How to buy gold futures: How To Invest In Gold: 5 Ways To Buy And Sell It



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The majority will be speculators looking to profit from price moves, without any expectation of getting involved on bullion settlements. Most futures traders use the delay to enable them to speculate – both ways. Their intention is to sell anything they have bought, or to buy back anything they have sold, before reaching the settlement day. In this way they can trade in much larger amounts, and take bigger risks for bigger rewards, than they would be able to if they had to settle their trades as soon as dealt.


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Gold Futures Rollover

The differential closely tracks the cost of financing the equivalent purchase in the spot market. The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments. Calls and puts are a less capital intensive way that allow traders to profit from gold uptrends or downtrends respectively. If the option expires worthless, the amount paid for the option is lost; risk is limited to this cost. Trading gold options requires a margin brokerage account with access to options.

He oversees editorial coverage of banking, investing, the economy and all things money. We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The spot gold price is the gold price for immediate settlement.

The theory of a stop loss seems reasonable, but the practice can be painful. If you decide that investing in physical gold is the right move for you, here are some things to keep in mind. Gold has had a strong 2023, starting the year with a six-month high. Growing concerns over bank solvency, a global recession and continued stock market turbulence have many analysts predicting that the metal will continue to surge throughout the year.

Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace. Learn more about futures and the unique advantages of futures trading. Here are five different ways to own gold, and a look at some of the risks that come with each. Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long track record of helping people make smart financial choices.

How to buy gold futures and other gold investments

Gold futures are traded from 6 pm to 5 pm Eastern time on Sunday through Friday. There is a 60-minute break in trading that starts at 5 pm Eastern time. That said, too much exposure to gold can have adverse effects on your financial situation. Typically, experts recommend limiting precious metals to 10% of your portfolio or less. Carefully controlling your exposure ensures that you won’t inhibit your growth or introduce too much volatility at the wrong time.

To buy gold options traders need a margin brokerage account which allows trading in futures and options, provided by services such as Interactive Brokers, TD Ameritrade and others. Not all brokers will allow direct access to gold options markets, even with options trading you may be limited to options on stocks and ETFs . Gold and other precious metals are an excellent way to diversify your portfolio. Adding securities that are non-correlated to the more common stocks, bonds and funds smooths out the fluctuations of the market.

In benign times this structure merely encourages volatility. In a standardized contract the exchange itself decides the settlement date, the contract amount, the delivery conditions etc. You can make up the size of your overall investment buy buying several of these standard contracts.

Here is a list of our partners and here’s how we make money. Ariel Courage is an experienced editor, researcher, and former fact-checker. She has performed editing and fact-checking work for several leading finance publications, including The Motley Fool and Passport to Wall Street. Take advantage of $2.25 per contract pricing plus specialized tools, research, and support. If you want to add gold to your portfolio but don’t have a clue where to begin, here’s what to know.


It sometimes appears to unsophisticated investors that buying gold futures saves you the cost of financing a gold purchase, because you only have to fund the margin – not the whole purchase. Gold futures offer the ability to invest in gold without taking possession of it. These contracts are traded almost 24 hours a day and provide excellent liquidity if you want to buy or sell quickly. Futures trading can be complicated and are not suitable for all investors due to the ability to lose far more than your original investment. The harsh fact of life is that if investors are being whip-lashed by the regular volatility which appears at the death of a futures contract many of them will cut their losses. Alternatively they might attempt to trade cleverly into the next period, or decide to take a breather from the action for a few days (‘though days frequently turn into weeks and months).

This sounds like panic-mongering, but it is an important commercial consideration. It is inevitable that the commodity exchange which comes to dominate through good times and healthy markets will be the one which offers the most competitive margin terms to brokers. To be attractive the brokers must pass on this generosity to their customers – i.e. by extending generous trading multiples over deposited margin. Having taken the relatively difficult step of taking a position in gold futures investors are required to make repeated decisions to spend money.

What is the Gold Spot Price?

Investors buy bars of gold ranging from a few grams to more than 400 ounces. On the other hand, gold’s ability to store value is much less impressive during periods of economic growth. Though the metal holds its value fairly well, it doesn’t grow as quickly, which means owning too much gold at the wrong time can stunt your financial growth.

Gold futures provide the opportunity to trade the commodity without having to pay the full amount right away. A conservative investment strategy with smaller positions achieves the goal of avoiding catastrophic losses by not keeping all eggs in one basket. It also avoids being steadily stripped by stop loss executions.

We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey. At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to stricteditorial integrity, this post may contain references to products from our partners. Typically, NYMEX contract months include February, April, June, August, October and December, with trading closing on the third to last business day of the delivery month.

The other big benefit to owning an ETF over bullion is that it’s more readily exchangeable for cash at the market price. You can trade the fund on any day the market is open for the prevailing price, just like selling a stock. So gold ETFs are more liquid than physical gold, and you can trade them from the comfort of your home.

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There is no ‘do nothing’ option, like there is with a bullion investment, and rolling over requires the investor to pay-up, while simultaneously giving the opportunity to cut and run. Gold options allow investors to profit whether gold prices rise or fall – or even stays the same. They also provide a shorter-term and less capital-intensive way to invest in gold. Futures and futures options trading involves substantial risk and is not suitable for all investors.

A future is simply a deal to trade gold at terms (i.e. amounts and prices) decided now, but with a settlement day in the future. That means you don’t have to pay up just yet and the seller doesn’t need to deliver you any gold just yet either. NerdWallet, Inc. is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. Its articles, interactive tools and other content are provided to you for free, as self-help tools and for informational purposes only. NerdWallet does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information in regard to your individual circumstances. Examples are hypothetical, and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific investment issues.