Think of any major economic event in the last twenty years, and imagine yourself amidst the uncertainty. Whether the first thing that comes to mind is the 2008 housing collapse, or the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic’s initial stress on the economy, one thing is clear: you need to be prepared.
Have you found yourself wondering what the future holds, and if the US dollar will hold up? Physical gold and silver bullion are two of the most widely-traded and most valuable physical assets, and it’s plain to see why.
If you’re a beginner in this space, if you want to find out how you can begin your investment portfolio, this is the startup guide you’ve been searching for.
Why Invest in Gold & Silver
Protection. Your liquid cash is subject to inflation, and inflation is not a guaranteed, set percentage raise every single year. Inflation is volatile in its own right.
Gold and silver have their own value, which rises with supply and demand. It can’t be printed like paper cash; there’s a finite amount on the Earth, which means there will always be a check and balance system.
The price of gold rises as a safe harbor against inflation. At the end of the day, having your assets in gold and silver protects your financial future, but they also allow you to utilize some level of risk and reward.
If the price of gold suddenly spikes, as we’ve seen it do from time to time, that could be your moment to cash out, and have a sizable payday similar to how stock market traders will do with popular stocks as they rise.
Hold the gold until it rises and either revel in the financial security, or sell it to re-allocate your investments and align your investment goals. It’s simply better and more secure than holding your money in a high-yield interest savings account at a financial institution.
Gold vs. Silver: Which One is Better?
You’ll find elitists in both spaces, so it’s important to enter precious metal investing with this one bit of advice: every metal has its own value.
That being said, gold is objectively the better investment strategy. You’ll find that silver has strong ties to the current economic climate. It’s in abundance compared to gold, and so it’s liquidated faster. The demand is low compared to gold.
Gold prices stay structurally sound throughout economic hardships and historically always bounce back. Even when you see some firms that offer other precious metal IRAs, you’ll notice that gold is the number one most talked-about product they have (this goes for just about any precious metals firm you can find).
Go with gold. Once your assets are secure, you can talk about dabbling in silver, but gold will be a better long-term investment.
5 Ways to Invest in Gold & Silver
If you’re interested in getting started with gold and silver investments, there’s no time like the present. These are the best ways to get your feet wet with gold and silver investing.
1. Invest in Your Retirement Account Via a Gold or Silver IRA
Precious metal IRA's are the dominant form of investing in silver and gold. With a self-directed gold IRA, you’re in full control of your money at all times.
Depending on which online brokerage/platform you choose to run your gold IRA through, you may have access to expert advice, interactive real-time pricing charts, and top-tier wholesale prices and custodial services.
These accounts help protect your financial future while also allowing you to rollover an existing simple or Roth IRA, so you don’t have to be stuck with your current investment if you’re dead-set on breaking into gold investing.
2. Purchase Physical Gold Bars or Coins
One of the major benefits of using a gold brokerage and wholesaler is that they can help with storage and custodial services, all for low fees. However, you can absolutely have the gold in your hands if you wish.
This isn’t a gold IRA, but rather you hold onto the physical gold to sell when things get rough (economic collapse or takeover), or sell later when gold prices rise.
The trick is having proper storage set up, and buying gold bullion in bulk so you can save on shipping costs (it gets expensive).
3. Gold Stocks or ETF's
In its most simple form, a gold ETF is an exchange-traded fund that relates to gold, but you don’t have to buy the gold bars or bullion on your own. You don’t have to store it or pay for custodial fees.
ETFs can be tricky, though. Some deal with the direct market price and sale of gold, while others actually tie in to gold mining and its entire process.
Those are two halves of the same coin, but one does not directly affect the other. If gold mining is booming, gold prices may dip down. If gold prices are doing well, it could be supply and demand, and gold mining could be affected.
They’re two different worlds, so you have to really know what you’re doing before you invest in one of them.
4. Jewelry & Watches
Jewelry is a funny option, because you’re not buying it to wear it. You ideally want 24-karat gold, however, this means it’s more pure, and much more malleable.
You don’t want to actually wear the gold jewelry you invest in. However, the main benefit to gold jewelry is having gold for sale in much smaller quantities than a full ounce, like you would find with bullion.
This can make it easier to sell in the event that you need to liquidate, since you could sell to small-time buyers. While this isn’t the first choice for gold investments, it’s not a bad option.
5. Gold Certificates
Think of cash that’s backed by physical gold (similar to the gold standard, sort of). Gold certificates are paper certification that the holder owns X amount of gold.
Banks sometimes issue these, but they’re not the most common way to invest in gold. In fact, you’ll find this idea widely contested in gold investment forums and private spaces all across the internet.
