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How to buy gold

Learn how to invest in gold and diversify your portfolio with the most well-known precious metal on Earth.

Buy physical gold Buy now
Buy gold stocks & ETFs Buy now

Gold is a relatively stable investment that doesn’t experience the same degree of volatility as stocks and other tradable assets. If you are looking to hedge against large drops in the market, you may want to consider investing in gold as a way to protect your wealth. Here’s what you need to know and how to start investing in gold.

How to buy gold – 2 ways to invest in bullion

You can invest in gold in two different ways:

  1. Buy and store physical gold
  2. Invest in gold stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or futures

1. Invest in physical gold

Buying and storing physical gold allows you to get your hands on a tangible asset and avoid the risks associated with the stock market. You can buy gold bullion in the form of gold bars or in coins:

  1. Bars and rounds: Gold bars and rounds can come in a range of sizes, from a half gram to several ounces, and typically offer lower premiums and higher purity.
  2. Coins: Because of their intricate designs and production costs, historical or sentimental value and collectibility, gold coins typically come with a higher premium compared to bullion bars or rounds.

At most institutions, there is a limit to how much gold you can purchase daily. For instance, most banks have a daily limit of around $10,000 worth of gold, but this can vary. Whether you are a customer may also influence your daily purchase limit and even purchase price.

Retirement-minded investors may consider gold IRAs for their bullion investing. These types of self-directed IRAs let you invest in physical gold and other precious metals through a tax-advantaged retirement account.

Buy gold bars

Buy gold coins

Buy gold bullion from these dealers

Gold bullion refers to gold that is at least 99.5% pure and has been transformed into bars or ingots or minted into coins. Gold bullion is the form in which gold is traded on commodities markets worldwide.

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What is the price of gold right now?

The graph below tracks the spot price of gold, which is the current marketplace price per ounce of gold.

Factors that affect gold pricing

There are numerous pricing factors to consider and compare before selecting your gold.

  • Spot price. This industry standard represents the up-to-date rate for one ounce of gold. The spot price of gold fluctuates constantly and is determined by the forward month’s futures contract with the most volume.
  • Markup. Gold markups help retailers cover costs and can range from 2% to 30% on top of the gold’s spot price. The retailer may express this cost as a commission or service fee.
  • Premium. Some gold has additional collector’s value, and some issuers of gold — like the US Mint — command a higher premium than others.
  • Market factors. The price of gold can be affected by a variety of market factors, including economic conditions, geopolitical events and more.

2. Buy gold stocks, ETFs and futures

Investors who don’t want to take delivery of physical gold or pay to store it in a third-party vault may decide to buy shares in gold stocks or ETFs. Gold stocks and ETFs typically comprise the following:

  • Gold mining companies. These companies specialize in the exploration, mining and selling of physical gold. Mining stocks allow you to directly link your capital to the success of these mines and the changing value and price of gold. Many offer the added benefit of dividends.
  • Gold-focused ETFs. These funds invest in gold mining companies, physical gold or both, giving investors access to a wide array of assets through a single investment.
  • Gold royalty and streaming companies. These companies provide mining companies with capital to expand or develop their projects and, in return, receive a percentage of the mine’s revenue or gold production.

Meanwhile, gold futures let investors speculate on the future price of gold. In general, futures are exchange-traded contracts that obligate a buyer to purchase and receive a predetermined amount of the underlying asset at a future price and date. While companies can use gold futures to lock in gold prices on an expected future purchase or sale, investors may trade gold futures as a way to speculate on the future price of gold without taking physical delivery of the asset. Examples of brokers that offer futures trading include TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers and tastytrade.

How to buy gold stocks

  1. Open an investment account. Compare brokers that offer stocks, ETFs and futures. Also, decide whether to invest via a taxable brokerage account or an individual retirement account (IRA). Before choosing a broker, consider things like features, trading costs and account fees.
  2. Choose an asset. Decide whether to invest in stocks or ETFs of gold mining companies or gold royalty and streaming companies or if you want to trade gold futures. Not all brokers offer futures trading, so be sure to compare brokers by investment options.
  3. Fund your account. Link your bank to fund your trading account.
  4. Make your investment. Buy your desired number of shares or invest a dollar amount if your brokerage of choice offers fractional shares.

Buy gold stocks and ETFs now

Top gold ETFs for 2023

ETF NameSymbolYTD1 Year5 YearExpense Ratio
GraniteShares Gold SharesBAR5.21%11.57%9.67%0.17%
SPDR Gold MiniShares TrustGLDM5.17%11.65%9.68%0.10%
iShares Gold Trust Micro ETF of Benef InterestIAUM5.16%11.62%N/A0.09%
abrdn Physical Gold Shares ETFSGOL5.15%11.67%9.66%0.17%
Goldman Sachs Physical Gold ETFAAAU5.11%11.52%9.64%0.18%
Franklin Responsibly Sourced Gold ETFFGDL5.08%11.55%N/A0.15%
iShares Gold TrustIAU5.06%11.44%9.56%0.25%
VanEck Merk Gold TrustOUNZ5.03%11.49%9.54%0.25%
Sprott ESG Gold ETFSESG4.97%11.35%N/A0.38%
SPDR Gold SharesGLD4.94%11.30%9.41%0.40%
iShares Gold Strategy ETFIAUF4.80%11.12%8.65%0.25%

Top gold stocks for 2023

Stock NameTickerMonthly performanceYearly performanceYTD
Equinox Gold CorpEQX-4.64%31.77%41.01%
DRDGOLD LtdDRD-1.92%77.84%31.22%
Galiano Gold IncGAU0.13%31.21%22.63%
Harmony Gold Mining Company LtdHMY6.25%73.54%22.50%
Gold Fields LimitedGFI-6.19%51.85%19.28%
Alamos Gold IncAGI2.55%61.56%17.46%
Kinross Gold CorporationKGC-5.37%39.18%16.38%
TRX Gold CorpTRX-0.98%-18.71%13.42%
Eldorado Gold CorpEGO4.24%62.52%13.34%
Orla Mining LtdORLA-0.33%38.03%12.75%

Compare brokers to buy gold stocks or ETFs

Compare minimum deposits, fees and signup bonuses among top trading platforms.

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product Ratings Available asset types Minimum deposit Signup bonus
SoFi Invest
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Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Futures
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Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Art, Treasury Bills, Collectibles
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Finder is not an adviser or brokerage service. Information on this page is for educational purposes only and not a recommendation to invest with any one company, trade specific stocks or fund specific investments. All editorial opinions are our own.

Why is gold a “safe haven”?

A safe haven investment is typically stable in times of market volatility. A safe haven is also useful for investors looking to diversify their portfolio, decreasing exposure to riskier assets or investments. Investors view gold as a safe haven for several reasons:

  • Gold is a physical asset.
  • It’s not easily created or destroyed.
  • It doesn’t change — gold is resistant to oxidation and will look the same in hundreds of years.
  • It has cultural and historical value — gold predates modern currency and has always been seen as beautiful and special.
  • Governments have turned to gold in times of financial crisis, which adds to gold’s stability.

Bottom line

If you’re searching for ways to protect your wealth or diversify your investments, gold bullion, stocks and ETFs may be a practical addition to your portfolio. These securities provide a means to add gold exposure to your portfolio, either through physical acquisition or exposure through the stock market. Regardless of how you choose to invest in gold, remember that, like all investments, it carries risk.

How to buy gold FAQs

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