Monday, September 28, 2009

Gold Investment

Are you buying gold? Then can we suggest reading how the gold markets work?

It will save you money by helping you avoid a purchase of gold costing 10% more than it should.

You needn't make that mistake.

We can show you clearly how to buy the most trusted form of gold in the world, at the best prices, and in the safest, easiest way.

  • Gold Investment
  • Review of the Gold Investment Market
  • Demand from New Gold Investment Markets
  • Mining Output Fails to Meet Gold Investment Demand
  • Gold Investment vs. the Falling Dollar
  • When Inflation Looms, Gold Investment Shines
  • Gold Investment: The Antidote to Complex Debt Defaults

Gold Investment

If you're still thinking about Gold Investment, and rationalising what can be a difficult decision we recommend "Why Gold?".

Review of the Gold Investment Market

Gold investment worldwide has grown dramatically in the last five years, but compared with the total stock of financial assets, gold bullion investment is still just a tiny proportion.

Several factors are now stimulating gold investment by new pension fund money - as well as by private investors.

Demand from New Gold Investment Markets

Sales of gold jewelry across Asia are surging as the local economies boom and private investment grows. China's gold investment demand grew by 20% in 2007, while Indian consumers bought a record 900 tonnes – well over one-fifth of the total world market.

Gold buyers in Asia tend to think of their jewelry as a form of gold investment. Prevented from owning gold bullion until very recently, they buy gold to protect their savings from inflation and currency shocks.

That's why the most popular form of gold jewelry in Asia – heavy chains and bracelets – is known as "investment jewelry" in the gold industry.

Mining Output Fails to Meet Gold Investment Demand

Gold mining companies worldwide have failed to meet the growing demand from gold jewelry and gold investment buyers, pushing the gold price steadily higher.

The world's No.1 gold mining nation, South Africa, has seen its annual gold output halve since 1998, and new operations in China and Russia - though growing - have failed to pick up the slack.

According to consultants "Virtual Metals" total world mining output has fallen by 4% since 2003. Their gold investment analysts don't forecast an early return to growing output.

Gold Investment vs. the Falling Dollar

As the US Dollar has slumped gold investment has outstripped the gains in all major world currencies.

In the five years to 2008 buying Euros to defend against the Dollar's decline has returned 47%. Gold investment, on the other hand, has returned 131%.

British, Australian, South African and Indian citizens undertaking gold investments in 2007 all enjoyed the gold price reaching record new all-time highs.

When Inflation Looms, Gold Investment Shines

The surge in crude oil prices has closely matched the gains in gold pricessince 2003, but many people now thinking about gold investment will also want to consider the surge in world food prices, the boom in base metals such as copper, and the current all-time highs in the cost of shipping.

Rising demand for better housing and durable goods from Asian consumers is certainly a factor. But many gold investment analysts also point to the huge growth in credit and debt in the West.

The money supply in the United States has doubled in the last seven years. In Europe, growth in the money supply hit a near-30 year record in late 2007, increasing the appeal of gold investment as the value of each Euro in circulation threatens to shrink under the weight of new notes and electronic account balances.

Gold Investment: The Antidote to Complex Debt Defaults

"Financial innovation in the last few years has been extremely strong and powerful," as Gilles Gilcenstein, head of asset management at BNP Paribas, put it in late 2006. We've now seen this bubble in complex and novel investments bite back.

The global credit crunch first bit when the alphabet soup of MBS, CDOs, CDS and ABCP turned sour as the US mortgage market turned down.

These instruments thrive in the opaque, off-balance-sheet environment of modern financial engineering.

But transparency is important. The modern world has audited accounts, and open exchanges, and 'public' companies for a good reason: because previous generations understood that when investment stops being open and transparent, and reverts to cosy secret deals, complex contracts, and big executive bonuses, then it is general investors who get cheated. Transparency helps stop these problems developing.

In stark contrast to the burgeoning complexity of modern securities markets gold investment remains uniquely simple, and - dealt the right way - uniquely transparent.

A solid gold investment sets you free from the risk of credit default or banking failures.

Click here for essential information if you are considering buying gold.


Ready To Buy Gold

What are the best ways to buy gold? That's what we'll explain on this page.

We'll show you how professionals have arranged the world gold market so that they can deal physical bullion gold much cheaper and much more safely than you.

Then we'll show you how you can participate in their professional market.

To do that we'll introduce you to BullionVault. We'll also tell you about the other ways you might choose to buy gold : i.e. coins and small bars, ETFs, certificates, gold futures and mining stocks. When you've understood these alternatives we're sure you'll have even more confidence you're making the right choice with BullionVault.

More than 100,000 people from 83 countries use BullionVault.

In the last two years they bought more gold through BullionVault than through any other direct bullion ownership service in the world.

BullionVault now stores over 16 tonnes of gold, which is much more than most of the world's central banks. Every ounce is owned privately, by people like you, and stored in the accredited professional bullion market vault of their choice, in London, Zurich or New York.

OK then? Now you know you're not wasting your valuable time let's get on with understanding how the professional gold market works, and how lets you use it.

