It’s been a busy day today…I interviewed Louis James of Casey Research this morning and he gave me (and you!) an incredible amount of fantastic investing information that I look forward to sharing with you in the New Year! He is such a smart guy and savvy investor, and I’m truly grateful for his time.

On to this week’s questions…

Sharon asks,

Hi, I recently signed up on your site and was reading your article on gold.  Great information! How does one go about purchasing gold and are there any dealers you could recommend?

Hi Sharon, thank you for signing up and for your great question! I am assuming that you are referring to “physical” gold bullion (coins or bars) and not “paper” gold such as the ETF’s and mutual funds, which is a great way to get started and definitely what I advocate (physical bullion that you can hold in your hand, not “paper”).

The best way to buy physical gold is to start with a reputable dealer—I have used the following dealers with success (although you should always call to check on the premiums and the bid-ask spread for the various products you are interested in):

And my absolute favorite dealer that I shared with all of the survey participants a few weeks ago (thank you again for participating, and I hope it is OK that I share this with everyone now that you have had a few weeks lead time and I get asked this question frequently!) is:

Camino Coins, Inc.
1301 Broadway Avenue
Burlingame, CA 94010

Telephone 800-348-8001
Telephone 650-348-3000

You are welcome to tell them that Kung Fu Finance and/or Susan Fujii recommended them, but I am unaffiliated (I don’t receive anything for recommending them). I’m just a happy customer!

I originally found Camino Coins through Chris Weber, a world-famous investor who highly recommended them, and I have personally completed several purchases and sales with them over the past six or seven years (and they have been in business much longer than that…50 years I believe!). I’ve found them to be extremely helpful, patient, and honest, and their premiums are very fair.

Making the actual purchase itself is very easy—you just call the dealer and ask what the price and the premium is for whatever product you are interested in (you can usually see the inventory list on the website and can check to see whether gold American Eagles, or gold bullion bars, or gold Krugerrands, or whatever gold product you are looking for is in stock and available).

If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, the dealer will lock in the price for you and then you will need to send payment in within the next one to three days (typically), usually by wiring funds from your bank, using a cashier’s check, etc. The accepted payments vary from dealer to dealer so you can shop around and see what works best for you logistically.

That’s it…then you can choose to “take delivery” of your gold and have it shipped to your house or to a secure storage facility / vault of your choice, or some dealers provide “segregated vault storage” of your metals for you and then you pay them a storage fee to store them for you. “Segregated” vault storage is great, but I would stay away from any offers of “pooled” accounts/storage as those have run into trouble in the past.

This leads right into our next question…

Larry from Mexico asks, 

Hi Susan, where would you suggest or offer up as some possible storage facilities in the US that might offer some degree of privacy from Uncle Sam for gold & silver?

Hi Larry! That is a great question! While unfortunately nowhere is completely safe and/or “private” from Uncle Sam, I would recommend using a private vault outside of the U.S. banking system, the most well-known of which is Brinks (and Brinks is the storage facility that many of the precious metals dealers themselves use).

You can find out more on the Brinks website, but that’s what I would do if I wanted to store metals in the U.S. (you live in Mexico, so storing your metals outside of your own country makes sense for you, but I live in the U.S. so chose to diversify out of the U.S…we store most of our precious metals in Das Safe in Austria). I am not sure whether Brinks offers “anonymous” storage though, which is one big benefit to using Das Safe…good luck with your decision!

Thank you for your great questions!

I am going to keep this short and sweet today because of the holiday…I hope you have a fantastic New Year and I will be back on Tuesday with my 2012 predictions!

Thank you so much for your great questions and for participating in our Kung Fu Finance community!

Happy New Year!

To your financial success,
— Kung Fu Girl