How to Buy Gold Bars
Buying gold bars is a way to acquire the precious metal in physical form.
A few years ago, the financial world was abuzz with talk of a looming inflation crisis. Economic analysts and talking heads on TV seemed to be speaking in solemn tones about the “risk” of hyperinflation and how to hedge against it. The dollar was plummeting, and people were worried that buying a house or paying for food might turn out to be an unwise investment.
A lot of this doomsday talk has died down since then, but prices on some goods have continued to rise, meaning that investors who put their money in traditional safe places haven’t reaped the same returns as they would have in previous years. This can make people nervous about putting their money into investments like the S&P 500®, which holds US blue-chip stocks like Apple™ and Exxon Mobil™. But you can still invest in physical assets that are likely to retain or increase their value over time while avoiding these concerns by buying gold bars.*
This shiny, precious metal has been used as a store of value for centuries. It’s easy enough to understand why—gold is rarer than other metals because it’s so difficult for Mother Nature to create, so it feels durable and permanent.
You don’t have to be an expert to get started buying gold bars, but doing some research before you buy will help you to better understand what you’re doing and avoid potential problems.
Gold has been a favorite investment of many people for decades. The recent financial crisis has made it even more sought-after by cautious investors looking for a safe haven and solid return on their money. Gold bars may be the best way to invest in gold, because they are cheaper than coins. While most people interested in buying gold start by thinking about coins first, gold bars can save you money and offer a greater return on your investment when you sell them later.
What makes bars better than sovereign minted coins like the American Eagle or Canadian Maple Leaf? Two reasons: the smaller amount of pure gold that is contained within the bar, and their price (which is usually lower). For example, an American Eagle 1 ounce coin from 1985 contains $50 worth of pure gold—that’s 50 percent less than one 10 gram bar of 99.9% fine gold bullion! You may have heard that you can buy larger amounts of precious metals for your money with coins than with bars—that may be true, but remember that there’s also less actual value in a coin than there is in a bar: if you want to buy less than ten grams of .9999 pure 10 gram bullion gold bars (99.99 percent pure), you’ll end up paying over $5 per gram—more expensive than an average coin!
Gold is traded at global markets around the clock and all year long, so unlike stocks or bonds there’s no “off season” when it comes to investing; however knowing what you’re doing before you buy will give you peace of mind when times are good and bad. Although some sellers will tell you it’s not worth reading up on how precious metals are priced before making such an important investment, we disagree—and if history ever repeats itself (as it sometimes does), having knowledge could save more value in your portfolio down the road.
The easiest way to buy gold bars is from your bank or broker.
Gold bars are often purchased from a bank or through a broker. Before you buy gold bars, make sure to talk to your broker or banker. They can give you advice on what kind of gold bar is most appropriate for your situation.
What’s the difference between buying from your bank and buying from an online broker? Both offer some advantages and disadvantages.
Online brokers have more variety and lower costs than banks in many cases, but they aren’t as regulated. Buying directly from a bank or broker is safer than purchasing online because it’s more regulated, but they only offer bullion (not coins). For this reason, if you’re looking at alternative investments as part of your retirement portfolio, it may be worth considering purchasing gold coins rather than bars.
When buying bullion online, be on the lookout for sites with reviews that are mostly negative or no reviews at all—even if it seems like a reputable site. Each reputable site has different policies regarding how long they keep reviews posted after purchase (and not all will allow you to post reviews yourself), so be sure to check before making a transaction.
If you don’t want to go directly to your bank or broker, you can buy gold bars online.
The World Gold Council reported that demand for gold reached a record high in the fourth quarter of 2017. When times are uncertain, people like to invest in gold—and if you’re interested in buying some, you’ve got plenty of options.
A brick-and-mortar dealer may be convenient, but online dealers often offer better prices and can ship your order to you faster. The best online gold dealers are regulated and have a good reputation. For example, APMEX is known for its low prices and excellent customer service.
The first step is to compare different sellers’ prices and shipping costs. APMEX offers free shipping on orders over $99, so their prices are already very competitive with other gold dealers’. However, check with the seller to make sure they cover insurance (at least up to $2,500) if the package gets lost or damaged during transit.
APMEX features a variety of bars from many reputable mints, including PAMP Suisse bars crafted out of one ounce of 99.9% fine gold bullion (that’s 24 karat). Buying from trusted brands like PAMP Suisse means that each bar is inscribed with serial numbers identifying it as authentic: the stamp of legitimacy for any precious metal purchase.
APMEX also offers smaller 1/20 oz Gold Eagles ($1 face value) as well as 1/10 oz Gold Eagles ($5 face value), all minted by the U.S Mint at West Point and carry this same guarantee of authenticity
Buying gold bars is a great way to diversify your investments.
Diversification can seem like a daunting task. For example, if you’re a typical individual who invests in only gold coins and bars, it’s easy to reach the conclusion that your portfolio is pretty secure because most of what you own is gold. But when it comes down to it, any investment class will have some risk involved. The question is how much of that risk is correctable.
In most cases when an investor buys gold coins or bars for their investments, there’s a small chance that instead of the coin or bar being worth its face value (which is why they charge fees), it’ll be worth significantly less than its face value. Not all those cases can be avoided by diversifying properly though; after all, many people don’t mind the extra fees they pay when they buy certain types of investments such as stocks. But diversification isn’t just about knowing which investments work best with your style and time-frame. It’s also more than just splitting up assets into different categories – every investment you make has inherent risks involved so no matter how careful you are with your decisions, there’s always going to be something out of your control that could affect the prices at which you buy things or even cause them to lose money unexpectedly.