Hey there…my name is Daryl Roberts and I first became interested in investing in gold a year or so ago.
I’m in my mid-30s and with the prospect of starting a family, I’ve been thinking about where I’ll be in late middle age and how financially secure I and my family will be.
I’m not convinced that any pension scheme I pay into will actually provide enough money to live on when it comes time to retire. I especially worry that there won’t be enough money in the coffers for state paid pensions. So for the last couple of years, I’ve been looking at other ways to build up a nest egg for retirement.
I originally messed about with Bitcoin and made a small amount of money with it but I came to Bitcoin long after its explosive highs of 2013, when one Bitcoin was valued at about $1200.
I stumbled across a guy called Max Keiser when trawling through YouTube looking for information about Bitcoin. He presents the Keiser Report show on Russia Today and all his previous episodes are available to watch.
Now alarm bells might go off at the mention of Russia Today, but Keiser is a US citizen, currently living in London, from where he presents his show three times a week.
He’s a former Wall Street trader and financial consultant who has lots to say about the state of the world economy and why it’s in the state it’s in.
Keiser is an acquired taste though. He’s often embarrassingly histrionic (and not funnily so) but he is insightful about where the economy has been and where it’s going. In the second half of each show, he interviews someone from the financial sector. It’s from these interviews that I first came across people like Prof. Steve Keen, Mitch Feierstein, Egor von Greyerz and Ross Ashcroft among others who talked about the importance of investing in gold in today’s economic climate.
What Keiser and his guests talked about was not something I was seeing in the mainstream media. In fact, Keiser’s show was saying that mainstream media were blatantly not talking about the real state of the economy.
You can watch all the Keiser Report shows here, if you want to:
I guess the guest who first struck a chord with me was Mitch Feierstein, who runs the http://planetponzi.com website which lifts the veil on the various Ponzi schemes being run by governments and banks. Feierstein himself is a highly successful hedge-fund manager and CEO of the Glacier Environmental Fund Limited.
Watching his several interviews on the Keiser Report and reading his excellent book – Planet Ponzi – opened my eyes to a whole world I knew nothing about. The precariousness of world economies was a revelation…and not a comforting one.
Feierstein was one who talked about investing some of your wealth in gold. It was probably the first time that type of investment really registered with me.
The Idea of Investing In Precious Metals
As I watched more of the Keiser Report, other guests like Egon von Greyerz (of Gold Switzerland) also talked about investing in gold. Gold, they said, was a way of preserving wealth. Fiat currencies (i.e. all paper based currencies around the world) have always gone to zero and our current Fiat currencies (Dollar, Euro, Sterling, etc) would all go the same way.
Owning precious metals or other valuable commodities is the best way to preserve your wealth when currencies are being debased as the Dollar, Euro and others are through Quantitative Easing policies.
Investing In Gold
I guess I was hearing about investing in gold so often that it seemed time to actually look into it. During my research, I came across Michael Moloney, whose #1 bestselling book The Guide to Guide To Investing in Gold & Silver: Protect Your Financial Future I bought since I knew nothing about the actual process of buying gold and silver.
The first half of his book is a fascinating read about the history of money and currency (they’re not the same thing). This boom-bust cycle is nothing new. Governments have always debased their currencies (e.g. by clipping bits off coins or mixing metals like copper into them). And, when currencies go to zero, a debt jubilee was announced where all debtors’ debts were written off. People would return to using a gold and silver based monetary system and then a new cycle would begin.
What’s different about today’s world is that a debt jubilee was essentially announced for the creditors (banks), not the debtors (you and me). The banks, we were informed, were too big to fail.
Nevertheless, the debasement of currencies is repeating itself and people will eventually flock back to gold and silver as a store of value and a way to preserve what wealth they do have.
So with my faith in the banking sector and governments’ ability to regulate the banks shaken, that’s when I decided I should at least get some holding in gold. 10% of your wealth is a frequent percentage touted.
But How And Where To Buy Gold?
The first thing I learned was that you should buy gold bullion – that’s gold bars or gold coins. Jewelry is made of less pure gold so not as good an investment prospect. Bullion is stamped with the fineness of the metal, so there are no questions about its quality.
Next I learned that you should be able to hold your precious metals in your hand. There are obvious security risks associated with that, so storage must be considered. That might be a decent home safe, a safe box somewhere or in an allocated vault somewhere like Zurich, London or Toronto.
If you house your gold anywhere but in your own home, you’ll have to pay an annual storage fee. This cuts into the value of your holding, typically by about 1% per year, though different vaults and companies charge different storage fees.
Some vaults charge a minimum daily fee, so unless you invest $10,000 or $20,000, your daily fees will add up to higher than the average 1% per annum charge.
Probably the best place to buy gold and silver is locally. That way there’s no shipping charges or insurance fees to worry about (these again cut into the value of your investment). I found a couple of local gold suppliers for that reason. I do have my small gold holdings stored in a vault simply because I worry about the security aspect of storing gold at home.
The other way is to invest in gold online. There are plenty of merchants you can buy from. You’ll find them listed on this site and in the ads on these pages. In the USA, many companies offer free shipping. That’s not the case in Europe. And having precious metals shipped over from the USA would incur significant shipping and insurance charges.
While gold in Europe is VAT free, Silver is not. If you import silver from outside the European Union, then you’ll have to pay VAT at point of entry. The addition of VAT raises the price of silver by about 20% as a result.
Investing in gold requires a significant up-front investment of at least a hundred dollars (to buy a 1/10th ounce coin for example). Silver is much cheaper, costing (at time of writing) about $15 per 1oz coin. That makes silver a better bet for those with little money to play with.
While I was looking to spread my investment over different companies, I came across a company in Canada called BitGold. They took some of the ideas encompassed by Bitcoin and put them into their offering.
I liked their setup: buy gold by the gram instead of the ounce which makes gold investing affordable for anyone. Buy with a credit card, Bitcoin or wire transfer. Transfer gold to other account holders for free (bye, bye Western Union) and load up a pre-paid card with your gold to spend anywhere Mastercard is accepted. You can redeem your gold as 10g gold cubes or 1kg gold bars; redeem gold to your pre-paid card as spending money or redeem to your bank account by wire transfer.
I find it to be a great solution for building up gold savings while still having the flexibility of using a pre-paid credit card and transferring money at no cost. I’ll have a more in-depth review of BitGold in a future post.
Where I Am Now & Why I Built This Site
The programs and interviews I’ve seen as I expanded my research into investing in gold and the books I’ve read convinced me to start buying gold and silver. I invest about 10% of my salary each month now so I’m slowly building my stock.
When the price of silver drops, I buy a bit more of that and a bit less gold.
There are no guarantees that the prices of these precious metals are going to rise in the near to medium future, but there are enough voices out there predicting a significant rise in metals prices that I felt I needed to take action.
My goal is to protect at least some of my wealth from currency debasement and devaluation and to built a nest egg for retirement.
My aim with this site is to demystify buying and investing in gold for anyone who has the same concerns as I do about the economy and where it’s headed. Feel free to email me with questions and I’ll do my best to answer them or write posts about them. You can also leave comments and questions on posts, and I can answer them there too.
I’d really love to get feedback and have conversations with you guys about investing in gold.
For legal reasons I have to mention that I’m not a financial advisor – I’m just an ordinary person like yourself. But I hope that the information I present on this site will be of some use to you.
Anyway, thanks for stopping by and I wish you all the best with preserving your own wealth. 🙂
Founder of Invest In Gold Now