Maybe, I didnt do the math yet on buying something for gold or producing it yourself. But there is something else around the corner, if you can produce it yourself you are not dependant anymore. Why can this be important ? Little example : One (commercial) game I didnt produce a shipyard to build my own ships, I just bought them (one coastal colony, rest inland). Foolishly I didnt buy a frigate or privateer for defence, and off course here comes this enemy privateer blocking my trade route's and sinking my ships. So, I was almost completely dependant on trade with the motherland, but being cutt off I didnt have the money neither capacity to produce a single ship. And again, a commercial economy may look nice and rewarding in the beginning but the only thing you will get from it in the long term is a diminishing return. You invest more and more only to get less and less.