The most standardized way to own physical gold directly is through the acquisition of ingots. Buyers should research reputable distributors and check the purity, shape, size and weight of the bars before purchasing them. The two most common places where you can buy precious metals are at an online dealer, such as JM Bullion, or at a local coin store. Local coin stores have been around for almost as long as money.
They went from being pawnshop establishments to becoming a more specialized form of resale stores. Local coin stores offer customers a place where they can view their items in person before making purchases. Online dealers, on the other hand, are obviously a more recent development. They serve as a virtual showcase for precious metals companies and allow customers to shop online.
Gold bars are usually the most cost-effective way to buy physical gold. They are sold all over the world in major centers such as London and Hong Kong. Bars are classified as ingots as long as they have approximately 99.5% pure gold or more. You can learn more in our Gold Bullion Buyer's Guide.
A gold ETF is a type of commodity fund that allows investors to buy gold-backed securities without actually owning the precious metal itself. But as with gold coins, you're likely to pay more for the amount of gold you receive, a premium that can range from 20 to 300%, depending on the manufacturer. A gold IRA is a type of self-managed individual retirement account that involves investing and owning real gold coins and ingots. Although you'll own physical gold in this retirement account, real gold bars will normally be stored in your name in a deposit service.