  • Gold Bars, Good Delivery, and the Professional Gold Market
  • Fine gold is 100% pure gold
  • Retain high bullion integrity in a professional vault
  • Direct Access To The Best Gold Prices
  • Save money with our gold exchange
  • Your Safety and Security Assured
  • Important concerns when Buying Gold
  • Delivery
  • Possession
  • Delivery at BullionVault
  • Insurance
  • Other Ways of Buying Gold
  • Gold Coins
  • Gold certificates and unallocated gold
  • Gold Futures
  • Gold ETFs
  • Gold Mining Stocks
  • The Best Way to Buy Gold

Gold Bars, Good Delivery, and the Professional Gold Market

  • The most competitive gold prices in the world, the ones you see published in the papers and on the internet, are enjoyed by the participants in the professional bullion market:- gold dealers, refiners, government agencies, bullion banks and the occasional big investment organization.
  • This professional market only deals in what are known as Good Delivery bars. If you're not trading these bars you are excluded, both from their market and from their very competitive prices, which means you'll pay more when you buy and receive less when you sell.

Fine gold is 100% pure gold

  • Good Delivery bars are cast by a small group of precious metal refiners accredited by the professional bullion dealing communities in London, New York and Zurich. They are accurately assayed and guaranteed always 99.5% pure gold or better. The market trades their pure gold content (gross bar weight x purity) which is known as fine gold, so no-one who trades professional market bullion ever pays for impurities.

Retain high bullion integrity in a professional vault

  • Good Delivery bars have high integrity because they have never been in private possession. From the day they're first manufactured they are kept in bullion vaults recognized and monitored by the local gold dealing community. Every time bars are moved - by accredited bullion couriers - a careful record is maintained, showing continuous storage through trusted hands. This guarantees gold bar integrity in a way that keeping gold at home, or even in safety deposit boxes, simply cannot match.
  • The result is that a professional buyer's vault will accept deliveries of these bars direct from the seller's vault without re-checking their purity. The seller gets paid quickly and efficiently, and bullion trading costs are much reduced for both buyer and seller. This is what Good Delivery bars are all about, and it's why the high volume, high integrity, professional bullion market is the only place where a sale of gold nets the seller the widely published bullion price.
  • Good Delivery bars are large - usually 400 troy ounces each (12.4kg), and at $1,000 an ounce that's $400,000 a bar.
  • Yet even having enough money to buy a whole bar or two only solves half the problem. You still need that key relationship with a formally recognized bullion vault to look after the gold while you own it. Otherwise your gold loses its guaranteed acceptance as 'Good Delivery', and cannot easily be sold at full price. But those vaults are ultra-cautious and typically don't deal with the general public. Even if you did spend the considerable time, cost and effort of setting up a vaulting account with one of them you'd find the minimum monthly storage fee means you'd need about 15 big bars of gold to get an economic rate for bar storage.
  • These are the barriers which keep private users out of the professional bullion market.

Direct Access To The Best Gold Prices

  • changes all this. It enables people from all over the world to own professional market gold and keep it in any quantity in officially recognized bullion vaults in London (UK), New York (USA), or Zurich (Switzerland).
  • All BullionVault gold is held in Good Delivery form. So when you come to sell, your buyer is able to trust the purity and weight of your gold, which is guaranteed by BullionVault itself, because we know that you never had the opportunity to corrupt it.
  • Most people who buy gold don't stop to consider how important bullion integrity is going to be when they come to sell, but it will be critical to the price they get. Too much money is lost by gold investors who find out that lower integrity bullion has a higher premium and simply does not fetch the spot price when it is handed back over the counter. The round-trip dealing costs (i.e. buying and selling) for bullion coins and small bars is usually about 7% to 10%, and it stretched to 20% in late 2008.
  • Your trading costs on BullionVault are much lower. When you buy or sell you pay a commission whose maximum rate is 0.8%, falling progressively when you invest above $30,000 to just 0.02%. The round-trip costs you 1.6% on small amounts, falling to an incredible 0.04% for larger customers.
  • You can start buying gold in amounts as low as 1 gram which is much smaller than the smallest coin. There's no upper limit. You can deal thousands of ounces if you want to. In fact you should call us (+44 20 8600 0130) if you want to deal more than 800 oz. We can save you even more money on orders of this size.
  • Storage charges are very low too. BullionVault charges 0.12% pa ($4 per month minimum) with insurance included. That's less than a tenth of the storage fees charged by retail banks, and less than a third of the annual fees charged by typical exchange-traded gold funds, known as Gold ETFs. (We'll explain later how banks' use of allocated/unallocated gold causes them to grossly overcharge for bullion storage.)

Save money with our gold exchange

  • BullionVault customers also save money by cutting out the middleman and dealing directly with each other. They do this on the internet using BullionVault's public order board, which is like a stock-exchange for privately owned Good Delivery gold. The open price competition operating between thousands of our users is what has driven down the cost of trading gold, and taken the average spread across all BullionVault users to exactly zero.
  • BullionVault itself is the one of the biggest of the thousands of buyers and sellers operating on this ‘stock-exchange’. We sell gold from stock and buy gold back into stock. But the important thing here is that we have to beat the quoted prices of all our clients to attract your business. This vital component – open competition on price – is what forces BullionVault’s gold prices to be exceptionally competitive, to the point where we can all but guarantee that as a retail customer you will not buy gold cheaper, nor sell it dearer, anywhere else on Earth.
  • There are savings at settlement time too. You don't have to arrange for expensively insured courier deliveries. All the gold you buy is already in the vault where you want it. Then, when you sell, your buyer wants his gold in the same vault, and he frequently pays a small fraction over the spot price for your gold because it saves him the shipping cost.
  • It's worth understanding that BullionVault is open-ended. The amount of gold in BullionVault floats up and down according to customer demand. When customers are buying from our stock we simply replace the falling stock with new Good Delivery bars bought from the professional market. Then, because the gold remains Good Delivery, when our customers are selling to us we sell surplus bars back to the professionals. What we are doing is acting as a buffer between the amounts that private buyers want to deal, and the inconveniently large sums that the professional market deals.

