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GoldBroker is a precious metals firm that aims to fill a niche that other companies can't. This company gives you options to store your gold offshore, so you get tax benefits from your precious metals. In addition, their services allow you to fully own your gold without needing a custodian as part of the transaction.
Is their service really worth it? Who can benefit from GoldBroker? And perhaps most importantly, are they actually a legitimate company?
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To understand GoldBroker, you first have to understand a bit about the precious metals industry. Precious metals have been sold online for as long as the internet has existed. Many investors like to place a portion of their holdings in gold and silver because it provides protection against inflation.
With GoldBroker, businessmen and investors are able to store their metals in offshore accounts. Depending on where you live, this can have huge tax advantages, as you won't need to report the holdings.
Most places that do this have custodians in charge of the vaults. You can't access your precious metals without going through your custodian first. But GoldBroker aims to give people full control over their holdings. You own the storage certificate and all of the holdings within. There's no risk of anyone else having access to your vault.
Rather than being based in the US like many other precious metals firms, this company is based in the tax haven of Malta. You can find Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. When you register your gold in Malta, you're able to store it outside of global banking systems. There's no risk of having your assets seized.
Another potential positive of this setup is that you don't need a company employee with you when you want to visit your holdings. You have total control over when and where you visit the vault. If you decide that you want to withdraw your metals, you can do that without any hassle.
The Management Team
Several key people run the operation, and they're not shy about taking credit. That's a good sign. When a company doesn't tell you about its employees, that often means that someone is avoiding responsibility for poor management.
The founder and CEO of the company is a European man named Fabrice Ristori. He is an entrepreneur and investor with a strong financial background. His specialty has been rooted in precious metals for more than a decade, and he founded the company in 2011. He's been the CEO for the past ten years.
There are also board members who have a say in the direction and policies of the company. One of these is Egon Von Greyerz, a man who has been working in the financial sector since the 1990's. His first job was consulting for wealthy families and helping with mergers and acquisitions.
When the new millennium dawned, Egon became interested in silver and gold. He started pursuing precious metals in order to protect his assets. In 2005, he created the company Matterhorn Asset Management, which manages people's precious metal holdings.
While serving on the board of this company, his biggest goal is to preserve the wealth of his clients. Matterhorn works to acquire large amounts of precious metals and store them outside global banking systems. Their clients are people with an extremely high net worth, and the network spans 52 countries.
Egon participates in public speaking engagements about the precious metals industry. He's also a writer who focuses on economics, preservation of wealth, and precious metals. His guidance has been instrumental in making GoldBroker the company it is today.
Storage and Custodianship
Unlike many other precious metals dealers, GoldBroker doesn't work with vault custodians. Instead, they let you be completely in charge of your own vault. They say that they will never act as a custodian for their clients because they want to preserve your independence.
The company is partnered with a storage firm called Malca-Amit. Malca-Amit is the company in charge of issuing vault ownership certificates to clients. Each of these certificates has information about their vault, their holdings, and the serial numbers of their bars.
You can store your precious metals in the tax haven of Zurich. There are also vaults in three other countries, including Singapore, Canada, and the United States. The vaults are located in Toronto and New York City specifically.
Most of the holdings in the New York City vault belong to gold IRA holders. The IRS has strict regulations in place regarding where IRA precious metals can be stored, and the vault must be opened within US borders. Precious metals IRAs are also required to have a legally licensed custodian, so you won't be able to take advantage of the company's independence.
Products and Services
Though there are some limitations on the products available, you do have a larger array of bullion options than many offshore storage companies provide. In addition to the traditional gold and silver options, there's also palladium and platinum.
There are several different types of bar available, including:
You can purchase one ounce gold bars that come from the Canadian Royal Mint, plus the Canadian Royal Mint's 100 ounce silver bars. The other company GoldBroker works with is the Republic Metals Corporation. You can get their one kilogram silver bars, one thousand ounce silver bars, one hundred ounce silver bars, and one ounce gold bars.
There are a variety of different bullion options as well, which come from international mints all over the world. There are North American coins from both the US and Canada. The European coin offerings include British and Austrian options. There are Silver Australian Kangaroos and South African Gold Krugerrands as well.
Fees and Pricing
One of the major potential issues with the company is that they don't tell you the commission fees for their products upfront. Commission fees are the money that salespeople make for selling you gold and silver.
When salespeople work on commission, they have a higher motivation to make you spend more money. They might not work with your best investment interests at heart. In addition, commission markups mean that you could end up paying well above the market value of the precious metals.
Before you choose a precious metals dealer, it's always best to do research on the global value of precious metals. The most competitive prices shouldn't be more than a few percentage points above the market value.
GoldBroker has been asked about their commission fees before. They say that different products have different commission fees, and the commission lowers when people buy more. But they won't give any hard numbers.
There is a minimum order threshold of 10,000 dollars.
The company does have a buyback program. If you purchase precious metals from them and keep the metals in their storage facility, they will buy the metals back whenever you're ready to liquidate. With buyback sales, you will be charged a 1 percent commission with a minimum of 75 dollars in total.
There is a sliding scale for storage instead of a flat fee. Many other companies charge a flat fee to open and maintain a storage vault. With this company, you'll be paying a percentage of your holdings, so larger account holders will be penalized. You might find that a company with flat storage fees is more affordable.
The scale goes as follows:
There is also a sliding scale when it comes to storing silver. This is:
You will be subject to some additional fees with regards to storage.
If you want to visit the vault, you will need to pay 200 dollars. In addition, if you want to personally remove your holdings from the vault, you'll have to pay 200 dollars. If you want to take any photos of your holdings, you'll have to pay 10 dollars for every storage unit.
Is GoldBroker a Scam?
GoldBroker does not appear to be a scam. It is run by people with a strong background in precious metals investment, and it has a wide range of clientele.
But there are some important things to keep in mind.
One is that this company does not operate out of the US and does not specialize in gold IRAs. Instead, their main specialty is in giving investors tax-advantaged precious metals storage options.
Another is that they may overcharge for their precious metals due to their non-transparent commissions.
Pros & Cons of GoldBroker.com
GoldBroker does offer a service that no other company does. They will let you store your precious metals in a tax-advantaged offshore account and have full control over the holdings.
But they aren't transparent about their commission prices, so you might overpay. In addition, their sliding scale storage fees punish people with large holdings, while companies with flat fees don't do this.
Although we do think that GoldBroker.com is a solid company, we believe that there are better companies out there to make your investment with.
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