Quite a number of ways to invest in platinum are open to platinum investors of varying sizes, investment timeframes and risk appetites.
Physical Platinum Investments
One way of investing in platinum is to own the physical metal by buying some platinum coins. Small quantities of platinum coins can be purchased for as little as $100 or less.
Buying platinum coins is a common investment approach for the small platinum investors. Two types of platinum coins are available for the platinum investor. They are platinum bullion coins and collectible platinum coins. Platinum investors looking to invest purely in platinum should buy platinum bullion coins instead of collectible platinum coins, which are more costly as they possess numismatic value.
Platinum bars and wafers are also available and are sold at very little premium above the platinum value but they are not as easily available as platinum coins.
Owning physical platinum such as platinum bars and platinum coins are a good way to make a small investment in platinum. There is also no storage fee involved since they can be kept at home. There is also no risk of fraud unless it's a counterfeit platinum bar or platinum coin. Hence, always check your purchases and buy from reputable dealers.
However, for large investment amounts, it would be quite impractical and risky to own physical platinum as transportation and storage becomes an issue. In this case, non-physical or paper platinum would be a more convenient, safer alternative.
Non-physical Platinum Investments
The modern financial world offers the platinum investor a wide range of means of gaining access into the platinum market.
Platinum Stocks, Mutual Funds & ETFs
A number of platinum mining companies trade in major public stock exchanges around the world. Investing in platinum by holding shares of a platinum mining firm is not as straightforward as buying platinum itself. For more information on how this investment approach works, see platinum stocks.
Alternatively, you can also participate in platinum's long term appreciation by investing in platinum mutual funds or platinum ETFs.
Platinum Options & Futures
For short term speculative bets, you can take up a position by buying platinum options or futures contracts. These derivatives offer leverage to the platinum investor, allowing him or her to control a large position in platinum for a relatively small investment. On the flipside, the chance of losing one's entire investment is high, making them very risky investment options.