Investors always try to diversify their investments and lower their risk. They especially look for so-called safe haven investments that perform better when the rest of the market down.

Adding unleveraged gold and silver to your portfolio with can help diversify your investments or hedge against inflation. Precious metals are a key driver in markets worldwide. Open an account in under 5 minutes and start diversifying your investments.

Of these safe-haven investments treasury bills, francs, and others, investors consider gold to be the best. Thats why youll find that investors ofteninclude some gold in their portfolios.

Like any other commodity, the price of gold is determined by supply and demand. The

most of the worlds gold comes from the hard rock mining

, but it can also be produced using placer mining methods or as a by-product from copper mining. China, Australia, and Russia are the largest producers of gold in the world.

golds main use is for jewelry production. But, its also used in the aerospace industry, medicine, dentistry, and electronics

Governments and central banks are buyers of gold.

Currently, the U.S. is the largest gold holder, while Germany comes second and theInternational Monetary Fundis in the third place. Private investors are also interested in buying gold and they treat the

investors may buy gold when they expect a recession, geopolitical uncertainty, inflation or a depreciation of a currency

. Sometimes they hold it as an insurance from the market decline.

You cant always forecast unwanted events, so it makes sense to hold assets that do well as protection from a market decline.

In the last 40 years, gold recorded significant gains from 1978 to 1980 and from 1999 to 2011. It struggled during the 90s and after 2011. Fears of inflation and recession led gold to its 1980 highs, while several events caused gold to trade higher after 1999.

The September 11 attacks and the war in Iraq held the price higher until 2003. Insurance buying was behind golds move higher going into the 2007 recession. It continued its uptrend as the market traded lower, with economic uncertainty as its main theme. Problems in Europe, weaker U.S. dollar, concerns over economic recovery kept the gold price high until 2011.

Gold is not always performing well. It has struggled during the 90s due to growing U.S. GDP, interest rate hikes in 1995, and a tight fiscal policy. After 2011, the strength of the US dollar and the US economy hurt gold. The stock market broke out of a downtrend and turned in the uptrend and investors were not as interested in owning gold as an insurance.

Golds price movements from 2008 to 2017. Source; Fred.StLouisFed.gov

Now you know a little more about gold and why people may invest in it. Heres how you can start investing in gold.

If you want to get exposure to gold, one way to do it is bypurchasing gold jewelry, coins or bullion. Gold bullion trades very close to the price of gold and it can refer to gold bullion bars or gold bullion coins.

Bullion doesnt have any artistic value, which makes it different from jewelry or numismatic coins. To buy gold bullion you have to pay a premium over the gold price which can be in a range from 3 to 10 percent. You will also have to use a vault or a bank deposit box to store it.You canbuy physical gold online, in a jewelry store, or another gold storefront.

Before you purchase, make sure the price is fair, the gold is real and tested, and that you arent paying a higher premium for collectors coins if youre just looking for pure gold.Beprepared to walk away if these standards cannot be met, especially if an online store or storefront feels shady.

Onetrusted online storewith a4.9 rating on google storeisSilver Gold Bull, who not only allow you to buy gold, but will also store it, and buy it back should you chose to sell it for a profit.

Silver Gold Bull is a safe, fast and easy way to buy precious metals like gold and silver bullion. lists popular and up to date 999+ bullion coins, rounds, wafers and bars. Our quick and secure checkout has easy payment options: Bill Payment, Interac, PayPal and Wire/Check. Pricing is literally up to the minute so investors can buy the dips when they happen 24/7. As a bullion dealer we provide a return market so customers receive good value when theyre ready to sell.

Once you buy gold, you have tostore it properly. You could store it at home, but some security issues could arise from this approach. If you decide to purchase and keep it at home, make sure you have a proper safe and take the necessary measures to protect your assets.

They allow a holder to buy or sell an underlying at a specified time in future and at the price from the futures contract

First, youll need to open a brokerage account. Check outBenzingas Best Futures Brokers rankingsto start trading. Heres how it works.

Gold futures contract atChicago Mercantile Exchangecovers 100 troy ounces. To trade it, you need to

, which is a minimal amount necessary to open a position. Every day your position is going to

This means that if the price goes in your direction, youll make a profit, but if it goes against you, youll lose money.

If your account drops below maintenance margin, you will have to transfer money to your account to meet the amount of initial margin

You need to only need your account balance to be equal to the initial margin, which is lower than the value of the whole contract

Most brokers do not have the delivery option, so

The expiry is also standardized feature of the gold futures contract and investors can choose their time horizon while keeping standard

Later expiry contracts prices can be higher than the spot price and earlier expiry futures

, when the spot price or the price of early expiring contracts are higher than the price of later expiring futures contracts,

. If you are buying gold when the market is in a contango, you will also have to pay a premium for later expiry contracts.

The difference between contango and backwardation. Source:

If you are not a fan of investing in gold futures, you can try gold ETFs.Instead of owning futures contract and paying attention to maintenance margin, you can buy shares of ETFsand get an exposure to gold.

If youve never invested in ETFs before and want to start, check outBenzingas Best Online Brokers for ETF Investingto get started. Once you pick a brokerage, you just have to open an account and pick your preferred gold ETF.

The most popular gold ETF isSPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD)and it costs 0.40 percentannuallyto own it. The ETF follows gold bullion price.

An investment ingold mining companies offers exposure to gold, but the exposure is sometimes limited.These companies carry operating risks, which can break a correlation to the gold price.Gold miners are at risk of a default and their shares can trade lower in case of an operating problem with the company regardless of the price of gold.

ETFs seem to be the best way to invest in gold.If you dont like to own futures andmonitorinitial and maintenance margins, you canjustbuy shares of an ETF and follow the price of gold bullion. GLD is a liquid instrument and it doesnt have high transaction costs. Futures are sometimes tough to handle, so ETFs may be the right move.

Theres no magic secret. Becoming a financial investor takes time and dedication. But learning professional-grade investing skills could help you take control of your financial future. If youre ready to put in the work and learn, we can show you how you can make the right moves in any market, whether its going up, down or sideways. Sign up for a free half-day introductory class with Online Trading Academy and start to learn about our patented investment strategy.

$5 per trade, Per-share pricing: $0.006-$0.01 per share ($1 minimum per trade) based on trading volume, Unbundled pricing: $0.002-$0.01 per share ($0.50-$1 minimum) based on trading volume

minimum $1 and maximum 0.5% of trade value; volume discount available

for cash account, or a margin account with $2,000

Trade Metals – Gold & Silver. 1 Powerful Platform

Adding unleveraged gold and silver to your portfolio with can help diversify your investments or hedge against inflation. Precious metals are a key driver in markets worldwide. Open an account in under 5 minutes and start diversifying your investments.

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