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Morgan Stanley to Expats: Take Your $500,000 IRA Somewhere Else

March 20th, 2014

Morgan Stanley is no longer accepting applications from expats who wish to open a new IRA or roll over an existing IRA, unless the account in question is valued at $500,000 or more, according to recent reports. While the exact reasoning behind this policy change is unclear analyst Charles Hancock believes the move is “50% compliance and 50% greed”.

“Laws such as [know your customer] and the Patriot Act have made it more difficult for expats to maintain certain types of financial accounts, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible,” Hancock said. “If current laws made it impossible to own an IRA while living outside of the United States then Morgan Stanley and other custodians who have taken similar measures wouldn’t have a threshold of half a million dollars.”

Hancock says that while some expats may receive calls or correspondence from their custodian requesting that they find another home for their IRA such tactics are still the exception rather than the rule. “There are quite a few IRA custodians that accept expats with retirement accounts,” Hancock said. “Two that come to mind are Equity Institutional and GoldStar Trust, and both of those firms offer traditional investments as well as alternative assets like gold bullion.”

Individuals who are interested in opening or transferring an IRA or inactive 401(k) can call directly for an obligation-free portfolio evaluation. advisers are non-commissioned representatives and can walk you through the IRA rollover paperwork from start to finish so that your account is set up the way you want it so you can get back to,living your life.

Gold Bullion Dealer Reviews

February 13th, 2014

There is certainly no shortage of gold bullion dealers within the United States today. From Hawaii to New York and from Alaska to Florida there are at least 3,000 gold bullion dealers currently in business. Most of these companies came into existence within the last two years and probably just as many will be out of business in the next two years. Gold bullion buyers in general and first-time gold buyers specifically want the most bang for their buck, and they don’t take too kindly to being ripped off.

Luckily there are at least three web sites that allow investors to review potential gold bullion dealers’ reputation with the American public. Most people know about the Better Business Bureau by now, but what they may not know is that the BBB has recently come under fire for basing company ratings at least partially on whether or not the company in question has paid for BBB accreditation. Nevertheless, the BBB is still a mostly-reliable source of info on gold bullion dealers.

Yelp is fast becoming the go-to source for facts on gold bullion companies in the United States. allows users to rate their experience with a company on a 1-5 scale, and reviewers can leave feedback, too. Yelp now allows companies to issue a public response to praise or criticism from those who have left written reviews.

If you’ve ever been ripped off by a gold bullion dealer then you may want to head to The Ripoff Report never removes user reviews, although it does make a point to place large, red-lettered notifications at the top of pages if a review has been found to be false, malicious or vindictive. If you scan The Ripoff Report for a company and nothing comes up then you have either found a solid company, or a brand new one.

No gold bullion dealer review site can accurately predict what sort of experience you will have with any company, but the aforementioned sites are a good place to start. Once you have narrowed your list down somewhat give a call to see how we can help you make the best choice for you.

Why Investing in Gold Bullion Could Cost You Everything

November 20th, 2013

I’ve been buying and selling gold bullion since the mid-1980s, and even though gold was in a bear market at the time I was able to realize profits by watching the technical charts, spending hours each day poring over the tiniest tidbits of news that could possibly affect gold prices, and in general doing everything I could to buy as close to the bottom of each mini-market and subsequently sell at the top. It didn’t always work out for me but more often than not I was able to trade gold bullion without pulling out my hair, which was already disappearing on its own.

In 2001 gold bottomed out at $252 per ounce. It was at this time that I decided to reevaluate my portfolio. Over the next two years I sold 90% of my gold bullion. Before you pull out the calculator to see how much money I lost by selling, let me elaborate. I exchanged the majority of my gold bullion for pre-1933 gold coins, mostly $20 Double Eagles. I bought PCGS-certified versions of the coins and I developed a new strategy: buy, store and forget.

