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Guide to Investing in Precious Metals: Practical Strategies and Tips

written by: •edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 9/20/2011

While you are probably familiar with gold and silver as investment products, did you know that platinum and palladium are also good bullion options for diversifying your portfolio? Use our informative guide to precious metals investments to find out more about these liquid assets.

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    Silver is another good investment product. Gold and other bullion products such as silver, palladium and platinum are perennial favorite investments because of their perceived safety. These investments typically are very liquid assets that can be converted into cash with little hassle.

    They provide an excellent hedge against inflation or for diversifying your portfolio. Gold in particular performs well in bear markets and is considered by many to be the universal currency. In fact, for many years (until 1971) the fiat currency of the United States was backed by a gold standard.

    While bullion products are good investment vehicles, like all investments they do have their drawbacks. Physical bullion such as bars, coins and rounds are the preferred choice of many but are vulnerable to loss by theft. Physical bullion must be stored and insured and while it is still a liquid asset, it may not be as easy to convert a bar of gold or silver bullion to cash as it would be to trade digital silver or a gold EFT.

    Some of the topics we'll cover in our guide include:

    Owning gold bars is nice but not very liquid. 

    • Numismatic coins (Gold, silver and platinum)
    • Semi-numismatic coins
    • Multi-metal options
    • Bullion (bars, coins and rounds
    • Investment terminology
    • FAQ

    You'll be able to use our tutorial to quickly find the answers to questions like:

    1. How can you get started in investing in precious metals?
    2. Which types of precious metals are the best investment choices?
    3. Should you sell other investment or savings products to invest in bullion products?
    4. How can you add gold or other bullion products to a current 401(k) or IRA?
    5. How much of your portfolio should you hold in precious metals?
    6. What's the risk factor?

    While bullion products are presumed to be safe investment havens, the truth is any investment product comes with advantages and disadvantages. Use this information to help you make the best informed choices for your particular situation.

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    Maximizing Profits with the Gold Silver Ratio

    Gold coins are an extremely liquid asset. 

    Are you puzzled about how to trade using the gold silver ratio? Once you read this informative article, you'll know more about the most useful techniques and tips. In addition, you'll learn why the gold silver ratio is an effective indicator that you can harness to formulate your long-term precious metals trading strategies.

    Gold Investing: Terminology and FAQs

    Take the mystery out of understanding the world of gold investing with this guide. We interviewed Jon Hunt of the Bullion Supermarket to get an expert's answers to the most commonly asked questions about bullion investments. In addition, we worked with Andrew Schrage of the Money Crashers to put together a cheat sheet for you that defines some of the more complex terms like melt value and bid-ask spread. You'll want to bookmark this article so you can refer it to it often as you make your trades.

    The Sky Is Falling! Why Chicken Little (and You!) Should Invest in Gold

    Is the current gold trend just a bubble or fever that will pass or it is a sign of things to come? Find out the facts from our personal interviews with three top experts in precious metals investing and discover why you might want to include gold or another precious metal in your portfolio holdings.

    Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Gold

    With the recent media hype about the benefits of investing in gold, investors are rushing to convert portions of their portfolios to gold and other precious metals. However, are gold investments really that safe or are there inherent risks? Should you invest in gold mutual funds, ETFs, coins or bars? Here's what you need to know to get started.

    Is There Really Ultra Safe Gold Trading?

    You may have heard a phrase similar to this in regard to gold investments: Gold is a safe investment. Is that a true statement or a myth? Does the risk versus reward theory still hold true when it comes to investing in gold? Here's an informative look at the validity of such statements along with a discussion of the safest options for investing in bullion.

    Options to Invest in Gold or Platinum

    Platinum eagle coin: investment potential? 

    Here we offer insight about the advantages and disadvantages of investing in gold and platinum. One of the first decisions you'll have to make is whether to invest in physical bullion or securities. While many investors like to have the physical gold or silver, there is a high risk of loss due to theft especially if one invests in numismatic coins. Find out what you need to know to make the smartest investment decision and minimize your exposure.

    Best Coin Investments

    Are numismatic coins the hands-down favorite for precious metal investors or are there better options? Learn more about the available choices from mint coins to proof sets to the always affordable Indian head cent. While we can't make the investment decision for you, we can provide all the facts you need to make the most informed buying decision for your personal portfolio.

    Investing: Precious Metals & IRAs

    Are you anxious to learn the basics of how to use your IRA to get your start in precious metals investing? Our focus here is on gold and silver, and we'll discuss self-directed IRAs, brokerage IRAs and exchange traded funds (ETF). In regard to ETFs, our explanation includes gold, silver, platinum, palladium and multi-metal funds.

    Finding the Best Liquid Investments

    Gold and silver 

    The conventional investment mantra is to invest in precious metals if you want a "safe" investment. However, no investment vehicle is ever truly safe; there are risks with any type of speculative endeavour. Here's a good discussion of the pros and cons of using gold bullion coins as a part of your overall portfolio strategy with an emphasis on their value as an extremely liquid investment. After all, you can spend gold no matter where you go or what you do.

    Advantages of Buying Gold and Silver

    Do you wonder what the real value of owning gold or silver really is? Is it worth the time and expense or is it just another bubble that will burst? Historically, owning precious metals (especially in physical form versus securities) has been the best hedge against inflation. Unlike fiat currency, precious metals cannot be created so governments cannot just print more of them and thus devalue them as currency. However, there are some downsides to bullion investments, and we'll explain those as well.

    Gold, Silver or Platinum? Which is the Best Investment?

    Once you have analyzed all the facts and decided that holding a portion of your portfolio in precious metals is a smart move, you are faced with the problem of deciding which type of bullion will give you the best yield and performance over the long haul. The key topics discussed here are the comparative pros and cons of investing in gold, silver or platinum.

    Learn the Best Way to Invest in Silver

    Did you know that you can purchase digital silver currency or invest in a mining company? Here's an eye-opening look at the wide range of silver investment options that may surprise the investor who thought his or her only choice was between physical silver or an ETF. While bars, coins and rounds are ever-popular investment vehicles, you might want to consider another option such as COMEX silver receipts or silver certificates.

    Beginner's Guide to Investing in Silver

    With all the hype and publicity about the spiraling increase in gold prices, it's easy for investors to forget that gold is just one of many precious metals that offer high liquidity and relative stability in the otherwise volatile stock market. For instance, do you know what junk silver is and why you might or might not want to include it in your portfolio? This informative tutorial covers topics such as ETFs, silver certificates, coins, bars and rounds in an easy to understand way that investors of any skill level can appreciate.

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    Share Your Thoughts and Experiences

    We want to hear from you! Please let us know your experiences with investing in precious metals. Do you think the precious metals boom is just a bubble or will it sustain its growth?