Please take me straight to BullionVault's "get started guide".

Gold price - 5 yearsGold price - 1 month

Your Safety and Security Assured

  • Your gold is your outright property, stored in specialist facilities reserved exclusively for BullionVault clients and run by Via Mat - Switzerland's leading accredited professional bullion vault operator. You choose the storage location :- London, New York or Zurich.
  • You are truly isolated from the systemic risks in the financial system. You have taken legal delivery of your gold and you own it directly in physical form. Unlike the huge majority of investment products no company's financial failure can deprive you of this gold. Our bank (AAA rated Lloyds TSB), Via Mat and BullionVault itself could all fail, and your gold is still perfectly safe.
  • Each and every working day BullionVault publishes on the internet the complete register of all its gold owners - with each owner listed under a public nickname known only to themselves. You can use this to prove your specific and undiluted ownership of your gold at any time.
  • The register total reconciles exactly to the official vault bar list published with it on our Daily Audit. The bar list is produced by Via Mat, independently of BullionVault. No other custody business in the world subjects its records to this continual, daily, public scrutiny.
  • Our auditors produce an annual report verifying the accuracy of this daily reconciliation, and post it on their own website, ensuring its complete independence from us.
  • We employ independent assayers to report once a year on the quality of the bars delivered to us by the professional market. Our auditors check back with our assayers and publish the verified assay report, also on their own website.
  • Our storage contract with ViaMat prevents us from removing gold from the vault without declaring the withdrawal publicly on the front page of our website for at least 48 hours prior to the withdrawal. All removals of bullion must be publicly declared or the vault operators will refuse to release the bullion. No other gold custody business in the world enforces a similarly transparent policy on all gold withdrawals from the vault.
  • BullionVault is also the only gold market in the world which stays open 24 hours a day, 7 days* a week. You, and 90,000 other registered users, are able publicly to quote buying and selling prices of good delivery gold directly to each other. Only BullionVault lets its customers compete with its own quoted prices to get all users the best possible deal, whether they are buyers or sellers.
  • Subject to modest additional fees and taxes you even have the right to withdraw gold from the vault. Of course the huge majority of BullionVault users leave their gold right where it is, because that's the way they continue to be able to sell Good Delivery gold at spot market prices.
  • Any deal you transact is settled instantaneously. We checked that both buyer and seller had the resources on-hand to settle. BullionVault offers nobody credit, and settles at the point of trade, so nobody can let you down after you deal.
  • You can withdraw your money immediately after you sell. Your money will leave your BullionVault client account by the end of the next business day (London time). There is no minimum period for investing, and no penalty for withdrawing.
  • You don't trust internet security, and neither does BullionVault. So although it runs the most secure protocols available, BullionVault assumes that your account is at risk of penetration, and must be safe if penetrated. Unlike Digital Gold Currency we will not pay anyone but you, and we will not allow any transfer of value to another system user. So, both for your safety and to obey international anti-money-laundering laws, when money is withdrawn from your BullionVault account it is sent straight back to the original funding bank account (yours) or otherwise to its verified replacement bank account held in the same name, endorsed by your new banker, and checked by us.
  • For the same failsafe reason our Burglar Alarm service can alert you to all log-ins to your account, with an immediate SMS message to your cellphone.
  • The system is very easy to use and very safe. In fact hundreds of our customers have written to us thanking us for making buying gold so straightforward (we publish many of their comments on our site). But, just in case, we invite you to phone us (+44 20 8600 0130) and we'll talk you through your first few deals one click at a time. We check that everything is exactly as you want it while you're still on the 'phone. You'll be amazed how simple buying gold now is.

This combination of safety, value, accessibility, transparency and service has quickly made BullionVault the most popular direct gold ownership service in the world.

Go straight to BullionVault's get started guide now.

Important concerns when Buying Gold

The critical thing for an efficient and safe purchase of gold is to take delivery, and in normal circumstances to avoid immediate possession, while making sure you have the right to take later possession if necessary. This is not intuitive to most gold buyers.


Delivery (sometimes called settlement) is when you become the owner of your gold. For your safety it is vital that you take delivery, because that is when you stop being the balance sheet creditor of whoever sold gold to you.

But it is not vital that you take delivery into your possession. Private possession of gold is usually a mistake.


Many people want possession without thinking about it too much. But for all the comfort that they derive from the feeling of a gold bar in their hand, few who have tried selling a bar from private possession would take possession again. They learned, when they tried to sell, of the big trading costs that go with the private possession of small bars or coins.

