So if one were inclined to hold gold, there are several ways to do it. The main ones that come to mind are:
- Physically posses coins or bars, this means you need to safely store them yourself
- Own coins/bars but have a third party manage the storage and security of them
- Buy an exchange traded fund (ETF) which tracks the price of gold
- Buy companies which mine gold.
Each are viable and depend on your choice. There are some advocates who swear that "If its not in your hands, you don't own it".
To buy coins or bars, there are several exchanges in Australia which you could use. ABC Bullion and Perth Mint come to mind. There are definitely plenty more, and if you live in a capital city there are usually places where you could buy coins or bars from. You may want to do a bit more research into it if you plan to physically possess gold - things like purity, authenticity and how you will store it are factors you need to consider.
Several exchanges also offer to store the gold for you. They usually charge a fee for this. You would still want to look into it a bit more though, as some exchanges will allocate a specific bar to you (i.e. it has a serial number tied to you) where as others may not allocate a specific bar and just assign you a weight of gold (usually in grams or troy ounces).
Exchange traded funds (ETFs) that follow the gold price are out there. These are traded on the ASX. Some are physically backed by gold, some are not. There are also some that are a mix of gold mining companies.
Finally, buying gold producers is a way to expose yourself to gold indirectly. My view is that gold companies are a leveraged bet on the gold price and as such will react more severely to changes in the gold price. They are also at heart, companies, so things like debt, underground reserves, growth potential, what the Australian Dollar is doing, etc all come into play as well as the gold price.
Also, its interesting to note that an ounce of gold is not very big and this is something that blew my mind. To give you an idea, the piece in this stock photo below is 1 ounce (oz) and worth around $1600 AUD.