Gold Broker is a precious metals dealer that focuses on one thing: helping people freely own precious metals. To achieve this goal, they have vaults in multiple countries to help people store their wealth in tax-advantaged areas. But are they actually as great as they seem to be? Is there anything you should know before getting started?
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About Gold Broker
Gold Broker was started under the premise that people should be able to store their precious metals in offshore accounts, without having an intermediary who controls the funds. It's extremely difficult to find overseas storage vaults that don't require you to have an account custodian.
So Gold Broker stepped in. The intent was to give people complete financial freedom with regards to their account holdings. When you purchase precious metals, you fully own those metals. They no longer belong to Gold Broker. That means that you retain ownership even if something were to happen to the Gold Broker company.
Once you buy the precious metals, you will be issued a certificate of ownership. This shows that you own the specific bars with the appended serial number. It is a legitimate certificate that can be used to defend your ownership in a court of law.
As Gold Broker is all about financial freedom, the company is based out of Malta. Malta is a small country in the Mediterranean Sea that is known for being a tax haven. When you register your precious metals, they are stored entirely outside of any national or international bank. You're completely covered from seizure risks and bank downfalls.
You can actually go to the vault and look at your gold in person. It's not even necessary to have another employee with you to supervise. That's because of how airtight the security is. Your physical investments can also be removed from the vault whenever you want, and you don't have to pay any fees for withdrawal.
It's common for gold storage companies to charge withdrawal and transaction fees. Sometimes they even charge deposit fees! That's not the case here.
The company's storage options are its most major selling point. Most people who work with Gold Broker do so because they want their assets to be protected offshore. According to the website, precious metals are an investment that are meant to protect you. But in order to actually utilize this protection, you have to keep them safe.
With the Gold Broker setup, no one has access to your account but you. You don't have to worry about working with or trusting any intermediary. You don't have to worry about reporting your holdings or being subject to government seizure.
Gold Broker is partnered with a storage company called Malca-Amit. This company works completely outside any centralized bank. It has been in the business since 1963, boasting nearly 60 years of secure storage. The company's main clients are high net worth people and financial institutions.
If you're in the US and want to keep your precious metals a little closer to home, there's a New York vault. That said, there are many other US-based storage companies that might have a more reasonable fee schedule.
Another option is to keep your precious metals in Toronto, Canada. That way, they're still on the same continent. But you have the security of the international border if you're ever worried about having your assets seized.
The final two vaults are located in Switzerland and Singapore. These are famously stable, tax neutral countries. Much of their economy comes from the high net worth individuals who store their assets within the borders. People who use these vaults tend to want their wealth to be hidden from prying eyes.
There is a wide range of different security measures in place. For example, the precious metals are stored in vaults that are monitored 24/7. The entire place has physical and electronic surveillance. There are multiple staff members who guard the vaults. In addition, the buildings all have fire and climate control systems as a way of preventing potential disaster.
Precious Metals IRAs
In most cases, non-US precious metals dealers don't have any interest in precious metals IRAs. You might think that would be the case here, considering the company's base in Malta. But they do have a page on their site for Americans who are considering opening a precious metals IRA.
The page explains the basic benefits of a precious metals IRA. You can use the account to hold a portion of your retirement funds in precious metals. Then you can take distributions by either liquidating the metals or having them shipped to you. They increase in value with inflation, and they tend to perform inversely to the stock market.
The company then goes on to say that you can open a precious metals IRA online without any hassle. In the past, this process involved a lot of arduous paperwork. But this company will put you in touch with a custodian who can oversee the process.
You will need to have a custodian if you want to open an IRA. It's an IRS requirement that you work with a licensed institution.
These are the basic steps that the company outlines to open a precious metals IRA:
It is a little odd that Gold Broker doesn't explain which custodial companies they partner with. It's even odder that they don't let you pick the custodial company that you want. And their process isn't nearly as streamlined as with some other IRA companies.
However, there's nothing glaringly wrong with the process. It just seems like it might be a little cumbersome and inconvenient.
Is Gold Broker a Scam?
Gold Broker is not a scam. Though it's difficult to find information about the company at first, that's only because they are a subsidiary of a larger entity. The company is extremely transparent about its founder, CEO, and board of directors. Its parent company is called FDR Capital.
Gold Broker does appear to offer all of the services that they say they do. There are very few complaints to be found online, although it is sometimes hard to find reviews of their services at all.
One of the biggest advantages of Gold Broker is that you have physical ownership of your precious metals. And since you can store them in your choice of international vault, you don't have to worry about tax implications. Since you physically own the metals, they cannot be seized if the company was ever to go bankrupt.
However, Gold Broker isn't the only company to offer these advantages. In addition, we think that it might not be the best company on the market. Their website doesn't say much about whether their salespeople work on commission. They don't explain how they price their items, or whether they mark things up past their actual value.
Whether you want to invest in a precious metals IRA or buy metals for your personal portfolio, it's best to work with a company with utterly transparent policies.
Pros & Cons of Gold Broker
Gold Broker is a legitimate business that provides an important service. For people who want an easy way to own and store precious metals offshore, this company might appeal. They do have a high level of transparency when it comes to their board of directors and their parent company.
But there are a few things to keep in mind. One is that the storage fees are based on a percentage of your holdings. The more you keep in the account, the more you'll pay each year. Other storage companies offer flat fees, so you pay the same amount no matter how much you hold.
And it's possible that you'll be able to get better pricing at other companies. We weren't able to find very much reliable information regarding Gold Broker's pricing or how the company's salespeople are compensated. A company better known for good pricing would be a better bet.
This is also a company that doesn't give you information about the custodial partners they work with. If you're investing in a precious metals IRA, you want to know who your custodian will be. That entity will be taking care of your account for the rest of your life.
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