What is the best form of gold to own?

For us, the best type of gold to buy are physical gold bars. The precious metal has been valued for centuries as a safe haven in which to cultivate and store wealth, and physical ingots best reflect these qualities today. Maintaining gold as a physical commodity is, in many ways, fundamental to its attractiveness. The Gold American Eagles are the most popular gold bullion coins.

Investing in gold stocks, ETFs or mutual funds is often the best way to expose yourself to gold in your portfolio. Instead of investing in a single gold-linked company, one invests in a basket of gold-related securities through gold mutual funds or ETFs. Generally, ingots are only sold at banks and gold traders, while minted coins can also be purchased at coin dealers, brokerage firms, and precious metals traders. Gold funds can track the price of gold, include the shares of several gold mines and refineries, or offer exposure to gold futures and options.

And while the stock market has its ups and downs, investing in physical gold can involve many unexpected costs and considerations, such as insurance and safe storage. Not only is gold largely immune to inflation, but it also closely adjusts to the cost of living, but it also serves as a hedge against economic disasters. The largest funds in this sector include the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) ETF, the VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners (GDXJ) ETF and the iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners (RING) ETF. When the rest of the stock market falls, gold tends to go the other way, appreciating and protecting the shrewd investor from large losses in other financial assets.

Once your account is funded, you'll be able to choose the gold-related assets you want to invest in and place an order on your broker's website. That's one of the reasons why legendary investors, such as Warren Buffett, warn against investing in gold and instead advocate buying companies with cash flow. These include the trading of gold futures contracts, gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other gold derivatives. Another way to take advantage of rising gold prices is to own the mining companies that produce the material.

Regardless of the forms of gold you choose, buying gold bars helps your asset portfolio cope with stock declines and counteract inflation. In almost all cases, having gold on paper does not mean that you have real gold at the end of the investment. The investment information provided in this table is for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. For the novice gold investor, coins tend to be more attractive because of their liquidity and ease of storage.