I am one who believes that the recent downturn in our economy is far from over. I believe that all of the bailouts, including future obligations to Medicare and Social Security will basically bankrupt the government and severely de-value the dollar. If you don't agree with me, put that aside, and let's just pretend that will take place. Many "experts" believe the best way to protect yourself in such an environment is to purchase gold. My question is: How would one properly do that? If you purchase gold shares through Scottrade, for example, your funds are only as good as the financials of Scottrade. If they go under, your money is not insured or guaranteed. The only way I could see it is if you went to the U.S. Mint and plunked down $900 or so and walked out with an ounce of gold that you could hold in your hands. Does anyone have any experience buying gold and how did you go about doing it?