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.


A coin or bar dealer will not buy gold from you at the spot price, as they have to factor in their business overheads. They also have to consider the chance that the bar or coin is not what they think it is. Some rarer coins might be quoted at prices above spot, but in gold bullion products like small bars, Sovereigns or Krugerrands, this usually results in you receiving 2-5% less than the spot price when you come to sell.
As you look into ETFs, however, a word of warning: Make sure that you fully understand what the ETF is intended to do. The difference between the SPDR Gold Shares ETF and the two gold miner-focused VanEck ETFs is only the tip of the iceberg, as the more subtle difference between the two VanEck ETFs makes very clear. When you do your research, look closely at the index being tracked, paying particular attention to how it is constructed, the weighting approach, and when and how it gets rebalanced. All are important pieces of information that are easy to overlook when you assume that a simple ETF name will translate into a simple investment approach.
That makes rebalancing a portfolio as simple as calling your broker -- for most investors selling gold coins or bars would require pulling them out of storage and taking them a dealer. The problem here is that an ounce of gold is always going to be an ounce of gold. Its value is tied totally to supply and demand. For a purist that's perfect, for most investors however it makes sense to find something that will track gold but provide's a little more upside.  

The official gold bullion coin of the United States is the American Gold Eagle. In 1986, the U.S. Mint first released eagles in accordance with the Gold Bullion Act of 1985. Often the weight is used to describe these coins because the term “eagle” was the U.S. designation for ten dollar gold coins distributed prior to 1933. Lady Liberty appears on the obverse of the coin. The reverse features an eagle carrying an olive branch. He is flying over a nest with a female eagle accompanied by hatchlings. The U.S. government guarantees the current eagles contain an accurate amount of gold weight in troy ounces or units. These are available in denominations of 1/10 oz, ¼ oz, ½ oz, and 1 oz gold coins. The face values are $5, $10, $25, and $50 USD. While eagles are legal tender, their intrinsic value is far greater as based on their troy weight and the current prices of gold.
In the United States, the avoirdupois measure of weights is used when weighing everything except precious metals, gems, and drugs. For precious metals, such as silver, the troy weight system is used. The standard avoirdupois ounce contains 28.35 grams, while the troy measure is a bit heavier, with 31.1 grams. The weight difference might seem almost negligible, but when weighing even small amounts of precious metals, this difference can have a significant impact. It's definitely important to make sure that the right unit of measurement is being used.
Gold shows typically deal more in numismatic, or collector coins, which have high markups, are illiquid, and are valued based more on rarity or historical significance than gold content. If a dealer does have any bullion, it is likely to be a limited selection. While numismatics can be a good investment, it takes a tremendous amount of research to avoid being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous dealer.
Silver has many different uses both industrially and as an investment vehicle. Silver is a very interesting precious metal which has unique malleability, strength and ductility. It can endure extreme temperature changes, and its electrical and thermal conductivity make it extremely versatile in modern industry. The fact is, silver can accomplish things that other elements cannot come close to and, therefore, demand for it is likely to continue to rise. Silver is most commonly used today in electrical components, silver oxide batteries and various areas of radiography
As there is a finite amount of Silver in the world, Silver’s relative purchasing power tends to remain stable. For example, in 1985, the cost of an ounce of Silver would just about buy two movie tickets. Allowing for some peaks and valleys in the market, today, one ounce of Silver costs slightly less than a pair of movie tickets while the price in dollars has tripled. Silver prices do fluctuate, but they generally move independent of the stock market. If you want a stable investment that can protect your purchasing power long term, consider buying Physical Silver.
A coin or bar dealer will not buy gold from you at the spot price, as they have to factor in their business overheads. They also have to consider the chance that the bar or coin is not what they think it is. Some rarer coins might be quoted at prices above spot, but in gold bullion products like small bars, Sovereigns or Krugerrands, this usually results in you receiving 2-5% less than the spot price when you come to sell.
Whether it is the tensions in the Middle East, Africa or elsewhere, it is becoming increasingly obvious that political and economic uncertainty is another reality of our modern economic environment. For this reason, investors typically look at gold as a safe haven during times of political and economic uncertainty. Why is this? Well, history is full of collapsing empires, political coups, and the collapse of currencies. During such times, investors who held gold were able to successfully protect their wealth and, in some cases, even use the commodity to escape from all of the turmoil. Consequently, whenever there are news events that hint at some type of global economic uncertainty, investors will often buy gold as a safe haven.
Derivatives, such as gold forwards, futures and options, currently trade on various exchanges around the world and over-the-counter (OTC) directly in the private market. In the U.S., gold futures are primarily traded on the New York Commodities Exchange (COMEX) and Euronext.liffe. In India, gold futures are traded on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) and Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX).[54]
As there is a finite amount of Silver in the world, Silver’s relative purchasing power tends to remain stable. For example, in 1985, the cost of an ounce of Silver would just about buy two movie tickets. Allowing for some peaks and valleys in the market, today, one ounce of Silver costs slightly less than a pair of movie tickets while the price in dollars has tripled. Silver prices do fluctuate, but they generally move independent of the stock market. If you want a stable investment that can protect your purchasing power long term, consider buying Physical Silver.
Specialized Maple Leaf coins are also available. One has a face value of $1 million. Another special issue contains .99999 gold weight, referred to as “Five Nines.” Maples are soft and can show handling marks quite easily. A bimetallic  maple leaf with a bullion finish was released from 1979 through 2005. These coins were packaged in a black leather case and the collection was meant to commemorate the Royal Canadian Mint.

The European Commission publishes annually a list of gold coins which must be treated as investment gold coins (e.g. by being exempt from VAT) in all EU Member States. The list has legal force and supplements the law. In the United Kingdom, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have added an additional list of gold coins alongside the European Commission list. These are gold coins that HMRC recognise as falling within the VAT exemption for investment gold coins.[10] The following list presents only the most common coins included in the European Commission list.
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