Watch CBS News

5 simple ways to invest in gold as prices surge

Gold bar on a a pair of scales
Gold prices are skyrocketing, and there are some easy ways to jump on the gold investing bandwagon. Creativ Studio Heinemann/Getty Images

Gold has always been a go-to investment for investors seeking stability and a hedge against inflation — and that's especially true during times of economic uncertainty, much like what we're experiencing right now. Part of the draw is that gold offers a wide range of unique benefits to investors, from its steady, long-term historical price growth to its role in investment portfolio diversification. Those types of features, in turn, make it a good addition to nearly any portfolio.

And, with gold prices now surging — they hit a record high of $2,100 on December 4 — many would-be investors are now turning to this precious metal as a way to diversify their portfolios and protect their wealth. But investing in gold can be much different than buying stocks or putting money into real estate, and the gold market can be a little tricky to navigate if you aren't familiar with it.

But the good news is that it doesn't have to be. There are lots of simple ways for investors to capitalize on the gold rush and incorporate this valuable asset into their investment strategy. 

Get started and explore your gold investing options here.

5 simple ways to invest in gold as prices surge

If you're ready to add gold to your investment mix, consider these easy routes for doing so:

Physical gold

One of the most traditional ways to invest in gold is by purchasing physical gold in the form of coins or bars. These tangible assets offer a sense of security and are an excellent option for those who prefer to have direct control over their investments. 

While purchasing physical gold may involve additional costs such as storage and insurance, it provides a tangible and reliable means of holding value. Physical gold can also be used in a gold IRA to prepare for retirement, which comes with lots of unique benefits as well.

Find out more about how gold investing could benefit you here.

Gold ETFs 

For investors looking for a more convenient and liquid option, gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are an excellent choice. These funds are traded on stock exchanges, providing an easy way to buy and sell gold without the hassle of physical ownership. And, gold ETFs track the price of gold and offer investors exposure to the precious metal without the need for storage — making them a simple option, especially for beginners.

Gold stocks

Investing in gold mining stocks can be an indirect yet profitable way to gain exposure to rising gold prices. As the price of gold increases, the profitability of gold mining companies often follows suit. While this route can be a bit more risky than investing in physical gold, investors have the option to research and choose mining stocks from well-established companies with strong financials, as they are likely to benefit from the surge in gold prices.

Gold mutual funds

Mutual funds that focus on precious metals, specifically gold, provide investors with a diversified portfolio of gold-related assets. These funds are managed by professionals who make decisions based on market trends and individual company performance. And, while gold mutual funds come with management fees, they offer diversification and professional management, making them an attractive option for those looking for a hands-off approach.

Gold futures and options

For experienced investors willing to take on more risk, gold futures and options can be viable investment instruments. These financial derivatives allow investors to speculate on the future price movements of gold. However, it's crucial to note that futures and options trading can be complex and may not be suitable for everyone, as they require a deep understanding of the market and a higher risk tolerance.

Choosing the right gold investment for you

With a plethora of options available to invest in gold, selecting the right strategy that aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance is crucial. Here's how to decide which investment option is the best fit for you:

  • Assess your risk tolerance: Understand your risk tolerance before diving into gold investments. If you prefer stability and security, physical gold or gold ETFs might be more suitable. On the other hand, if you're comfortable with market fluctuations and seeking higher returns, gold mining stocks, mutual funds or even futures and options may be a better move.
  • Consider your investment horizon: Determine how long you intend to hold your investment. If you're looking for a short-term hedge against market volatility, ETFs or physical gold might be preferable. For a longer-term strategy, mining stocks or mutual funds may provide more significant returns over time.
  • Evaluate costs and fees: Different investment options come with varying costs and fees. Physical gold may involve storage and insurance costs, while mutual funds and ETFs have management fees. Factor in these expenses to understand their impact on your overall returns and choose an option that aligns with your budget.
  • Research and understand the market: Each investment option is tied to different aspects of the gold market. Research the current market conditions, historical performance and future outlook for gold prices. This information will help you make an informed decision based on your understanding of the market dynamics.
  • Diversify your portfolio: Consider how gold fits into your overall investment portfolio. Diversification is a key principle of sound investing, and gold can act as a hedge against market volatility. Depending on your existing investments, choose an option that complements your portfolio and mitigates risk.
  • Stay informed and stay flexible: The financial landscape and gold market can evolve over time. Stay informed about economic trends, geopolitical events and market conditions. Being flexible with your investment strategy allows you to adapt to changing circumstances and optimize your portfolio accordingly.

The bottom line

Whether you prefer the tangible security of physical gold, the convenience of ETFs, the potential returns of mining stocks, the diversification offered by mutual funds or the risk and reward of futures and options, there's a strategy to suit every investor. Before making any investment decisions, though, it's essential to conduct thorough research and consider your risk tolerance to ensure that your investment strategy aligns with your financial goals and objectives.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.