Investors who wish to buy gold and silver will find that precious metals investments are easy to acquire. Unlike stocks and bonds, where the investor may get a piece of paper that acknowledges an ownership interest, precious metals investments are backed by the actual physical assets.
Buying and Investing in Gold
Consumers are most familiar with gold jewelry. While gold jewelry may be expensive and can certainly change in value, it is not considered an investment because the gold content in “gold” jewelry varies widely. For investment purposes, investors buy gold primarily in the form of coins or bullion.
Gold coins minted by the United States and Canadian governments, some European governments, and the Chinese government are of special interest to investors because the purity standards for this gold is exceptionally high, and the producing country guarantees its purity. The purity of gold is a very important component of its value as an investment, so investors look only for pure gold assets. Potential investors should also note that there is a difference between gold coins with numismatic value and gold coins sold as investments.
People also buy gold in the form of bullion, which is normally presented in a bar format and sold by the ounce. A select number of countries issue investment-grade gold bullion. The origin and issuer of the gold coins are two of the most important factors investors consider when they buy gold. For retirement investors, IRS rules dictate which gold coins investors can place in a custodial IRA, and heavily favor gold coins produced by the US government.
You may wonder why gold makes a good investment. In contemporary investment strategies, investors can use gold as a hedge against inflation, deflation and currency devaluation. The United States government has no recent history of devaluing its currency, but heavy deficit spending is having the same effect. The higher the deficit rises, the less valuable the US dollar becomes. With the prospect of default by the US government looming, investors must consider whether now is the time to buy gold.
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Buying and Investing in Silver
People buy silver in much the same way they buy gold. Investment grade silver is sold in coin form, as well as in bars, known as silver bullion. Silver bullion is sold in 1-, 10-, 100-, and 1,000 troy ounce bars. As with gold, the issuer and the purity of the silver are two of the most important characteristics of investment grade silver.
Like gold, people buy silver as a hedge against adverse economic events like inflation and deflation. The spot price of silver is much lower than that of gold, which makes it easier for more investors to buy silver.
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