SmartMetals™ is such a big step forward that the world's leading investment research firms have formed an alliance to introduce it to the world.
In a moment, you'll understand why...
No one in the world would deny that the SPDR Gold Shares ETF was the last true breakthrough in precious metals.
You probably know it by its more widely used symbol, GLD.
The first ETF allowing investors to "buy gold with a click," GLD has done the equivalent of a moon shot.
In fact, since its introduction in November of 2004, the growth of GLD has exploded from $0 to over $70,000,000,000 in assets, making it the second-largest exchange-traded fund in the world.
But there are serious concerns about the risks in GLD that, until now, have gone unaddressed.
Which brings me to the next true breakthrough in buying, selling and holding precious metals. If you are interested in owning precious metals as a hedge against wildly out-of-control government spending, debt and money printing, you are going to love it.
As you'll see in just a moment, the word "breakthrough" is not used casually or for dramatic effect. If anything, it's an understatement.
In fact, this giant step forward for precious metals investors is so significant that the world's most respected financial-research organizations have formed the Hard Assets Alliance with the sole purpose of bringing the breakthrough of SmartMetals™ to the immediate attention of their clients looking for the convenience of GLD without the structural risks.
Big claims, I know, but that's what a breakthrough looks like.
In just a moment, I'll answer ALL of your questions about how SmartMetals™ leapfrogs GLD and all other ways of diversifying into precious metals.
But, first, a bit more on the Hard Assets Alliance.
...with 34 Alliance members and growing.
My name is Ed D'Agostino. You may know me as the Publisher at Mauldin Economics.
I'm writing you today, however, in my role as General Manager of the Hard Assets Alliance, a unique new association of many of the world's most respected independent financial and investment research firms.
Helping clients navigate the challenging global economy while uncovering the best ways to invest to protect and build wealth is a core role played by each of these organizations. In that sense, each of the members of the Hard Assets Alliance might be viewed as friendly competitors.
It's noteworthy, therefore, that these firms have come together under a single umbrella organization with the express purpose of letting their clients know about this low-cost and highly efficient breakthrough in buying, selling and storing precious metals that, until recently, has only been available to institutional investors, hedge funds, pension funds and high-net-worth brokerage clients.
And that brings me to SmartMetals™, the reason the Hard Assets Alliance exists.
Later on in this letter, you'll find a comprehensive list of questions and answers about SmartMetals™.
Quickly, though, here's the big picture on this breakthrough new way to buy, sell and hold precious metals – including gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
To be fair, GLD offers a very easy way to add exposure to gold prices to an investment portfolio, under normal circumstances. But don't make the mistake of confusing the GLD ETF with physical holdings – it's not.
By contrast, SmartMetals™ offers you the same online convenience... but only deals in physical metals that are always under your direct control, whether you opt for immediate delivery or decide to take advantage of one or more of the fully insured vaults available in New York, Salt Lake City, Zurich, London or Melbourne – with Singapore to be added in the very near future.
Simply put, SmartMetals™ offers a far better solution for investors looking to avoid counterparty risk by directly owning the physical metals.
(For those who prefer not to transact online, no problem – traders are available 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET every business day to take your orders. There is no additional charge for live service.)
As you'll read in the Frequently Asked Questions section below, with SmartMetals™, thanks to a state-of-the-art platform, the costs associated with buying, selling and storing your precious metals internationally are inexpensive and very competitive with the alternatives.
Getting started with your SmartMetals™ account or SmartMetals™ IRA from the Hard Assets Alliance is straightforward and simple.
You probably have additional questions about this precious metals breakthrough, which is why we have included a comprehensive list of questions and answers just below.
Even so, if at any time you have additional questions, don't hesitate to call us at 1-877-727-7387 (international, 602-626-3022) between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern Time. While the online-easy nature of SmartMetals™ is definitely a plus, we're always happy to take your call and transact over the phone if that's your preference.
Breakthroughs such as SmartMetals™ don't just happen – solving the challenges of providing a super-efficient, super-secure alternative to the "paper gold" offered by GLD and to the uncertainties inherent in buying and selling through most dealers required a tremendous amount of time, money and concentrated effort by a very experienced team. You'll find more on the team behind SmartMetals™ in the Q&A below.
Speaking on behalf of all the economic and investment research organizations that make up the Hard Assets Alliance, we are very pleased to be a part of this giant step forward for precious metals buyers, and to be able to make this breakthrough new way to buy, sell and hold physical precious metals available to you.
