How to Buy Gold on Fidelity: Full Guide for 2024

Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. We recommend consulting with a professional for guidance specific to your situation. We may earn a small referral fee for some of the companies mentioned in this post.

Last Updated: December 6, 2023

Investing in precious metals, particularly gold, has been a traditional method of hedging against inflation and economic uncertainty. With the advent of various investment platforms, purchasing gold has become more accessible to investors. Fidelity, a renowned financial institution, offers avenues for investing in precious metals, including gold. This article explores the possibilities, intricacies, and considerations of buying gold through Fidelity, ensuring that investors are well-informed about the opportunities and risks involved.

Key Highlights

  • FideliTrade Incorporated: An independent corporation providing precious metals sales and support services, including buying, selling, delivery, safekeeping, and custody services, not affiliated with Fidelity Investments.
  • Insurance on Bullion: The bullion stored for customers at FideliTrade is insured against theft and disappearance, with significant insurance coverage at Lloyds of London for bullion held in its high-security vaults.
  • Fees and Charges: Fidelity charges a quarterly storage fee of 0.125% of the total value or $3.75, whichever is greater, and there are specific minimum purchase requirements and transaction fees.

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Can You Buy Gold on Fidelity?

an investing chart overlaying several stacks of gold coins

Yes, investors can buy gold on Fidelity. Fidelity provides an opportunity to purchase precious metals as a part of a diversification strategy. Orders to buy and sell precious metals by customers of Fidelity Brokerage Services, LLC (FBS) are handled by National Financial Services LLC (NFS), an affiliate of FBS. NFS processes precious metal orders through FideliTrade. It is crucial to note that FideliTrade is not affiliated with either FBS or NFS.

Fidelity Gold Fund

Fidelity offers various avenues for investing in gold [1], including through mutual funds that focus on gold or precious metals-related companies and industries. These funds may invest in gold bullion directly or through derivatives that aim to track the price of gold. It’s essential to consider the funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing and to read the prospectus carefully.

Precious Metals Investment Options via Fidelity

Investing in precious metals, especially gold, has been a time-honored strategy for investors looking to diversify their portfolios and hedge against market volatility and inflation. Fidelity, as a versatile investment platform, provides a range of options for those interested in venturing into the precious metals market. Here, we delve deeper into the various precious metals investment avenues available through Fidelity.

1. Direct Purchase of Precious Metals

  • Bullion and Coins: Fidelity allows investors to buy physical precious metals, such as gold and silver bullion and coins, through FideliTrade. It’s worth noting that the bullion or coins stored for customers at FideliTrade are insured against theft and disappearance.
  • Storage and Insurance: Fidelity customers’ holdings at FideliTrade are held in a separate account under the Fidelity name, and FideliTrade maintains substantial insurance coverage for bullion held in its high-security vaults.
  • Delivery and Taxes: Investors should be aware that there are delivery charges and applicable taxes if they opt for delivery of the physical metals.

2. Mutual Funds

  • Gold-Focused Funds: Fidelity offers mutual funds that focus on the gold and precious metals sector, investing in companies engaged in the mining, processing, and distribution of these metals.
  • Diversification: Investing in mutual funds allows investors to gain exposure to a diversified portfolio of companies within the precious metals sector, mitigating the risks associated with investing in individual companies.
  • Professional Management: Mutual funds are managed by professional fund managers who make investment decisions based on thorough research and analysis.

3. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

  • Precious Metals ETFs: Fidelity provides options to invest in ETFs that track the prices of precious metals, offering a way to gain exposure to the price movements of metals like gold and silver without owning them physically.
  • Liquidity: ETFs can be bought and sold like stocks on an exchange, providing high liquidity and ease of trading.
  • Diversification: Precious metals ETFs can offer diversified exposure to various precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, in a single investment.

4. Stocks of Precious Metals Companies

  • Mining Companies: Investors can buy stocks of companies engaged in the exploration, mining, and production of precious metals.
  • Refiners and Distributors: Investing in companies involved in refining and distributing precious metals is another way to gain exposure to the sector.
  • Risk and Reward: Investing in stocks allows investors to potentially benefit from both capital gains and dividends, although it comes with the risk of market volatility.

5. Precious Metals Index

  • Index Investing: Fidelity offers opportunities to invest in indexes that track the performance of companies involved in the precious metals sector, providing a broad market exposure.
  • Passive Management: Index investments are passively managed, tracking the performance of a specific index, which can result in lower management fees.

6. Futures and Options

  • Derivatives Trading: For more advanced investors, Fidelity offers the ability to trade futures and options contracts on precious metals, providing a mechanism to hedge or speculate on price movements.
  • Leverage: Futures and options allow investors to control larger positions with a smaller amount of capital, amplifying both potential gains and losses.

Fidelity’s diverse offerings in the precious metals investment landscape cater to various investor profiles, from those seeking the tangible security of physical metals to those looking for diversified or speculative opportunities in the metals market. Each investment option comes with its own risk-reward profile, and as such, investors should align their choices with their investment objectives, risk tolerance, and financial situation. Always consider consulting with a financial advisor to navigate through the complexities and nuances of precious metals investing via Fidelity.

Fees to Know About

Fidelity imposes several fees related to precious metals investment:

  • A quarterly storage fee of 0.125% of the total value or $3.75, whichever is greater.
  • Minimum fee per precious metals transaction: $44.
  • Minimum precious metals purchase: $2,500 ($1,000 for IRAs).

Benefits and Drawbacks of Investing in Gold

Gold, often referred to as the “safe-haven” asset, has been a focal point in investment portfolios for centuries. Its allure stems from its historical stability and intrinsic value. However, like any investment, it comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s delve deeper into the benefits and drawbacks of investing in gold.

