Damn good question – it’s all about levels of risk. Do you trust someone else more than yourself to look after your gold?
If someone else looks after your gold you may feel that is safer than you having to hide it somewhere in the house. Provided the company gives you your gold the minute you ask, well, maybe you are right. Unfortunately I am not willing to trust ALL of my savings to other people. I have been let down too many times.
You always take a risk if you let someone else look after your assets.
Obviously that risk varies from company to company and you will find much debate on this on the internet. The bottom line is that the only way you can be 100% sure that the gold is yours is if it is in your possession. There are other factors you should consider too. If a government were to confiscate or heavily tax gold for example, your gold is very visible but if you take physical possession it is almost impossible for anyone else to know you have it. Think it couldn’t happen? It already has. Most of the gold in Fort Knox belongs to the US citizens, not the government. It was stolen from them in 1933 by the US government – and it has never been returned. How quickly we forget.
Also, once you take physical possession of gold it is a very easy way of moving money around as well since it is so small in relation to its value.
For these reasons I always suggest that you take possession of at least some of your holdings. Only you can decide what is the right amount for you. Of course you have to take adequate steps to make sure that your gold is protected from burglars and the like but it is good to be responsible for your own actions. i am sure you are quite capable of buying a safe or hiding your gold in a place that no thief would ever find it – or a combination of the two.
If you buy physical gold only buy from a well known and trusted dealer – I would leave Ebay to the more adventurous out there.
Stick to the more popular bars or coins that are easy to sell on and easier to spot a forgery. Some gold sellers like Gold Investments in London have an online shop where prices are quoted in real time. It is vital that you buy from a long established and reputed dealer. Consider the extra premium as a small price to pay for piece of mind.I have bought from Gold Investments many times over the past 14 years and never had a problem.
Note: The dealers mark up on Sovereigns is always higher because there is no capital gains tax on “coins of the realm”. This also applies to Britannias. I think it is well worth holding both of these coins if you are serious about buying gold.
You will find a lot more information on gold on this website. See the section headed “Gold and Silver on the home page. Spend a bit of time digging around – after all, this is one of the most important investments you will ever make so it is worth doing your research.