You are embarking on your investment journey in a very wise way by seeking the counsel of others before proceeding. Good for you.
Gold is in a competitive matrix with our investments and its relative attractiveness varies over time. It would be misguided to think of investing in gold as an “either/or” type of choice.
Gold’s place in the investment universe is as an alternative to National paper currencies (U.S. Dollar, Japanese Yen, etc.). For U.S. based investors investing in Gold has been, at different times, a bad investment and at different times a good investment.
Gold, unlike many other competing investments, does not earn interest while it is being held (unless you are a huge buyer who is then in a position to lend Gold for interest). In times of a soundly managed U.S. dollar Gold is an inferior investment to interest bearing alternatives. In times of poorly managed U.S. dollar such as the 1973 - 1981 period Gold outperforms most conventional investment products.
We are in a special situation now with respect to the U.S. Dollar. We are in the middle of an epic crackup of the Dollar-based montetary system that has been in place since the end of World War II. The outlook is murky but higher inflation and general turmoil seem to be a certainty. In this climate moving the percentage of one’s portfolio in gold from 5% to 35%/40% would look to provide strong capital gains over the next several years.
I am putting the rest of my portfolio into beaten down energy shares and Triple-A corporate bonds which I feel will weather the coming storm. While I like to the currency insulation provided by Gold I do not want to completely lose interest and dividend income.