If you want to protect your finances from economic instability or just need to shore up your investment portfolio with a time-honored hedge against inflation, buying precious metals could be for you. Metals like gold and silver have inherent value that isn’t tied to the stock market, or even to the value of the local currency. When inflation occurs, precious metals retain their value, and the value of precious metals, especially gold, tends to hold steady even when the economy is looking rough and stocks or other securities are losing value.
You can’t just stuff your gold and silver bullion under your mattress. Well, you can, but it won’t be safe there. A burglar could steal it, or it could be destroyed in a house fire. No, you need to store your precious metals safely.
You have some options. You can store your precious metals in a safety deposit box, for example. If you’re worried that economic disaster may leave you unable to access your safe deposit box, you can store your precious metals in a precious metals depository. You can even store your precious metals in a safe at home. Let’s take a look at some of your options.
Put Them in a Depository
If you want to buy gold and silver bars and coins – or even platinum or palladium bars and coins – then perhaps the safest and easiest way to store them is to put them in a precious metals depository. That’s especially true if you intend to buy a lot of bullion, because physical metal takes up space. For example, if you buy a 100 oz. silver bar, you’re getting a hunk of metal that’s five-and-a-half inches long, two inches wide, and one inch thick. You might be able to store a small amount of gold, silver, palladium, or platinum in your home or in a bank safety deposit box, but at some point, you’re going to reach an upper limit on how much you can store in your home safe or your bank safety deposit box.
When you choose to store your precious metals in a depository, you can store as much as you want – as long as you’re willing to pay the storage fees. When you buy precious metals and store them in a depository, the physical metals go straight from the previous owner’s depository to yours, so there’s an unbroken chain of custody of the metals. That makes your bullion easier to sell for a good price when it’s time to cash in on your investment, since buyers can be assured that the metals are unadulterated and that they actually exist.
Stash Them in a Safe Deposit Box
If you don’t want to pay the fees to store your precious metals in a depository, you can store them in a safe deposit box at your local bank. A safe deposit box is just as safe as a depository, as there’s no way anyone but you can access the contents. Using a safety deposit box is a good idea if your nearest precious metals depository is far away, because you may want to keep your precious metals close by in case of far-reaching economic disruption. Many precious metals investors buy gold, silver, and other precious metals to protect their wealth in case of a full-scale economic meltdown, in which case, you’ll want your metals close to home and easy to access.
Of course, should a full-scale economic meltdown or other civil unrest occur, your bank may be closed and you may not be able to access your safe deposit box. If that’s something that concerns you, you may want to consider the next two options.
Bury Them in Your Backyard
A surprising number of precious metals investors actually hide their metals on their property, often by burying them. If you’re going to do this, make sure you keep a very good record of where you’ve buried your metals. Avoid burying collector’s coins, as these only hold their value if they’re in perfect condition. Bars, on the other hand, can be scuffed up a little and still retain their value.
Keep Them in a Safe at Home
If you don’t want to go full Pirates of the Caribbean and bury your supply of precious metals, buy a home safe. Make sure you get a fireproof safe that’s designed for storing precious metals. Such a safe can keep your gold and silver bars and coins safe from fire for up to two hours. You should also check with your homeowners insurance and make sure you have adequate coverage for your precious metals – most policies only provide coverage for about $1,000 worth of valuables, so you’ll need to buy additional coverage to protect your precious metals.
Precious metals can provide a valuable hedge against inflation and market volatility, but storing them can be complicated. Make sure you store your precious metals properly, to protect your investment from damage and thieves.