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6 easy ways for beginners to buy gold

Ladder on Stack of Coins
Getting started with gold investing doesn't have to be overwhelming; there are lots of easy routes to take. Getty Images

Gold has long been considered a reliable store of value and a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainties. And, for beginners looking to diversify their investment portfolios, buying gold can be a straightforward and accessible option. 

But there are tons of different gold assets you can invest in, from gold bullion to gold IRAs, which can make it difficult for new investors to navigate the gold investing landscape. But while it may be difficult, it's certainly not impossible. 

In fact, there are lots of simple routes that beginner investors can take to get started with investing in this precious metal. Start exploring your gold investing options online here.

6 easy ways for beginners to buy gold

If you're new to gold investing and want a simple way to get started, these may be options worth considering: 

Physical gold

One of the most direct ways to own gold is by purchasing physical gold coins or bars. These can be bought from reputable dealers, online or offline. Popular choices include American Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf and South African Krugerrand coins. 

And, gold bars come in various sizes, including 1-gram gold bars and 1-ounce gold bars, making them a suitable option for different budgets. Plus, even Costco is now selling gold bars, so it's easier than ever for beginners to purchase them.

Find out what your top gold investing options are here.

Gold ETFs

Gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) offer a convenient way to invest in gold without dealing with physical storage. These funds are traded on stock exchanges, and each share represents a certain amount of gold. And, investing in gold ETFs allows for flexibility and liquidity, making it an attractive option for beginners.

Gold IRAs

For those looking to incorporate gold into their retirement savings, a gold individual retirement account (IRA) is an option. This allows investors to hold physical gold within an IRA, providing tax advantages for retirement savings — and offering a relatively easy path for new investors to add gold to their portfolios.

Gold stocks and mutual funds

Stocks for gold mining companies and mutual funds that focus on gold mining companies can also be a viable option. These funds invest in shares of gold mining companies, providing exposure to the gold industry, and offering an easy way for beginner investors to get started. 

Still, it's essential to research and choose funds managed by reputable firms with a history of performance to make sure you're choosing the best options for you.

Digital gold platforms

Some digital platforms allow investors to buy and sell gold digitally. These platforms typically operate on a fractional ownership model, allowing investors to buy small amounts of gold. This offers the convenience of digital transactions and eliminates the need for physical storage, which can make it a good route to take for beginner investors.

Gold savings accounts

Some banks also offer gold savings accounts in which investors can deposit money and the bank holds an equivalent amount of gold on their behalf. While this method does not provide physical ownership, it offers a secure and easily accessible way to invest in gold, making it an easy option for new investors.

How to choose the best gold investing option for you

Now that we've explored various ways to invest in gold, let's delve into how you can decide which option aligns best with your financial goals, risk tolerance and preferences.

  • Risk tolerance and investment horizon: Assessing your risk tolerance is a crucial first step. If you're risk-averse, physical gold or gold ETFs might be more suitable, as they are generally considered lower risk compared to more volatile options like gold mining stocks. Consider your investment horizon as well; short-term goals may warrant different choices than long-term retirement planning.
  • Budget and affordability: Different investment options require varying levels of capital. Physical gold, especially in the form of coins or bars, may have higher upfront costs. Digital platforms and ETFs often allow for smaller investments, making them more accessible for beginners with limited budgets.
  • Convenience and accessibility: Consider how hands-on you want to be with your gold investment. Physical gold requires storage and may involve additional costs, whereas digital platforms and ETFs offer the convenience of buying and selling through online platforms. Choose an option that aligns with your comfort level and lifestyle.
  • Purpose of investment: Clearly define the purpose of your investment. If it's for portfolio diversification and a hedge against economic uncertainties, physical gold or ETFs may be suitable. If you seek capital appreciation and are willing to take on more risk, gold mining stocks or mutual funds could be considered.
  • Tax implications: Different investment vehicles come with varying tax implications. Gold held in certain retirement accounts may offer tax advantages, while profits from the sale of physical gold or gold ETFs may be subject to capital gains taxes. 
  • Knowledge and research: Ensure you have a basic understanding of the investment option you choose. For example, investing in gold mining stocks requires knowledge of the mining industry. Take the time to research and educate yourself on the nuances of your chosen investment to make informed decisions.
  • Flexibility and liquidity: Consider how easily you can convert your investment into cash if needed. Physical gold may have lower liquidity compared to digital platforms or ETFs. If liquidity is a priority, choose an option that allows you to buy and sell with ease.

The bottom line

Investing in gold doesn't have to be complicated, especially for beginners. Whether you prefer physical ownership, the convenience of digital platforms or the liquidity of exchange-traded funds, there are various accessible ways to start building your gold investment portfolio. As with any investment, though, it's crucial to do thorough research, consider your financial goals and consult with a financial advisor if needed to make informed decisions.

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