With the current interest in gold ownership seemingly at a historical level, the question is not if you should buy gold, but how to buy gold. As the price of gold hovers around $1200 an ounce, many newcomers to the gold market have been looking to get their hands on the precious metal. Whether you just want to diversify your portfolio, see gold as a hedge against inflation or feel the dollar and world currency are headed for disaster, you should know how to buy gold.
The easiest way to understand about buying gold is to take physical possession of it. You can go down to your local coin shop and hand over $1200 or so dollars and receive a one ounce American Eagle gold coin. If you have more money to invest, you can buy bullion from any number of reputable companies. Knowing how to buy gold will keep you from being "ripped off" by an unscrupulous seller. Basic rule - expect to pay a few dollars over spot price (the current market price for gold) and receive spot price when you sell.
When you don't want to take physical delivery of the commodity, there is a solution for buying gold. Most large, gold selling companies will hold your gold for you at their facility. Simply set up an account, purchase however many ounces of gold you desire and let them handle the rest. You'll receive a statement and an account number indicating the amount of gold you own and you can retrieve it (take physical possession) anytime you want or simple sell it back to the company and receive a check for the proceeds.
Deciding how to buy gold can be challenging. For some, ETF's (Electronically Traded Funds) designed to track the daily price of gold, are the perfect option. Basically, you purchase shares in the fund and if the price of gold rises, you make money. Conversely, when gold prices drop, the ETF declines in value. This option offers the convenience of very high liquidity as well as not having to worry about taking physical possession of the commodity.
If you know how to buy gold mining stocks, you may be able to earn a greater return on your investment than by simply buying the the pure asset. In addition to being correlated with the price of gold, the price of a gold mining stock is also affected by the overall performance of the company.