With the economic state we are currently in: even more unpredictable stock market returns, evaporating retirement nest eggs and the weakening of the dollar, it's more difficult than ever to find a good long term investment. A lot of people only think of gold in terms of a piece of jewelry, but buying gold as an investment can be a very smart move.
As with all types of investments, your overall success will be closely tied to how much time you're willing to put in. To make the most out of your investment you must be willing to do your homework. If not, you may not realize the outcome you were hoping for.
Take some time to learn all you can about buying and selling gold. Find out the history of trading gold as well as what the potential is for you as an investor. Ask questions and don't just follow along blindly with what some 'guru' says to do. Knowledge is power, knowledge can also be profit.
You'll also want to decide what type of gold to buy. For the smaller investor buying gold coins can be a good options. These coins can be bought in smaller numbers and since they are literally quite small they are easy to buy, move, store and you may even be able to sell them for more than just the price of the gold if the coin is older and more rare. Instead of just selling the gold you can get more money from the sale and value of the coin itself.
Next you will need to locate a dealer. Make sure that it is a good reliable and honest dealer. Many times you will have better and more options online, but it's very important to only deal with someone you know and trust and sometimes having someone local can be a great idea. That way you can easily contact them if you have any questions or concerns.
If you don't have a local dealer, it doesn't mean you have to give up on your dream of investing in gold. You can easily find a dealer online. It's even more important for you to carefully check out any dealer before you do business with them. There are many reliable and reputable dealers online, unfortunately there are also many scammers on the internet.
Make sure you do searches and only deal with the most reputable dealers around.
Don't go overboard. Only invest what you can afford. Since you can buy gold in small sizes, as small as 1/20th of an ounce, you don't have to pay big to get your foot in the door and become an investor. Since you can buy such a small size, you can start investing with only a small amount of money.
The small size of these coins does make it easy for them to be stolen. Make sure that you keep them in a safe place (and don't blab about all the gold you have). Get either a safe or use a safe deposit box at your bank.
Buying gold as an investment can be a great hedge when stocks are not doing as well. Gold will almost always go up in value, just be willing to wait and don't expect to make a killing overnight.