An investment in gold or silver is an investment in a physical commodity that will retain its value no matter what happens with the stock market. And because the value of precious metals isn’t tied to the value of the dollar, they’re also a good choice to protect your wealth from inflation.
But investing in gold and silver requires a little more than just scouring your local thrift stores for old jewelry. You want to make sure you’re buying investment-quality gold and silver bullion from a reputable dealer. You’ll need to make arrangements to store your bullion safely. And you may want to plan on holding your gold and silver bullion for a long time, because it can be hard to liquidate quickly.
Perhaps the most popular choice for investors looking to diversify into precious metals is to simply buy bullion from a reputable dealer. Do your due diligence to make sure that the gold and silver dealer you choose is trustworthy. A reputable gold and silver dealer will have a strong rating on Trustpilot (go to the Trustpilot website itself rather than assuming a logo on a precious metals dealer’s website is legit). They won’t try to pressure you to buy more expensive products than you’re interested in — for example, if you want to buy a gold bar, a reputable dealer won’t try to upsell you on a more expensive, less valuable numismatic item. A reputable dealer will also have a buyback policy, will accept multiple forms of payment, and will show evidence of repeat customers (such as in their online reviews).
Larger, more established bullion dealers are typically the best bet for investors new to precious metals. The larger companies handle larger quantities of gold, silver, and other precious metals. They may offer bulk discounts if you want to convert a large amount of your savings to precious metal holdings. And they’re more likely to offer safe storage of your bullion once you’ve bought it.
If you are going to buy bullion, make sure what you’re getting is actually bullion. There are a lot of gold and silver collectors’ coins that sell at a premium above the spot price of gold and silver, because their value is in their collectability rather than in the precious metals used to make them. Gold and silver coins like the American Eagle, the Canadian Maple Leaf, the South African Krugerrand, or the Austrian Philharmonic are good choices for investors looking to buy small amounts of precious metals.
As previously touched upon, once you’ve bought your gold and silver bullion, you need to safely store it. For most investors, this will mean either renting a safe deposit box or paying to have your bullion stored in a depository. Many of the larger online gold and silver dealers offer depository storage to their customers.
If you want to keep your gold and silver handy, you’ll need a fireproof safe and an addendum on your homeowners insurance. Most homeowners insurance policies only cover a small amount of valuables, so you’ll need to contact your insurance provider about making sure your gold and silver bullion is covered.
Buying, storing, and selling bullion can be a hassle. It costs money to store, and if you take delivery of it, it might not be safe in your home. If you don’t want to deal with owning bullion, you can still benefit from investing in precious metals securities.
Precious metals securities include gold and silver exchange traded funds, which hold actual bullion as well as holdings in mining and streaming companies. These funds track the spot price of gold, silver, and other precious metals, so you can get the inflationary protection your wealth needs without the headaches that come with buying, storing, and selling physical metal. The value of these securities will also tend to go up when the stock market goes down, because investors usually flee stocks and bonds and put their remaining wealth into more stable vehicles, like precious metals, when the market experiences a dip.
Another option is to invest directly in mining and streaming companies yourself. To do this, you’ll need help from a financial advisor who understands the mining industry and can help you choose the best stocks.
Investing in gold and silver gives you access to physical commodities that have industrial and ornamental value, no matter what happens to the stock market or the value of your local fiat currency. With gold and silver bars and coins available in weights as low as one gram, you can easily diversify into precious metals, and bring your portfolio the stability it needs.