As investors watch their 401(k)s and RRSPs continue to melt away with every stock-market drop, many are rethinking their investment strategies. In some cases volatile stocks and low-yield bank accounts are giving way to coin collections and stockpiles of gold and silver.
“We’re dealing in gold and silver bullion and we are doing extremely well. Quite a bit of the (economic) stimulus money is coming into the store,” said Phil Carlino, the president of Fremont Coin Co. “People are smart. They are protecting their money by putting it into something other than paper.”
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I’m not so sure buying precious metal coins is the best route to go. You typically have to pay a much higher above spot premium when buying precious metal coins. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good idea to have some physical gold on hand, but for large scale investing I think buying bullion coins is not the best idea. You can save a lot of money by buying either investment grade bullion bars or buying gold from a popular gold storage provider.
Here are some of the most popular ones:
BullionVault – from what I can tell this is the most economical provider
GoldMoney – brainchild of gold bug James Turk
Anglo Far East Bullion – no storage fees for up to 7 years
Alternatively you can buy gold and silver “e-currencies” (digitized gold and silver) from the likes of c-gold, e-gold, e-bullion, pecunix, webmoney, crowne-gold, phoenix dollar, etc. However I believe that these e-currencies carry a slightly higher risk than the above mentioned established gold storage providers. The upside is that the storage fees that e-currency providers charge can be substaintially lower.
If you’re still planning on buying precious metal coins I’d recommend you checkout ebay. I managed to find some pretty good deals on investment grade bullion coins (such as gold & silver maple leafs). The premium that I paid over the gold & silver spot rate was quite low. The only downside is the risk that comes with ebay – you know, the seller not sending you the item after you paid for it. I do not recommend this for large purchases!