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Buying gold bars and coins online? Keep these tips in mind.

It's easy to buy gold bars and coins online but you should still approach the process carefully. Jesus Ayala Photography/Getty Images

Gold has long been a reliable investment. Whether invested in as a gold IRA for retirement, gold stocks or even as physical gold bars and coins, the shiny precious metal comes with numerous benefits for investors. This has been particularly pronounced this year, due to its ability to diversify portfolios and hedge against the worst of inflation. It's no wonder, then, that investing in the precious metal hit an 11-year high earlier this year.

That said, like any investment, there are better ways to approach gold than others. This is particularly true when buying gold bars and coins online. These gold types can have numerous attractive features for investors. But, to get the greatest return, investors should first understand how to smartly and safely purchase them online.

If you think you could benefit from a gold investment then start exploring your options here now.

Tips for buying gold bars and coins online

Here are three tips to keep in mind when buying gold bars and coins online. 

There are multiple places to buy gold online

Gold investing has moved into the 21st century with ease. No longer do you need to go to a jewelry store or local pawnshop to purchase gold bars and coins. You can do so easily online. This can include using reputable online gold dealers like American Hartford Gold and others. You may even be able to get a discount by buying in bulk or by using a credit card. 

But you can also use online retailers that you're likely already using to make other purchases. Costco is now selling gold bars online (and the demand has been high). Walmart is selling 1-ounce gold bars on their website, too. So shop around and compare your online options to see where you can get the best deal now.

Learn more about investing in gold bars and coins here.

Make sure to know the red flags

With any investment come the inevitable red flags. Gold investing is no different. You'll want to make sure that the gold bars and coins you think you're buying are what they appear to be. Information surrounding the purity and authenticity of the items should be available with the online seller you're working with. Or it should be easy to provide upon request. 

Remember, you won't have the same inspection abilities when purchasing gold online versus in person, so make sure to do your due diligence beforehand. Once you make the purchase, it may be too late to send it back. Accordingly, you'll also want to work with reputable gold dealers or retailers mentioned above. And, read reviews of all prospective sellers before completing a purchase. 

Finally, be patient during the process. It may take a bit more time, but it'll be worth it knowing that the gold bars and coins you purchased are the ones you really wanted.

Be cautious about how much you invest

Gold can be beneficial for many in today's economy. But to reap the full benefits, you'll want to invest in the right amount. And that's generally considered to be 10% or less of your portfolio. More than that and you risk losing the income-producing benefits of more volatile assets like stocks and bonds. 

That said, gold bars and coins are highly liquid, so even if you over-invest to start, it may be relatively easy to course-correct and sell off a portion of your physical gold investments. Still, it would be even easier to go into your gold investment clear-eyed and limit how much of the yellow metal you buy from the beginning.

The bottom line

Gold bars and coins offer investors multiple benefits, particularly now. And they're easy to buy and sell online. That said, like any investment, you should approach it smartly and with care. So shop around and review all potential retailers before getting started — don't just buy from the first dealer you find. And make sure to know all of the gold-buying red flags in advance to avoid getting stuck with an inferior product. Finally, be cautious with how much you invest. It could be easy to overbuy gold, but that decision could prove to be detrimental to your overall portfolio.

Have more questions about investing in gold? Learn more here today.

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