Buying gold coins at spot gold prices

Lemon Slice
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Buying gold coins at spot gold prices

Postby 1nv35t » November 26th, 2016, 1:48 pm

Based on the Dow/Gold ratio, at current levels gold might be moderately expensive, stocks moderately cheap. So whilst buying gold at current prices might not be desirable for some, for others any-time might be considered as being acceptable. For instance where the intent was to hold a stock/gold 50/50 barbell as a form of alternative to a bond bullet, for such a barbell the current price is less of a concern and the right time might always be 'now' (stock gains offset gold losses and vice-versa).

Assuming a long term investment horizon, one option might be to identify how much you might want to invest in gold and calculate how many gold coins (or whatever) that would buy if bought at spot gold price. More often dealers buy the likes of coins at spot gold, sell at a premium, which can be a considerable premium such as 10% above the spot gold price, such that if you actually bought coins then you'd have fewer coins than if bought at spot gold prices. With that figure recorded, invest the amount in stocks instead of gold, and then whenever at some future date the stock value (total return with dividends reinvested, and after costs/taxes) would buy the number of gold coins you originally identified above, then sell that stock and buy the gold coins. Such that you end up with a portfolio including physical gold coins of quantity/number that compares to as though you'd bought the coins at the original start date at the spot gold price at that time.

With the Dow/Gold ratio current at below average levels, its a relatively appropriate time to initialise such a program. But that is perhaps buying gold at a above average price, so more appropriate for when that is part of a broader portfolio such as a stock/gold barbell.

A risk is that over the shorter term (before having bought actual gold) you don't hold the desired target intended portfolio such as 50/50 stock/gold, but something else instead (100% stock). There's also the risk that stock total return might take years to reach/exceed the desired relative gain compared to gold to enable the selling of stock to buy physical gold. However the prospects are reasonable as more generally stock total returns tend to exceed gold gains over the longer term. Averaging in, small blocks of the above approach spread out over time, might further reduce that risk, have you perhaps actually buying some gold coins more quickly than had you lumped all at a single point in time (single large block).

Very long term and it will be as though gold was purchased at day 1 at the spot gold price, despite holding perhaps gold coins that typically are priced at above spot gold. The difference could be significant, such as perhaps holding 10% more coins compared to had you actually bought the coins at day 1. Over 20 years that amounts to near 0.5%/year difference (every little bit helps).

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