What I kept seeing was that folks were either saying they had no experience with gold of any kind, or were investing only in gold bullion which is only one form of gold (and the most expensive in terms of buy-in levels). Also the clunkiest, as Sharon has pointed out, in terms of converting it to currency. What I was talking about, and no one else here has yet mentioned they have any experience with it, was gold coin. It’s a lot easier to work with, a lot easier to buy, a lot easier to trade, and a very potent investment vehicle for small scale investing. That’s why I was going to such lengths about how it works. Is it the be-all, end-all of investing? Of course not, no one investment would be. But is it given due consideration as an attractive option, in comparison with the other forms of investment typically traded by individuals? Realistically, I think it’s usually overlooked. Which again is why I made such a point to show its strengths and weaknesses. I could say the same about silver coin; a good “starter” precious metal, holds value, easy to work with, no federal meddling, etc. Stela, as to how to convert your bullion into currency, the short answer is I’m not sure if you can “trade it in” for gold coin. We’ve never worked with gold bullion so I have no idea – that was too rich for our blood at the time. And yes, you have to have a trading partner who can handle gold bullion. That list is relatively short. Honestly I’m not sure I’d ever mess with gold bullion for exactly the reasons you mention. It would require some shuffling to translate that bullion into dollars (or whatever other currency) in your hand. That’s not its strength. Its strength is its longevity compared to paper assets which come and go a lot more easily. The “midpoint” between the ultra-convenient paper assets, and the clunky brick long-term value of gold bullion, is the gold coin I keep harping about.
OK, this has gone quite a bit further than I expected or wanted. Gold and silver are a part of our investment plans, in the form of coin, for all the reasons I’ve mentioned. They aren’t the only thing we plan to invest in, nor even the centerpiece. But they can play a unique roll in anyone’s investment plan who cares to include them. That’s all I was trying to get across.