These different weights of bars will carry prices depending on a number of factors. First, the spot price of gold--the current market price at which gold is being bought and sold--will drastically effect how much a gold bar will go for. What's more, the refinery that has minted the bar factors in to the overall price. Some refineries have a more distinguished reputation and therefore will charge more for their gold bars. The purity of fineness of the gold itself will also come into play. Gold fineness is measured in karats. You can find gold fineness ranked as 333 which equates to 8 karats, all the way to 24 karat 999.999 fine gold, which is the purest gold bar possible.
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.
I reached a similar conclusion about gold’s hedging ability when analyzing an Economic Policy Uncertainty Index that was created several years ago by academic researchers. Gold presumably hedges against such uncertainty, but I came up empty when I compared monthly changes in this index with those of gold bullion since 1985. The r-squared — the extent to which the first series explains or predicts the second — is less than 1%. In other words, gold leaves a lot to be desired as a hedge against equity market turmoil.
Custodians are responsible to protect your investment and take care of all the bookkeeping and account maintenance tasks. They charge you some amount on yearly basis, which may range from $75 to a few hundred bucks. The rate varies from custodian to custodian and most of the IRS-approved custodians disclose their fees on their websites. So, you can easily compare the rates and choose a custodian who charges the least amount.
As the gold became harder to find, the American prospectors became resentful of the explorers from other countries, all trying to get a piece of the action. They became violent towards them, and the California State Legislature even passed an act which charged a monthly tax on these “alien” adventurers to pacify the Americans. They were just as bad to the Native Americans. Skirmishes and violence between miners and explorers and other groups became commonplace. There were many deaths.
It is quite common that employees cannot rollover any portion of their 401k as long as they are still employed. However, in a fair number of plans, a still-working employee can be permitted to do an “in-service rollover” once they achieve 59½ years of age. The number or frequency of such events can vary dramatically between retirement plans. Some plans don’t permit in-service rollovers of any kind and a smaller number of plans make employees wait until achieving 70½ years of age, at which time required minimum distributions (RMD) take effect anyway.
In order to fully understand the purpose of gold, one must look back to the start of the gold market. While gold's history began in 3000 B.C, when the ancient Egyptians started forming jewelry, it wasn't until 560 B.C. that gold started to act as a currency. At that time, merchants wanted to create a standardized and easily transferable form of money that would simplify trade. The creation of a gold coin stamped with a seal seemed to be the answer, as gold jewelry was already widely accepted and recognized throughout various corners of the earth.
That's not to say that there aren't any good gold-related investments to consider, and the precious metal, along with companies heavily tied to it, can offer exposure to a different asset class. So we reached out to three regular Motley Fool contributors for an alternative perspective on some gold stocks worth watching right now, and they came back with Barrick Gold Corp (USA) (NYSE:ABX), mining equipment giant Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), and gold streamer Royal Gold, Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:RGLD).