Investment: Raising the bar

We point to golden opportunities in the bullion market

By Adrian Ash, December 13, 2010

The world's biggest gold buyers are India and China, but not via their central banks. Instead, it is the private households that lead, buying three times as much gold between them in the course of the last five years as the Indian and Chinese governments hold altogether.

A marked change in how these two emerging giants buy gold also offers a great money-saving tip for Western investors. Indian and Chinese households have both shifted to buying gold coins and investment bars, rather than jewellery alone, as the gold price has risen year after year during the global financial crisis. These forms are much more cost-efficient, incurring lower manufacturing costs and smaller dealing charges at purchase and re-sale - and cutting your costs like this is vital if you're serious about gold investing, too.

Follow the lead of the world's largest gold bullion buyers when choosing the best way to defend your savings with gold - and make sure you get as close as you can to the international wholesale "spot" price, rather than the "retail" price traditionally charged to private buyers.

Adrian Ash is head of research at

Last updated: 12:05pm, December 13 2010