Gold in your possession is subject to several disadvantages:-

  1. Almost nothing you can do will provide 100% assurance that the last person to touch your gold, before you, didn't substitute it for a good fake product.
  2. You will have to accept a significant discount when you sell, because your gold is not in a form which can be accepted by the professional markets as Good Delivery.
  3. You will find that it is very much harder to insure. Gold bars are a favorite with insurance cheats. They get 'stolen' all too regularly, and their insurers have to pay out, making honest people subsidize the cheats with high premiums. On the other hand actuaries know that professionally vaulted gold is extremely safe, and the insurance premium for gold in an accredited vault is spectacularly low. (All BullionVault gold is insured, and the premium is so low it is included in the tiny custody charge of 0.12% per annum. That's still less than a 1% total after 8 years - for custody and insurance.)
  4. If you bought gold intending to be safe in a crisis, and took possession of it, you will, in that crisis, find it impossible to spend your gold as if it were money. Take a gold coin out of your pocket today, and try and pay somebody with it, and you will be met with a blank stare. Gold is not currency. You cannot easily use it now to pay for anything. Of course there is a belief that it would operate as currency in hard times, and it remains just about possible. But the empirical evidence is not good. In places in our own times where a currency has broken down - places like Russia, Yugoslavia, Argentina, Iraq, Zimbabwe - gold did not emerge as a circulating currency and there was no prospect whatsoever of quitting those countries carrying gold. In these circumstances privately possessed gold was at best useless. At worst it can be extremely dangerous.

The truth about gold being used as money is this:- it is occasionally adopted in immensely rich societies (e.g. USA to the 1930s, industrialized Europe to 1914, Spain after discovering America, Imperial Rome, Ancient Athens). But if you try to use it in a crisis-torn country during a financial meltdown stick to small quantities - because you will probably be selling it as contraband, and at a huge discount to its international market price.

For larger (investment) quantities there is an effective alternative. Far better than gold in your possession is gold which is fully delivered, and is your property, but which is held in a country enjoying political stability, high local living standards, sound finances, the rule of law, and no tense international relations. On all of these criteria Switzerland (our most popular vault) scores very well.

So you are probably better advised to postpone taking possession until an emergency makes it absolutely necessary. In the meantime take delivery, but into a professional offshore vault, rather than into your personal possession. Your gold will be much safer than in domestic or safe-deposit box storage, it will be far cheaper to insure, and it will retain its full resale value. What's more you'll be able to bring your money back home later. Exchange controls usually stop capital flight, but rarely inward investment.

Delivery at BullionVault

Understanding delivery is incredibly important for your safety.

Because it is already in the vault of your choice (where it currently belongs to a BullionVault seller) at the instant of your deal your gold can be delivered to your outright ownership in the care of your custodian.

You are not exposed to the insolvency of your custodian. Your gold is not on the custodian's balance sheet. No liquidator could exercise a claim over your gold. That's the law.

What you need to understand is that most investments - even in gold - are structured to make you a creditor. As a creditor you own nothing, but you do have a creditor's claim over the assets of your supplier, which is safe so long as your supplier remains solvent.

If your supplier becomes insolvent the law attempts to treat all creditors fairly by requiring the balance sheet assets of that supplier to be shared pro-ratabetween creditors. Of course insolvency means there is not enough to go round.

But the law also makes it possible for you to be fully protected from insolvencies by arranging outright ownership.

To avoid losing your money in that sharing out process you must avoid being a balance sheet creditor. This means that what you buy must be delivered to you (i.e. settled). Then it is removed from the supplier's balance sheet and becomes something you own. It's the law that a custodian's liquidator must deliver all property held in custody to its rightful owners - in full - before that sharing out of balance sheet assets to creditors can begin.

This means you are 100% protected from the insolvency of your custodian by the physical gold which is stored as your property.

This is what you get with BullionVault gold ownership. You become one of these privileged outright owners at the point of your BullionVault purchase. Almost nowhere else in the whole investment world - including gold - is delivery made instantaneously at the point of your trade.

We strongly recommend that however you eventually choose to buy gold you make sure it is delivered as soon as possible. Do not be fooled into thinking you are safe with undelivered (unallocated) gold, because it rests indefinitelyon your supplier's balance sheet, and this exposes you to their insolvency at any time in the future.

Having available a choice of locations within one organization is an additional protection, because you can quickly shift your custodial location in response to dangerous geo-political events. BullionVault's is the only system in the world which allows you to sell your gold in one location and (because settlement is instantaneous) use your cash to re-buy immediately in another. You can do this any time of day or night, 7 days a week.


Actuaries' calculation of risk show, beyond doubt, that your gold is much safer in an accredited vault than it would be if you stored it at home. That's why insurance is included in the vaulting charges of most professional bullion vaults.

On BullionVault, from the instant you buy to the instant you sell your gold is insured automatically, and the cost of insurance is included in the tiny custody charge of 0.12% per annum. Customers can view BullionVault's insurance certificate on-line at any time.

Other Ways of Buying Gold

Bearing these issues in mind then lets examine the other ways of buying gold.

Gold Coins

Buy gold coins or small gold bars and you can hold them in your hand, or possibly in a safe deposit box. Your gold is delivered (good), and in your possession (bad in large quantities).

You should try to get insurance cover if you buy a significant quantity, but this is not always easy, and of course you have to declare that you own gold in order to insure it, which you might not wish to do.

You will certainly find there is a significant premium on purchase price and a significant discount at sale, and this will dent your profits if you are buying for investment. Expect to lose about 8% this way, perhaps a little more in single coins and smaller denominations, or a little less in bulk.

Gold Coin

You could find that you become a trapped owner should a financial meltdown occur. You may also discover your gold is not easily liquidated if - for example - exchange controls are implemented in the country where you live.

In spite of the drawbacks many people who buy a significant quantity of gold for investment offshore do keep a much smaller reserve in coins. This 2006 USA Liberty 'Buffalo', which is 1 oz and 99.99% pure gold, is owned by BullionVault's director, who thinks that while it may lack the investment efficiency of offshore good delivery bars, it is nevertheless very pretty. He paid a premium of 7% over spot and like most people who own coins has never yet tried to sell it.

