Prices of precious metal commodities particularly gold, are rising in the wake of the week-long continuing massive stock sell offs. Financial analysts predict the rise will carry on since the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed there are now cases of person-to-person transmission of the Covid-19 in the U.S.
Stock investors’ fears are not unfounded, since the CDC includes businesses in the calls for preparations.
Commercial establishments, hotels and other rented facilities must undertake necessary actions to keep their spaces sanitized and their employees properly trained about hygiene and emergency responses. Landlords who own multi-family housing facilities should seek assistance from rental homes property management professionals.
In facilities where diverse groups of people crowd, converge or live and come in close contact via shared spaces like toilets, bathrooms and elevators, the application of risk management procedures can help minimize, if not prevent the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Financial market investors on the other hand, are taking the CDC newsfeed seriously. As a precautionary measure, they have turned to precious metals as a way of managing investment risks. Since some have not taken this route before, those planning to do so, are now seeking information on how to best invest in precious metal commodities like gold and silver.
Investing in Precious Metals
Precious metal investors have three options:
1. Buy the metal in its physical form, usually gold bars, or gold and silver coins;
2. Buy shares of an exchange-traded-fund or ETFs based on the price of the metal commodity
3. Enter into a futures contract that locks in the price of metal that an investor commits to buy in an agreed future time.
Although all three options may seem straightforward, each of those options have inherent characteristics that also make them risky.
Main Risks of Buying a Physical Commodity
The first of the concerns that must be considered before investing in physical gold or silver, is the trustworthiness of the dealer, especially if the purchase will be conducted through online trading facilities. A physical asset investor must be savvy enough to know and to ensure that he or she is buying genuine high-grade gold or silver.
Safekeeping is another issue, since they are physical assets in the form of bars or coins that can be stolen. To minimize risks, a separate insurance coverage for the physical asset is a necessity.
Be in the know that liquidity can be an issue, which means converting the precious metal into cash depends on the availability of buyers willing to buy the commodity, based on the price offered.
Risk of Investing on ETF Shares
In this type of investment, one does not get to own a physical asset, but only a share of a precious metal investment undertaken by a financial institution. The risk often associated with this type of investment is the “counterparty risk.” Such risk becomes a reality when the other party, which is the financial institution, defaults or fails to deliver the value promised as return on the shared ETF investment.
Risk of Investing in Future Contracts
Although this type of investment is less risky than the shared ETF investment. newbies should consider investing in gold and silver futures only if they are knowledgeable in hedging and leveraging fund investments. Mainly because, even a slight drop in the price of the precious metal, can impact their ability to sell the commodity at a price, higher than the amount they paid for via the futures contract.