Gold bars can refer to a multitude of different things. Also called ingots or bullion, a gold bar in the most simple terms is gold of certain purity that has been formed into the shape of a rectangular cube. However, there are a lot more terms that can be applied to better describe a gold bar. For instance, if a gold bar is minted, that means it went through a more rigorous creation process. It involves a bank or refinery cutting the gold into set dimensions. In this way, minted gold bars should all be precise in regards to dimensions and purity. A cast bar is easier to make. It merely involves pouring the melted gold into a mold and then letting it form and harden into a bar form. Since these bars aren't cut to specific dimensions, cast bars may be unevenly shaped and vary slightly in appearance from bar to bar. It's often common for cast bars to be handled differently than minted bars. A mint bar will frequently be sealed in a protective packaging whereas a cast bar is more likely to be handled directly.
There are two main reasons people buy gold: as insurance and as an investment. People who are concerned about the recent economic crisis tend to view their ownership of precious metals as an insurance investment. As long as you have physical gold or silver to sell or trade, you will never be broke, even if the economy collapses. As nationally recognized gold expert, long-time investor and author of “Stack Silver Get Gold: How to Buy Gold and Silver Bullion Without Getting Ripped Off!” Hunter Riley III told me, one of the main things gold bullion has going for it is that it’s a tangible asset you maintain control of, no matter what happens to the global economy.

The largest gold mining companies boast extensive global operations; therefore, business factors common to many other large companies play into the success of such an investment. As a result, these companies can still show profit in times of flat or declining gold prices. One way they do this is by hedging against a fall in gold prices as a normal part of their business. Some do this and some don't. Even so, gold mining companies may provide a safer way to invest in gold than through direct ownership of bullion. At the same time, the research into and selection of individual companies requires due diligence on the investor's part. As this is a time-consuming endeavor, it may not be feasible for many investors.
These global factors combined with the debilitating effect of domestic concerns, such as political party in-fighting, Washington legislative gridlock and a growing policy tendency toward isolationism is forcing the U.S. economy into a dangerous and potentially cataclysmic environment. In a world where huge hedge funds have the ability to affect market movement within nanoseconds, it only makes sense, not only to maximize the traditional 5% – 15% physical precious metals allocation recommended by financial planners, but to actually increase it.
Above details my point on large gold producers relative performance against the spot price of gold. Since the beginning of 2007, gold gained roughly 166% with the entire field of the aforementioned gold producers lagging behind in shareholder value. Large gold producers as a whole lack the organic growth necessary to deliver substantial gains relative to gold’s spot price, and, I believe, the real value lies in junior mining companies. The interview on gold stocks discusses more of this on the homepage.
This is an extension of the ‘bad times’ reason for keeping gold. In the last 100 years, many parts of the world have undergone some kind of an upheaval that has led to a breakdown of society and institutions. In these circumstances, physical gold is a currency that can survive when paper currencies do not. It’s essentially a currency which is somewhat better, in some ways, than actual currencies. Of course, in India physical gold has served yet another purpose, that of keeping wealth away from taxation.
People with limited capital to invest in precious metals may not divest as much as they would desire into gold bullion. Hence, such buyers should stick to cheaper low-risk gold bullion products with lower premiums over spot, offering them solid appreciation over time – granting them with inflation-proof, financial protection. This is the best way to hedge against inflation and is recommended by financial advisors as a good method of balancing portfolios.
Many investors spend time deciding whether to buy gold or buy silver, however the savviest investors own both. Whereas gold could offer the ultimate insurance and protection against uncertain economic times, silver is a more speculative investment. Despite gold and silver both being commonly invested precious metals, silver is an entirely different investment which can realise substantial profits despite the initial VAT outlay. It’s because of these differences that owning both gold and silver together can be of benefit.
In June, I rated Barrick Gold "underperform" on Motley Fool CAPS because, at the time, Barrick stock wasn't generating anywhere near as much real free cash flow as it was reporting in net income. Thus, I argued the stock wasn't as cheap as its low 10.7 price-to-earnings ratio suggested it was. This wasn't a popular opinion, but with Barrick stock down nearly 21% since I panned it -- against a 4% rise in the S&P 500 -- I'd argue it was the right one.
