Do you worry about securing your economic future? Does the potential for a stock market crash make you anxious? Are you unsure what investment decisions you should be making to protect yourself?
Investing in precious metals has been a key safeguard for decades. Precious metals are a relatively stable investment, unlike the stock market or cryptocurrency. They increase in value as the dollar depreciates, so they don't lose their potency like a savings account. And they're good protection.
Schiff Gold is a company that helps connect potential investors with gold and silver. It is run by Peter Schiff, an economist and expert in the precious metals industry. The company website is filled with articles commentating on different aspects of the economy, along with educational tools to help you make investment decisions.
There's a lot to like about the setup. However, the company also has a certain lack of transparency. In addition, it's hard to find reliable reviews of the services they provide.
What to Know About Schiff Gold
Schiff Gold has been in operation since 2010, originally operating under the name Euro Pacific Precious Metals. Since then, it has undergone a rebranding to align more closely with founder Peter Schiff. Peter Schiff builds his brand around having consistent opinions on the economic state of the world.
Nowadays, the company operates out of New York City. It is mainly managed by the entrepreneur Michael Freedman. People can choose from coins and bullion that meet rigorous purity standards. Instead of offering collectible coins, Peter Schiff only deals in precious metals he considers to be worthwhile investments.
The staff all come from different financial services and investment backgrounds. They leverage their combined expertise with investing, precious metals, retirement planning, and financial planning to help consumers make the right investment decisions.
Peter Schiff's opinion is that precious metals should make up anywhere from five to ten percent of an investor's portfolio. There are several advantages to gold and silver:
He emphasizes the privacy aspect significantly. Peter Schiff makes no secret of his distaste for government and financial overreach. If you're someone concerned about the state of your wealth, precious metals give you security without jeopardizing your privacy.
Products and Services Offered
As mentioned, the company only deals with bullion and pure coins. It doesn't trade in numismatic collections or jewelry.
There are both gold and silver versions of US currency like the American Eagle coin. In addition, you can access classic international coins from the UK, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Austria, and a handful of other countries. If you're a fan of international coin collecting, these options will appeal.
Not only does Schiff Gold not offer collector's coins, but they actively counsel against buying them. According to Peter Schiff, collectible coins are an investment that rarely pays dividends. They are subject to huge price fluctuations, never guaranteed to increase in value, and marked up at high commission rates.
For people who own cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, it's easy to facilitate transactions. The company has partnered with the service BitPay. Using BitPay, you can exchange your cryptocurrency for gold and silver. If you want to invest in assets that are more stable than crypto, this is a great option.
Because the value of cryptocurrency can change on a minute-to-minute basis, BitPay prices are locked in for only fifteen minutes. You have to finalize your purchase in that fifteen minute window, or you'll have to be quoted a new price. When paying with traditional currency, you have more time.
The steps for making a transaction with BitPay are as follows:
You will need to report cryptocurrency transactions that reach a certain threshold to the IRS. If you're not sure what crypto laws apply, you can talk to your accountant about your options.
The order process is similar whether you're using BitPay or a regular currency. Instead of listing prices on the site itself, the company has you call for a quote. Your precious metals specialist will explain the different marketplace offerings and make recommendations. Then you'll get a confirmation email.
This process is less transparent than a lot of sellers. Many precious metals dealers post their updating prices directly on their websites, which allows you to compare and contrast. If you have to call for a quote, it's not as easy to do this.
There are some advantages to speaking directly to a representative. One is that you can ask any questions you have about the products and the buying process. Another is that you get human confirmation that your order is exactly what you want. But this does also leave room for human error, which online shopping carts are less prone to.
If you trust in the integrity of the company, this process won't be an issue. Our main problem is that we haven't found a lot of reliable reviews from past consumers. There's no way to gauge whether the quoted price will be close enough to market cost to be a solid investment.
What to Expect from Your Purchase
When you decide to purchase metals through the marketplace, you'll need to call and connect with a precious metals specialist. These specialists all have strong backgrounds in precious metals investment.
The company focuses on offering expertise. Their basic premise is that the specialists have a breadth of knowledge you can't find elsewhere. That's not necessarily accurate, since there are many gold dealers who offer ample educational materials through their websites.
Because of this, this isn't the best company if you want to be guaranteed you're making the best investment. If you want that, you should work with a firm that both employs specialists and has transparent pricing.
Talking to a Schiff Gold specialist gives you the opportunity to ask questions like:
Any precious metals dealer worth their salt should be able to answer these questions clearly, concisely, and in detail.
Placing the Order
There isn't an online shopping cart or marketplace. Instead, you have to talk to a specialist directly about what's available. The specialist will ask questions about your financial goals and make recommendations based on your answers.
Once you finalize your order and get a price quote, you'll receive a confirmation email. This email includes details about the shipping cost, shipping destination, package insurance, and total price.
The email will also give you instructions for how to pay. If you don't use cryptocurrency, you will need to use a check or a bank wire transfer. There is no option to pay using a credit or debit card.
When paying by check, the company has to wait five business days after receipt before sending out the goods. However, wire transfers usually take about an hour. The maximum time people usually wait for a wire transfer to clear is four hours. That makes it the best choice for those who want their metals shipped quickly.
Orders either ship with Fedex or the United States Postal Service. Regardless of the shipping method, every package comes with full insurance. If it gets lost in the mail or stolen, you can receive a full refund for the purchase.
It takes about two days on average to process the orders, which means getting them ready for shipment. Depending on where you're located, shipping might take anywhere from 2 to 4 days. You can have shipments sent to many overseas locations as well, though you should expect out-of-country shipments to take a little extra time.
No matter what kind of investment you're making, you want to make sure that your investment dealer is credible. They should offer the right information for your situation without misleading, defrauding, or pressuring you.
The best way to gauge a company's credibility is by looking up third party reviews. Unfortunately, Schiff Gold doesn't have very many. It's hard to find reliable information through organizations like Trustlink and the Better Business Bureau, which is unusual in a company that's been in business for over a decade.
Peter Schiff has talked about how he does not trust the Better Business Bureau. In keeping with that, the company is not accredited with the organization. It's difficult to tell whether complaints have been filed, especially since the company seems uninterested in resolving public issues.
There are testimonials published on the company website itself from satisfied customers. These must be taken with a grain of salt, though, as there's no guaranteeing that the reviews are true.
One of the testimonials says that the precious metals dealer gave the buyer advice on how they could get a better deal. They had originally wanted to buy an American coin, but Canadian coins were more inexpensive due to the US Mint surcharge.
Another point made in the testimonials is that the company is very fair when you're selling coins. They will offer to exchange currency at market value, oftentimes giving a better offer than a professional appraiser. Since there's no way to verify this, though, you should always have your items independently appraised first.
Some testimonials note that the shipping was much faster than with many competitors. According to one person, they received their metals the very next day. This experience isn't typical, though, due to processing and shipping delays.
Schiff Gold is branded around the expertise of Peter Schiff. While he is undoubtedly knowledgeable about the precious metals industry, there are some transparency issues.
It can be frustrating not to know the price of your purchase until you speak to a specialist. There are several other dealers that publish their prices daily on their websites instead.