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How Can I Trade Precious Metals?

Nov. 2, 2012
Investing, Investments
NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

When economic times are uncertain, many people turn to precious metals as an investment. Our society considers platinum, silver, and especially gold to have intrinsic value. Whether or not the times are worrisome, portfolio diversification is critical, and adding precious metals can assist in your pursuit of that strategy.

So, how do you get started?

  1. Do some research into the precious metals market. If you don’t understand the long-term versus short-term behavioral differences, you may be caught off guard.
  2. Determine which metals you’d like to invest in. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are the ones most commonly offered.
  3. Find out which method of investment is right for you. Are you interested in investing in precious-metals mutual funds? How about shares in mining companies? Or would you rather simply purchase physical units of precious metals?
  4. Research all the fees associated with your method of investment. Actively managed mutual funds can have significant management fees. Various brokerage accounts can incur absurd commissions. And if you physically trade metals, you have to account for storage or shipping.

Trade Metals with Your Current Broker

Some brokers are already set up to help you trade physical commodities, so make sure to double-check before setting up a whole new account.

NerdWallet sorted through dozens of popular brokers to find the best ones for trading metals:

Fidelity Investments

Buying Commission: 0.99%-2.9%
Selling Commission: .75%-2%
Minimum Commission: $44.00
Minimum Purchase: $2,500
Metals Offered: Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium

 

T.Rowe Price

Buying Commission: 0.75%-2.5%
Selling Commission: .75%-2.5%
Minimum Commission: $35.00
Minimum Purchase: None
Metals Offered: Gold, Silver