Benefits

1. Hedge Against Inflation and Currency Devaluation
  • Inflation Protection: Gold has historically maintained its value during inflationary periods, protecting purchasing power.
  • Currency Hedge: It acts as a hedge against currency devaluation, maintaining value even when fiat currencies lose theirs.
2. Portfolio Diversification
  • Non-Correlated Asset: Gold often moves inversely to stock markets, providing diversification and risk mitigation.
  • Asset Allocation: Including gold can enhance asset allocation, providing a balanced investment mix.
3. Global Acceptance and Liquidity
  • Universally Valued: Gold is recognized and valued in every country, providing global market access.
  • High Liquidity: Gold can be easily bought or sold, ensuring that investors can liquidate their holdings whenever needed.
4. Preservation of Wealth
  • Wealth Preservation: Gold has been a wealth preserver for generations, often passed down through families.
  • Tangible Asset: Unlike digital assets or stocks, gold is tangible, providing physical ownership.
5. Safe-Haven During Political and Economic Uncertainty
  • Political Stability: Gold retains its value amidst political turmoil.
  • Economic Security: During economic downturns, gold often outperforms other assets.

Drawbacks

1. No Passive Income
  • No Dividends or Interest: Gold does not provide any passive income in the form of dividends or interest.
  • Storage Costs: Physical gold incurs storage and insurance costs, reducing potential returns.
2. Price Volatility
  • Market Fluctuations: Gold prices can be volatile, influenced by various global events and market speculations.
  • Investment Timing: Incorrect timing of gold investments can lead to buying high and selling low.
3. High Transaction and Management Fees
4. Opportunity Cost
  • Forgone Investments: Allocating a significant portion to gold may mean missing out on potentially higher returns from other investments.
  • Economic Growth: During periods of economic growth, other assets like stocks might provide better returns.
5. Regulatory and Authenticity Risks
  • Regulatory Changes: Changes in regulations regarding gold ownership or trading can impact investments.
  • Authenticity Concerns: Physical gold purchases may pose risks related to purity and authenticity.

Investing in gold can be a double-edged sword, providing stability and diversification on one side while lacking passive income and having potential for price volatility on the other. The key to successfully investing in gold lies in understanding its characteristics and ensuring that it aligns with your investment goals, risk tolerance, and overall portfolio strategy. Always consider a balanced approach, ensuring that your investments are diversified across various asset classes to navigate through different market conditions effectively.

Tips to Help You Decide if Gold Investing is Right for You

a financial advisor covers gold investing with his clients

Investing in gold can be a strategic move, offering a hedge against economic uncertainties and diversifying your investment portfolio. However, it’s crucial to evaluate whether gold investment aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance. Here are some tips to help you decide if investing in gold is the right move for you.

1. Assess Your Risk Tolerance

  • Volatility Understanding: Ensure you understand the volatility in the gold market and whether you can withstand the price fluctuations.
  • Investment Horizon: Consider your investment timeline; gold can be more suitable for long-term investment horizons due to its potential to hedge against inflation.

2. Understand Your Investment Goals

  • Wealth Preservation: If your goal is to preserve wealth and pass it down generations, gold can be a viable option.
  • Diversification: If you aim to diversify your portfolio, allocating a portion to gold can be beneficial.

3. Evaluate Economic and Market Conditions

  • Global Economy: Consider the global economic scenario, as gold tends to perform well during economic downturns.
  • Currency Values: Pay attention to currency values, especially the US Dollar, as gold often moves inversely to it.

4. Determine the Right Allocation

  • Portfolio Balance: Decide on the percentage of gold in your portfolio, ensuring it doesn’t outweigh other assets.
  • Asset Allocation: Ensure that your asset allocation aligns with your risk tolerance and investment goals.

5. Choose the Right Investment Vehicle

  • Physical Gold vs. ETFs: Decide whether you want to invest in physical gold (bullion/coins) or financial gold (ETFs, mutual funds).
  • Storage and Security: If investing in physical gold, consider the storage and security aspects.

6. Be Wary of Market Timing

  • Long-Term Perspective: Gold investments often require a long-term perspective rather than trying to time the market.
  • Consistent Investing: Consider a consistent investment strategy, like dollar-cost averaging, to mitigate the impact of volatility.

7. Research and Knowledge

  • Market Trends: Stay updated with the trends in the gold market and factors that influence gold prices.
  • Historical Performance: Analyze the historical performance of gold and its reaction to various economic scenarios.
  • Regulations: Ensure that your gold investments comply with local and international regulations.
  • Tax Implications: Understand the tax implications related to gold investments in your region.

9. Consult a Financial Advisor

  • Expert Advice: Seek advice from a financial advisor to understand how gold can fit into your overall investment strategy.
  • Customized Strategy: Work with an advisor to develop a strategy that’s tailored to your financial situation and goals.

10. Avoid Emotional Investing

  • Rational Decisions: Make investment decisions based on research and strategy, not emotions.
  • Avoid Impulse Buying: Be cautious of buying gold impulsively during market highs or in response to sensational news.

Investing in gold can offer numerous benefits, including diversification and a safe haven during economic downturns. However, it’s imperative to approach gold investment with a well-thought-out strategy, considering your financial situation, goals, and the tips mentioned above. Ensuring that gold investment complements your overall financial plan and is in harmony with your investment philosophy is crucial to achieving your financial objectives.

Summary

Investing in gold through Fidelity provides investors with a viable option to diversify their portfolio and hedge against economic uncertainties. Fidelity offers various avenues, such as direct purchase and mutual funds, to invest in precious metals, each with its own set of considerations, benefits, and drawbacks. While gold can be a safe-haven asset, it is crucial to understand the associated fees, market volatility, and investment strategies to navigate through the precious metals market effectively.

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