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Costco members can stock up on everyday items — and gold bars

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

At Costco, members can stock up on toilet paper, peanut butter, eggs and gold bars.

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

That's right. Costco is selling 1-ounce gold bars on its website for about 2,000 bucks apiece.

STEFAN GLEASON: The Costco situation is emblematic of just the growing demand in precious metals in the U.S.

FADEL: Stefan Gleason is the president of Money Metals Exchange. It's one of the largest gold and silver dealers in the country. And while you may be able to buy gold bars with your rotisserie chicken now, that gold from Costco won't come with instructions. So Gleason says would-be investors might want to consider options other than a big box warehouse store.

GLEASON: They are not expert in handling or dealing with precious metals. There's certainly no advice or information that they're going to provide to help people understand the different options there are.

MARTÍNEZ: All right. I know what you're thinking - are gold bars a good investment? Well, we asked Michael Rosen, the chief investment officer at Angeles Investment Advisors.

MICHAEL ROSEN: Costco members would be much better served buying a share of Costco than an ounce of gold.

FADEL: Rosen says other investments stand to gain more value than gold and faster.

ROSEN: If you look at over the last, say, 20 years, gold is up about 50%. The S&P is up about 500%, so 10 times what gold has gone up. And Costco is up about 2,500% - or 50 times what gold has been.

FADEL: So maybe Costco isn't about to be the scene of the next gold rush. But isn't that Costco hot dog as good as gold?

(SOUNDBITE OF DOMI AND JD BECK'S "SMILE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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