Feel free to let your friends and associates know about SmartMetals™; they'll be glad you did.
Hard Assets Alliance
P.S. UPDATE: Thanks to the thousands of clients who joined us in our first few months and their millions of dollars in sales, we are now able to waive the customary $35 Hard Assets Alliance joining fee until further notice. That means that joining the Alliance and benefiting from its low cost, flexibility and convenience today will cost you nothing at all. But you must open your account now to take advantage of this savings as we reserve the right to implement it again in the future.Click here to
What is the Hard Assets Alliance?
The Hard Assets Alliance is an industry association of well-known and trusted economic and investment research firms and news providers that have as a core mandate to help clients and readers better understand prevailing economic trends and how to invest. After doing their own due diligence on SmartMetals™ and concluding that it truly is a breakthrough in how investors should buy, sell, and store precious metals, they agreed to participate in an alliance that has been formed for the specific purpose of spreading the word about this innovation.
At this moment, there are 34 members in the Alliance, including Casey Research, Sovereign Society, Peak Prosperity, Agora Financial, Mauldin Economics, Eagle Publishing, Oxford Club, StreetWise Reports, Sovereignman.com, Cambridge House and Street Authority – and the list is literally growing every day.
In exchange for specific services rendered as members of the Alliance, these firms receive variable compensation from the Hard Assets Alliance, LLC, the company that owns the SmartMetals™ trading platform, but because its low-cost structure is a major feature of the program, such commissions are very modest and do not affect the prices paid by clients.
Okay, let's talk price. How is the pricing of my purchases or sales established?
When you create an order, we communicate electronically with our supplier network to get real-time pricing for the metal, quantity, and selection you've chosen. We have no fewer than four suppliers in each region in which we offer storage/sales, and their offers are compared against each other to provide you with the best price available in that region. Your actual buy price is determined upon execution of your order, which typically happens shortly after you place your trade.
How competitive are the prices available through the SmartMetals™ account?
Extremely. When you take into account the flexibility... the international storage and delivery options... that your SmartMetals™ account is allocated and not a pool or "paper gold"... the convenience... and competitive bidding on your metals orders (both on the buy and sell side), the value can't be beat.
Of course, you may see a bullion coin offering advertised by others that is even less expensive – but these are invariably "loss leaders" offered by high-pressure, high-priced coin dealers who will subsequently inundate you with offers for "semi-numismatic" coins or other "modern rarities," a misnomer if there ever was one.
With a SmartMetals™ account, you can count on consistently getting the best possible execution and very competitive pricing for your purchases, sales, and storage.
How often do you update your pricing?
All prices are updated continuously in real time during market hours.
What is the cost of storage?
Storage rates depend on the quantity of metals you wish to store – the larger the amount of metals, the lower the fees. Regardless, at any level they are very competitive, ranging from 0.5% to 0.7% per year for gold, and 0.6% to 0.8% for silver. Storage costs are the same in all of our vaults.
How does the storage fee work?
Annual fees are billed quarterly and automatically withdrawn from your cash account. If no cash is present, you will be notified. If you subsequently fail to respond to requests to pay your storage fees in a timely matter (and don't worry, there's a 30-day grace period), then, as you would expect, the Hard Assets Alliance retains the right to redeem the amount of your holdings required to pay for storage.
What metals do you offer?
With your SmartMetals™ account, you can buy gold in all of our markets, silver in the US and Australia (silver in Singapore coming April 2013), and platinum and palladium in the US only. We offer a variety of weights, in the form of bars and sovereign coins.
Please note, however, that due to local market considerations, certain purchase/storage locations may not offer coins. In the streamlined ordering process, you will be shown which metals and purchase options are available to you in each of our international locations.
Currently coins are available only in New York, Salt Lake City, Melbourne, and Singapore.
Are all metals available at all locations?
All metals are available in New York and Salt Lake City. Currently, silver is available in Melbourne, and we expect Singapore to come on line April 2013. Only gold is available in London and Zurich, gold only is available at this point. only gold is available outside of the US. The primary reason for this is due to demand. We are working on increasing availability to all locations and are evaluating demonstrated demand for our dealer networks.
What types of accounts does the Hard Assets Alliance offer?
We offer individual, joint, corporate, partnership, sole proprietorship, LLC, trust accounts and IRAs.
Do I need an account to purchase metals through the Hard Assets Alliance?
