exactly the revitalizing boost their portfolio needs. Of course most people would not know where to begin when considering the purchase of gold products. However, the task is not as daunting as one might expect. The first thing to consider when buying gold is what type of gold to buy. Investors can choose to buy gold in the form of gold bars or gold coins. There are numerous options for buying gold. However, bars and coins are two of the most popular.
Gold bars are made from gold bullion. In rare cases, the bars can be purchased at retail banks. However, they are most readily available from gold dealers. The bars are sold in different weights and the cost varies accordingly. Gold coins are also made from bullion. Buying gold coins is the preferred method of buying gold. The value of gold coins is determined by its fine weight. Fine weight is determined by the amount of the primary metal, in this case gold, in comparison to any contaminates or additives that may reduce the purity of the gold.
Once an investor has determined what form of gold he or she would like to invest in, the next step is to find a reputable dealer. This could involve research conducted online or at a local library. In addition, because gold investment has become increasingly popular, the novice investor may be able to find a dealer through referrals from family and friends. Most importantly, before any exchange of money takes place, the investor should verify their new dealer’s credentials. This can be done through the American Numismatic Association or your local Better Business Bureau.