Rather than using my days to study the intricacies of the gold bullion market I simply stored the coins in my safety deposit box and used my time to study the U.S. economy, and what I discovered only strengthened my faith in my strategy. In 10 years home prices grew by 60% on average, but income had only risen 2% in that same time. The vast majority of financial services companies were doing well, but I was hard-pressed to find any manufacturing or production data that could justify such growth.

We all know what happened next: stocks and real estate values plummeted and gold rose to over $1900 per ounce. The U.S. government is on the verge of collapse, and our dollar is practically insolvent. In my research I found out that the last time we were in a similar situation, the U.S. government outlawed gold bullion and paid gold bullion owners a fixed rate of $20 per ounce for their metal before revaluating gold at $35 per ounce, where the price stayed for the next 40 years. I didn’t know any of this when I switched from gold bullion to certified gold coins and silver, but now that I do I try as hard as I can to educate investors about gold’s past.

If you plan on holding your gold for any length of time and “flipping” gold bullion isn’t in your plans, do yourself a favor and take a serious look at investment-grade rare gold coins. Nothing exotic, just MS62-MS65 Double Eagle coins and/or Indian Head gold coins. They have a numismatic value that tends to increase over time, and they could be exempt from any future government gold bullion confiscation. Do the research, because those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

Gold Bullion IRA Plans Gaining Popularity as Government Shutdown Continues

October 9th, 2013

The first round of losses that drained over $3 trillion from American’s retirement accounts between 2005-2011 was not enough to convince some IRA holders to diversify their portfolios, and until recently it seemed to some that staying put was the smart move. Stocks, in general, have performed well, and inflation has not been shockingly obvious, at least if you go by our government’s inflation index (the one that doesn’t account for food and energy costs).

The government shutdown has changed all of that, however, as stock brokers are struggling to retain clients and investors are largely refusing to put their money into any type of long-term asset. Gold bullion prices have not changed much since the shutdown began, but the fact that the federal government – and the people we elected to manage our finances – has closed for business is more than enough for some investors to throw up their hands and say, “I’ve had enough!”

Many of these investors are opting to convert their assets into Gold Bullion IRA plans, for a couple of reasons. Gold bullion investments are extremely liquid, meaning they can be turned back into cash at any time. Gold bullion is one of the few IRA investments that you can actually put your hands on, provided you pay the taxes and, if you’re under the age of mandatory withdraws, the early withdraw penalty.

Gold bullion hasn’t exactly shone over the last few months, as it is down 5% in the last 30 days and about 25% year-over-year. Why, then are so many people who are close to retirement choosing to buy gold bullion when our economy is in such a fragile state? Because gold is not fragile. It is solid, it can (and has) withstand the test of time, governments and fiat currencies. While our elected officials fight over how much cash needs to be printed to get us through another couple of months, savvy investors are calculating how much cash they can do without.

Gold Bullion Smuggling on the Rise in India

September 20th, 2013

In an attempt to curb the country’s insatiable thirst for gold, the Indian government has been dramatically raising gold import costs, yet little has been done to satiate the national appetite and some have resorted to breaking Indian law to get their hands on gold bullion.

Despite assumptions that China was to overtake India as the world’s biggest consumer in 2012 India’s unquenchable thirst for gold held strong in 2012. According to the World Gold Council, the country imported 864.2 tons of gold last year, trumping China’s 776.1 tons. In an effort to bridle this rampant demand the Indian government has raised duties on the yellow metal repeatedly over the last 12 months. Just as many experts warned, however, the gold regulations have resulted in smuggling operations that brought as much as 250 tons of gold into the country illegally last year.

“The hike in customs duty has not stopped the import of gold into the country. It has only changed the route as smugglers earn a profit of around $3,719 on every kilogram of gold smuggled into the country,” said Bachhraj Bamalwa, chairman of the All India Gems and Jewelry Trade Federation.

It’s no surprise that India is still so hungry for gold, and gold investors can expect to see such demand for the foreseeable future. India’s appetite for gold has been a factor in the yellow metal’s current bull market, in which it has increased over 400 percent in the last 12 years. As demand for physical gold bullion and rare gold coins shows no signs of abating this year look for the gold price to rise despite the wishes of governments and central banks.

