Are you’re getting sick of me talking about gold yet?
Well, in that case, I’m afraid I have some bad news.
Because in this essay, I’m again focusing on the yellow metal. More specifically, how to buy physical bullion.
Personally, I prefer buying my silver and gold in the financial markets. I find buying physical too much of a hassle. You can find out how to do that in this article.
But I also understand that you might have different preferences, that you distrust financial markets, and consider bullion to be a safer choice.
Of course, this option comes with its own set of challenges.
That is why I’ve prepared this beginner’s guide to buying gold bullion. Because I care for you and your wealth.
Buying Gold Online
One of the first challenges you’re going to face is whether to buy online or in person.
The main benefit of doing it online is privacy. No one sees you walking in and out of the shop.
This also means that it’s safer since thieves are unlikely to mug you once you exit the store.
Furthermore, no pushy salesmen are trying to sway your decisions.
The only downside is that buying in person may give you peace of mind since you’re receiving the asset immediately after the purchase, whereas with online shopping, you must wait for the delivery.
Given all that, I think that for most investors, buying online is more optimal.
Popular gold bullion websites you can check are APMEX, JM Bullion, and WholesaleCoinDirect.
Do shop around when you decide on the product, since different websites may have different prices. Also, factor in the delivery and credit card fees, if there are any.
If the above-mentioned websites don’t work for you, and you’ve found another that you like more, you can always check the Better Business Bureau and Ripoff Report websites to ensure its authenticity. The same goes for verifying brick-and-mortar shops.
What To Look For In A Gold Bar
Next, it’s time to focus on the specifics.
Let’s start with purity.
Generally, anything above 99.5% is considered investment grade.
But if you can buy 99.99%, I suggest you opt for that one. Put it simply, it’s easier to sell.
Then you should consider the manufacturer. Make sure it’s one of the bigger reputable ones, such as Valcambi, Canadian Mint, or Perth Mint. The name of the manufacturer should be imprinted on the bar. Again, it’s easier to sell a bar from a reputable producer.
Besides the purity and manufacturer, the final piece of information stamped on the bar should be the serial number. Do note, however, that this will only be featured on bars that are 1oz or above.
Coins Vs Bars Vs Large Bars
Once you start browsing through the website’s catalog of products, you’re going to notice that you can also buy the flashy-looking gold coins.
I advise you against it.
They’re more expensive because they’re considered a piece of art, and are often less pure, so you’re throwing away money. It’s also more challenging to sell those.
On the other side of the spectrum, you have large bars that weigh 10oz or even more.
Again, there’s no added value in those. If you want to own 10oz of gold, you’re better off buying ten 1oz bars, rather than one 10oz bar. This is because in the future when you decide to liquidate, you have the option to divest only part of your holdings or sell it to many buyers.
Overseas Vs Domestic Purchases
Finally, you should avoid buying gold from overseas.
First of all, your assets will travel through different jurisdictions and ports, which increases the risks of someone claiming a piece of your package for themselves.
Second, an overseas purchase means you’ll probably be charged customs and additional taxes. This can significantly increase the price of your investment. It’s what happened to me once, and I don’t want you to make the same mistake.
Last of all, authenticating the seller can prove to be much harder than stateside, as does filing any litigation charges in case of fraud.
I hope this guide helps you in making the right decision.
And by the way, everything I’ve just covered applies to buying silver bullion as well.