Last week we read of a new investment scandal in Cologne, Germany where investors entrusted an unknown company with 45 million Euros to buy gold and, yes, you guessed it, now nobody can reach anyone at the company anymore. Read the full article here.
More and more people seem to be falling victim to a scam or fraud. If anything, criminals prey on people more when they are already vulnerable and, whether we like it or not, they will also suffer when the economy is struggling, just like the rest of us. Fraudsters, however, have no conscience and it is at times like this that we must all stay extra vigilant and try to protect ourselves.
If you have decided to invest in gold, or indeed any other valuable and precious metal, then there are a number of safe options available to you for storage and that we would recommend.
If you choose to store your precious metals at home, you are assured not only of direct access to but also total control over your assets. Chubbsafes, a brand commercially represented by Gunnebo Safe Storage, have an assortment of safes suitable for private home use with varying accreditation standards and degrees of fire and burglary resistance. All of these elements are essential for insurance reasons and we suggest you check either with a knowledgeable agent or your insurance company before choosing.
Here are a few helpful links and resources to assist with your choice:
Without doubt, the major downside of storing your precious metals at home is the safety risk to you and your family due to theft, robbery or burglary. All of our home safes are tested for durability, offer extreme resistance requirements against burglary as well as fire, firearms and/or explosives and these are covered via certification. A wide range of tests are carried out by skilled independent experts in accordance with established international standards.
At each security grade, you can choose from a variety of sizes to fit your space and capacity needs. Our selection choice is sure to cover a budget that addresses your demands, but most importantly, all of our products are tested to meet only the most stringent accreditation standards.
Finally, liquidity is a disadvantage if you choose to secure your precious metals at home. Should you decide to sell your investment, you will have to return it to a certified dealer, who may require the assets be analysed for authenticity, costing both money and time.
Bank Vault or traditional (manual) safety deposit box
An alternative, highly secure option would be to store your metals in a safety deposit box at your local bank or in a private bank vault. Boxes are available in a wide range of sizes and of course, high security is the most reassuring advantage that a bank can offer.
If your gold is stored in a bank vault, it then allows for the flexibility of being able to buy, sell and store your precious metals all from one place whilst remaining in the investor’s full ownership.
Read more about this product here.
Yet there are still disadvantages to traditional manual safety deposit boxes and the most restrictive one is access. Limited bank opening hours, weekends and holidays will mean you won’t be able to get to your precious metals until the bank re-opens.
Third party storage or depository
A third option for storing your metals is in a depository or third-party storage firm. Companies like Brinks, Loomis, G4S will store your bullion in a secure facility for a nominal fee. These companies specialise in safe transportation and storage so their reputation precedes them. Furthermore, most are international entities so they can offer their service in foreign countries, which can provide certain tax benefits.
As with bank vaults and manual safety deposit boxes, you are beholden to bank opening times for access, although third party depositories generally have more availability than banks. Another disadvantage of depositories is that they are sometimes not local, for the very same tax reasons mentioned above. So, even if you have better accessibility, you may have to travel further to collect your stored items or wait a few days to receive them.
Automated safe deposit lockers
It would seem there is always a trade-off between availability and security. There is, however, a solution that does not compromise on either. Automated safe deposit lockers are self-service systems based on robotised technology, require no other human intervention and have no access restrictions. Basically, you can have access to your safe deposit locker 24/7, at any time and on any day of the week, with advanced customer identification and ensuring top level security.
Read more about this solution here.
Emmanuel Harir Forouch, Global Products Manager Vaults, Safestore Auto & Safe Deposit Lockers, has a couple more useful tips when selecting the solution most suitable for you.
What to consider
1. Choose a reputable / trusted security supplier - how?
Whether you are choosing a safe to install, have installed in your home or office or you opt to store your precious metal somewhere else, make sure you have researched the product or service supplier.
Gunnebo supply all of the above mentioned secure storage options so, if you buy a home safe from us or we supply the safe storage solution to your bank or 3rd party depository, we can guarantee it is backed by centuries of fine heritage and an outstanding reputation of quality.
As with the example above, you do not want to entrust your precious metal to a prospective scammer who, instead of securing it, steals it.
2. Know how you want to use your precious metal
Imagine there is change in the market on a Friday and you are unable to access your gold at a bank until after the weekend? If liquidity is important, you will need the flexibility of extended opening hours, 24/7 access or a highly secure, possibly concealed home safe option.
Maybe your precious and very expensive metal is in jewellery form and you wish to wear it on an evening out. Wouldn’t you feel safer knowing you could access your safety deposit box 24 hour/7 days a week on the way home and return your prized possessions back to their secure vault enclosure rather than risk their loss?
Understand if, how, when, where and why you want access.
3. Understand what is most important to you
If your or your family’s security is more important than being able to sell your precious metal quickly, then you’ll choose a bank or third party depository. If your second priority is still having 24/7 access, then make sure the safety deposit box supplier you choose is fully automated.
No solution is right or wrong, but one solution is right for you. If you need any further guidance on any of these solutions, please contact us.