Reportedly the most prevalent metal in which people invest, the history of gold’s benefits can be traced back several centuries. From time immemorial, in addition to being used for its medicinal properties including but not limited to alleviating symptoms of arthritis, regulating body temperature, and functioning as mood enhancers and for skin treatments, gold has always been portrayed as an indicator of wealth, only owned by the elite of society. Although primarily associated with its rarity, the value of gold goes beyond its availability and has been said to be explained by several of its physical properties, the most prominent of which include its beauty, density, durability, and malleability.
Today, however, investing in gold is not only limited to the elite. There are sveral ways to invest in precious metals like gold, among which are purchasing and owning gold bullions, and coins (physical gold), buying shares of a company in possession of either gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or stocks, futures contracts, options and/or contract for differences (CFDs), or mining shares. Today, gold investing is accessible to anyone. Whatever the option, only one of them involves owning physical gold and so the choice will likely depend on factors including the investor’s investment goals and the available means or funds.
There are two forms of investment grade physical gold bullion: gold bullions and gold coins.
So, why choose investing in physical gold over the gold ETFs and mining shares? Research has demonstrated that even though there are risks associated with investing in gold, the benefits, most of which are only exploited fully with purchasing physical gold bullions, outweigh the risks. Some of these reasons to resort to physical gold include:
Unlike possessing ETFs or mining shares, when you own physical gold, you have unlimited access to its medicinal properties and can thus benefit from its advantages for as long as you wish, primarily because no side-effects have been associated with long-term exposure to it. This can be achieved through frequent donning of gold (encrusted) jewelry.
Likely owing to its history and simplicity, gold is today, one of the few precious metals that can act as a global currency, able to be traded any and everywhere worldwide. As a universally accepted form of money, gold makes for a good source of emergency funds wherever you find yourself. It is probably for these reasons that militants are usually provided with gold coins to carry on their persons when in conflicts zones.
Safe from the risk of devaluation and eventual economic crisis
Unlike all other currencies, owning physical gold presents its owner with a near-guaranteed assurance of financial stability, especially in periods of economic instability. Several studies have reported an inverse relationship between the value of precious physical metals like gold and currencies like the dollar. Thus, although the value of your physical gold is maintained irrespective of the dollar's importance in the world market, in periods of economic uncertainty, your gold’s value tends to rise.
Tangible haven with inherent value and no counterparty risk
Unlike when you possess intangible gold rights, owning physical gold comes with no counterparty risk. Furthermore, owing to the cost of mining and the fact that despite the increasing demand for gold, it is naturally-occurring and impossible to create otherwise, gold has an inherent value and worth, making it the ideal safe-haven asset and financial insurance especially during amidst socio-economic turmoil.