Gold has been a store of value for centuries, starting way back when gold coins were minted back in 550 BC. You know, right around the time they perfected smelting iron. And right now, while everyone is trying to protect their investment portfolio, this traditional asset class has been showing signs of life amid increased volatility and uncertainty.
Gold is usually part of a long-term investment strategy hence self-directed individual retirement account is usually the preferred choice for investors interested in this asset. Self-directed IRA allows you to hedge against inflation by investing in stable assets like precious metals or real-estate while keeping the same tax benefits as with a regular IRA.
Below you will find a list of top gold IRA companies as well as gold dealers for direct buys if you’re interested in buying gold coins, bars or bullion without involving your IRA or 401(k).
Top 3 Best Places to Invest in Gold in 2022
1. Goldco – Best gold IRA provider in the United States
- Thousands of 5-star user reviews
- More than 15 years of experience in precious metals
- Click here to visit GoldCo
The California-based company specializes in gold and silver IRAs and also allows investors to purchase these precious metals in their physical form. There are a lot of free resources that investors can review before investing with the company. Customers can also set up accounts by themselves, providing easy access. Goldco also has a dedicated customer support team over the phone and online chat support.
2. Augusta Precious Metals – Decade in the business & no complaints
- Provides secure IRS-approved storage facilities
- You can get up to 10 years of fees waived
- Click here to visit Augusta Precious Metals
Headquartered in Wyoming, Augusta offers options to purchase physical gold and silver and investment in IRAs in these metals. The company offers multiple custodian options while purchasing these precious metals. There is also an option for lifetime customer support for those worried about how their assets will be held. Customers can also review their purchase details quickly on this platform.
3. BirchGold Group – Low fees & low minimum investment
- Minimum investment is only $10,000
- Almost 20 years of experience
- Click here to visit Birch Gold Group
The company is headquartered in California and was founded in 2003. BirchGold brands itself as a specialist in IRAs backed by precious metals. It has a dedicated department catering to precious metals IRAs, and the company has experts in this field should you need to consult someone. There is a partnership with multiple depositories, and the grade of gold and other metals offered is also quite diverse. There is a lot of educational content that is being provided for free.
Buying gold online vs. locally
There are numerous ways in which gold can be purchased, both from your computer or by going down to a physical store. You can get immediate delivery through local shops, which is a bonus, and there are no shipping costs compared to when buying online. However, the onus of storage would depend on the buyer. In addition, if you do not properly research your retailer, you may run into issues when trying to resell to the seller – make sure to clarify first..
One can also buy gold through online platforms that offer secure storage; however, the physical delivery of the product may take quite a long time. Gold is heavy – shipping is expensive. The chain of integrity regarding the quality of gold also may vary depending on the grade being sold. Also, it is best if buyers are aware of any additional premiums and account maintenance charges while buying through online sellers.
In short, it’s probably cheaper and better to buy locally if you are looking for proper gold exposure, as some of the online retailers suffer from higher storage and shipping costs.
How to buy physical gold
Physical gold is available in different forms and purity levels, so deciding how you want to buy gold is probably the first step. Of course, the most traditional way to purchase gold is through offline stores found near you, there should be a dealer in your area not too far away. The other option would be to go online. Many online sellers offer attractive pricing to customers, often competing with your local stores – you can also use those prices to compare with your offline stores. The pricing information is usually available online, and customers can seek the help of online support before making a purchase. In short, as long as you find a reputable seller and have proper storage space, you can buy both offline and online, whatever is more efficient for you.
Choose reputable manufacturer
Many investors prefer holding physical gold, and selecting a manufacturer is vital to ensure a quality product. It is essential to determine a brand that has been in the market for a considerable amount of time as there have been numerous instances in which low-quality products have been sold online.
A buyer can look for online customer reviews and how the company sources its gold. If the company is Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited and a member of the Certified Coin Exchange (CCE), that is a good place to start. Investors should also check if the gold bought is a standard product that can be sold in the future without having to pay a premium. Some of the forms of physical gold are mentioned below.
Gold coins: These coins have different purity levels and are issued by mints that the government approves. Investors can also utilize their IRA accounts to invest in gold coins. A few examples of gold coins are:
- Gold American Eagle Type 1: This was first issued by the US mint in 1986 with weights ranging from a tenth of an ounce to an ounce.
- Gold Australian Striped Marlin: This is a quarter-ounce coin issued by the Perth Mint. The gold used is of 99.9% purity and can be used as legal tender.
Gold bullion: These are shaped like coins, bars, or ingots with a purity level of at least 99.5%. They are a popular way of holding gold by central banks. Gold bullion is also lent at the spot market to procure funds immediately. Bullion has a standard level of purity that makes it easy to resell.
Gold bars: A bar can be customized to accommodate different levels of purity. When a gold bar is standardized to a certain weight and purity (400 troy ounce, 99.5% purity), it becomes bullion. The weight of a bar starts from a few ounces, so the initial investment amount is high. Private players may issue gold bars, and the possibility of fraud in such cases cannot be overlooked.
Gold jewelry: One of the most popular ways of buying gold is through jewelry. One advantage is that the buyer can set the purity. However, there are making charges while buying gold in this form. It may also be challenging to sell the jewelry in its actual form, and the labor cost is lost during resell.
Investors can also seek exposure to gold without actually purchasing it directly. This can be more convenient since secure storage facilities are not required.
Invest in gold
Futures: Gold futures are contracts in which a user agrees to buy gold at a future date for a fixed price. On the settlement date, the investor can physically purchase gold or can receive/pay the differential amount depending on the spot price. If the spot price is higher than the contracted price, it means that the investor agreed to buy at a lower rate and is entitled to receive payments.
ETFs: Gold ETFs are stocks that can be purchased through an exchange. These ETFs invest in gold in different ways, like physical gold and derivatives. Using ETFs can be effective since it allows investors to use the services of experienced professionals. An investor can also easily sell the shares of an ETF if he wants to reduce his exposure.
Mining Stocks: Another way to invest in gold is through mining stocks. The price of gold may determine the success of a mining stock, and it can serve as an excellent proxy to gold investment. One drawback of mining stocks is that these companies may also mine other metals or be highly leveraged. Therefore, the ability of these companies to track alongside gold prices may not be very accurate. There can be additional risks associated with the stock that may not reflect the actual performance of gold.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where to buy gold coins?
Gold coins can be bought through offline stores or through online brokers, my recommended broker is MoneyMetals. Gold coins are an excellent way to invest because the investment amount is small, and storing them is also easy.
Where to buy gold bars?
Most sellers offering gold coins also have gold bars in their product portfolio. Bars are suitable for investors who have a larger investment amount.
Can you buy gold from a bank?
Gold can also be bought from a bank, but the process can be lengthy since it would involve completing all the formalities and paperwork of the banking institution. The rates offered also may not be as competitive as dedicated gold brokers.
What is the best site to buy gold online?
Some sites like Goldco and Augusta Precious Metals have been in the business for more than a decade. Not only are they reliable, but their pricing is also attractive. The customer support provided also helps investors to purchase gold without much hassle.