In every reputable industry you invariably have a few bad eggs salted in with the honorable sellers. The precious metals industry is certainly no exception to this unfortunate rule. The following companies have raised flags with consumers who found their business practices less than satisfactory.
Monex Deposit Company http://www.monex.com/
Currently rates a D- with the BBB. Monex will offer to hold silver for you, or offer you leveraged accounts. I strongly advise against that. Their BBB report quotes the following:
"Complainants allege that they purchased precious metals based on advice and coaching from account representatives and as a result, they incurred substantial financial losses. A few clients complained that account representatives did not follow their instructions in applying funds for investment or that they failed to keep them informed, and as a result, they suffered losses they would not have incurred had their instructions been followed. The company responds to some complaints by disputing the allegations and stating that the investments are self-directed and they are not responsible for losses, denying requests for refunds or monetary compensation. In one case a partial refund was issued, but was conditional upon signing a release waiver composed by the company. "
Northwest Territorial Mint www.nwtmint.com
NWT Mint comes in with a C rating with the BBB. The primary complaints here lie in the long wait times (up to 6 months) for delivery of gold and silver bullion purchased from this company.
Goldline International www.goldline.com
Goldline rates an A+ rating with the BBB...which I find more than a little SUSPICIOUS. The last time I wrote about this company was in November 2010, when they had just moved up from an F to a D-. Rumors about buying a BBB rating have been kicked around, but who knows. Maybe they suddenly got religion...maybe not.
At any rate Congressional investigations were launched last year in response to a variety of predatory selling practices. One of their reputed favorite selling routines was to talk investors interested in buying gold or silver bullion coins into purchasing foreign numismatic collector gold coins with higher profit margins.
Check out these two links for other articles I've written about Goldline:
Kitco has NO RATING with the BBB as their rating is "under review", whatever that means. My biggest problems with this company are their pool accounts, unknown delivery times for silver, and unknown and backlogged payment if you sold silver to them.
With Kitco Pool accounts your purchased silver and gold remains in their unallocated pool of precious metals. You get a statement for your gold or silver, and bills for trading fees. On the positive side, I guess, you get to easily sell and buy by punching a few keys on your computer.
I'm sorry, but any trust I had in my fellow man died with Enron and the Bernie Madoff scams. What's to stop a company like Kitco from preserving only a fractional supply of actual bullion, while reaping free profits for themselves with your assets? Bottom line, if it's in an unallocated pool, you don't know WHAT'S ACTUALLY SWIMMING AROUND IN THOSE MURKY WATERS!
One of Kitco's top men is Jon Nadler, a perennial gold and silver bear. He's been wrong so often in his precious metal price predictions since 2008, that he must surely envy a broken clock that's right twice a day! Internet rumors have speculated that Mr. Nadler has actually acted as Kitco's resident disinformation officer to help depress gold and silver pricing to preserve the "integrity" of the Kitco pool accounts by discouraging demands for physical delivery.
If interested, you can read The Best Places To Buy Silver http://survivalus.blogspot.com/2010/08/best-places-to-buy-your-survival-gold.html.
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