Today, investing in bullion from the comfort of your own home has never been easier.
Across North America, there’s a growing demand for the tangible security offered by physical ownership of this reliable asset. Online sellers make it easy for anyone (or anyone with an ID, some disposable income, and an Internet connection) to point-and-click their way to a convenient delivery of gold, silver or platinum.
If you’re hoping to diversify your portfolio with a precious metal investment through an online transaction, then simply apply this straightforward checklist to any prospective seller to protect your money. We’ve adopted this list from a standout example in the industry, Global Bullion Suppliers, but the same points should apply to whichever vendor you work with across the globe.
Transparency in Communications
In the world of precious metals, supply issues can sometimes delay the arrival of stock. It’s normal to see some in-demand or limited-edition items go on backorder. But a professional seller will always identify backorders or delays on their websites — you should never learn about these delays after you make a purchase. Furthermore, if you purchase an item on backorder, the dollar amount you spent on the product should be locked in by the seller.
Tracked and Insured Packages
Bullion is generally considered both highly liquid and fungible. Sending gold bars (or wafers and ingots) or coins (or rounds) through the mail needs to be done with utmost care for the security of the package and the security of both buyer and seller.
Only work with sellers who have clear insurance policies so your bullion order can be insured to the exact amount you spent on it. The seller should clearly indicate how they set up tracking numbers for mail delivery, and use a ‘card for pickup’ system (in other words, once your package can be picked up, you’ll receive a card at your door — no one should leave a box of bullion on your front step).
As a side note, only work with bullion suppliers who go above and beyond their legal responsibilities to ensure your safety. This will likely mean providing your identification to the seller, and a short period of time where your credit card (if credit card is accepted by the seller) is analyzed to prevent fraud.
Consideration for Larger Purchases
The more you spend on your new investment, the more you should be rewarded. In that spirit, some generous bullion vendors will offer you worthwhile (and not simply token) discounts on bulk orders, or orders over a certain dollar amount.
A worthwhile bullion supplier will also provide price reductions on shipping, or even free shipping, once a certain purchase threshold is met. Doing so will cut down on the need for multiple tracked, insured packages, which also helps with the point about mailing your bullion above.
Of course, you can always invest in precious metals without owning physical coins and bars; the process of acquiring ETFs (or exchange-traded funds), bullion certificates, futures contracts, and other forms of so-called ‘virtual gold’ is relatively simple. But it’s also very straightforward to acquire bullion as a tangible investment — or to collect and display it as a collector. Just make sure that if you want to conduct those transactions online, you work with the right supplier.