People have valued gold since the ancient Egyptians beat the precious metal into bracelets and earrings. As the price of gold continues to climb, many people see gold as a recession-proof investment. Most people use brokers to obtain their gold, whether in the form of coins of bullion. The broker accepts a commission that's usually a percentage of the purchase price, in exchange for arranging the deal. This can be a safe way to purchase gold, as long as you keep a few things in mind.
1. Check out the broker's reputation. Gold brokering is one area in which scammers have flourished, so make sure you're dealing with a legitimate, reputable operation. Contact your state's Attorney General's office and ask if they've had any complaints about the broker. Do a Google search and see what others have to say about them, and check the business's rating with the local Better Business Bureau.
2. Expect to pay a reasonable commission. The American Numismatic Association says the average commission on gold coin sales is 5 to 6 percent.
3. Ask for the gold coin's melt value. This is the value of the gold in the coin, if the coin was melted down into bullion. Don't be swayed by talk of collectable values. If you're buying gold as an investment, the melt value is what matters.
4. Check the spot price of gold the day you make your purchase. You can look this up on several websites. Gold prices fluctuate frequently and you don't want to pay more than the gold is worth the day you buy it, after you've figured in the broker's commission.
5. Get a receipt for your purchase. Keep the receipt with your financial records. This establishes a base price for your investment.
- All investments come with risk. Though gold may be rising in price today, you have no guarantee prices will continue to rise. They could fall, in which case you'd lose money.
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