Cornerstone Bullion is a precious metals dealer in the US that works with thousands of clients. The company has been highly rated by certain third party review websites and organizations, but what exactly do they offer? And are their business practices legitimate?
The company is family operated and an acting member of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets. In addition, they take steps to safeguard the security and privacy of their clients.
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About Cornerstone Bullion
Cornerstone Bullion was founded a little more than a decade ago by company owner Chad Roach. He states that he created the company because he couldn't find an honest dealer with competitive prices and a good reputation.
Chad himself specializes in alternative investments. In addition to precious metals, he has a background in tangible assets and real estate. He is a financial professional who previously worked in the investment industry. With Cornerstone Bullion, he aims to give people access to a strategic alternative investment.
The company is built around several different principles.
One is that they aim to have competitive prices. Many gold dealers charge high commission rates for their sales, which means you end up paying significantly more than the melt value. With Cornerstone Bullion, the average price is about 2 percent above cost.
The company is also family-owned and family-managed. They state that it's easiest to take care of their clients' security by keeping the company in the family. There also isn't an air of competition, since everyone benefits from everyone else's sales.
If you do have a question, the company prides itself on customer service. That said, they don't have as many robust customer service options as some teams. They are only available to answer the phones during standard business hours, and they don't have a live chat option on their website.
The company says that they avoid paid advertising. They say that by cutting advertising costs, they're able to lower their overall overhead and sell gold for lower prices. Their hope is that the competitive pricing will be enough to draw potential consumers in.
In addition to having information about the qualities they strive to emulate, the company also talks about things they don't do. They have policies against these things.
One is that there is no concept of a "hard sell." The company does not aim to manipulate people into buying precious metals, and they say that they don't want to work with people who don't believe their investments have value. Instead, they work with clients to provide strategies based on each individual's goals and needs.
The company also states that they take security and privacy very seriously. They don't disclose any of their current clients or seek referrals from them. They also never sell any of your personal information for any reason.
The last item on the list is simple: the company doesn't deal in securities. In addition, they are transparent about how they aren't registered as an official financial securities brokerage. They only exist to sell physical bars and coins.
How Buying Works
Before you buy or sell any precious metals, the company recommends reading their free Precious Metals 101 Guide. This explains what precious metals are, what you should know about them, who can benefit from investing in them, and what global market factors you should pay attention to.
This guide serves as a primer for anyone interested in investing in precious metals.
Once you've done this, you can start the buying process. The precious metals guide has some guidance for choosing your investments. If you're still not sure where to begin, you can call the customer service team during business hours and ask if they have any input.
Then you'll call the company to lock in your order price. The company will create an account that includes your shipping address, contact information, and name. This account is used to complete the order.
It's important to note that the company only takes orders over the phone. They do not have an online marketplace where you can purchase precious metals through an online shopping cart.
After your order has been confirmed, you'll send the company the funds through a check or bank wire. Once the payment clears, the order should ship within three business days. If there are any shipping delays expected, you'll be told when the sale takes place.
After the package ships, you'll be emailed a tracking number. Since the package is insured, you'll need to be available to sign for it.
How Selling Works
Whether you originally bought your items from Cornerstone Bullion or not, you can sell them back. The company purchases nearly any type of precious metals bars or coins, although they don't purchase scrap metal or jewelry.
The first step is to call the company and tell them what you're selling. You'll be given a quote. The actual sale price might change after the quote, since market fluctuations affect the price of precious metals. The price is locked when you confirm your sale.
You will then be emailed a confirmation. You'll print the slip, put it into an insured USPS box with your precious metals, and send it to the address provided. You are responsible for making sure that your package has the proper insurance.
You will be required to send the company a tracking number or receipt for the shipment in the 24 hour period after confirming the sale. Receipts can be faxed or emailed.
Once the package is received, the company will confirm that the contents are the agreed-upon items. Then they will send a check in the mail. If you pay 19 dollars, you can have the check sent through overnight express mail. If the sale is greater than 50,000 dollars, you can have a bank wire transfer done instead.
Is Cornerstone Bullion a Scam?
Cornerstone Bullion is not a scam. They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and have been accredited with the organization since 2010. In addition to participating in different organizations, the company has been highly reviewed by third parties like Gold Dealer Reviews.
There are very few customer reviews online, though. It might be a better idea to work with a company that has more reliable reviews.
Pros & Cons of Cornerstone Bullion
Overall, Cornerstone Bullion appears to be a very solid company. They have zero complaints and an A+ accreditation with the BBB, plus positive reviews through third party organizations. The company adheres to strong principles and uses its family structure to reduce sales pressure.
The operating principles of the company are excellent. They aim to keep their overhead low so that they can reduce their commission costs. They don't use client referrals because they do not disclose the identities of their clients. They are upfront about the kinds of investment strategies they offer, as well as who can benefit.
The one potential drawback in all this is that the company also doesn't have a lot of customer feedback. There are zero reviews or complaints on the BBB website. Other third parties also have few reviews. Though everything we've heard is positive, we usually prefer companies with well-established client feedback.
When you get a sense of the client feedback, you know more about how the company actually operates, rather than just how they say they operate. That piece of the puzzle is missing here. So there's nothing to discourage you from doing business with Cornerstone Bullion -- but they aren't our top recommendation.
Although we do think that Cornerstone Bullion is a solid company, we believe that there are better companies out there to make your investment with.
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