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Is gold a good investment?

Gold bars and stock market
There are some consistent benefits to buying gold, particularly during times of inflation. Getty Images/iStockphoto

When it comes to intelligent financial planning, investors need to take a broad look at their options. The stock market, inflation and the current banking sector are all influencing factors. Because of these items investors are (or should be) reviewing their finances even more closely than usual. Part of that analysis should include alternative opportunities that may not have been considered in a stronger market.

In this environment, some people may be turning to gold. Whether purchased in bulk or via an IRA, gold can provide unique financial support for investors. But the timing behind any purchase is important, as is the amount invested.

If you're considering gold now then start by requesting a free information kit to learn more.

Is gold a good investment?

The benefits of gold are relative to the investor's personal circumstances and long-term goals. If you fall in one (or more) of the below categories then gold may be a smart investment for you.

Investors looking for help with inflation

Most Americans are looking for relief from the pain inflicted by decades-high inflation. Gold can potentially help. 

"Over time, the value of gold tends to rise as the purchasing power of fiat currencies falls," Harry Turner, the founder of The Sovereign Investor, an investment education website, previously explained to CBS News

"This is because, unlike paper money or other types of investments, gold is a physical asset that can be stored and traded. As long as people continue to see it as a valuable commodity, the price of gold is likely to remain a good hedge against inflation."

"Inflation occurs when the value of the dollar or another currency declines, usually because governments print too much money," a report noted. "By contrast, gold has been seen as valuable for thousands of years, and its supply is fixed by miners' ability to pull it from the ground."

For further context, look at the 1970s. The decade was hit hard by inflation with an average interest rate of 5.84% in 1970, according to NASDAQ data. That rocketed to 13.58% by 1980. But during the same time frame, the value of gold rose from $35 per share to $850 per share, a recent report noted.

If you think you could benefit from investing in gold now, then speak to a professional to get started.

Investors who want to diversify their portfolio

If you're an investor who falls into the above category then you probably fall into this one, too. Investments and retirement savings were badly hurt last year. So it probably makes sense to spread the risk and put some money into other investments.

Edward Karr, the founder of U.S. Gold Corp., recently told CBS News that a minor amount dedicated to gold mining equities or physical gold could potentially help "reduce an overall portfolio's risk and potentially increase the long-term returns."

Instead of tying up all of your money in stocks and bonds, spreading it among different investment types could better help you manage your risk. By putting some money into gold, in addition to your other investments, you can increase the likelihood of having your money grow. Use the map below to explore your gold investing options.

Investors looking for a physical asset

In an environment where volatility is king, some investors may fall back on tried and true methods. Physical gold could be one alternative. Stocks, bonds, IRAs and even a 401(k) can be tied up with banks and lenders and be subject to fees and withdrawal considerations. They also may just be difficult to access when needed.

But physical gold, whether bought in bars, coins or some other form, is easy to transport, store and, if needed, sell. If you're an investor who prefers cash then physical gold may be for you, too.

The bottom line

Investing in gold is beneficial for multiple reasons, particularly when the economy is uneven and the economic forecast is unknown. If you think you could benefit from investing in gold then start by requesting a free investment guide to learn more.

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