Yes, to purchase from the Hard Assets Alliance, all customers must first sign up for and fund a SmartMetals™ account. Like an online brokerage account, your available cash balance, which you can add to or withdraw from at any time, allows you to placed orders online 24 hours a day, in multiple markets around the world.
Once you open your account and it is funded, there is no rush to buy metals. You can leave the funds in your account as long as you wish, for example, until the opportunity knocks with the next pullback in metals prices, then execute your order immediately at that time.
How quickly can I begin trading with the Hard Assets Alliance?
Opening an account is fast and convenient through the Hard Assets Alliance's secure online system. Once your application is approved – usually within 48 hours, and typically much less – you can remit funds and begin trading.
What forms of payment do you accept to fund my account?
You can fund your SmartMetals™ account by check, bank wire, or a convenient ACH transfer. Funding information will be sent to you with the email notifying you that your account is open. If you fund your account with a check, please be sure to write your Hard Assets Alliance account number on the check.
SmartMetals™ IRAs can be funded by check or bank wire, rollover from a 401k, 403b or other similar retirement account, or as a transfer from another IRA account. PLEASE NOTE: IRA contributions must be sent to The Entrust Group, which will post the funds to your SmartMetals™ IRA within one business day. You'll receive IRA funding instructions upon approval of your IRA account.Click here to
Is there a minimum investment?
To help keep your costs low by keeping our operating expenses down, each order to buy metals must meet the minimum requirement of $5,000 for delivery or storage at our US vaults. The minimum order per item for storage outside of the US is $10,000. You may establish a SmartMetals™ account with any size minimum deposit, and add funds over time if you choose until your cash balance meets the minimum purchase requirements.
What if I want to invest but don't have enough money to buy an ounce of gold right now?
There is no minimum deposit required to establish your account with the Hard Assets Alliance, only for purchases. Therefore, you can open your account and fund it over time if you'd like, such as with a monthly direct deposit from another account. By opening your account now, you ensure it will be ready when you are.
Do you charge sales tax?
We do not charge sales tax. However, if you are a United States citizen, it is your obligation to report purchases and pay sales tax in at least 21 states – but only if you take delivery. You may also be responsible for taxes on any realized gains made in your positions, depending on the type of account you've chosen. You should consult your tax professional to understand your specific tax situation.
Do you charge VAT?
No. VAT is not applicable for metal going into storage or delivered to a US address. However, if you have your metals delivered to an overseas address, VAT may apply, depending on local laws and the storage location your order was sent from. Be sure to consult local tax laws before taking delivery.
What is the settlement process for a trade?
Your transactions will be posted to your account immediately upon placing an order. In most cases, orders are settled within two business days.
What if I buy today and the price goes up or down before my metal is shipped?
Once your trade has been executed, your price has been locked in, regardless of price movement between trade execution and subsequent delivery of your order.
What if I place an order after hours?
If you place your order outside normal trading hours, your order will be entered as a "dollar value" order (as opposed to quantity) and will be filled as soon as possible upon opening of the market. For example, if at 10 p.m. you place an order for one-ounce bars worth $50,000, the order will be filled the next morning upon market open with the maximum numbers of bars possible, not to exceed $50,000.
How long from the time I buy until the bar is stored in the vault of my choice?
Typically, it's in the vault one business day after your trade is settled.
Where does the Hard Assets Alliance purchase its precious metals?
All orders are filled through large wholesale dealers or, in the case of bars, directly with refiners. Metals ordered for delivery are purchased in New York, which typically has the lowest prices. Orders for storage are purchased in their respective markets (an order for metal to be stored in Singapore will be purchased in Singapore)
Can I buy metals in one region and ship them to another?
Metals purchased in one region can only be stored in that region; however, you can take delivery from any region with minimal restrictions. For example, if you buy bars for storage in Zurich, you must store them in Zurich. Then you can have them shipped to your address of record (and you may change your address of record if you'd like to take delivery at a different location, including an oversees location). You cannot buy bars in Zurich and have them shipped to London for storage.
How long will an inactive account stay open?
Funded accounts with the Hard Assets Alliance do not expire. So long as the account is in good standing, with a cash balance or metals in storage, your account remains open and ready for your immediate use, whether it's been two weeks, two months, or two years since your last trade.
Can I fund my account by sending in metals I already own?
