Specializing in comprehensive, strategic advice to family business owners, art collectors, numismatists and other owners of significant, illiquid and unique assets, I often find that a client-even if he or she is not a dedicated coin collector- will buy numismatic quality gold and silver coins after hearing or reading about a sale at auction for millions of dollars. For whatever reason, there seems to be a strong temptation for clients to think that collecting numismatics will be more valuable than investing in bullion. Recently, a member of a CEO group I belong to sent me this email: "Do you know anything about investing, buying and selling gold? Who to deal with? Etc.?"

That's a broad question, but I'll tell you what I told him. Basically, there are two ways of investing in gold that I would suggest. One is to buy an exchange-traded fund that holds gold directly, for example the Gold ETF (ticker symbol GLD). The other is to buy companies that mine and refine gold, such as Barrick Gold (ticker symbol ABX), which is a Canadian company but has mining and refining interest worldwide.

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