Research gold certificates before making a decision on them.
4 Best Places to Buy Gold & Silver
You don’t just walk into a store and buy a gold bar. There’s more to it than that. Having an intelligent, vetted source to buy your gold from is how you secure your investments.
These are our four top picks for precious metal investing.
1. Noble Gold Investments
With low annual fees for all members, an excellent buyback program, and some of the best customer service in the game, Noble Gold Investments proves to be a great first choice for new investors and seasoned investors alike.
Some storage options can be limited, and while you get a sense of this company being intelligent and knowledgeable, it is a younger institution, so do your own private research before you decide if they have the level of experience that makes you feel comfortable.
2. American Hartford Gold
American Hartford Gold has some of the most renown competitive pricing available, even when pitted against other top-tier gold IRA programs and wholesalers.
Pricing and the entire process is very transparent, so you aren’t being herded towards a sales funnel; they lay it all out on the table and let you make your decision.
Fees can change at a moment’s notice, and this is partially because they still appear to be figuring out their business model and how they want to orient themselves.
There’s experience and knowledge there, but again, you should do your own private research before making a final decision.
3. Birch Gold Group
If you’re really ready to hit the ground running, Birch Gold Group can waive fees for the first year depending on your initial investment. They have experts and excellent customer service representatives, so you’re always ready to make the right call, and you have the tools at your disposal to do so.
While the website is a bit outdated, the only major flaw that Birch has is their disclosure of all fees upfront. You have to sign up to see every fee, and while they stick close to the industry standard, it’s just not as transparent of a process as it could be.
4. Regal Assets
Regal Assets is held in high regard as one of the top gold IRA programs on the market. That being said, they’re not without their flaws. The rollover process can take quite some time to get going, but once it’s done, you’ll be safe in knowing that your gold is in segregated storage, and as secure as you could ever hope for it to be.
Their customer service is excellent, their reputation precedes them, and their flat fee design is one of the best out there. However, this isn’t as beginner-friendly due to the high minimums required to get started, so this is for beginners that already have investment experience, but are trying to switch over to gold and roll over their accounts.
Is Gold & Silver a Good Investment?
Gold is one of the best investments possible. Silver has higher volatility, so it is expected to always play second fiddle to gold.
With gold investments, you’re able to secure your future while also having the ability to capitalize on market highs. Silver can have these moments, but they’re few and far between and you shouldn’t count on them.
Gold is a great investment; other precious metals are more volatile, so if you include them, they should be part of a diverse portfolio.
Gold & Silver Investing FAQ's
Because there is still volatility involved, gold and silver should not exceed 10% of the average investor’s portfolio. If you aren’t the average investor and you want to diversify your assets as much as possible, gold and silver can be part of a healthy, balanced portfolio.
You’ll find different investment recommendations depending on the source. Some will say you can invest up to 25% of your overall portfolio in gold (specifically) with part of it being silver.
It comes down to where you want your investment risks to be, but anyone saying more than 25% does not come across as credible.
Towards the beginning of the year. We can see historical data suggest that prior to April each year, you will get the best price for gold, however that is not a guarantee.
At the end of the day, the best time to buy gold is now, not later. We have no way of knowing when the next surge will be, or when supply and demand will rise, so it’s best to invest as soon as possible.
Some gold IRA companies can take a while to roll over your accounts, which is why when it comes to gold, time is of the essence.
Understand what you’re getting yourself into before you dive in headfirst, and understand that while some businesses will offer deals, anything that seems too good to be true usually is too good to be true.
Buy from big lenders where you can trace their BBB ratings, their accreditation, and any other claims they make. This is why a a lot of gold wholesalers will seek endorsement with celebrities to help validate their stance.
Ask for documentation. Inspect every part of the business, its operators, and everything you possibly can. This is your future, your investment, so even if you read a review for a gold wholesaler online and they seem great, do your own independent research, and you’ll never be taken for a fool.
Most IRAs have a way for you to hold precious metals within them, but not all. It’s important to know all the information about your IRA account before you buy precious metals.
However, if your current IRA or 401(K) cannot hold onto precious metals, you have the option to roll them over into a gold or precious metals IRA with a specific gold firm.
These firms, like the four we mentioned earlier, are all designed to help you roll over your current IRA into gold in a quick, easy way.
Gold coins are the best introduction for investors who want to (quite literally) get their hands on gold and get in the game.
Bullion is where you want your money long-term, due to .995% ratings and not being associated with historical events or figures like gold coins are, but coins aren’t a bad place to start.
Noble Gold Investments
Noble Gold Investments is the first and only company to offer a private, secure gold depository in Texas to keep your wealth safe.