It is relatively straightforward to buy gold coins. A search of Google for "gold coin dealers" will quickly produce some suppliers. Watch out for the big difference between numismatic coins and bullion coins. Bullion coins like the one pictured have no value as a collectible, and their worth is based only on their gold content.

Numismatic coins are for collectors. Their values vary according to any number of variables not related to bullion gold values.

Gold certificates and unallocated gold

Gold certificates are usually unallocated gold with an option to convert into allocated at the investor's option and cost.

Because it is undelivered, and remains indefinitely as a balance sheet liability of the provider, we cannot recommend unallocated gold to any retail customer. The insolvency of the provider risks total loss to the investor.

Most gold certificates are nevertheless unallocated. They confer a right to allocate, but allocation and the resulting storage charges may be so expensive that the only time the right is likely to be used is when the supplier is in financial trouble, and then it could be too late.

Why do suppliers offer unallocated gold? It's because it is very profitable. They have the use of your unallocated gold so they can lend it for revenue, or otherwise put it to their use. In very few cases is that the intention of the private bullion buyer.

Before you choose a certificate program make sure you know if the gold is unallocated - it usually is - and make a conscious decision to accept the considerable long term risks.

Depending on the level of confidence which government backing of gold investments inspires in you there may be an exception to the wider pool of unallocated certificated gold schemes. Certainly the most well-known and most respected of the certificate providers is the Perth Mint Certificate Program.

Gold Futures

Trading gold futures means you can buy gold on credit, gearing up your gold investment. But if you buy gold this way, sharp volatility will put you at risk of large losses arising from the leverage.

If you are a short term speculator with a particular view on the gold price, and particularly if you are a short-seller of gold, then you should look at our detailed section on Gold Futures.

Gold ETFs

The exchange-traded gold funds are a high volume investment vehicle providing exposure to the gold price. They benefit from the familiarity of being traded on a normal stock exchange. If you already have a brokerage account set up then these can be one of the most convenient options for you. However it is well worth your while understanding the key issues from our section on Gold ETFs.

Gold Mining Stocks

Gold mining stocks face ever-growing problems of politics, cost and geology. Moreover - much to many people's surprise they have very significantly underperformed bullion over the recent past.

The underlying reason for this is that modern attitudes have made gold mining a bit of a pariah in business terms. The shattered landscapes and plentiful poisons left behind by previous generations of miners have created a mistrust by environmentalists, and by governments, which are now routinely applying very high clean-up standards and costs before granting mining licences.

Governments also frequently require infrastructure and other social benefits to be financed by mine operators - acting as a sort of compensation to local communities. They are well able to assess the value of the mine, and force up the social price to the point where it is only just a profitable undertaking. That means that the profits of mining are now more than ever expended in social works in the country and vicinity of a new mine. Perhaps this is as it should be, but it is not good for shareholder returns.

On top of that the rising cost of energy has in many cases been crippling.

The result is that there has gradually developed a premium on gold which is already out of the ground and in its refined form - bullion.

But that does not deny that great fortunes can be made by people who find the right gold mine stock - one with large deposits, low production costs, and a tolerant government.

If you are interested please read our page on gold mining.

The Best Way to Buy Gold

We hope you have found this walk through the main ways of buying gold to be instructive. We firmly believe that BullionVault offers you the cheapest, safest and most accessible way that has yet been devised.

Please take me straight to BullionVault's "get started guide".

You can register now, and quickly you'll be owning the gold you seek to protect you from the appalling mismanagement of our currencies and economies.

We respect your privacy. Your BullionVault registration will never be sold, rented or otherwise made available to any third party.

However we do not demand privacy for ourselves. You can at any time click on 'About Us', or 'FAQs : Governance' and read about the company, how it is structured, who owns and runs it, and the personal CVs of senior management. This information is directly available from our home page.

We finish by summarizing the advantages of BullionVault - many of which are found nowhere else.

  • BullionVault deals good delivery gold - the only gold accepted on the world's spot markets. Your gold is not subject to loss of integrity and marketability while you own it.
  • BullionVault has no minimum or maximum investment.
  • BullionVault gives you instant access to your money. You can sell gold and redeem cash to your bank account in 24 hours.
  • When you buy on BullionVault prices are significantly lower than when you buy gold coins and small bars.
  • When you sell on BullionVault prices are significantly higher than when you sell coins and small bars from private possession.
  • Only BullionVault offers open price competition, with 90,000 registered users - including you - competing as both buyers and sellers, and publicly quoting their own dealing prices. Competition between so many users greatly narrows your dealing spread. Typical dealing spreads at BullionVault's competitors are $22.00 an ounce. Typical BullionVault spreads are just $2.50 an ounce, and $0.25 is not uncommon.
  • BullionVault commissions start at 0.8% and reduce rapidly above $30,000 invested, to just 0.02% for larger amounts. For storage you pay a tiny 0.12% per annum - that's less than one eighth of one percent - which includes insurance.
  • BullionVault is unique in being open for trading through the night and through the weekend.
  • Unlike increasing numbers of modern gold investment products BullionVault is not based on a complex trust which you need lawyers to interpret. You own gold. It's that simple.
  • BullionVault lets you buy and sell directly in three currencies: $, £ and €. You do not have to buy US dollars to deal. If you want to avoid your own currency you can sell your gold directly for another, without FX conversion expenses, because BullionVault provides ample direct gold liquidity in all three currencies.
  • Only BullionVault lets you store in three countries. Switzerland (Zurich), UK (London) and USA (New York). Only BullionVault - with its multiple vaults, and instantaneous settlement - allows you to trade out of one jurisdiction and into another in seconds, as you might well choose to do in response to dangerous geo-political events.
  • Your account is protected by advanced security technologies, but BullionVault recognises that the internet is not 100% watertight, so BullionVault assumes security is capable of being breached and still protects you. You are protected by your Burglar Alarm, and by the restricted return of your money only to you, at your original funding bank account, or its verified replacement.
  • Only BullionVault daily publishes a full client reconciliation to 3rd party bar lists and client money bank statements. Only BullionVault has a verification report of its daily reconciliation produced by its independent auditor's and published on their own website.
  • Only BullionVault publishes its insurance cover certificate.
  • Only BullionVault has the confidence to give you a free gram of bullion, stored in Switzerland, and allow you to test the system's dealing and custody environment for yourself - entirely at BullionVault's risk.

