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Why You Need Gold Today More Than Ever Before

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P1010058The recent Brexit vote created a surprising amount of economic turmoil around the world. Many investors dropped or considered dropping the British pound to put their wealth into what are known as “safe haven” assets. One of the best assets which qualifies as a safe haven just happens to be gold.

A safe haven is defined as an invested that is expected to at least retain its value when there is turbulence in a preferred market. Sometimes these assets can even increase in value. The goal is to limit the risk exposure that happens during a downturn in the market.

Many safe havens will come and go. One of the most consistent has always been gold.

Why Is Gold Considered a Safe Haven?

The reason why gold is considered a safe haven is because it is has historically been a highly sought after precious metal. It’s been used by human civilizations for centuries. Many gold products today also have a “full faith and credit” backing of a specific institution. The American Gold Eagle, for example, has its millesimal fineness, or purity, guaranteed by the US Government.

Not every gold item has this kind of backing, but the levels of risk that come without a full faith and credit backing are comparatively minimal to other precious metals and other safe haven investment options. Gold transcends political barriers, cultural desires, and even currencies. That’s what makes it such a safe place to park your wealth, no matter what type of gold investment you decide is best for your financial needs.

What Gold Investment Options Are Available Right Now?

If you’re unsure about where the stocks, bonds, and mutual funds you have in your portfolio are going to end up after everything with the financial markets is all said and done, then a gold investment option could be one of the best changes to make to preserve your wealth right now. The best part about using gold as an investment option is that there are several ways you can take advantage of this safe haven asset.

There are four investment options that you can take advantage of right now if you’re unsure about how the market is going to perform.

  • Gold ETFs. “ETF” stands for “exchange traded funds.” It’s a type of mutual fund that is actually traded like an ordinary stock. The ETF has an exact portfolio and in the US, they are based on gold bullion that is held. You can find current quotes for these ETFs through your preferred stock broker under GLD or IAU. This makes it a really easy way to add gold to any investment portfolio.
  • Gold mutual funds. If you want some exposure to gold for your finances, but you don’t want a direct investment, then this option could be right for you. Mutual funds that focus on gold will hold shares of companies that are focused on the production of gold, like a mining company. You have more risk with this option, but it’s still usually considered a conservative addition to your financial portfolio – especially if the gold company has a long history of consistent production.
  • Gold junior stocks. This is the type of gold investment that is perfect for investors who want to have a little speculation. There’s a greater possibility of experiencing a loss, especially if there is an economic downturn and local political influences placing pressure on a gold corporation, but there is also the potential for a 100% or greater financial gain over the course of 12 months.
  • Gold futures and gold options. This type of gold investment really is more for the experienced investor. That’s because it gives you the opportunity to speculate on what the price of gold is going to be. In gold options, you can decide that the price of gold will go either way. How risky is it? About 75% of all options every purchased expire and are worthless. The futures market is even more complex and has even more risk.

The benefit of choosing one of these gold investment options is that you can often include this precious metal in your portfolio for the cost of a simple stock trade. If you want to quickly move some of your finances into a lower risk investment, it can happen as quickly as a couple clicks of the mouse if you have an online trading broker.

There’s also less personal risk in holding these gold assets because you don’t have to physically store the gold. There may be ongoing maintenance fees associated with the ownership, but those fees are often less than the physical storage fees or personal security costs required to maintain safe ownership of tangible gold.

Why Direct Gold Ownership Is Often the Best Investment

gold as an investmentThose are great gold investment options if you’re looking for more of a stock-style investment. There’s also a fifth option available to you if none of these seem like they’re right for you: direct gold ownership.

When you own tangible gold items, then you have something that can be used as a currency if need be. It can also be used as an investment, put into a retirement account, given as a gift… the options are numerous.

And let’s be honest about it: there’s nothing quite like the feeling of holding real gold in your hands. Whether you’re holding a gold bar, a rare gold coin, or you’ve got an affordable 1/20 ounce government-backed gold coin in your hands, it feels like you’re holding history. Ancient civilizations used to bury treasure troves of gold with their dead because they believed it would be used as a currency in the afterlife.

We might assign a specific value to gold in currency form, like a price per troy ounce, but the fact is this precious metal has its value assigned by its overall desirability. That’s why for many, direct gold ownership is the best option. Instead of ETFs or paper ownership, you have real gold that holds real value.

Not every tangible piece of gold, however, is going to have the same amount of value. This is why it is so important to work with local gold dealers to make sure you’re receiving a proven product.

Gold assets come in many forms: coins, jewelry, and bars tend to be the most common options available right now. Sometimes you’ll find small gold bars created to be necklaces. Some gold coins are issues as real legal tender. The value of the gold is based on its rarity, fineness, and ability to be bought and sold, but the story of a gold transaction doesn’t end there.

