Hard Assets Alliance Review
What Hard Assets Alliance offers to gold investors
Hard Assets Alliance is a group of financial researchers which licenced the so-called SmartMetals trading platform to provide customers a way to invest online in gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Hard Assets Alliance is using the white-labeled trading platform of Gold Bullion International.
Gold Bullion International (GBI) offers institutional and private investors the purchase and sale of physical gold, silver, platinum or palladium which is stored in professional vaults. Hard Assets Alliance is one of the cooperating financial advisors of GBI. Precious metals holdings are audited regularly and clients can request delivery of their holdings.
Hard Assets Alliance’s Vaulted Gold product is called SmartMetals(tm) Account.
About Hard Assets Alliance
|Number of clients||Not published|
Hard Assets Alliance focuses on US but there is no need to be US citizen or company to open an account.
Transactions can be made online through Hard Asset Alliance’s SmartMetals accounts 24/7 from anywhere in the world and include the storage of purchased metals in New York, Salt Lake City, London, Singapore, Sydney or Zurich.
The minimum investment is 5,000 U.S. dollars for delivery or storage inside the US or 10,000 U.S. dollars for storage outside the US.
Hard Assets Alliance is cooperating with Gold Bullion International (GBI), LLC, a New York based limited liability company, which started its physical precious metals service in 2010. It provides private clients and financial advisors with a means to buy, store and sell precious metals such as gold. Investors directly own their gold or other precious metals.
|Precious metals||Gold, silver, platinum, palladium|
|Delivery of gold||Optional, clients may request physical delivery of their gold. Clients have to cover any involved fees.Two day delivery anywhere on earth.|
|Vault locations||New York (USA), Salt Lake City (USA), Zurich (Switzerland), London (United Kingdom), Melbourne (Australia)|
|Additional features||Gold bullion is offered in the following products:
Hard Assets Alliance also offers MetalStream(tm), a Gold Savings Plan based on Vaulted Gold.
Hard Asset Alliance’s partner Gold Bullion International claims to be “the safest and most reliable company that enables investors to buy and store precious metals”. GBI has various processes in place to provide high security and safety to its clients as described below.
Current vaulting partners of GBI are Via Mat and Brinks Global Servicing USA. Both are accredited with the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), the market association for the professional bullion market in London.
Gold Bullion International is working with an independent audit company which confirms the precious metals holdings stored by GBI. Its current auditor is KPMG.
Precious metal holdings are audited on a daily basis by GBI’s vaulting partners, which send audit reports containing bar lists to GBI. The auditing firm audits all of the precious metal holdings on a quarterly basis. Each broker-dealer confirms their precious metal bar holdings with GBI on an aggregate basis and reports their individual holdings at the customer level through their existing platform.
Gold Bullion International is working with several financial services institutions such as Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, Barclays and Prudential.
Trustable Gold Safety Criteria
|Outright Ownership of 100% Gold||Insured, independent storage||Transparent, external audit||Price transparency||Liquidity||Regulation||Trusted Provider Seal|
|Clients own their gold, it is their legal property||The gold is insured with Lloyds of London; the gold is stored with independent vault operators||Quarterly audit of precious metals holdings by the independent accounting firm KPMG and a gold bar inspection company||Prices for buying are shown on the website; selling prices are not shown||Business days: days in which the NYSE is open for business. GBI works with several precious metals dealers and aims to settle trades within two days after placing an order.||Gold Bullion International is independent of banks|
Costs for buying gold
Estimated mark-up for buying for the most cost-effective bars (New York vault):
- 1 oz: 2.74%
- 10 oz: 2.85%
- 1000 g: 2.13%
- 400 oz: 2.12%
Costs for selling are not shown
Costs for storage and insurance
Storage 0.7% p.a. with discounts negotiable from $100,000 Assets under Management.
Clients may request delivery of their precious metal holdings. All shipping and handling costs associated with the delivery are borne by the customer.
Last update: 07.01.2016
In order to buy precious metals with Hard Assets Alliance, investors have to perform the following steps:
Customers can enroll for the SmartMetalsTM Account either online or by mail. In a very simple four-step-process, new customers sign-up, and once the application is approved (usually within 48 hours), users can remit funds to trade precious metals on Hard Assets Alliance’s platform. Funding a SmartMetalsTM Account can be done by check, bank wire ore ACH transfer.