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Gold as an Investment Option for Medical Professionals?

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Gold in That There IRA

By Rick Kahler MS CFP® ChFC CCIM www.KahlerFinancial.com

Here in the Black Hills, home of the historic Homestake Mine, we know a gold rush when we see one. The last few years have tempted investors to take part in a modern gold rush. The precious metal is thought of as a safe harbor for investment capital during times of economic and political unrest and chaos.

Holding Gold

There are many ways to own gold, including holding an interest in it via a financial medium like a mutual fund or an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). Those who want gold as protection against political or economic turmoil, though, probably are thinking of owning physical gold.

Since Americans’ savings and investing rates are so low, most folks don’t have any extra funds to put into gold. Their only investment vehicle may be an IRA. Yet IRAs are specifically excluded from owning collectibles, metals, and coins.

There are exceptions, however: U.S. gold coins minted by the U.S. Treasury, or bullion bars or coins of a fineness of 995 parts per 1,000. Several non-U.S. minted gold coins meet that standard. The key here is that the coins or bars must be in the physical possession of a qualified trustee. That means gold you stash in a safe or bury in the back yard does not qualify.

Most banks, brokerage firms, or mutual fund companies are not interested in holding physical gold, so finding a qualified trustee can be difficult. You must do a reasonable amount of due diligence to be sure the trustee you find is really trustworthy.

The Trustee 

A trustee needs to arrange for the shipping, handling, and storage of your gold. For this reason, you will certainly pay much higher fees than you would for normal stock, bond, and cash investments. The fees can amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars annually.

Even if you are willing to pay the high fees, first ask yourself, “What’s the point?” The reason most folks want to own physical gold or silver is to have “real” money available in case of an economic crisis or political uprising. How does owning physical gold in an unknown location that may be thousands of miles from you fulfill that requirement? Wouldn’t owning an ETF like GLD actually accomplish the same thing, only without the high costs? Yes, it would.

If you want to own gold, my strong suggestion is to own the GLD ETF and avoid all the high fees. The total cost of purchasing GLD is probably about $10.

Other Options 

Other options are mutual funds that purchase gold mining stocks, which is probably a better way to participate in the gold market. This is because of the leverage factor. In a rising market, the cost of mining gold is much lower relative to the market value of the gold. So if a mining company pays $1,000 to mine an ounce of gold and can sell it for $1,500, the company—and you, as an owner of its stock—make $500 per ounce. Gold could stay at that same price for a year and your company would continue to make a 33% gross profit.

However, if you owned the physical gold and it stayed at the same price for a year, your profit would be 0%. You would only make that same $500 profit if the gold appreciated from $1,500 to $2,000 an ounce.


Of course, the reverse is also true. If gold turns downward, you will stand to lose much more owning the mining company than the physical gold. That’s why I recommend owning gold, like any other asset, only as part of a diversified portfolio of investments.


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13 Responses

  1. Technicals, fundamentals augur well for gold and silver


    US deficits, global currency debasement and recent market action suggest the precious metals could be poised for a breakout.

    What do you think?

    Hope Rachel Hetico RN MHA


  2. Roubini Says Overweight U.S. Equities, Underweight Bonds and Gold

    Rick – The man who earned the soubriquet Dr. Doom for predicting the financial crisis thinks investors should overweight U.S. equities and underweight bonds and gold.

    Any more thoughts?



  3. Hedge Funds Cut Bullish Gold Bets On Fed Stimulus Outlook

    Hedge funds are cutting bullish gold bets, and adding the most short contracts in four weeks, as U.S. economic growth fuels speculation the Federal Reserve will trim stimulus.


    Holdings across commodities dropped the most since April, as well.



  4. Gold etc.,

    Gold and precious metals have been in a downtrend for two years.



  5. Why silver is outperforming gold

    Rick – Given its antibacterial properties and ability to conduct heat and electricity, silver may become even more important than gold.


    Any thoughts?



  6. Gold prices poised to continue breaking down

    The precious metal could keep sliding until a major floor is found again.




  7. On U.S. Gold Reserves

    Official gold holdings:
    8,133.5 tons
    Percent of foreign reserves in gold: 71.9 percent

    The U.S. had its largest gold reserves in volume terms in 1952, when reserves totaled 20,663 tons. Holdings first fell below the 10,000 mark in 1968.

    More: http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=OBR&date=20140925&id=17961060



  8. Tarnished?

    Better-than-expected U.S. jobs data just boosted the dollar and dampened safe-haven demand for gold, pushing prices down to $1,183.46.



  9. Gold

    I find that the price of gold and gold stocks are too difficult to figure out. There are just too many conflicting factors. Inflation fears, crisis situations, used as an alternate currency and central banks purchases can all affect the price of gold. I avoid investing in a market that I don’t understand.



  10. No longer Golden!

    Gold prices continued falling today, hitting a more than a five-year low in Asia trade, amid growing expectations for an increase in U.S. interest rates and after China disclosed an update on its gold reserves that was far lower than expected.


    So, is this the end-of-the-line for gold?



  11. Do you think gold is more or less important in a cashless society?

    I can’t believe that the gold bugs get away with saying gold is real money, and say it with a straight face, as if gold was handed down from on high. That is funny to me. I say that money is an idea. Money is what we say it’s going to be. That said, even though everyone thinks that going back to the gold standard is unrealistic and a really bad idea, central banks hoard gold and keep buying more of it. And you don’t see them doing that with coal or land some other commodity.

    So that is a bit of a paradox.

    Antonio Regalado
    [MIT Technology Review]
    via Ann Miller RN MHA


  12. Is the “Gold Standard” better than the actual “Fiat Money”?

    “The broader issue — a return to the gold standard in any form — is nowhere on anybody’s horizon. It has few supporters in today’s virtually universal embrace of fiat currencies and floating exchange rates. Yet gold has special properties that no other currency, with the possible exception of silver, can claim. For more than two millennia, gold has had virtually unquestioned acceptance as payment. It has never required the credit guarantee of a third party. No questions are raised when gold or direct claims to gold are offered in payment of an obligation; it was the only form of payment, for example, that exporters to Germany would accept as World War II was drawing to a close. Today, the acceptance of fiat money — currency not backed by an asset of intrinsic value — rests on the credit guarantee of sovereign nations endowed with effective taxing power, a guarantee that in crisis conditions has not always matched the universal acceptability of gold.”

    Alan Greenspan
    Chairman of the US Federal Reserve from 1987-2006
    (From September 2014 essay, “Golden Rule: Why Beijing Is Buying”)

    Ann Miller RN MHA


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