Buying gold mining stocks is relatively simple, through a brokerage account with an online broker or investment application. Once you've added funds to your account, you can choose gold stocks and place an order. Like buying any individual stock, buying shares in a gold mining company involves some risk, but it means that you have full control over the specific companies you invest in. For example, some investors might choose a gold mining company that practices strong environmental responsibility rather than one that doesn't.
And while owning stocks won't allow you to hold gold in your hands, it does mean that you have the benefit of an asset that you can sell at any time. Investing in gold mutual funds means that you own shares in several gold-related assets, such as many companies that mine or process gold, but you don't own real gold or individual stocks. Gold-traded funds or mutual funds have more liquidity than those that hold physical gold and offer a level of diversification that a single stock doesn't offer. ETFs and mutual funds also have certain legal protections.
Please note that some funds will have management fees. Learn more about ETFs and mutual funds.