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How To Invest In Gold
Gold is a hot commodity these days, with everyone from amateurs to experienced investors looking to grab a piece of the golden pie. Unlike paper currency, gold is not subject to inflation or global uncertainty.
As with any investment, it is a good idea to know all the facts prior to taking the plunge and risking loss on your investment.
The price of gold has fluctuated wildly over the last year, with prices starting at $1,700 at the start of 2012, and spiking as high as $1,800 in October of that year. Despite the unpredictable change in value from one day to the next, it's never too late to invest in gold. While it is true that gold likely has hit its peak and will not climb any higher, it always will have value higher than paper currency.
But there are some things to know prior to investing.
The most important rule in gold investment is to allocate a fixed amount of money toward gold regardless of the current price. By doing so, it helps to spread out the risk over a period of time. It is recommended making an allocation of 3 to 10 percent monthly. More aggressive investors may want to allot 20 percent toward gold investing each month, but that is only recommended if there is an experienced money manager to assist in the monthly transactions.
There are four ways to invest in gold:
- Gold Bullion - Bullion is the term for gold in its physical forms: jewelry, bars and coins. Among the most popular form of gold bullion for investors is the gold coin. The trick to buying gold bullion is to buy it as close to its "spot" price as possible - or within no higher than a 10 percent premium. Premiums higher than 10 percent will make it difficult for the investor to turn a profit. The price of gold would have to rise to that level or beyond for the buyer to make any money off of their investment, and that is unlikely to happen. Gold bullion can be stored at a number of places, including safety deposit boxes at local banks. There also are some gold-specific storage facilities across the United States.
- Gold Exchange Traded Funds - Also known as ETFs, these are the best way to invest in gold without the hassle of finding a place to store it. A cross between mutual funds and individual stocks, ETFs are funds which offer instant diversification. A gold ETF is designed to reflect the true price of physical gold on the market. The most heavily-traded gold ETFs are, respectively, SPDR Gold Shares, iShares Comex Gold Trust and ETFS Gold Trust.
- Gold Exchange Traded Notes - Higher in risk than the previous two forms of gold investment, a gold exchange traded note trades on futures markets. Investors provide a bank or broker with money for an agreed upon time frame. When the investment time frame has been reached, the investor is paid a return that is based on the note's performance per the gold futures market. Depending on the performance, the investor can lose all of his money. This is one of the riskiest ways to invest in gold and is not recommended for first-time investors.
- Gold Miner Stocks - By far the riskiest way to invest in gold, this kind of investment has a 3 to 1 leverage in the actual price of gold and trades with the broader equity market. If an investor wishes to take this route - which is not recommended - he should locate a company with a history of strong production and reserve growth.
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