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Old 08-29-2011, 10:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hard Assets Alliance Review


ADDED September 5 2012:

Gold Bullion International, whose services I originally reviewed back in September of 2011 (scroll down to see original comments), is providing much of the back end to Hard Assets Alliance (affiliate link). They have much of the same deal that Gold Bullion International does. There is a 0.7% annual fee for gold storage and 0.8% fee for silver storage. You can request delivery at any time, and you can purchase 1/10th ounce coins of gold or 1 oz silver bars (platinum and palladium are also available in 1 ounce increments). Shipping costs can vary based on delivery size and location. There are no minimum orders or account sizes. If you store your metals with them, a specific and distinct piece of metal is being stored in your name; it is not a share in a bar, but rather a wholly separate piece of metal. This provides some extra insurance for those concerned about how shared metal would be dealt with in the event of forced liquidation or delivery.

Prices are derived in real-time by sourcing by querying a network of precious metals dealers and delivering customers the best price they can. In my experience, their prices are about 2.4% above the reported spot price for a 1 oz gold coin. You can compare them against other gold dealers via our gold dealers matrix.

Vaults are insured as well.

This is a service I really like, and with the price point that is lower than Gold Bullion International, I like it even more. Casey Research, an organization I admire greatly, is also involved in running and promoting Hard Assets Alliance, which gives them greater credence, in my opinion.

Click here to go to Hard Assets Alliance.

ADDED: September 16, 2013

I interviewed Ed D'Agostino, a general manager of Hard Assets Alliance, to learn more about how Hard Assets Alliance works and the gold storage business in particular. Unfortunately the video loses audio/video synchronization, but the audio content should allow for a worthwhile learning experience.


Coincidentally, Casey Research conducted an interview with D'Agostino of Hard Assets Alliance at the same time. See the video below.


ADDED: October 27, 2013

I opened an account with Hard Assets Alliance. Below is a review of the platform and the various features it offers.


ADDED: May 13, 2014

Hard Assets Alliance now offers two new types of accounts (for US citizens only): UTMA and IRA. IRAs, or Individual Retirement Accounts, are accounts for US citizens that provide them tax breaks for saving for retirement. Hard Assets Alliance works with The Entrust Group to provide US citizens with self-directed IRAs. Metals purchased for IRA accounts can be stored in Switzerland or the USA.

UTMA, or Uniform Transfer to Minors Act, makes it possible for US citizens to setup trust accounts for minors. When the child reaches the age of 18 or 21 -- the age depends upon which state in the USA the child resides in -- the child can access the account and do with it as he/she pleases. UTMA accounts are designed for adults who wish to provide minors a means to accrue assets for adulthood.

*******

Original Review of Gold Bullion International, Posted August 30, 2011

Gold Bullion International

I am planning on opening an account with this firm, and moving some of my gold and silver there. It is another metals storage facility, similar to Bullion Vault and Gold Money with much of the same sales pitch (allocated, insured, assayed gold), although it is easier to get delivery from Gold Bullion International than from many others. the downside is that it costs noticeably more all around, and is less suitable for trading gold/silver ratio (which I like to do). The smallest increment available is 1 ounce; there are no purchases of grams.

I do like this added element of safety, and I am inclined to find the firm somewhat credible due largely to some of the members of its team, namely fund manager John Hathaway. I also want to diversify a bit more.

If anyone here has used this company before and has any feedback (positive, negative, or neutral) I would love to hear their take.

My Rating:
4.5 / 5



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Old 09-02-2011, 03:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i called gold bullion international and learned a bit more about them.

1. $25,000 minimum account opening (NOTE: there is no account minimum for hard assets alliance, just GBI)
2. no electronic trading at the moment; phone only
3. trades can only be done during new york business hours

the representative i spoke to was very professional and sufficiently knowledgeable, and did not try to bully me into buying something. so that was good.

you can have a cash account with them. so, you buy gold, you can sell it, be in US dollars in your account with them for a while, buy silver in a different vault in a different country, etc. of course, the more active you want to be the better off you are in vehicles better suited for active trading, but bullion international has some structures in place to enable that if you ever need to.

i do like this company, but i prefer to have the bulk of my wealth in something more liquid. if i get wealthier and $25k becomes a small portion of my net wealth, than i think i would have an account with bullion international.

basically, i think it's a good service for wealthier people.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I called them too


Very professional. They are VERY different from Gold Money and BullionVault. With these guys you actually buy whole bars, not gold grams or pieces of a gold bar. I kind of like that notion. I never liked the idea of buying a piece of a gold bar via BV or GoldMoney....this is pretty unique.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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two other interesting things about this company are that

1. they offer platinum and palladium as well in increments of one ounce
2. they have a vault in utah. london, new york, and zurich have become standards, although as utah recently made gold legal tender for its state, that's an interesting option -- doubly so if you're in a location where utah is closer than other options
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i just updated this review with some comments about hard assets alliance, which uses GBI's back end for its operations -- so they're very similar.
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