You can get started now. BullionVault will give you a free gram of gold bullion stored in your own vaulting account in Zurich if you click here now and complete your registration.

We are a phone call away and are happy to help. Our office address, email and telephone details are all listed under our contact details. You can also read about the company, its very strong finances, and the people involved. All of these details are published on our Frequently Asked Questionssection.

We believe in gold. We believe in the future you will be financially much better off if you buy gold now and store it safely and in the right way. We really can help you achieve this, with exceptional security, at the lowest acquisition and storage costs in the world, yet still with a minimum of effort.

This article taken by .


Gold Investment 'offering purchasing power protection'

A prominent fund manager claimed on Saturday (September 26th) that investors are rushing to Buy Gold as they seek a store of wealth, the Daily Mail reports.

The yellow metal has been a popular asset during the financial crisis and subsequent recession, gradually gaining in price as major paper currencies have floundered.

Now Evy Hambro, who manages approximately £1.7 billion in the BlackRock Gold and General investment fund, has explained that the trend looks set to continue.

"First it was fear of recession and now it is fear of inflation and worries over the weakness of the US dollar," he said.

"People are looking for gold as a currency that can preserve their purchasing power over time."

Investors often Buy Gold as a hedge against inflation and this attraction was adhered to last week by David Levenstein, an investment advisor with 29 years' trading experience.

Speaking to Mineweb, he noted that many market observers believe gold prices will increase in the longer term as inflation takes over when economies begin to recover.

"While there is no evidence of inflation at the present moment, there are a number of factors suggesting an inflationary environment for the near future," he told the news provider.

"They include the monetary policies of central banks, major tax cuts, a long-term decline in the dollar, a mammoth trade deficit in the US and America's status as the world's biggest debtor nation. This implies that gold [will] rise over the long term."
This article taken by


