When you're looking to invest in precious metals, it's important to work with a reputable company. BullionVault is an extremely popular global gold dealer that has garnered relatively good reviews from past customers. But can those reviews be trusted? Are they really as good as they seem to be?
We've investigated and broken down all the things that you should know before you get started.
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BullionVault sells platinum, gold, and silver to customers in over 175 countries. They're able to send precious metals to nearly anywhere in the globe. Since they aren't based in the US, they don't have a Better Business Bureau page. Instead, they're registered as a corporation in the UK. They also offer bullion storage in your choice of five different countries.
The BullionVault service was launched through the London-based company Garmarley Ltd. It was able to raise over 3 million pounds of equity funding. In its first year of operation, the service turned a profit.
That's extremely impressive, since the bullion trade is difficult to break into. Many companies are forced to sell at a loss for the first few years before establishing themselves more firmly in the market.
While BullionVault is not the owner of the vaults, it does offer storage services by partnering with other vault companies. Every one of its partner companies is a member of the London Bullion Market Association.
Since BullionVault has a global reach, you can choose from four different currencies to pay for your order. This appeals to some investors because it allows you to make the most of current exchange rates. You can purchase bullion in the form or bars or coins.
By using BullionVault, you're able to trade on the precious metals market as an individual investor. That gives you the power to liquidate your holdings easily and to get good deals when the spot price of metals is low.
One of the biggest draws of BullionVault is that they provide their own storage options. Each client is given an account, and their holdings are kept in a special vault. That way, you don't have to worry about keeping your items at home. Home storage is much more vulnerable to theft, damage, and loss.
Another advantage is that there are vaults spread throughout five different countries. Some investors prefer to store their precious metals offshore, so they can be sure that they're outside the reach of potential government seizure. The vaults are also outside of any central banking system.
Some of the vaults are in specially tax-advantaged areas. Others are in places where a large number of BullionVault customers live. You might choose one of these if you want your metals to be stored closer to home.
The five locations include:
When you store your holdings in one of these vaults, you'll be given an online account. You can use this account to track your holdings, view past transactions, and see the growth of your metals' value over time.
BullionVault has partnered with companies that run some of the most secure vaults on the planet. And every account is automatically insured for the full value of the metals, up to $2 billion.
You also have the option to have your precious metals shipped to you. Since you are the sole owner, you have total control over where and how they're stored. But it's a good idea to use a secure depository with insurance.
Precious Metals IRAs
Most European companies don't offer precious metals IRA services. IRAs are specific to American tax law, and they tend to be full of complicated regulations. In fact, the paperwork is so tedious that there are multiple precious metals IRA companies based in the US.
But BullionVault does have precious metals IRA services. They will sell you metals that adhere to the rigorous purity standards outlined by the IRS. Then they will help you store the items in an IRS-approved vault. You must store your IRA precious metals in a licensed depository to be compliant with tax codes.
In order to have a precious metals IRA, you also need to have a licensed custodian. This is an entity that maintains your account for you. Not all investment managers will be licensed to handle a gold IRA. You'll need someone who is versed in the tax codes surrounding self-directed IRAs as opposed to traditional options.
If you already have a custodian in mind, BullionVault can work with them. But they also list a few custodians that they frequently partner with on their website. The two main partners are New Direction Trust Company and MidAtlantic IRA.
With some precious metals IRA dealers, they'll contact your custodian for you. They'll also take you through the paperwork step by step. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. They give you the contact information for their partner custodians, but it's up to you to work with those custodians to open your account.
It's also a good idea to research the fees and reputation of any custodian before choosing them. Custodians are separate companies from BullionVault, and they might have very different reviews.
Once you've opened and funded the account with the custodian of your choice, you can tell your custodian that you want to buy from BullionVault. As soon as you can access the account online, you'll be able to make a purchase using the BullionVault eCommerce platform.
The signup process for an IRA is a bit of a hassle, especially compared to other companies. But BullionVault does have one of the simplest and most secure means of buying precious metals online.
There is a note that you will need to pay a commission fee to BullionVault when you sell or buy bullion. You'll also need to pay monthly storage fees.
BullionVault has fees and charges for many different things. However, they do have a high level of transparency about this. When you make a purchase or open an account, they ask that you read the page on their website that outlines all of their charges.
You can expect to pay three or four basic charges to use BullionVault. While the website usually lists fees in US dollars, you can use these four currencies:
You can also hold multiple types of currency in your account at the same time.
If you use the company's order board to purchase or sell your precious metals, you will need to pay a commission. That's basically just the cost of accessing the global market. BullionVault's program helps to connect individual investors to more global opportunities.
The maximum dealing fee is 0.5% of your transaction. There's a minimum of 0.05%. The exact amount will vary depending on how much you've sold throughout the fiscal year. If you've bought or sold $75,000 worth of metals in a year, you'll be able to get discounts.