Gold Bullion Prices Fall As Investors Sell Heavily

May 14th, 2013

Monday’s trading session saw something that has been the exception rather than the rule for the last few months – more investors were selling gold bullion than buying gold bullion. Yes, the gold spot price has been mostly falling or flat for the better part of the year, but how have gold bullion investments figured into the mix?

While investors have shed gold derivatives like pool accounts, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and gold futures contracts, savvy conservative investors have been stocking up on gold bullion bars and bullion coins like Canadian Maple Leafs and South African Krugerrands. The U.S. Mint has reported record sales figures all year, and the Royal Canadian Mint just announced that the numismatic division of its gold coin program was going to expand due to the increased demand. How, then, can gold bullion prices fall with so much demand for physical gold?

The answer lies in the volume of trading that is done via the physical gold bullion market as opposed to the derivatives market. Institutional investors, large banks and 401(k) managers rarely, if ever, invest in physical gold. It is too cumbersome and storage is too costly after vault and insurance charges. Instead, they purchase funds that represent gold.

The average household investor, on the other hand, prefers to keep the gold in his or her hands as a safety net in case our economy collapses. Bars and coins make American investors feel safe. Even though lots of bullion is being bought right now, the percentage of the gold market that is made up of gold bullion is small enough that outflows from derivatives markets overshadow any gains made because of physical buyers.  If this trend continues, gold could drop as low as $1200 before the institutions start to purchase again.

The Stock Market is Falling

April 5th, 2012

Perhaps only those who own and hold gold bullion are really aware of the comfort and peace gold offers in the current market. Some stocks may go up, some investors bought Apple or Google at such and such a price, but gold has always been and always will be gold. The beauty of gold is you don’t have to talk about it. I am in a financial position where I have the opportunity to discuss personal finance on a daily basis. You would be very surprised to learn how many people in the know own gold.

Of course, it makes perfect sense looking at the market. Yesterday stocks closed down on their second biggest daily loss of the year, less than a month after the media was touting eight-month highs in financials stocks and Apple cracked $600. Talk about a volatile market where you can lose a lot of money and little if any gain can be made.

Gold, on the other hand, is the sane and reliable investment in the current environment. It has performed beautifully and reliably in a bull market for eleven years, bringing a return to all investors who were wise enough to buy gold. Currently, gold is vastly undervalued compared to currency because of the trouble coming out of Europe. The Euro has fallen dramatically versus the dollar and the price of gold will reflect that dynamic in about a week’s time.

But besides that, investors want, like, and need the personal security that owning physical gold offers in an upended market. Gold is always valuable, stays with you, and no one needs to know about it or see it. Holding gold yourself is probably the best way to stay sane in the current market.

Gold Bullion in an Iran Event

March 29th, 2012

Gold bullion shines as a currency and store of wealth in the most dire situations because paper currencies and methods of exchange break down. When the world is topsy-turvy business as usual breaks down. While this is not something that one should actively invest in, because such situations are by their very nature completely unpredictable, it has happened several times in recent human history at least.

Most people remember stories of the Second World War and the amazing role gold played in the lives of people migrating throughout the world, Europe specifically. Crossing borders, keeping police at bay, and storing wealth while currencies defaulted and disintegrated were all accomplished with the help of gold bullion.

The reason for this is the inherent value of gold. You cannot change the fact that gold is a valuable substance no matter what is happening in the world and this makes gold one of the best investments to make at any time. We know gold is valuable now and that it will be valuable in the future. That’s why it appreciates.

Right now the USS Enterprise, America’s most renowned aircraft carrier is on its way to the Arabian Gulf, or the Persian Gulf as it is known in the rest of the world. While there has been saber rattling between the West and certain Arabian powers for some time, it does not change the fact that geopolitical instability is still a very serious concern that needs to be considered by all investors.