We are working with one of our vaulting partners on a system by which customers will be able to send in their precious metals for storage and/or sale. More to come on this very soon! In the meantime, we are able to handle this type of request on an individual basis, depending on your location and the amount of metals to be stored. Give us a call and we'll be happy to discuss it with you.
How is the Hard Assets Alliance different from all the other companies that deal in precious metals?
Flexibility, ease of use, competitive pricing and complete storage security are the hallmarks of the Hard Assets Alliance. With just a couple of mouse clicks, you can buy precious metals in bars or coins, and store your purchase in your choice of locations worldwide. Or you can have your purchase shipped to you. Note that platinum and palladium are available for purchase only in New York and Salt Lake City. Silver is available in New York, Salt Lake City, Melbourne, and should be available in Singapore in April 2013.
Whether you choose storage or delivery, you are the owner of a precise and specific amount of metal. When it's stored in our vault partners' facilities, we are simply the steward of your property.
And when it comes time to sell, with just a few mouse clicks your metals become cash in your account.
I am interested in internationalizing my precious metals assets, but I see that my Hard Assets Alliance account is technically based in the US. Should that concern me?
The seamless, highly secure platform used by the Hard Assets Alliance currently requires that accounts be technically domiciled in the United States, though your precious metals can be stored in insured vaults outside of the US – including New York, Salt Lake City, Zurich, London, or Melbourne – with more to come in the near future.
While we are currently working through the considerable technical and regulatory challenges of also offering non-US accounts, the current US account requirement should be of little or no concern to anyone.
If you are a US citizen or resident, the fact that it is a US account will save you a huge amount of time and hassle complying with the latest US government regulations that require detailed reporting on foreign-held assets.
However, if you ever become at all concerned about your US account registration – for example, in the unlikely event that the US government began signaling it might again want to nationalize gold holdings – a quick call or a couple of clicks from you will set in motion the delivery of your metals, or the proceeds from the sale of your metals, to the destination of your choice, including one outside of the US. All transfers, either in physical metals or the proceeds from a sale of those metals, will take place within two business days.
If you were really concerned that gold was going to be targeted, you could also log on to sell your gold holdings and replace them with another metal (platinum or palladium).
Realistically, if you are worried that transferring your funds or metals would ever have to take place more urgently than two business days, then the Hard Assets Alliance is probably not right for you. But for most people, two business days should be more than sufficient for any conceivable scenario.
Do I have to be a US citizen to open a SmartMetals™ account?
If you are not a citizen or resident of the United States, no problem. US regulations require that we establish the identity of all account holders, whether or not they are US citizens.
How easy is it to use the online trading platform?
It's simple and intuitive. If you can trade using an online broker or place an order on Amazon, you'll have absolutely no problem buying and selling metals with the Hard Assets Alliance.
I'd rather place my orders by telephone. Is that possible?
Absolutely. Our customer support staff is available by telephone from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET weekdays, excluding market holidays. If you'd like to make a trade by phone, they will connect you with our trading desk. Call toll free at (877) 727-7387 (international calls: 1-602-626-3022). There is no fee for this service.
When I sell, how is my money delivered? Check or direct deposit?
By default, the proceeds of any sale are deposited in your core account. From there, you may use the funds to purchase other assets or have them sent to you via check or wire.
How long does it take to get my money when I sell?
Trades can take up to two full business days to settle. Once your trade has settled, you can then wire money out of your account or request a check.
If I am selling, when is my price locked in?
Your final price is determined upon execution by our dealer network.
If I store outside the US and I sell, what currency will I be paid in?
All trades are settled in US dollars, regardless of the region your gold is stored in. If you prefer to settle in a different currency, you have the option to take delivery of your gold and sell it to a local dealer who can provide that service.
I am a US citizen. If I make a purchase and store it outside the US, when I sell, can I have the proceeds deposited into a non-US bank – and in the currency of my choice?
Payments are made to customers in US dollars. If you have an existing foreign bank account, we can wire the funds to that bank. That account should be set up in advance in the standing wire instructions for your account.
Is the bullion I buy really mine?
When you buy from the Hard Assets Alliance, whether it's coins or bars, gold, silver, platinum, or palladium, the exact amount you ordered is bought on your behalf, attributed to your account, and placed in the vault at the location you chose when you ordered. The metals you buy and store with us are no less yours than if we had shipped them to you.
Does HAA offer pool accounts?
No. All of your assets are fully accounted for in the vaults, and the Hard Assets Alliance and its partners do not use pooling, margin, or any other method to leverage the value of your holdings.
