– How to Buy Bullion (What to Ask and What to Own) (ZeroHedge, Oct 21, 2012):
Quite a few articles have been written about the importance of owning Gold and other precious metals as a means of maintaining one’s wealth in the face of rampant money printing by the world’s Central Banks.
Today I’m going to share some ideas on how to actually buy bullion.
As far as precious metals go, you need to:
- Own actual Bullion
- Store it yourself (not in a bank)
I do not recommend owning a paper gold-based ETF because frankly the custodial risk is high (that is, there’s no telling if the Gold is even there or who would get it if the ETF is liquidated).
In comparison, physical bullion, stored outside a bank, is literally money in hand. You know where it is and you can find out what it’s worth. Compare that to a Gold ETF in which you’re hoping that the bank actually has the Gold and that it could actually send it to you if you requested (fat chance).
In terms of actual gold coins, there are three coins that comprise the bulk of the bullion market. They are Kruggerands, Canadian Maple Leafs, and American Gold Eagles. I’ve been told to avoid Maple Leafs by both a trader and a bullion dealer as they can easily be scratched which damages the gold and reduces the coin’s value.
In terms of silver, the easiest way to get it is via pre-1965 coins (often termed “junk” silver). You can also get silver one-ounce rounds (coin-like medallions) and 10-ounce bars. Or you can buy Silver Eagles coins.
I cannot tell you which dealer to go with, but look for someone who’s been dealing for years (not a newbie). You should always ask for references from the dealer (former clients you can talk to about their purchases/ experiences).
Some warning signs to avoid are dealers who try to store your bullion. Never, I repeat, never store your bullion with someone else. Always store it yourself. Also, be sure to talk to the dealer for some time and ask him or her numerous questions about the industry, the coins, etc. (feel free to test him or her on the information I’ve provided you with e.g. the three most liquid Gold coins, etc.). If they can answer everything you ask in a knowledgeable fashion, their references check out, and you verify everything they say with a 3rd party, you should be OK.
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