What To Consider Before Investing In Precious Metals

Establishing a hedge over what the market will do has advantages that may be derived from precious metals in several ways depending upon your experience, understanding, and desire for how you would like to see your wealth diversified. Investment options include precious metals in the form of bars, coins, or other assets, such as the gold-backed IRA.

Methods of Investing – Coins or Bars

When facing the prospect of buying precious metals, many ask the same question: Do I just buy gold bars?

Yes, it is possible to purchase bars, which are called bullion. Precious metals may also be purchased in the form of national coins, presenting a better means of conveyance. Coins can be dispersed more easily than bars and may also be spread among family members as security for both the family and the precious coins. Additionally, national coins are a global exchange, recognized at any precious metal outlet around the world. It is not as easy to trade bars for cash as they would have to be valued for their content first. Aside from the time it takes, trading gold bars is an “all or nothing” proposition.

Further, coins are easier to “house” whether at home or in a trusted vault with a custodian. This is of concern to many who have been investing in precious metals without actually holding the commodity in hand. Again, there is the concern when you do have them in your possession as to where and how they should be concealed. It is unwise to broadcast your holdings to anyone when choosing to secure them within the home. It is best to avoid temptation in challenging times.

Alternatively, this gives rise to the awareness that there must be a level of trust when it comes to parting with the life savings in exchange for a piece of paper certifying ownership. This brings us to the next methods of investment: gold stocks or the gold-backed IRA. Gold stocks have an advantage in that their value tends to exceed that of the actual value of gold itself. These mining stocks are driven by the market, which leaves them vulnerable to market fluctuations.

Rolling Over the 401K

One of the best choices that can be made when investing in gold is to roll over the 401k plan into a gold-backed IRA. This takes care of what to do with the funds after exiting the job, giving more control over the choice of investment while still deferring taxes. A direct rollover from trustee to trustee will avoid any of the taxes and penalties that could apply. Investing in gold through an IRA is more secure in that only approved gold bullion may be purchased. As with all investments, it is wise to consult with an investment adviser to have all your questions answered upfront.