Not since the late Nineties have investors and speculators had an eye on real estate. Since the collapse of the housing market, followed by floundering big banks and a Western economic “downturn” which has become a global one, it seems as though gold is the one safe investment harbour. You can buy bars and coins of it, and even host a Tupperware-style party to sell your unwanted gold jewellery.

Last week we looked at some of the concerns and issues you should keep in mind when considering gold as an investment; this week we’ll outline the possible paths you can follow to add gold to your portfolio.

1 Physical Gold

You probably don’t want to hide gold bars under your bed, so buying physical gold is easiest using a specialist company. BullionVault (amongst others) allows you to purchase gold and store it in vaults in London, New York or Zurich. You’ll pay 0.8 per cent commission every time you buy or sell, and a 0.12 per cent storage fee every year.

2 Exchange Traded Funds

These are the simplest way for most savers to get exposure to the investment potential of gold. These financial securities aim to track the price of a share index or of a commodity such as oil or gold.

Savers can buy and sell an ETF through a stockbroker, giving a quick and cost-effective way of moving in and out of a market. Some of these funds are backed by assets, meaning that the fund buys and sells gold to match the shares of new investors. If people sell out of the funds, it sells the gold. This is one of the lowest-cost ways to have exposure to the gold price.

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