Hard Assets Alliance Launches
SmartMetals Trading Platform
for Individual Investors

HAA Partners with Gold Bullion International to Provide Self-Directed Investors Affordable, Transparent Bullion Ownership

Wilmington DE, July 17, 2012 – Hard Assets Alliance (www.hardassetsalliance.com) announced today the launch of SmartMetals, an online trading platform specifically designed for self-directed investors to buy, sell, and hold precious metals. Through its partnership with Gold Bullion International (GBI), a leading provider of precious metals to the wealth management industry, the new service provides individual investors the ability to build and manage their portfolios and store their precious metals in a safe, convenient, and affordable way.

"The growing need among investors to hold gold in their investment portfolio has led to an explosion of convenient products, such as gold ETFs. Convenience alone, however, should not serve as a replacement for all the features one requires when investing in an asset class such as gold. The ETF approach is fundamentally flawed when it comes to the main purpose of owning metals in an investment portfolio," said Ed D'Agostino, General Manager of the Hard Assets Alliance. "Investors need the ability to hold and take delivery of physical metals to truly benefit from this asset class. With so few appropriate options for physical metals ownership, the Alliance is pleased to offer the SmartMetals platform to self-directed investors as a better way to buy, sell, and store precious metals – with no pooling, no leverage, and no borrowing against its value."

Hard Assets Alliance integrates GBI's institutional-quality offering within the SmartMetals platform to provide self-directed investors access to physical precious metals, which can be purchased and sold through the technology as easily as a stock or bond. Precious metals are acquired through refiners and dealers on the LBMA (gold and silver) and LPPM (platinum and palladium) list of approved refineries and through CME-recognized refiners of COMEX bars. The metals are stored on behalf of investors in protected and insured vaults in New York, Salt Lake City, London, Zurich, and Sydney, and audited by one of the Big Four accounting firms.

"Our partnership with the Hard Assets Alliance furthers GBI's commitment to enable every investor to buy, store, and sell physical gold and other precious metals easily, safely, and cost effectively," said Savneet Singh, President of Gold Bullion International. "Hard Assets Alliance's unique relationship with the investor community presents an excellent opportunity to provide individual investors a method to directly buy and hold precious metals."

Key benefits of the SmartMetals platform include:

  • Sole Ownership – Investors retain full title of their assets
  • Physical Audits – A Big Four accounting firm completes a physical verification of every bar and coin purchased and stored
  • Geographic Diversification – Investors can store their assets outside their home country in six countries independent of banks and other financial institutions
  • Physical Delivery – Investors can choose physical delivery of their metals at any time
  • Best Execution – More than twelve approved physical metals dealers compete in bidding for every order placed by investors

"SmartMetals is structured to facilitate the needs of the average investor. We offer more storage options than other vendors, with low minimum purchase requirements and extremely competitive prices. Investors will benefit from our allocated storage model, with delivery available at any time, and complete transparency," continued Mr. D'Agostino. "As economic conditions deteriorate around the world, there is a growing need among individual investors to hold physical metals over other asset classes. Gold bullion in particular is the only financial asset that is not simultaneously someone else's liability. It is the safe-haven asset of choice for well-informed investors."

The Hard Assets Alliance, an association of the country's leading financial publishers, made the SmartMetals trading platform available to their readers on July 16, 2012.

For more information on opening an account, visit: www.hardassetsalliance.com.

For more information about Gold Bullion International, visit: http://www.bullioninternational.com/.

About the Hard Assets Alliance

As an association of some of the country's leading financial publishers serving millions of investors, the Hard Assets Alliance provides retail investors a better way to buy and hold precious metals through their online trading platform, SmartMetals. Backed by the security and reliability of Gold Bullion International's trade systems, SmartMetals gives retail investors the access and benefits previously available only to institutional investors – such as lower trade premiums, global storage through LMBA-approved dealers and storage facilities, control over their own investments, and the ability to take delivery at any time. For more information or to open an account, go to www.hardassetsalliance.com.

About Gold Bullion International

Gold Bullion International LLC (GBI) is a leading institutional precious metals provider to the wealth management industry. GBI's technology and operations platform allows investors to acquire and manage their physical precious metals assets directly through GBI or through their existing wealth management account relationships. Precious metals are acquired through refiners and dealers on the LBMA (gold and silver) and LPPM (platinum and palladium) list of approved vendors and through CME recognized refiners of COMEX bars and stored on behalf of investors in protected and insured vaults in New York, Salt Lake City, London, Zurich, Sydney and Singapore, and audited by one of the Big Four accounting firms.  GBI provides the easiest, safest and most reliable option for precious metals ownership. For more information visit www.bullioninternational.com.

Contacts

For Hard Assets Alliance:

Donna Cox-Davies, D2 Solutions, LLC
(732) 997-0131
dcox-davies@d2solutionsllc.com

For Gold Bullion International:

Tom Rozycki, Prosek Partners
(212) 279-3115 ext. 208
trozycki@prosek.com

Beatrice Broderick, Prosek Partners
(212) 279-3115 ext. 214
bbroderick@prosek.com