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Forex Trading Tips

Tip 1. Gamblers go to casino. All unproved, spontaneous actions in Forex trading — are a part of pure gambling.
Any attempt to trade without analysis and studying the market is equal to a game. Game is fun except when you are losing real money
Tip 2. Never invest money into a real Forex account until you practice on a Forex Demo account!
Allow at least 2 month for demo trading. Consider this: 90% of beginners fail to succeed in the real money market only because of lack of knowledge, practice and discipline. Those remaining 10% of successful traders had been sharpening and shaping their skills on demo accounts for years before entering the real market.
A good demo account to start practicing with could be, for example, FXGame from Oanda.
Tip 3. Go with the trend!
Trend is your friend. Trade with the trend to maximize your chances to succeed. Trading against the trend won't "kill" a trader, but will definitely require more attention, nerves and sharp skills to rich trading goals.
Tip 4. Always take a look at the time frame bigger than the one you've chosen to trade in.
It gives the bigger picture of market price movements and so helps to clearly define the trend. For example, when trading in 15 minute time frame, take a look at 1 hour chart; trading hourly would require obtaining a picture of daily, weekly price movements.
If a trend is hard to spot — choose a bigger time frame. Up and down market patterns are always present. Always make sure you know the dominant trend, unless you are a scalper. Scalpers have no need to spend their time studying big trends, what's happening in the market here and now (during 5-10 minute time frame) should be of only importance to a Forex scalper.
Tip 5. Never risk more than 2-3% of the total trading account.
One important difference between a successful and an unsuccessful trader is that the first is able to survive under unfavorable conditions on the market, while an unsuccessful trader will blow up his account after 5-10 unprofitable trades in the row.
Even with the same trading system 2 traders can get opposite results in the long run. The difference will be again in the money management approach. To introduce you to money management, let's get one fact: losing 50% of total account requires making 100% return from the rest of money just to restore the original balance.
Tip 6. Put emotions down. Trade calm.
Don't try to revenge after losing the trade. Don't be greedy by adding lots of positions when winning.
Overreaction blocks clear thinking and as a result will cost you money. Overtrading can shake your money management and dramatically increase trading risks.
Tip 7. Choose the time frame that is right for you.
Choosing wise means that you are comfortable and have time enough to analyze the market, place and close orders etc. Some people can't wait for hours for the price to make a move, they like action and therefore prefer smaller time frames. On the contrary, for others 10-15 minutes is a hustle to be able to make the right decision.
Tip 8. Not trading or standing aside is a position.
When in doubt — stay out. If it is not clear where the market will move — don't trade. In this case saving present capital is and absolutely better choice than risking and losing money.
Tip 9. Learn to use protective stops. Respect them and don't move.
Hoping that market will turn in your direction is a very delusive hope. By moving a stop loss further a trader increases his chances to end up with much bigger loss.
When holding to a losing trade too long, and even if funds permit, traders as a rule are very reluctant to accept big losses, thus often continue "hoping for best". In the mean time invested money is stuck in the open trade for unknown period of time (weeks and even months) and cannot be used for opening new positions. Not working money — dead money. Also this will result in constant interest payments for holding open positions.
Tip 10. "Keep it simple, stupid" — applies to indicators, signals and trading strategies.
Too much information will create a controversial picture of when to trade and when not to. To avoid lots of confusion create a simple but working method of trading Forex.
Tip 11. Think about risk/reward ratio before entering each trade.
How much money can you lose in this trade? How much can you gain? Now, make a decision if the trade is worth entering.
Example: if trader is looking for possible 35 pips gain and possible 25 pips of loss, such conditions are not worth trading. Compare it with the situation when a trader has 100-120 pips of potential gain and only 10-20 pips of possible loss. This is the trade to open!
Tip 12. Never add positions to a losing trade. Do add positions when the trade has proven to be profitable.
Don't allow a couple of losing trades in a row become a snowball of losing trades. When it is obviously not a good day, turn the monitor off. Often not trading for one day can help to break a chain of consecutive losses. Trying to get revenge can often make things worse.
Tip 13. Let your profits run.
Let your position be open for as long as the market wishes to reward you. Of course, for this traders need a good exit strategy, otherwise they risk to give all profits back...
Running two or more open trades gives an option to close some positions earlier and keep others running for higher profits.
Tip 14. Cut your losses short.
It's better to finish unprofitable trade quickly than wait for the situation to get worse. Don't put a stop loss too far — it's your money you risk. Better calculate the best spot to enter when a potential loss would be minimized. Again: respect your stop and don't move it "cherishing hopes".
Tip 15. Trade currency pairs in respect to their active market hours.
Learn about overlapping market hours: when two markets are open and highest volume of trades is conducted.
For example, Australian and Japanese trading sessions are overlapped from 8pm to 1 am EST. At that time trader can successfully trade AUD/JPY currency pair.
Tip 16. Choose the right day to trade.
This recomendation is often wrongly taken as an optional thing, because everyone knows that Forex market is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Yet, choosing the time to trade can make a difference between successful and hopeless trading.
It's proved and highly recommended not to trade on Mondays, when the market has recently awaken and is making first "probation steps" to form a new or confirm a current trend; and on Fridays afternoon, during the huge volume of closing trades. The best days to trade are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Tip 17. Learn about Fibonacci levels and how to use them for trading.
Fibonacci can be very helpful in trading, even partially using the study, for example, to determine the best exit, can bring traders to a new edge of trading.
Tip 18. Always ensure that a signaling bar/candle on the chart is fully formed and closed before you enter a trade.
A golden rule of trading: "Always trade what you see, not what you would like to see" is the best explanation here.
Tip 19. If you ask for someone else's advice as about how and when to trade
in other words, choose to rely on live trading signals from other traders, make sure you do it for your benefit, not for disaster. If you use such signals to discover how other traders do analysis and study on the price — you are on the right track and soon you'll be able to do analysis yourself.
But if you're just blindly following recommendations and your only task is to push the correct button... think again.
Tip 20. Using a highly leveraged account comes at a cost.
It will, of course, give a trader more financial gear to trade, but for inexperienced traders high leverage, and, in fact, any Forex leverage can be disastrous. When a trader signs up for a high leverage without knowing how to accurately use it to own advantage, he simply signs up for additional risks that multiply with higher leverage in a tight "friendly" proportion.
Tip 21. Learn to measure trading success by the end of the day, week and then month and year.
Do not judge about your trading success on a single trade. To be successful traders don't need to win every trade, they also don't become rich in one trade — they need to be profitable in a long run.
Tip 22. There is no such thing as a secret approach to understanding the market.
Take the time to develop a solid trading system and find out that the secret to trading success lies in hard work and constant learning.


Online Forex Currency Trading Advantages

Here are the benefits online forex trading which has "levelled the playing field" for everyone looking for a way to generate a cash flow for themselves.

Do you feel that any (or all) of these appeal to you?

You can trade forex from anywhere

You can do forex trading from anywhere as long as you have a computer, and an internet connection. If you wish to travel to several places a year, or wish to settle in one place, either way, that’s fine. This frees up your time and place, which is what trading is all about!

No commissions

In forex there are no commissions.

This fact alone improves the profitability of any trading system. You won’t have to overcome the commission to gain a profit, you have to just overcome the spread. Note that with most other trading instruments you’ll have to pay a commission to open and close the trade.

Without commissions in forex, it means that your forex trading is scalable. If you want to try out a new forex trading system with small trades, you can do so and be profitable, as long as your forex provider doesn’t charge a fee for small trade sizes (many don’t).

And on the other side of the equation, you can keep compounding your profits, so you can keep increasing the size of your returns over time. This is one of the huge advantages for those who trade forex. And this does not represent a problem in getting in or out of trades because of the high liquidity in forex.

High liquidity

Many traders who now trade forex, used to trade other instruments such as shares, CFDs (contracts for difference), or commodities. With those other instruments, there were often problems with limited liquidity. That is, when the market had limited turnover, you may be getting into and out of stocks or CFDs with significant slippage. As well, you would not be able to take advantage of the effect of compounding to increase your profit sizes as your float increases.