The weight of the gold must also be included in that equation. Half an ounce of pure gold is going to be worth less than a full ounce of pure gold. There is also a difference, though small, between an “ounce” of gold and a “troy ounce” or “gram” of gold. It’s important that these terms not be interchanged with one another.

Many gold products that you’ll find for sale today will have the purity stamped on them. This is especially true for government-backed coins. You’ll often find gold coins marked with .999 purity, though there is an increasing number of .9999 pure coins available as well. This is what we would call “24 karat gold.” It’s about the best you can get and the purchase price is often equal to what the current market trading price happens to be.

Gold jewelry is a different story. Even if the gold has been stamped with a millesimal fineness number, like 583 – that’s 14 karat gold, by the way – it will often need to be tested to determine if that fineness stamp is authentic. This is where having a trusted local dealer will give your financial portfolio the safe haven it needs. You gain access to proven fineness products that are governed by local laws and regulations which give you protections.

Those protections don’t always apply to online purchases from gold dealers who may or may not be located where their online information indicates.

The Dangers of Buying Tangible Gold Online

Many local gold dealers have a website available for the buying, selling, or trading of tangible gold products and that’s a good thing. It gives everyone the opportunity to form relationships with one another while saving a drive across town. You receive the convenience of an online transaction and the help from a local gold dealer.

When you purchase gold from a national or international dealer, the biggest danger is that you’ll wind up paying more than necessary to obtain your preferred gold product. Survey some of the biggest names in the gold industry today and you’ll see gold markups that range from 30-100%.

How can they get away with charging double the actual price of gold? Because they market their gold to you based on the principles of fear. When the Brexit vote came back in an unexpected way, people feared they would lose their money. They sought safe haven investments like gold. They were in a hurry and maybe didn’t look at the fine print. Suddenly a gold sale that was really worth $750 ended up being up to $1,500.

That’s nonsense. Don’t fall for claims that certain gold “can’t be confiscated” or that working with a certain dealer gives “more value” to your gold.

A trusted local dealer isn’t going to approach a transaction based on fear. They are often active community members who sponsor Little League teams, contribute to non-profits, and succeed when their customers succeed. Instead of steering investors to the most expensive gold product with the highest possible margin, they’re going to find gold products that make sense for the financial portfolio of each customer.

Maybe that means making a basic bullion investment. Maybe it means going with gold bullion bars since they typically even have smaller premiums than gold coins. Or maybe it’s gold jewelry or rare gold coins. Everyone is different and the only way to recognize those differences is to build relationships with each and every person.

How You Can Avoid Gold Scams Right Now

Before making any gold purchase, no matter what form it may be, it is important to research the company involved. Search social media pages to see what people are saying about the company. Look for complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau or government officials. Look to see if there are public records about pending or past litigation regarding their sales practices. This way you’ll know if the gold dealer is legitimate or just trying to sound legitimate.

There shouldn’t be any pressure to buy gold either. Gold is an investment you need to decide is right for you. In times of external pressure from current events, like the Brexit vote or a falling stock market, the pressure to buy is ratcheted up everywhere. The mixture of fear and greed can be deadly to your finances.

It’s also important to start investing in gold in small quantities. This is a precious metal and even though it is a safe haven, there is still some risk involved. Instead of buying in bulk or creating a brand new self-directed IRA, buy locally and always get a second opinion on the gold you’ve purchased to make sure the fineness is what it is supposed to be.

If you choose to have someone store your gold for you, always receive a proof of purchase to verify your ownership. Without this documentation, it may be difficult to make a claim should your gold ownership come into question.

As a final step, talk to your local dealer about what their buy back policies happen to be. Although there are some reputable dealers who don’t offer this as an option, many will as a sign of good faith for the transaction. Ask about what limits may be included on this policy, if there is an inspection period available to guarantee the quality of the gold, and other options that can give you the confidence needed in the transaction you’re thinking about making.

Is Gold the Right Investment For You To Make?

is gold the right investment to makeYou do need gold more today than ever before. It’s because you need to diversify your portfolio more today than ever before. Times are changing and there are many great investment opportunities available to you right now. With gold as part of your portfolio, you can lessen the risks that you might lose everything when trying to build up your net worth.

There are numerous ways you can invest in gold today. Some options are limited if you’re trying to include gold in an IRA or 401k, so take note of these limitations before you make a final decision about what is right for you.

Although gold is easy to purchase online, it’s always a good idea to take a trip down to your local gold dealer to discuss what options might be right for you. If you don’t feel like making a visit in person, then shoot your local dealer an email with any questions or concerns you may have. Gold might be valuable, but the local relationships you’ll form as you explore this safe haven are even more valuable.

Think about what is right for you. Explore gold as an option if you’re wanting to get out of some high risk investments or you need to diversify. Take advantage of all the gold owning options that are available today. When you do, you may just discover what investors for centuries have always known: that gold is awesome because it’s value is determine by all of us instead of some government entity.

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