Saturday, January 14, 2012

Investing In Gold

Gold is one of the most valuable and desirable substances known to man. For many years it has been a status symbol as well as a form of currency since the days before money. It is also the most popular material for making jewellery, with roughly half of all gold being used in this way.

Gold Price

For many years, the price of gold was a relative standard for currencies around the world. This started to change in the 1970s when the value of the US dollar stopped being linked to the price of gold and finished in 2000 when the Swiss Franc was the last currency to remove the link.

Like all commodities, it is possible to treat gold as a short-term and long-term investment. Over hours, days or weeks, the fluctuation in the price of gold on an exchange allows traders to buy and sell for hopefully a profit. With luck or skill, a gold trader can buy some gold at a low price, sell it at a higher price and buy more when the price drops. Repeating the process allows an investor to make a lot of money, but if it goes wrong they could make a loss on each trade.

Historically, the price of gold has risen at a steady rate making it a great safe investment. In fact, during the recent financial crisis many people turned to gold as an alternative way of saving. This is a relatively safe way of investing in gold, but still leaves you with the problem of finding somewhere to keep it safe. Most experts recommend that gold is a rainy day investment, like an insurance policy that should be kept until you absolutely need to sell.

Gold Coins/ Bullion

Another way to invest in gold is gold bullion coins. These cost slightly more than the spot price of gold, but are easier to buy, trade and store than larger pieces. Typical sizes include 1/10oz, 1/4oz, 1/2oz and 1oz. The governments of the UK, USA, Canada, China and most other major world powers mint these coins, so they are very reputable.

Mining Stocks or Close Ended Funds

Apart from investing in physical gold itself, one can also invest in the mining companies that are involved in gold production.  There are also certain funds that invest in various mining stocks.  One of these close ended funds is Gamco Global Gold & Natural Resources Trust which pays out a monthly dividend.  If you have been reading and following this blog, you probably know that I have loaded up on GGN just recently..

Storing Gold

Many major banks will store gold for customers, as will specialized gold exchanges and trading houses. You can even walk in to some banks and hand over your money in exchange for a gold ingot. Once you have carried this heavy bar home, you need somewhere secure to store it. If you do not have anywhere secure enough then most banks will have a vault that you can use for a fee.

Every major bank and most of the governments in the world store gold. Since the start of the economic woes in 2007, the world banks have become net buyers of gold which shows just how great an investment it really is.

This desire for gold and its scarcity and it being difficult to obtain means that it should continue to keep its value, but like anything the price of gold is not immune to market fluctuations and could even crash.


  1. Have you study the historical chart for Gold for past decades?

  2. Yes, gold price is really really high now. Might not be a good time to go in but interesting as an investment concept nonetheless..

  3. Ha! Ha!
    Gold is really funny, i think. It actually has little utility value yet people worship gold since biblical time. But in the form of jewelery, it can be very dazzlingly beautiful to look at. That's why we worship GOLD.
    Me? i am also human ma!

  4. Hi Temperament,

    Investing in gold is perhaps one of the things that i have put off for the longest time. Still not invested at the current moment though i have bought some close ended funds related to gold.

    Yes. Gold has little utility value. I think Warren Buffet once joked about gold too because we spend time digging it up from the ground, only to bury it back in the ground with lot of armed personnel protecting it.

  5. To me, Gold is not an investment as it does not generate cash flows.

  6. Hi Musicwhiz,

    Thanks for the inputs. That is a pretty strict definition of an investment then =)


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