Investing in gold in 2024? Here are 7 important things to know first – CBS News

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January 9, 2024 / 2:47 PM EST / CBS News
When it comes to investing, gold has always held a special place as a store of value and a hedge against economic uncertainties. That — along with its other unique benefits — has led many investors to add the precious metal to their portfolios in recent years. And, the popularity of gold investing is only growing, with more and more investors deciding that gold is the right addition to their investment mix. 
As we step into 2024, the allure of investing in gold persists — and you may want to consider buying into gold at some point in the near future. Still, as with any type of asset, it’s important to be well-informed before diving into this precious metal market. By having a clear idea of what you’re getting into, you can eliminate surprises down the road and ensure that a gold investment is the right move for you.
Ready to invest in gold? Explore your top gold investing options online here.
Make sure you have a clear idea of the following before you start buying into any gold asset, whether it’s gold bars and coins, gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs), gold stocks or any other gold-related asset:
Before leaping into the gold market, it’s important for investors to define their investment objectives. After all, gold serves various purposes, such as a hedge against inflation, a safe haven during economic downturns or a portfolio diversification tool — and you need to understand whether the benefits make sense for your portfolio. Knowing why you want to invest in gold can also help to guide your strategy and allow you to make informed decisions.
Find out how gold investing could be a smart addition to your portfolio.
You should also keep a keen eye on market trends and economic indicators. The gold market is influenced by factors like interest rates, periods of inflation and geopolitical events. For instance, if interest rates rise, the opportunity cost of holding gold — which doesn’t generate interest or dividends — increases, potentially affecting its demand. In turn, regularly monitoring economic indicators can provide valuable insights into the health of the economy and its potential impact on the gold market.
Gold can be bought in various forms, each with its own set of advantages and risks. Common forms include physical gold (coins, bars, jewelry), gold ETFs, gold mining stocks and futures contracts
Understanding the characteristics and risks associated with each form is crucial. For example, while physical gold may offer a tangible asset, it requires storage and insurance, while ETFs provide a more liquid option for those not interested in owning physical gold.
As with any investment, understanding your risk tolerance is paramount. Gold is often considered a conservative investment, but it still carries risks. Determine what percentage of your portfolio you’re comfortable allocating to gold, considering your overall investment goals and risk appetite. Striking the right balance will help you build a diversified portfolio that aligns with your financial objectives.
If you opt for physical gold, addressing storage and security concerns is crucial. Safeguarding your investment requires secure storage options, such as a safe deposit box or a reputable storage facility. You should also consider insurance to protect against theft or loss, which comes at an extra cost. Ultimately, assessing the associated costs and ensuring compliance with any regulations regarding the storage of precious metals is a vital step before buying into gold.
Gold is significantly influenced by global economic and political events. Keep abreast of geopolitical tensions, trade disputes and economic policies that could impact the precious metal’s value. For example, economic uncertainties or political instability may drive investors towards safe-haven assets like gold. So, staying informed about global events will help you anticipate potential shifts in the gold market.
Before finalizing any gold investment, be aware of the transaction costs and fees associated with buying, selling or storing gold. Different forms of gold investment come with varying costs, and these expenses can erode your returns over time. So, it can help to know the average costs — and you may also want to compare fees across different investment options and choose the one that aligns with your financial goals and budget.
Investing in gold can be a prudent strategy, especially in times of economic uncertainty. However, it’s essential to approach gold investments with a well-informed mindset. Understanding your investment goals, staying informed about market trends, exploring different forms of gold investment, assessing risk tolerance, addressing storage and security concerns, monitoring the global economic and political landscape and being mindful of transaction costs are key considerations for anyone looking to navigate the golden path of investment in 2024. By incorporating these insights into your decision-making process, you can make informed choices that align with your financial objectives and contribute to a well-balanced investment portfolio.
Angelica Leicht is senior editor for CBS’ Moneywatch: Managing Your Money, where she writes and edits articles on a range of personal finance topics. Angelica previously held editing roles at Bankrate, HousingWire and other financial publications.
First published on January 9, 2024 / 2:47 PM EST
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