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How to Buy Gold: A Guide for Beginners

The three primary ways to invest in gold are to buy physical gold bullion, gold futures, or gold stocks and ETFs. While gold can be a hedge against inflation, keep in mind that it doesn't generate interest, and timing the market can be difficult.

Perhaps you’ve seen those WE BUY GOLD billboards along the side of highways. Or the South Park episode making fun of those places.

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Either way, you’re probably wondering if there’s an air of legitimacy to buying and storing gold as an investment — and how to do it properly.

I’m here to tell you there definitely is, and buying physical gold bullion is just one of the three main ways to invest and profit from the rise in gold prices.

So let’s explore all three, the pros and cons of each, and discuss whether you should invest in gold in the first place.

Gold Bullion

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First up is gold bullion. You know, literal gold. The stuff Goldmember and Scrooge McDuck loved to bathe in, back when shameless billionaires were still funny.

Anyway, the term “bullion” refers to precious metal that’s melted into bars, ingots, or coins. Basically, bullion is the fungible, transferable, “currency” form of a precious metal, with its weight etched into the metal itself.

And, according to Gold Bars Worldwide, gold bullion has to be 99.5% pure to be considered a true investment — meaning anything shy of that might be hard to sell back to the market, so be careful not to buy any “fool’s gold.”

Bars, ingots, and coins of 99.5% purity are considered bullion. Jewelry is not.

 

 

About the author

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Chris Butsch

Chris helps people build better lives through financial literacy. He has contributed to USA TODAY, Forbes and has worked as a senior contributor here on Money Under 30. He has covered topics such as taxes, credit card, investing, retirement, and more with a focus on helping Gen Z master personal finance.

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