You might want to start by asking why anyone would ever want to buy gold in the first place?
After all, gold doesn't pay you an income, and history says gold only really competes with cash-in-the-bank (provided it's safe) or government bonds (provided they pay) when inflation rises faster than interest rates.
Gold bullion rose eight-fold when inflation overtook interest rates in the late 1970s. It doubled in price when the same thing happened again in 2003-2006.
But gold can't compete with stock-market shares either, not when the economy grows and revenues rise. Gold bullion is the most unproductive of assets, and it will never promise you a stake in future profits.
Gold Bullion Investment: Gold vs. stocks
For that very same reason, however, that also means gold bullion doesn't rely on consumer spending, new business investment or clever accountancy tricks for its value. Gold is simply a rare, precious asset that people across the world have used as a store of wealth for more than 5,000 years.
And right now, that simplicity is gold investment's unique appeal.
Buying Gold is as far as you can get from today's complex and exotic debt markets. They're making headlines for all the worst reasons, as banking stocks plunge, mortgage-bonds go into default, and losses pile up at hedge funds. Gold, on the other hand, is recording near three-decade highs, and it still doesn't owe anything to anyone.
In our current financial marketplace, that makes gold bullion rarer still.
Gold Bullion Investment: Gold vs. debt
Gold bullion's lack of "default risk" also sets it apart from the mountain of debt built up by Western consumers and their governments. The average British household now owes nearly £9,000 (almost $18,000), and that's before you account for their mortgage debt! The US government has run up $9 trillion in debt, much of it owed to fast-growing Asian economies like China and all of it waiting for US taxpayers to make the repayments.
Even in Europe, the single currency Eurozone now faces a housing-debt slump in Ireland, Spain, Italy and Portugal. And compared to this epidemic of debt, very few people own gold. Fewer still buy Gold Bullion and own it outright, in their name alone.