There are many people who advise using gold investments as a way to hedge against uncertainty in the stock market. And there are many good points behind that argument, but there are also some downsides of owning big, heavy bars of gold. For these reasons it may be easier to just buy gold exchange traded funds.
Gold exchange funds or ETF or GETF are bought and sold online just like you would buy shares from any other type of company. You will keep these shares in a brokerage account. Though you aren't actually buying the gold bullion, you are only buying shares of companies that invest in gold, this is a great way to buy gold without worrying about the downsides of owning gold.
Owning the physical gold coins or bullion can also be a risky proposition if you've got loose lips. If you tell too many people that you've got that gold stored in your home safe, you may just find that the wrong person will overhear and before you know it your home is robbed... or worse.
Since it can be difficult to own physical gold, for one thing if you want to sell it many buyers will want to personally inspect the gold, using EFT's is another option.
While owning EFT's can help you avoid many of the negatives associated with owning gold, it is not without it's own downsides. For one thing, while physical gold can be a great long term investment, EFT's are not. They are only short term investments, you want to buy low and sell high.
If you already have a brokerage account it's relatively easy to get involved with buying and selling EFT's. Just make sure that you realize that it's just like any other stock trading and there is a real risk of losing your money.
Remember that with EFT's you are only buying stock in a company, that means that if the company should fail your stock is worth less than the paper it was printed on, just like with any other types of stocks you may buy. You don't actually have possession of the gold so there is still a fairly big risk.
Using EFT's is best when you are using it as a short term investment vehicle. These aren't the same as actually buying gold coins or gold bullion which can be an excellent recession proof long term investment strategy. When you purchase stocks in a company you have little control over the decisions that company makes and you are at the mercy of the management and board of directors which doesn't provide you with much security...just look around to what has happened over the last couple of years.
If you're interested in playing the market and benefitting from short term price hikes than gold exchange traded funds may be a good option for you and your investment portfolio. If you are looking for something that can provide you with long term stability you should most likely stick to investing in actual gold, either coins or bullion, since these have value in their own right and you're not depending on the value of a company.