Market timing is difficult for any investment. That is one reason many investors look beyond day-to-day price movements and buy physical Gold or Silver as long-term investments. When planning to hold an asset like physical Gold for 3-5 years or more, it is less important to consider the current cost of the metal and more important to examine its historical performance in relation to other investments.
Answer. Futures and options contracts are generally considered one of the most speculative arenas in the investment marketplace. The investor's exposure to the market is leveraged and the moves both up and down are greatly exaggerated. Something like 9 out of 10 investors who enter the futures/options market come away losers. For someone looking to hedge his or her portfolio against economic and financial risk, this is a poor substitute for owning the metal itself.
Since the price of gold tends to be dramatically cyclical, subject to many factors involving supply and demand, it can be quite difficult to valuate gold in an environment of constantly depreciating paper currencies. One way to valuate gold is to compare it to the price of stocks, which tends to be more stable. The Dow/gold ratio is the Dow Jones Industrial Average relative to gold's price per ounce (or how many ounces of gold the Dow can buy). A high Dow/gold ratio means stocks are overpriced and gold is cheap, while a low Dow/gold ratio means gold is overpriced and stocks are cheap. One should consider buying stocks and selling gold when the Dow/gold ratio falls well below the historic trend-line (which has recently averaged about 20 or higher). Conversely, one might consider selling stocks and buying gold when the Dow/gold ratio is significantly above the historic trend-line.
Congressionally authorized United States Mint Bullion Coins provide investors with a convenient and cost-effective way to add physical gold, silver, platinum, or palladium to their investment portfolios. The American Eagle Bullion Coin Program was launched in 1986 with the sale of American Eagle Gold and Silver Bullion Coins. Platinum was added to the American Eagle Bullion Coin family in 1997 and palladium in 2017. In 2008, the American Buffalo Bullion Coin Program was introduced. The America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin™ Program followed in 2010.