Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Should I Pay To Store My Gold / Silver?

Many gold & silver sellers today offer buyers the option to store their precious metals for them in their secure vault for a fee. To some concerned about theft or storage, this solution could seem like a good deal. The buyer gets to own gold and silver without the worries associated with keeping these valuable metals at home. So, is it wise to give your precious metals investment to your seller for safekeeping? Heck, NO! Why? See below:

  • Conflicts of interest - The seller is running a business. Like every business profit and cash flow are primary concerns. The temptation for a vendor to "sell" you imaginary gold or silver and then charge you fees for its storage at his facility are very real. The situation practically begs for a ponzi scam set up. Even a basically honest seller with sub par business skills could find himself in a financial tight spot if a large amount of deposits are withdrawn precipitously or through plain mismanagement.

Example: Earlier this month, FBI agents seized computers, records and safe-deposit box keys from the Tigard home of Lawrence Henry Heim, president of U.S. Gold & Silver Investments Inc. in Portland. The FBI says the mail and wire fraud investigation stems from unfulfilled investor orders made as long ago as 1998 and as recently as October 2010.

Heim and his company also face three lawsuits -- one in federal and two in state courts -- seeking more than $875,000 and alleging breach of contract. One of the suits was filed on behalf of the estate of the late Portland high-tech pioneer Tom Holce.

According to the lawsuits, first reported in Willamette Week, Heim's company has not delivered on at least $875,000 of U.S. gold and silver coins. In some cases, the suits say, investors asked Heim to store coins on their behalf. In others, Heim entered into contracts with investors for which he would pay interest while holding the coins, according to the lawsuits.

  • Bankruptcy & Legal Problems - What happens if a business storing your PM's goes bankrupt, or its assets are seized for civil and criminal legal proceedings? There's just no clear answer to this vexing question.

Example: Bernard Von Nothaus, the founder of the Liberty Dollar was arrested in 2007 and over $7 million dollars worth of copper, silver, and gold bullion owned by investors storing their PM's with the company were seized by the Federal government. Von Nothaus was recently convicted of counterfeiting, and faces 15 years in jail and substantial fines. In addition, the US government is seeking court permission to permanently confiscate all the bullion seized. As it stands now, the investors in the Liberty Dollar stand to lose their entire stored bullion, or at best face long legal battles to regain ownership.

There are plenty of other reasons not to entrust your gold and silver to others, but I hope the above two "horror stories" will be sufficient to dissuade anyone from pursuing this foolish investment choice.

Time is running out fast! Hyperinflation seems unavoidable as fiat paper money is being printed as fast as the US presses can run. To protect your wealth and your family, buy gold and silver now from these top companies, APMEX Gold and Silver and Silver American Eagles. Rick


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