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What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying coins? What about gold and silver stocks or mutual funds? Joe Franklin, a certified financial planner and president of Franklin Wealth Management in Hixson, Tenn. The trouble with coins, he says, is that dealers charge a premium. And the price you pay isn’t based purely on the value of the underlying gold, silver or platinum. There are other factors at play, such as historical value or the costs associated with minting commemorative pieces. If do buy coins, you can start by searching the U.

Mint’s site for an authorized purchaser in your region, then do additional research to make sure that the outfit is reputable. This is an area rife with scams. Another consideration with owning the actual metal is storage: If you pay a third-party to hold the coins for you, there are additional fees. If you store it in a safe at home, there are additional risks.