Many investors view gold as a hedge against inflation and as a long-term store of value. The price of an ounce of gold increased from less than $300 per ounce in 2001 to over $1,500 10 years later. Buying gold in the form of bars or coins can lead to storage problems or high storage costs. An investor can boost his return from gold investing by choosing an investment method that minimizes the costs.
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Open an account with an online discount stockbroker if you do not already have a brokerage account. The gold exchange traded funds -- ETFs -- provide a low-expense way to invest in gold. To choose an online broker, refer to the "Smart Money" magazine annual broker survey for ratings and analysis.
Review the current prices of the gold ETFs that own physical gold. Using the stock symbols for such ETFs, GLD and SGOL have share prices at approximately one-tenth the price of an ounce of gold. IAU and PHYS are priced at about 1/100th the price of an ounce.
Calculate the number of ETF shares you wish to purchase, dividing your investment amount by the current share price of the selected fund. ETF shares are purchased in whole shares, so round off any fraction in the calculation.
Purchase gold ETF shares using the trade screen of your online brokerage account. ETF shares are purchased in the same manner as stock shares. Enter the number of shares you want to buy and use a market order to buy at the current market price.