If you have a sudden need for gold bars – along with a 10 pound jar of peanut butter and 30 rolls of paper towels – look no further. Costco has what you need. But act quickly, because they are selling like hotcakes.
“I’ve had a few calls that people have seen online saying we sell 1oz gold bars, yes, but when we upload them to the site they usually disappear after a few hours and we limit two per member,” Richard Galanti — Costco director, executive vice president and chief financial officer — said on the Sept. 26 earnings call, according to a transcript.
This resulted in a phenomenon that some editors called a “true repeat, you lose” situation. Tips on how to rate bars abound on Reddit, like this one posted by user G-nZoloto: “One person kept one in their cart even though it ran out the first time. He just went to the checkout every now and then. When it showed up the second time, he just went to the checkout and got it.
Another bonus is that you have options. You can buy one-ounce gold bars of 24-karat gold from the RAND refinery in South Africa, or a PAMP Suisse Lady Fortuna Veriscan made in Switzerland, according to the description on Costco’s website.
How much do gold bars cost at Costco?
So, how much does it cost? Although the price is only available to members, according to Insider, they cost $1,949.99 and $1,979.99, respectively.
For Andrew Latham, Certified Financial Planner and Director of Content at SuperMoney.comthe prospect of buying gold bars at Costco is ‘intriguing’.
“The interest in gold, however, is nothing new or surprising. Gold has historically been seen as a valued “safe haven” asset during times of financial volatility, particularly when there are concerns about inflation,” Latham said.
Latham stressed, however, that like any investment, there are pros and cons. On the positive side, gold can act as a portfolio diversifier, potentially offsetting losses in other asset classes. On the other hand, physical gold poses risks, including the threat of theft. Landlords often have to incur additional costs for safe storage or insurance, further reducing potential returns, he added.
“Investors interested in gold may want to go to established gold dealers, as they generally have transparent pricing structures based on the global spot price of gold,” he added . “In contrast, retail environments may have markups that are not immediately visible.”
Another option is to invest in gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) and gold mutual funds, which allow investors to track the price of gold without holding the physical asset, Latham added.
“These financial instruments can be bought and sold like stocks, providing the benefits of investing in gold without the challenges of storage, insurance and liquidity,” he said.
Buying gold: a testimony to the financial wisdom of Americans?
Given that historically, gold sales are strong in periods of great uncertainty – and with stubborn inflation, slowing labor markets and other signs of a slowing economy persisting – it would be more surprising that Americans are not looking for some sort of protection, said Peter C. Earle, an economist at American Institute for Economic Research.
“A store like Costco being unable to keep physical gold in stock is a good sign of Americans’ growing financial acumen,” Earle added. “But that probably doesn’t bode well for the health of the U.S. economy in a year or two.”
Why do gold bars make sense in today’s economic landscape?
According to Collin Plume, founder and CEO of Investments in noble goldGold always makes sense in any economic climate because it plays a very unique role in your portfolio.
“I like to compare it to building a sports team. Each player has a specific role, shooter, defender, point guard and others,” Plume said. “Gold is your last line of defense. When all of your offensive players can’t sink the ball, all you have is that defensive guy to keep everyone else on the other team from burying you deep.
Plume also noted that gold is moving relative to the dollar and the market.
“When the economy tanks, you have a stable asset you can rely on. Will it make you a millionaire in a year or two, probably not – but it will store the value of your wealth until things pick up,” he said. “A hedge is gold.”
He says if you’re nearing retirement, gold is “an asset that carries no counterparty risk, is outside government control and is as valuable here as in any part of the world.”
As for Costco gold bars, Plume believes they’re not worth tracking down unless you’re in it for the excitement.
“It’s a retail store, imagine the markup,” he said.
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