However with forex, because of its very high liquidity, you can.

That is, you can increase your trading sizes in proportion to your float, as your float grows. With a profitable system, your absolute profit sizes will increase over time. As mentioned int he last point also, this feature alone has allowed many traders to replace their income with forex trading, and then to continue scaling up beyond that. The forex turnover is estimated to be 1.9 trillion dollars a day, many times larger than the largest stock markets in the world.


There’s up to 100 to 1 leverage in forex trading.

What this means is that even with a modest float, you can make decent profits. This makes forex trading accessible as a trading tool.

For example, if you had a cash float of say $5000, then the value that you can trade with is $500 000, assuming 100 to 1 leverage. But remember, with leverage comes responsibility. You do have to have a good understanding of forex, trade a system that is profitable, and practice with a demo account to gain confidence that you know how to trade the system correctly.

In contrast if you wanted to trade stocks you’d either have to come up with the entire amount, or say 50% if you’re trading on margin, of the value of the stocks. For many people this meant that their profits would be too small as they weren’t able to trade sufficient trade sizes. And the profit they made would’ve been eaten up by the commissions as well.

With the 20 to 1 leverage in CFDs, it was better, but often the lack of liquidity would limit trade sizes, and therefore profits. And yes, there was also the occasional suspended stock or CFD, which would result in the trader unable to exit out of a trade, and the price of the stock or CFD being revalued at close to zero. This is unlikely to happen in the major world currencies.

Automated stop losses

You set automated stop losses with your online forex provider, and so they’re filled automatically when your stop loss price is hit. As mentioned, there is very high liquidity in forex, so that there’s usually currency traded at every price point the currency moves through, with the exception of the less traded “exotic” currencies.

But does slippage ever occur in forex? (Slippage occurs when the price you intend to enter or exit, is different from your actual entry or exit price). There are two situations where gapping and therefore slippage, may occur.

Firstly, after weekends, there may be gapping as the market reopens for trading on Monday. Some traders may exit their open positions on Friday night to re-enter on Monday if appropriate.

Secondly, after a major economic announcement, large moves of 50 to 100 pips may occur over minutes. Again, some traders may exit their open positions prior to a major economic announcement, and re-enter afterwards if appropriate, in order to avoid getting stopped out unnecessarily.

Benefit from rising and falling currency prices

You can go long or short with forex trading with equal ease.

That is, you can benefit from both rising as well as falling currencies. This increases the trading opportunities, and therefore increases the profitability of your forex trading systems. For those of you who have traded stocks, you would’ve realised that only a limited number of stocks can be shorted, which limits the performance of your systems.

24 hour a day market

The forex market does not close except for the weekend. This is because the forex market is worldwide. Somewhere around the world, there is a market open at any one time over the 24 hour period. So as the day starts in the international date line near New Zealand, the different countries trading begins one after another…

However, the times that you’ll see the greatest trading activity and liquidity in the market is when the major countries are open for trading. These are when Tokyo opens at 00.00 GMT, followed by the London open at 09.00 GMT (08.00 in winter), and then the New York open at 13.00 GMT (12.00 in winter). Your trading opportunities may be mainly at these times.

You can get to know the currency pairs well

There are 4 to 6 currency pairs that are the most popularly traded, including the 4 “majors” which are the EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDCHF and USDJPY, and also other currency pairs such as the USDCAD and AUDUSD. Because of this, you can get to know the currency pairs well and get a feel of their general behaviour, which helps when you’re learning a forex trading system.

While we’ve mentioned that there are no commissions in forex, there is a small amount that you may either receive or pay, if you hold forex positions overnight, called the rollover fee. If you buy a currency pair where the base currency has a higher interest rate than the terms currency, then you’ll receive interest, and vice versa. Usually this is a relatively small amount.

Remember, that there’s always risk involved in trading. Trading is about managing risk in order to make money with trading. So if you are properly trading a good forex system, and apply sound money management rules, then you will have an edge against the market.

On the other side, the risks in forex trading are:


Your results are multiplied with leverage. So if you’re trading a good forex system, your profits will be leveraged. But if you do not trade with a system, and do not apply money management rules to your trading, you can lose your float.

Assuming your forex provider (many do) kindly exits your positions automatically when the position goes against you far enough to lose the total amount of your float except for the part of the float used as margin for the trade, then you won’t be able to lose more than your float. Leverage is certainly beneficial if you follow a good system, and have money management rules.


If the economic or political climate of the world changes, there may be increased volatility in the forex markets, resulting in prices changing more rapidly, and even causing prices to gap, and therefore causeslippage if you’re stopped out. If this occurs, your stop losses may filled at a level beyond what you planned, resulting in a greater loss than expected for that trade.

Currency risk

This is the risk of holding an account in a different currency to the currency you would be spending the money in. For example if you live in Australia, and you hold an account in US dollars, then as the exchange rate changes, this will mean that the value of your account when you convert it to Australian dollars, will be subject to these changes.

Where we are now...

In the past, many traders would in the beginning trade stocks or CFDs, as these were more well known, and then move on to forex trading as they found out about it.

But because the "playing field" has been levelled, anyone with the desire, is able to take advantage of the forex currency trading courses on the internet, and the choice of online forex brokers. You can also now use providers of forex signals, and managed forex, to do the trading for you :)

If you have this desire, are willing to learn new skills, and are willing to persist, then you can do well in online forex trading.


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