We're very pleased to announce our participation in the Hard Assets Alliance, our newly endorsed solution for purchasing precious metals.
For years, we've received a continuous stream of questions from readers, all essentially asking where's the best place to buy gold and silver?
While we've done our best to review and present an assessed list of the top bullion vendors, the remaining work readers needed to do in comparing each of them was still more challenging and confusing than we were comfortable with. It's been clear that folks are hoping for a single "best of the best" recommendation.
That's why we were so glad when the Hard Assets Alliance was formed, and we had the good fortune to be invited to be a Founding Member. This new platform offers so many clear advantages to customers that we were happy to throw our support behind it.
What is the Hard Assets Alliance?
The Hard Assets Alliance (HAA) is an industry association of well-known economic and investment research firms that strive to help their clients and readers better understand prevailing economic trends and how to intelligently position themselves. Other founding members in the HAA include Casey Research, Agora Financial, Mauldin Economics, and other names likely known to many of our readers.
These firms all share the desire to offer a better way for individuals to buy, store, and sell precious metals than has been historically available to the retail customer.
They have collectively identified an innovative solution, the SmartMetals platform, which offers a superior level of quality, price, and service to the individual bullion investor, and they have agreed to support its development.
The SmartMetals platform was initially developed to provide a robust precious-metals trading platform to governments and the biggest investment banks. Until recently, it has only been available through institutional broker/dealers. But with the advent of the Hard Assets Alliance, the retail customer can now access the benefits of this platform directly.
What are the benefits?
Basically, this solution makes the same advantages enjoyed by institutions available to the retail bullion investor.
Among the most notable are:
- Excellent pricing – For every order, a least four suppliers provide a bid to meet it. The platform compares them and offers you the best one.
- Quality of product – The HAA only offers sovereign coins and standard bullion bars, which hold their value more consistently than any other forms. No numismatics or rare coins. You can buy gold, silver, platinum, or palladium through the HAA.
- Delivery options – Take physical delivery immediately of your purchased bullion, or opt to have the HAA store it for you safely at low cost.
- Allocated storage – All bullion (bars or coins) that you purchase and store through the HAA is held in your name at the vault location of your choosing. If you purchase bars, the serial numbers are provided to you. Bullion stored by the HAA is never pooled, margined, or otherwise leveraged.
- Storage options – You can choose to have your bullion stored in vaults in the US (New York and Salt Lake City), the UK, Switzerland, Australia and/or Singapore. (Metals available at any location are subject to availability)
- Storage security – HAA bullion is stored in the same secure vaults as for the major global investment banks and governments that use the SmartMoney platform. These vaults have around-the-clock armed physical security, state-of-the-art electronic protection, and insurance for the full value of your deposit. Their precious metal holdings are audited every day and an audit report containing bar lists is sent to the Hard Assets Alliance daily. In addition, an internationally recognized Big Four auditing firm audits all of the precious metal holdings on a quarterly basis. Precious-metal bar holdings are confirmed with Hard Assets Alliance and reported on the Hard Assets Alliance website.
- Low storage fees – Between 0.5%-0.8% per year for gold and silver
- At-will delivery – Any bullion you store with the HAA will be shipped to you, fully-insured, within 48 hours of your request.
- Easy, anytime, instant transactions – Once your HAA account is funded, the online system lets you buy and sell bullion and/or request delivery with just a few mouse clicks. You can perform any of these transactions 24/7.
- Reliability – Since the SmartMoney platform must meet the service requirements of the world's largest investment banks, you can have confidence that if worldwide bullion inventories become tight, the HAA will have the highest reliability that it can fulfill your order when you need to transact.
- World-class support – In addition to the online system, live support via phone, email, and chat is available to help you 12 hours a day, 5 days a week.
- IRS reporting – HAA accounts are considered US accounts, even if your bullion is stored in a vault overseas. Therefore you are not required to file IRS foreign-held asset reporting forms such as TD F 90-22.1.
How can I learn more?
What else do I need to know?
The members of the Hard Assets Alliance, including Peak Prosperity, receive a portion of the proceeds transacted through the platform. Because the low-cost structure is a major feature of the program, such commissions are very modest and do not affect the prices paid by clients.
There are minimum purchase requirements: $5,000 for delivery and $10,000 for storage. If you do not have those amounts readily available, you can add funds to your HAA account over time until you have sufficient levels to transact.
Our endorsement of the Hard Assets Alliance in no way refutes the quality of service offered by the other providers listed on our Where to Buy Gold & Silver page or recommended previously through this site. We simply think this new solution offers the best combination of benefits for the widest audience of retail precious metals investors.
We hope our new and longtime readers find this new service of as much value as we think you will. For those who decide to become HAA customers, please share feedback with us about your experience.