• The Basics of Investing in Precious Metals

    Individuals and traders have been increasingly looking towards obtaining exposure to precious metals for a number of different reasons. The primary reason that investors have been turning towards precious metals such as gold and silver is due to the various quantitative easing and stimulus programs introduced by several world governments. These quantitative easing and stimulus programs primarily involve the printing of these currencies, which is inflationary in nature and causes the value of currency to decrease. Since there are a limited amount of precious metals in circulation right now and a limited amount available overall since it is a finite resource, precious metals appear likely to appreciate. 

    Owning precious metals can seem a bit difficult for novice traders and investors, though new technologies and financial products have created a wealth of options for investors looking to gain exposure to precious metals. This article will highlight some of the common ways that individuals gain access to precious metals and what to consider when making an investment. Before we go further, we need to define what spot price is. A spot price is the price that a specific item, including precious metals, can be purchased for at a given time. The spot price is influenced by any number of different factors. The spot price of a precious metal differs from the futures price which is impacted by the same factors as the spot price, but also any anticipated factors in the future that may impact the price. One factor that influences futures price but not spot price is the length of time until the futures contract expires. 

    When investing in either gold or silver bullion, you’ll be able to evaluate the daily spot price and compare it to past prices in order to gauge whether now is the right time to buy or not.

    Bullion 
    Bullion is a form of precious metals that is measured, weighed, and stamped. As a result, bullion is in easily tradable quantities and buyers are assured of the content and nature of the precious metal that is contained inside. There are often delivery and storage costs associated with owning bullion, but it is generally considered the purest form of owning a precious metal. 

    Coins

    Gold and silver coins are issued by governments and other factors then the underlying commodity price can impact the value of gold coins such as the year the coin was issued and the rarity of the precious metals included in the coin. In addition, coins may have other materials included in them other than the gold and silver and due diligence will have to be done by the buyer to understand the content of these coins. Gold coins can also be bought online at various online gold dealers

    Jewelry
    Owning jewelry that contains precious metals such as gold or silver is one example of this. While jewelry prices are influenced by the cost of the underlying precious metals there are other factors included in the price of jewelry such as workmanship and other adornments that can influence the price of the jewelry. 

    Market Investments
    Owning physical precious metals are not the only way that investors can gain access to these markets. Financial innovations including exchange traded funds (ETFs) and futures contracts provide access to these markets. In addition, you can own equities in companies that mine precious metals. Owning stock in a mining company will not give you a return that is directly correlated to the precious metal you are seeking to trade due to company risk (risk that the company can go bankrupt due to mismanagement or other factors) associated with the company you are investing in, as well as due to external factors such as oil prices and employment costs that can impact the profitability of the mining company. ETF’s that hold precious metals are more closely correlated with the value of precious metals, though there are storage costs and management fees associated with these ETF investments. Finally, futures contracts can allow you to lock in a price on the underlying commodity, though there is a time frame associated with futures contracts that may limit the correlation between the price of these investments and the underlying precious metals. 

    There are therefore many different options for owning and investing in precious metals that may or may not be directly correlated with the underlying precious metal spot price. Having said that it is generally considered to be a good idea to gain some exposure to precious metals due to them being a hedge on inflation and currency risks. Visits BuyGold.net to learn more about investing in gold and other precious metals.

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