In the event of a major conflict between Iran and the West, whether that manifests as a simple standoff or as a full-fledged military conflict of some sort, gold will immediately skyrocket in value as a safe-haven asset. This accounts for a portion of the demand in the market. Because gold is relatively sheltered from market activities, many investors prefer to enhance and hedge their portfolio with gold because it will benefit when other investments experience difficulties.

This is the basis for a gold rise on any kind of escalation in the Middle East. Even economic and diplomatic sanctions boost the gold market because they limit other markets and increase volatility.

Exactly how the current conflict in the Middle East will play out cannot be known, but we can know that there is a conflict and that gold bullion is the best way to protect yourself and accumulate your assets at this time.

Gold Bullion is the Only Reserve Currency

March 28th, 2012

The only time people seem to be happy with the Federal Reserve these days is when there is a massive injection of money into the markets. We call these programs Quantitative Easing, and despite the official announcement of the third round there are still fundamental problems in the US employment numbers and the housing market.

Perhaps those two areas more than any others are the basis for the US economy, and when we see very little quantifiable growth in these areas, such as is currently the case, we need to evaluate our positions on the economy.

Luckily, whether the economy is good or bad there is an asset available that can store, transfer, and accumulate wealth: gold bullion. Gold has an inherent value that is fundamentally predicated on its scarcity in society. This is why gold has been treasured through the ages in civilizations across the planet. Gold is valued in the most diverse of cultures with absolutely no contact between each other and it is a testament to the inherent value of gold.

In times of troubles, as we have seen recently in countries like Zimbabwe, gold becomes the de facto reserve currency and the only reliable currency of exchange between people. While the currency in Zimbabwe reached hyperinflationary extremes and the central bank began printing multiples of million-dollar notes, the populace ceased using the currency at all, relying instead upon gold that was panned from the African landscape in rivers and streams.

The Federal Reserve is printing money like tomorrow came and went and we have yet to see how it will fully affect the money supply. We know from previous rounds that the money-printing will take years to fully register their effects on our economy and what we have seen so far in terms of recovery is lackluster at best.

Paper currency has always been faulty, and in this economy it is doubly untrustworthy. The wisdom and fundamental strength of gold bullion is what we come to rely on and realize in times like these.

The Gold Bullion at the End of the Irish Rainbow

March 22nd, 2012

While several optimistic economic reports have bolstered US markets for the past few weeks, there are signs of fraying at the edges in the recovery. Ireland, one of the first countries to contract in the EU and one of the first to be forcefully bailed out, as a mechanism to restart growth, is now showing signs of what is being called a “re-contraction.” The Irish economy is contracting again, despite all the measures taken to boost it up.

This is important news while the price of gold bullion is correcting in the US markets and some economists are even erroneously wondering if there is the beginning of a bear market. If you need clear indications to see that the price of gold bullion will resume its upward bull market trend immediately following the current correction, then the Irish contraction is the best for you to look at.

While we see and hear news coming out of Greece and Germany regarding the lagging lack of economy and bailouts there, the news from Ireland has been very quiet for some time and many market-watchers, workers, and investors may have forgotten that there are trouble points in other European Union countries besides Germany.

For many US investors, there has been fair sailing for about four weeks now, with stocks in the financial sector at eight-month highs. This is partially why the current correction in gold bullion has been so under-reported and so protracted at 13 percent off recent highs. However, the fundamentals of an optimistic market are lacking if you simply look at the news on the horizon. The European Union is not all better and will begin producing negative sentiment in American markets again. It’s a matter of time.

If you consider objectively where the biggest growth in any market has been, you have to acknowledge precious metals, specifically gold, as one of the top performers. Whether Ben Bernanke’s Federal Reserve intended to benefit the gold market with its market stimulus is beside the point. That has been the effect. There is no recovery in housing, but there has been a surge in gold.

The so-called “safe-haven buying” that may have been lacking in recent weeks will resume again the gold market and gold bullion will again be valued more highly as a fundamentally sound investment in a beleaguered market.

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