Saving is like dieting. You can always start next Monday. But like dieting, if you don’t start, it won’t happen. Financial literacy isn’t widely taught at school, and the recklessness of youth means many people don’t start saving early. But the financial security of saving is, ironically, priceless. Using regular savings to invest in gold or silver brings with it multiple benefits. It protects against inflation, banking counter-party risk and capital gains tax and VAT. It’s never too late to start. Sign up to create a gold saver by clicking here, today, NOT Monday.
Tomorrow never comes
Probably the most oft-cited reason for not saving is that people can’t spare the funds. And indeed, for some in straitened circumstances, it may not be possible to put aside anything at all. However, saving should not be viewed as something you’re giving up for people with even some disposable income, but as something to be gained in the longer term. Savings provide security, enabling the payment of unexpected or emergency outgoings. They can help people avoid debt, reduce the stress caused by financial concerns, and allow you to leave a legacy to your loved ones. Shifting your mindset to savings being a fixed expense rather than a voluntary or ad hoc payment will make it easier to stick to a savings plan.
Understanding the benefits and choosing to save is the first step. The next is to consider how to save.
Building it big with regular saving
Modest but regular savings can build up remarkably quickly. Even when you only have a little, these small amounts accumulate into a lump sum over time. If you can afford it, putting away £350 per month will build up into £21,000 over just five years. But hiding it under the proverbial mattress won’t improve your financial position. Over those five years, inflation will have pushed up the price of goods and services, rendering your lump sum less valuable than at the time you started to save. Beating inflation is a crucial consideration when choosing a savings vehicle, as is the security of the investment.
Where cash comes with inflation risk, other investments can also bear risk. Markets can drop, or alternative investments fall in value. Investments with long-term inflation-beating potential and low risk of value erosion are best suited to savings goals. Precious metals tick these and other boxes. Precious metals like gold and silver can seem a daunting investment, as the price of gold, especially, continues to rise. It might not be practical to invest in a Gold Britannia or Sovereign in one go, but by investing regularly, the amount of gold or silver can build up over time.
Investing £350 in a gold saver account over ten years would build up a basic £42,000 in savings, but the long-term growth trajectory for gold will lift this figure, potentially substantially. Many analysts and gold experts expect gold to rise above $10,000 in the next ten years. Even at a more modest projection of $5,000 by 2031, growth in a regular gold saver would mean an investment worth well over £100,000.
Gold has been a safe-haven asset for hundreds of years. It has held its value and weathered the storms of economic and political unrest through the millennia and continues to be a sought-after investment. The digital revolution has opened up new assets, currencies and investment vehicles, but they all come with inherent risk. Cryptocurrencies have made and lost fortunes. The Financial Crisis is a reminder of the unpredictability of global markets. Bank stability has been called into question more than once since 2008. Coupled with ultra-low interest rates, which effectively erode cash deposits, a regular savings account isn’t the first choice for spare cash.
A track record for gold performance.
Gold has a solid track record for increasing in value during times of political and financial turmoil. It has risen by over 40% in the last five years and over 500% over the previous 20 years. When there is risk and instability in the markets, investors turn to safe-haven gold to protect their wealth. As a result, the gold price often rises. In addition, a gold or silver saver moves money out of the banking system, reducing counter-party risk. It also protects your savings in the event of another global shock like the Financial Crisis or the Covid-19 pandemic.
Saving into a regular gold savings account means the gold or silver is bought over a more extended period. This can smooth out any price inflexions that occur during the investment period. On the other hand, waiting to build up a larger store of savings to buy a specific gold asset, like a coin or bar, could mean the price will have risen by the time it comes to purchase the item.
Although long-term saving is the best way to build up a good nest egg, a regular gold or silver saver doesn’t have to be a permanent commitment. If circumstances change, the investment can be stopped or paused and restarted when things change. In addition, the liquidity of gold means you can quickly turn your investment back into ready cash should you need to.
The benefits of physical gold investment include very favourable tax treatment. Gold does not attract VAT, and depending on the format of the physical gold bought, it can also be capital gains tax-free. In addition, certain gold coins, including Britannia’s and Gold Sovereigns, are designated legal tender and cannot attract capital gains tax. This sets gold apart from assets like stocks and shares, a second home or works of art, which are all subject to CGT. A reputable gold retailer will also be able to liquidate your asset quickly and efficiently, especially if they offer a buyback guarantee.
It’s easy to say you’ll start saving tomorrow, or Monday, or the next time you get a pay rise, but the best time to start saving is now. A regular saver account averages out the price you pay for gold or silver over time, can be tax-free, paused, liquidated or continued easily, and becomes a routine you don’t even have to remember each month. It’s certainly easier than dieting.