1792 – Congress enacts the Mint and Coinage Act, allowing the government to hold its reserves in the Bank of the US and establishing a fixed ratio of gold to the U.S. dollar. Gold and silver coins become legal tender 1848 – James Marshall discovered gold in The American River, near San Francisco, California 1849 – 300,000 prospectors, known as the “forty-niners”, participating in the gold rush 1861 – US Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase prints the first U.S. paper currency 1862 – Paper money is legal tender in the US, creating a fiat money system. Banknotes are no longer convertible into gold and silver 1879 – The government reinstates convertibility of the US dollar into gold 1900 – The Gold Standard Act begins and a gold reserve is established 1913 – The Federal Reserve is established to stabilize gold and currency values
Gold should not be bought alone as an investment. Gold itself is speculative, and can have high peaks and low valleys. That makes it too risky for the average individual investor. Over the long run, the value of gold doesn't beat inflation. But gold is an integral part of a diversified portfolio. It should include other commodities such as oil, mining, and investments in other hard assets.
Since 1919 the most common benchmark for the price of gold has been the London gold fixing, a twice-daily telephone meeting of representatives from five bullion-trading firms of the London bullion market. Furthermore, gold is traded continuously throughout the world based on the intra-day spot price, derived from over-the-counter gold-trading markets around the world (code "XAU"). The following table sets out the gold price versus various assets and key statistics at five-year intervals.[5]
Now that you understand why buying Gold is a good use of your investment dollar, you may need guidance regarding how to buy physical Gold. Luckily, buying physical Gold is simple. If you choose an established, well-regarded Precious Metals company, you can buy with confidence. Buying physical Gold should be an enjoyable part of your investment journey. Consider working with APMEX to experience the thrill of buying physical Gold free from worry. A common first purchase is the Gold American Eagle, one of the most popular Gold bullion items with investors.
Shop for gold bars, gold coins and gold bullion from top refiners and world mints, including the United States Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, Perth Mint, PAMP Suisse, Credit Suisse and more. Buying gold bars and gold coins can help to hedge your financial portfolio against inflation and help to protect your assets from a Stock Market crash. Read more about gold coins, gold bullion and gold bars here
And finally, for those who want the finest investment-grade gold bullion bars available, we proudly offer the exclusive Monex-certified 10-ounce gold bullion ingot...composed of pure .9999 (or "four-nines") fine gold bullion—among the purest gold bullion bars available to investors today. Each bar is certified, with its weight and purity guaranteed by Monex, and each bar is further hallmarked by Heraeus, one of the world's leading refiners, and the 800 year-old Austrian Mint, one of the world's leading minting institutions.
# Featured by top Publications – Advantage Gold has been featured by some of the top publications in the world including Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business, BNN, and Nobleman Magazine. These publications have a reputation for only featuring the best of the best, which gives an indication of the high level of respect that Advantage Gold has earned in the media.
Gold is actually quite plentiful in nature but is difficult to extract. For example, seawater contains gold -- but in such small quantities it would cost more to extract than the gold would be worth. So there is a big difference between the availability of gold and how much gold there is in the world. The World Gold Council estimates that there are about 190,000 metric tons of gold above ground being used today and roughly 54,000 metric tons of gold that can be economically extracted from the Earth based on current extraction technology. But advances in extraction methods or materially higher gold prices could shift that number. For example, gold has been discovered near undersea thermal vents in quantities that suggest it might be worth extracting if gold prices rose high enough.    

Gold prices vary each day. Investors may check MoneyMetals.com to see the live global price of precious metals at any given time. As a general matter, the global metals market is open around the clock on Monday through Friday.  You can reference price charts which display both historic and live data in various currencies such as U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds, Australian dollars, Canadian dollars, and others. Live prices can change in just seconds. It is important to check prices in real time before buying or selling bullion.
Kinross has been able to reverse the asset impairment charges stemming from its 2010 bone-headed purchase. This combined with asset sales provided KGC with its first profit in years. At the same time, Kinross has plenty of new projects coming online — including that maligned purchase — over the next few quarters. As gold ramps up in price, this is perfect timing. It looks even better when all-in cash costs continue to plunge. All of this puts KGC investors in the driving seat. They may finally get the break the miner deserves.
Unallocated gold relates to authorized participants like JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs who trade gold futures. Futures contracts are often bought if the trustee needs to create new shares fast and doesn't have the time to buy and deliver the bullion. Typically allocated gold far outweighs the unallocated gold and the amounts are tallied each day by the custodian. The ETF also has a set amount of time when it must deliver the physical gold into the vault.
Jason Hall (Royal Gold): Gold mining is a really capital-intensive, expensive business. It's also subject to the whims of gold prices, which can be incredibly unpredictable, since gold speculators -- not gold's utility or commercial value -- can swing the price up and down with little notice or rationality. This is one of the big reasons I generally avoid gold miners. 
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