You can invest in precious metals in more than one way. In fact, it is difficult to list all the different ways that you can take part in precious metal investments.
The simplest way to describe possible investments is to divide them into direct and indirect forms. Direct investments in precious metals involve coins and bars, for the most part. Indirect investments are made using stocks and exchange-traded funds.
Many investors have tired of the abstract investments on the stock market and their failure to perform. This has turned them to direct, physical investments in coins and bars made from precious metals. You can buy silver, gold, and platinum coins from the national mints of several different countries.
Examples include the American Eagles, Chinese Pandas, and Canadian Maple Leafs. These countries make coins in silver, gold, and platinum. They sell for the spot price of their underlying assets plus a certain amount extra due to the design costs.
Bars made from precious metals are also available from national and private mints. These forms of precious metal investment are more efficient than coins because bars are sold for prices that adhere more closely to the spot value on the daily market.
Some people are hesitant to invest in bars because they assume that they must make major investments to buy the large, kilogram bars that they have seen on television and in the movies. However, many companies make smaller bars available. Examples include Credit Suisse and Johnson Matthey.
Many investors prefer to invest in precious metals indirectly because they do not want to spend money on maintenance. Once you buy coins and bars made from precious metals, you become responsible for their maintenance. However, if you invest in stocks and ETFs, you can rid yourself of this responsibility while still getting exposure to the underlying assets.
If you are going to get into precious metals investment, you should make some haste about it. With the fiscal cliff looming, precious metals are at a crossroads. You have probably heard the adage about buying low and selling high.
Now is the time to get into these assets and wait for the exponential performance that will follow the certain turmoil in the markets next year as the government encounters the fiscal cliff.