Can I store my products now and get delivery later?
Yes. You can request that any or all of your stored holdings be shipped to you at any time.
How much does shipping to my address cost?
Shipping costs vary depending on the value and weight of the requested delivery, along with its origin region and destination. Quotes for shipping are provided prior to confirming and estimates are provided when ordering.
Can you ship to my P.O. box?
No. For your protection, delivery requires a signature.
What happens if the gold or silver being shipped to me is lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised during shipment? Does shipping cost include insurance?
All shipments are insured for their full transactional value (shipping and insurance is included in the price if you selected delivery at the time of purchase). If your shipment is damaged in any way or does not arrive, contact customer service immediately and a replacement shipment will be arranged as soon as possible.
How are large orders shipped?
Special arrangements may be made for armored delivery for large or high-value shipments. Please contact customer service to inquire about custom delivery options.
Can I take delivery at an address other than my address of record?
We deliver only to the address of record on your account, so you would need to change the address of record in order to take delivery in another location. You can change this address by logging into your account, after which, for security purposes, an email notification would go out to your email of record notifying you of the change in your account. In any case, someone must sign for the package when it is delivered.
Where are your facilities located?
Currently, we offer storage facilities owned and operated by the world's largest and most respected vaulting organizations in two locations in the US (New York City and Salt Lake City regions) as well as in the UK, Switzerland, Australia, and Singapore.
How do I know my bullion is really in the vault?
The contents of each vault we use are validated every day by the vault owner, and the Hard Assets Alliance reconciles it's report with its internal records. Twice per year, the vault is audited by one of the Big Four international audit firms. At any time, you may access your account on line and view your holdings.
Can I store my existing coins and bullion with HAA?
Unfortunately, we cannot YET accept storage of outside metals at this time. We are working with one of our vaulting partners to offer this service in the near future.
Can I transfer my holdings from one location to another?
Not at this time. Instead, you would simply sell in one location and buy in another.
If I buy coins and bars, how will you know which ones are mine?
Bullion is managed in shared storage and not tracked by individual coins. However, the full balance of all accounts is kept in the vault at all times. Your full holdings are completely accounted for at all times.
Can I have bullion at multiple facilities?
Yes, you can have metals stored in any of the vault locations we provide. You will have a choice each time you make a purchase.
Can I stop by and see my metal holdings?
For security reasons, no one except authorized representatives who have been thoroughly screened are allowed into the facilities. This includes only facility operations personnel and independent auditors who meet the security requirements of the facility operators.
Are customers' cash accounts FDIC insured?
Cash in your account is not FDIC insured, and it does not bear interest. Your metal holdings, however, are insured for their full value. Cash in your account is held in a Hard Assets Alliance subaccount of Gold Bullion International.
Can I make monthly payments on my gold?
You may make regular deposits into your account via check or, coming soon, ACH transfer. However, minimum order requirements exist – $5,000 for metals you wish delivered directly or stored in our US vaults, and $10,000 for metals to be stored outside of the US.
Can I cancel a delivery?
Your order is processed and shipped so quickly (it's put out to bid almost instantly) that canceling an order is not possible after it has been placed.
I am a US citizen. Are buy-and-sell transactions reported to the IRS?
If you sell, the IRS requires us to report the gross proceeds on Form 1099.
Can I take a loan or line of credit out on my stored gold?
Can I trade the silver in my account for gold and vice versa?
In order to exchange one metal for another, you must sell the first holding and allow the transaction to settle, and then purchase the other holding. At this time, there is no direct swap available.
Should I choose bars or coins?
In general, we suggest you purchase the denomination that sells best in your chosen market. All markets offer bars, which are generally considered to have the best liquidity internationally.
Could my metals be worth more in one region than another depending on the local economy?
Prices do vary by product from region to region.
Can I put in a stop loss to sell if the price moves downward?
Not at this time.
Do you offer any way to short the price of gold and silver?
No. The Hard Assets Alliance only supplies physical metals, not futures or options contracts. There is no leverage, margin, pooling, or other risk to your physical metal holdings.
We hope we have answered all your questions about this exciting new breakthrough in buying, selling, and storing precious metals. If not, please don't hesitate to call us toll free at (877) 727-7387 today.
To get started now, simply click the button below to access our ultra-secure application form. In no time at all, you'll be on your way to using the single most efficient, cost-effective way to own precious metals available today.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Hard Assets Alliance!Click here to