Gold, silver, palladium, and platinum are the four investment-grade precious metals that are used for many purposes all over the world. Each of these metals has different characteristics and properties, as well as many similarities. Over time, the many uses and needs for them have evolved steadily, and today they are even more demanded than ever.
Owning precious metals is a solid financial strategy that is practiced by regular citizens, wealthy investment moguls, corporations, central banks, the government, and anyone else who may want a reliable way to save their money. Because they tend to retain their value, and usually appreciate over time, they are the perfect store of value. Precious metals pick up the slack where fiat currency falls short, in virtually every way.
There are many ways to buy precious metals, but most investors prefer to buy bullion coins or bars, because they cost closest to the spot price per ounce. Buying jewelry tends to carry a significant premium, plus they can also be more difficult to sell should the need arise. Coins and bars are standardized, they come in specific sizes, purities, and weights, and they are very liquid. Jewelry and collectables will need to be appraised before being sold, and they usually don’t fetch nearly as much money as what was paid for them.
Exchange-traded funds are another option for owning gold and other precious metals. These tickets can be sold and exchanged on the stock market. Most investors find that owning tangible gold bullion is preferable, as there is absolutely no risk involved. Something about buying a piece of paper for the price of a gold coin or bar just doesn’t bode well with most precious metals investors. Owning the actual substance is a large part of the appeal for many buyers.
There are many factors that can determine the outcome of precious metals investing, some that can be controlled and others that can’t. Taking some simple precautions will go a long way in helping to reduce the chance of monetary loss. Simply buying only from reliable sources will undoubtedly save you unnecessary trouble.
Because precious metals are very valuable, they are often a target for dishonest practices. By making sure that the dealer you buy from is well-known in the precious metals community, you can ensure that your purchase goes off without a hitch. Many people don’t realize that their coins or bars are not what they paid for until it is too late. Years later when they try to get recourse, they are out of luck. By going through a trusted dealer who has been in the business for many years, you can be sure that you are protected no matter what.
The current outlook is very exciting for precious metals in 2013. Although knowing how to approach a precious metals investment may not be difficult, it is extremely important. When it comes to your hard-earned money, it is important to make sure that every cent is going to the right outlets. Precious metals have enormous potential, as long as they are handled by an informed buyer and a quality dealer.