The company has noted that the charge isn't marked as a commission. Instead, it is a basic price markup. That means that the charge is built into the final price that's listed on the marketplace before you make a purchase.
Your storage fee also covers the cost of an insurance policy. If you choose to remove your precious metals from storage and close your account, you'll no longer be subject to this fee.
The annual rate for gold is 0.12% of your total holdings. You'll also need to pay a minimum of $4 per month regardless of how much gold is in your account, meaning that there's a minimum of $48 per year.
With silver, you'll either pay a minimum of $8 per month or 0.48% of your total holdings. The same rate applies to both platinum and palladium.
You get the best overall deal if you're storing gold. But there are competing companies that offer storage for a flat annual fee. With these, you aren't paying extra just because you've added more gold or silver to your vault.
The BullionVault website does have a calculator that can help people determine how much they'd be paying in storage fees for their precious metals.
Burglar Alarm Fee
You are not technically required to make use of the company's Burglar Alarm services. However, they do recommend that you do. If there's any suspicious activity on your account, you'll get a text message right away. This service is automatically enabled upon entering your phone number into your account, so if you don't want to participate, you'll need to turn it off.
You can choose whether there will be text messages sent for logins and placed orders, too. You might want this service if you're worried about the potential for other people to log into your account without doing anything suspicious.
However, if you do opt into the extra text messages, you'll be charged 20 cents for each text.
When you make a withdrawal within the UK, it is usually free. But if you're making a withdrawal from another country, you'll need to pay a fee. The fee varies depending on your country and the bank. For people in the US, it's common for the fee to be about $10 per withdrawal.
Remittance fees are one reason that some US investors choose to work with US-based companies instead.
Is BullionVault a Scam?
BullionVault is not a scam. In addition to offering legitimate services, the company has been well-reviewed by many past customers. It has been in the business for several years and has gained a great deal of popularity and positive attention.
In addition, there's a retail location where you can go talk to the BullionVault staff. Customers say that the staff are friendly, honest, and knowledgeable. Many dishonest online precious metals dealers are shady about who they are, let alone where you can find them.
Another solid aspect of BullionVault is their informational resources. You have multiple means of educating yourself about the precious metals market before you even decide to invest. They really seem to care about helping their investors to be as informed as possible.
Since they've been operating since 2005, they have more than 17 years of industry experience. When the company was audited in 2019, they showed that they have 90,000 customers across more than 175 countries. In addition, they were managing and storing about $3 billion worth of bullion for their customers.
Every transportation and vault provider that's partnered with BullionVault is legitimate as well. They have all been entered into the London Bullion Market Association, which is a UK-based organization made up of trustworthy precious metals experts.
If you decide to invest in a company, you want to make sure that your money will be secure.
There is no way to guarantee the absolute security of your investment. That's true not only for investing in precious metals, but also for investing in anything. All investments have some risk involved. You want to be sure that you can trust the provider to use your money properly.
There are multiple security measures in place to help protect the funds of BullionVault's clients.
One example is the "burglar alarm." Instead of being a literal alarm on a physical vault, this is an alert that's related to your digital account. If your account overspends or engages in any kind of unusual transaction, you'll be sent a notification to let you know. And if you're not the one who initiated the transaction, you can take steps to protect your wealth.
Another security measure is the pooled client accounts. Rather than keeping your assets with BullionVault's company funds, you have your own account. It is kept completely separate from BullionVault's finances. That way, you don't have to worry about potentially losing your assets if anything bad happens to the company.
Like many precious metals dealers, BullionVault also offers robust insurance policies. Every customer can have their account insured for a maximum of $2 billion. If you keep your assets in the partnered Zurich vault, you can get $2.5 billion in insurance for one loss.
Just keep in mind that the storage fees are charged as a percentage of your holdings. If you only have a little gold and silver, that's a benefit. But as you add more money to your account, you'll also end up paying more. Flat fees are more ideal since they don't punish you for growing your wealth.
Pros & Cons of Bullionvault
BullionVault is an extremely popular company all over the world. Since 2005, they have grown to serve over 90,000 people in nearly every country globally. They offer competitive storage options through a variety of vault partners, and they also have some precious metals IRA services available.
However, there are a few potential drawbacks. One of the biggest is that they charge storage fees as a percentage of your precious metals. The more metals you add to your account, the more you'll lose every year. There are competitors who offer storage at a flat fee, so you never pay more for gaining wealth.
In addition, BullionVault has a variety of transaction fees. Basically any time you add to or remove metals from your account, you'll need to pay a fee. These transaction fees can add up quickly. Fortunately, they are fairly transparent about these fees on their website, so you can determine whether or not they're a deal breaker for you.
There are some other precious metals companies that offer more streamlined IRA services. They may also have better fee structures, especially if you're planning to grow your retirement account over the next few decades.
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