Thursday, August 28, 2014

Compare Hard Assets Alliance To GoldMoney

by Roger Bond on July 10, 2013

Secure Gold Storage OffShore and On

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With the Gold price down and Summer here, history says this could be a good time to compare Hard Assets Alliance to GoldMoney and get your precious metals physically allocated to YOU while you still can at these prices.

Full disclosure: We personally use both of these services with OUR OWN MONEY, FAMILY MEMBER’s MONEY, FRIEND’s MONEY. With the price of Gold and Silver down we have been adding to these positions. We are not just hot-air-bag promoters, we put our money where our mouth is!

So knowing that we use both Hard Assets Alliance (HAA) and GoldMoney, how does one compare the two services and why would you choose one over the other?

GoldMoney

GoldMoney is the first such service of its kind that we were made aware of over a decade ago – when Gold and Silver were a LOT cheaper! Over time there service has gotten better and better with the exception of the US Government forcing them to abandon the feature of member to member metals payments.

Located in U.K., GoldMoney has the advantage of being an non-U.S. company for those American citizens distrustful of Uncle Sam. On the other side of that Golden coin, having assets at GoldMoney puts U.S. citizens in the crosshairs of Treasury and now IRS annual reporting requirements for offshore accounts.

Are the reporting requirements that difficult? Not really, and it is possible that small accounts may be exempt from reporting anyway. But the potential penalties for not reporting or mis-reporting – when the guidelines have been slow to become clear, thank you very little – can be severe. Personally, we think that a taxpayer who can show “best efforts” is at low risk, but you never know and that can change.

Buying And Storing Gold With GoldMoney

No financial account is simple to open anymore thanks to the (un) Patriot Act and GoldMoney fully cooperates with U.S. directives in complicating American lives this way. Fortunately, everything you need to do to open a GoldMoney account can be done with scanned documents uploaded to their website. Real people respond via secure message if they have questions or need additional clarification or documentation. Recently they even addd “fasttrack” buying of metal for U.S. and certain other citizens.

Unlike Hard Assets Alliance, with GoldMoney you can buy metal 24/7. There are limits on weekends, though, like when we tried to buy over 500 ounces on a Saturday. Pricing for that would be at the next London fix. HAA has more restrictive daytime “business hours” when metal can be bought.

GoldMoney has the advantage that you can buy any amount of metal, down to about the ten thousandth of a gold gram. HAA only works with coins and bars, and there are high minimums with HAA.

One of the recent improvements in GoldMoney has been in the area of getting physical metal shipped to you. While a feature that many wanted, we personally use GoldMoney only for precious metals we have no interest in storing ourselves.

Like most every other Gold storage vendor, GoldMoney has been adding vault locations to give customers more options, whether it be Rhenus at Zurich aiport for diversification from VIAMAT or Singapore and Hong Kong for the trend toward Asia storage.

Sending money to GoldMoney does incur the higher expense of an international wire transfer, which for us costs around $50 – $65. Having them return money to you incurs a fee from GM of $20 last time we did that.

Storage Fees

GoldMoney is different, I think, than every other service we have used in that they actually debit your account an amount of the metal they are storing for you; so there is no need to keep cash in your account to pay the fees, nor CAN you pay the fees in cash/credit card even if you prefer. Storage is debited monthly and, yes, minimums do apply.

If you want to get started (no cost) with a holding at GoldMoney or to learn more, CLICK HERE

Hard Assets Alliance

Hard Assets Alliance is a new kid on the block, about a year old. The Smart Metals platform that they are based on, though, is not new but tried and true and worthy of your trust.

HAA is U.S. based which to some is a disadvantage. For one, unlike GoldMoney, they will mail out a 1099 when you sell precious metals. (Just because GM doesn’t send one doesn’t mean you’re off the hook, though).

One person’s drawback is another’s advantage. We have family members who wish to own physical Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium without the hassle of home storage and who wish to not get involved in the offshore account reporting issues. For them, Hard Assets Alliance is perfect.

One can choose to buy coins or certified bars of the metals of your choice at great prices; you can have that metal shipped immediately or at any time in the future with about 48 hours advance notice.

For secure storage of your Gold, Silver, Platinum or Palladium you can choose U.S. storage at several locations if you like it close to home. But you can also choose from a wide array of global locations similar to GoldMoney or other services, yet STILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO REPORT IT!

And that is one of the key advantages for so many we know and have helped set up at HAA.

You are dealing with a U.S. company when doing business with Hard Assets Alliance. The advantages to that are:

  • Some Americans trust Americans more (whether justified or not, it’s a comfort level for some)
  • Toll free 800 number access
  • Customer service is Americans who speak perfect English
  • Office hours are U.S. East Coast Time Zone
  • No foreign account reporting
  • Send/Receive funds with low fee wires or totally free ACH transfers
  • US vault options if you prefer

So you see, with Hard Assets Alliance, if you don’t mind that it’s a U.S. company, there are actually a number of conveniences and features that make it more advantageous to deal with than many of the other global vendors.

Buying And Storing Gold With Hard Assets Alliance

Hard Assets Alliance has the excellent Smart Metals platform to work with and it helps you get the best prices when buying coins or bars. As mentioned above, it does only work with coin/bar increments so you cannot buy, say, $5000 worth of Gold – you have to choose coins or bars in various sizes to try to get close to that. And with the auction process it’s a little more like BullionVault in that the final price could vary a bit.

Further, there are minimums to the purchase process. Since these can change I won’t specify what they happen to be right now.

So the actual process of buying Gold or other precious metals at Hard Assets Alliance is a little bit different.

  • Fund your account (several options, none expensive) with an amount a bit higher than the amount of metal you want to buy
  • Make your purchase – either for delivery or storage (can be delivered later) – knowing the approximate price. You’ll get the best price among several vendors.
  • Either leave some cash in your account to cover quarterly storage fees invoiced
  • Have them return to you any amount of the cash left over if you like. No they do NOT pay interest on credit balances (hey, neither does the bank anymore…)

IRA’s Allowed

Hard Assets Alliance is now an option for a precious metals IRA. We personally have not done this but it’s nice to know that there is a reputable, reasonably priced option to do that.

Open a Smart Metals account or learn more about Hard Assets Alliance right now, CLICK HERE

Summary

So there you pretty much have it, at least a real good overview of comparing Hard Assets Alliance to GoldMoney. They both have their own particular advantages and a disadvantage or two depending on your personal viewpoints.

Again, we use and trust both; recommend both to family & friends.

One final note, though, Hard Assets Alliance, unlike GoldMoney, is happy to open an account in the name of your Living Trust!

We do NOT give investment advice here at BuyAndStoreGold but, what we are doing is taking advantage of the current opportunity and buying more precious metals and storing it securely at both GoldMoney and Hard Assets Alliance.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Glenn K. August 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm

As I’m sure you are now aware (since you and your family are clients) GoldMoney now gives you the option of deducting the storage fees from your cash balance. I really like this option since I prefer to keep my holdings in even (to the ounce) amounts.

Reply

Roger Bond August 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Yes, I haven’t written about that yet, though I intend to, after I look up the details and mechanics of it. A welcome change! Thanks for your comment.

Roger.

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