By Kelli Stopczynski (email@example.com)
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5:17 PM EDT, August 8, 2011
SOUTH BEND – While the stock market continued its downward trend, gold prices hit an all-time high Monday. Many people see that precious metal as a safer way to invest their money, but is it a smart one? And is now the time to sell any old jewelry you have sitting around the house? It all depends on whom you ask.
At $1,721.90 an ounce Monday, the price of gold doubled from where it was in August 2008. It’s possible to take gold to a grocery store or a business that claims it will buy gold and walk out with cash in your pocket, but both jewelry experts and financial experts say it’s a “buyer or seller beware” situation.
It seems the signs offering to buy your gold or give you cash for it are everywhere these days.One of them is outside the family-owned jewelry store JR Fox Jewelers in Mishawaka.
Co-owner Doug Fox said the number of customers wanting cash in exchange for gold has increased recently.
“We had one fella that did actually sell 20 one-ounce coins that he had purchased for $300 apiece 15 or 20-odd years ago,” Fox said. “He sold them for $1,500 a piece.”
Turns out you can make quick cash or what might seem like an easy investment with gold, but according to Ed Jordanich, Wells Fargo investment officer and financial advisor, all that glitters can actually be quite volatile.
“It’s not something you want to dabble in because historically, as quickly as it can go up it can also fall very quickly too. And that really isn't the [financial] safety a lot of people are looking at,” Jordanich said.
It's wise to talk with your own financial consultant before making any big financial decisions, Jordanich added, saying the decision to buy gold as an investment or sell it to make a profit is one you shouldn’t make without talking to an expert who is familiar with your long-term financial plan.
If you do decide to make gold a part of your portfolio or use it to make some quick extra cash, Fox advises always comparing prices and going to a reputable place.
“You want to always show your identification. If you have to show some form of ID, you're most likely going to a place you can trust,” he said.
For some people though, buying or selling isn’t an option. Instead, they’re pawning gold in exchange for a loan.
“We had a guy come in and get a loan because he needed to pay his employees and he brought in $35,000 worth of krugerrands,” said Tom Howard, WorldWide Pawn vice president of operations. “He couldn’t get a loan because of the economy, and he needed to pay wages for his employees, so he came back within two weeks and then got his stuff back.”
Legally, Howard said pawn shops must keep your goods for 90 days before they can re-sell them. He said he’s seeing more affluent customers use it as an option to get quick cash.
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