We can all agree that gold is a valuable substance. The specifics of that value fluctuate based on the economy and supply, but in the end, it seems as though gold will always retain significant worth. For this reason, investors have often turned to gold as a hedge against economic decline, war, or inflation. So, if you are a physician investor looking to add gold holdings to your portfolio to diversify it, there are several ways to accomplish this.

The days of the prospector are all but gone, so as fun as it would be to pan for gold in a secluded riverbed, attaining a foothold no longer requires getting your hands dirty. Physically owning gold bullion is the first option considered by many gold investors. According to Forbes, although buying bullion has a satisfaction in its physicality, there are many details that should be considered.

First consider the size. Gold bars can range from a few grams to 400 ounces, but it is most commonly available in 1- to 10-ounce bars. At the time this article was written, gold stands at $1,787.00 per ounce, which can make an initial investment pricey. You must make sure you are working with a reputable gold dealer. Then, you have delivery to consider. Forbes cautions that delivery should be insured and that you have a safe place in mind to store it, like a vault or a safety deposit box.

Gold coins and gold jewelry are also an option; however, you need to make sure that you are getting it from the right retailer and that the gold’s purported quality is authentic. Gold coins, especially if they are popular ones like the American Gold Eagle Coin, can sell above the actual cost of the gold.

If physical investing seems a bit too cumbersome for you, there are other options available. Gold, like any other resource, needs to be cultivated. For this reason, you can purchase stock in gold mining companies, thereby giving you exposure to the movements of the gold market. Perhaps the easiest way to add gold to your portfolio is by purchasing shares in gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds. These work just like regular ETFs or mutual funds and can offer you more liquidity (ie, ease of selling) than physical bullion. You should note, however, that you are not buying physical gold with these funds; instead, you are buying gold-related companies or futures and options.

There is also the option to trade in the high-risk/high-reward futures market, in which you place your investment based on your prediction as to the price of gold at a future date. This investing is not for the faint of heart because you can risk owing huge sums of money if your calculations are off. There is also, of course, no way to predict with any certainty where the gold market will head in the future.