There are many ways to effectively ‘buy’ gold:
You can actually buy the physical metal itself from a gold dealer. This will come with a mark-up and if you want to store the gold with them you will have to pay storage fees. Alternatively, you can keep the gold yourself but will need to have the appropriate security at your home. As well as gold bars you can buy gold coins from numerous mints around the world. Many of these are collectors’ items and so have a value above that of the physical gold from which they are made.
You can also invest in a gold ‘ETF’. A gold ‘ETF is an exchange traded fund made up of issued shares against the underlying asset. If it is gold based it may own physical gold solely, or other assets attached to gold such as mining shares. You can buy shares in the fund which move in accordance with all these market prices. If you invest in an ETF you own ETF shares rather than gold.
You can buy stocks and shares in gold management – this is usually done by buying shares in gold mining companies. These shares move with market considerations and can be volatile.
You can also buy gold on your smartphone: Glint allows you to buy gold for a fee of just 0.5% via a smartphone app. The gold is legally yours and can be redeemed. From 2019 there will be a storage charge of 0.125%. The gold is fully liquid and can be spent or converted into local currency at any time, you can even withdraw the value of your gold in the local currency from an ATM. Based on Glint’s research we believe this is the cheapest, easiest way to buy gold.