Which gold to buy?

As with most financial things, gold markets are complex. For us, the best type of gold to buy is physical gold bars. Precious metal has been loved for centuries as a safe haven in which to grow and store wealth, and physical ingots better reflect these qualities today. Gold is available from private traders, online merchants, jewelry stores, coin stores, private mints, vending machines and government mints.

It is best to buy from a reputable source to make sure you are buying exactly what is being represented. Buying gold jewelry is an indirect way of investing in gold. However, jewelry tends to have more value to the user than an investment due to the margin of conversion of the precious metal into jewelry and then selling it in the retail market. Expensive gold jewelry can retain its value, although it is often due more to its value as a collector's item than to its gold content.

Another disadvantage of jewelry as an investment in gold is the cost of storage and insurance. Nor is it a liquid investment, since you can't easily sell it at market price. Gold on paper is the most common way that investment groups, such as mutual funds, are exposed to gold. Many investors prefer the convenience of including an ETF in their portfolio rather than having any tangible metal.

Gold is the only investment that has been used to preserve wealth for centuries. Precious metals, such as gold, help diversify financial portfolios to protect hard-earned assets against the volatility and fluctuations of a global economy. A balanced portfolio incorporates precious metals such as gold.