There are a lot of ads running telling you to call an 800 number and invest now.
My advice is to ignore these .. if you do call only buy American Eagles as they are easily sold and the markups are not too bad.. do not buy collectibles .. recent article about a woman who cashed in everything to buy from a dealer .. she bought $1M in very over valued coins, elderly, she is pretty much out of luck as suing usually is of little help.
If you take physical possession of the gold, you need to have a safe place to store it .. you can use a safe deposit box, but if you take possession you might want to have it as something to use if the sky really does fall. If that is your view, you should own some silver too .. buy one ounce pieces.. keep in mind that if the banks shut down and you want to just buy some food, the guy selling the food very well might not have change for one ounce of gold LOL .. so have silver too.
You should own some gold, esp if you share my view that inflation is almost inevitable .. that goes for other commodities as well, like oil, copper, etc.. but this blog is about gold
The amount you might own might be in the 10-15% of your portfolio, perhaps up to 25% if you are a real gold bug
two good ways to invest .. one is in a gold Exchange Traded Fund (ETF's) they buy and store the gold for you .. wth current commission costs you can buy small quantities of these for a very low transaction fee.
there are two funds .. GLD, bigger and charges 0.4% per year to manage the ETF
the other is IAU, newer but charges only 0.25% to manage the fund.. over time that 0/1% can add up
the other way to invest is in gold mining companies .. there are quite a few of them. I own NG, EGO and AEM .. all of them are riskier than just owning the gold ETF's , but they offer a great deal more upside in appreciation if gold goes to say $2,000 ( a real possibility over the next few years)
Keep in mind this will not be a straight line .. hold for the long term .. even if long term capital gains taxes go to 20% from the 15% they currently are, it is better than paying a full tax rate on gains.
This is not to say that if you buy a gold mining stock that you shouldn't sell if something goes wrong with the company.. or there are obvious signs of deflation (unlikely, but there have been some very unusual economic changes over the last few years)...
So invest carefully and watch your investments ..