If you have had the stomach to browse through the latest news stories on the state of the stock market (and certain international finance fiascos), you might be wondering just how bleak the situation might become. Some people may be prompted to take control of their own monetary future. But is there any way?

Have You Considered Buying Gold?

There are two types of gold bars: minted and cast. A minted bar is made from a flat gold blank and cut to size. A cast bar is made by pouring molten gold into an ingot to make a desired shape.

In shops that sell gold, the heaviest bar available is 10 ounces. Like heavier bars, such as the 32.5 ounce and 400 ounce bar, they are considered a better deal when buying gold bullion because they can be bought for a small fee over that of the spot price of gold. The price of spot gold is the price at which gold is currently being traded.

When buying gold bars for monetary security, keep in mind that purity matters, whether in bar or coin form. Gold that is 99.5 to 99.9% pure is rated as nearly 24 karat, which most of the gold bars circulating in the world are rated.

Perhaps surprisingly, bars are not the most traded form of gold; coins are the most traded, specifically the American Gold Eagle. This coin accounts for 80% of the gold bullion circulated in the U.S., and is popularly traded internationally as well. You can find gold shops that sell the American Eagle coin through the U.S. mint website.

If you do decide to add gold to your investment portfolio, how will you keep it? There are a few options, depending on what makes you feel the most secure. While gold can be stored at home, it is vulnerable because it can be stolen or forgotten, depending on the situation. Some people may find they are more comfortable knowing such a stable currency is right on their own property though.

A safe-deposit box is another option, which is protected at the bank of your choice. There is a small fee paid to the bank depending on the size of the box you choose. This is a popular choice, especially if you are holding a relatively small amount of gold.

While gold is considered a relatively stable currency in comparison to the dollar, nothing is ever guaranteed. The good news though is that there are many options out there as you plan for your future.