Numerous companies vie for prominence in the realm of precious metals, including Hard Assets Alliance. Regrettably, the industry is rife with entities conducting subpar business or swindling customers outright. Does this particular company fall into that category? Do their metal prices justify the value they deliver?
The crucial takeaway is that Hard Assets Alliance isn't fraudulent. They operate authentically in the precious metals sector. Yet, their record of consumer grievances suggests that you might fare better collaborating with a dealer with a more sterling reputation.
Nowadays, a rising number of individuals are inclined towards investing in precious metals such as gold and silver, seeking a haven. The value of gold and silver typically escalates when markets like stocks and real estate take a downturn. The reasoning? People naturally gravitate towards more secure investments amid periods of economic instability.
Furthermore, gold and silver appreciate in worth as the dollar's value depreciates, providing an effective shield against inflation. A dollar stashed away in 1980 would have diminished value today, while gold, by contrast, would maintain, if not increase, its value.
The recurring economic downturns we've experienced over the past twenty years have led numerous individuals to opt for precious metals. The traditional investment avenues must be more reliable for securing their retirements.
This is where Hard Assets Alliance steps into the frame. Comprising a conglomerate of investment research and financial advisory firms, they supply clients with precious metals. Their offerings are conveniently available via a SmartMetals online marketplace, significantly simplifying buying and selling.
They aim to provide access to precious metals close to the market price. They also distinguish themselves from a more exclusive online marketplace than most competitors.
As a comprehensive service provider, they encompass global delivery and storage options. You can initiate investment accounts such as self-directed IRAs and standard investment accounts. The purchase, storage, and sale of your metals can all be executed via the HAA platform.
Acquiring details about the company can be challenging. The entity is a conglomerate of over sixty diverse advisory and economic organizations functioning cohesively as one business body with its marketplace.
Owing to the plethora of smaller companies forming the organization, it's an arduous task to identify the specific individuals who oversee the marketplace. There's scant information available about the individual who conceptualized and established the corporation. Much research is needed to uncover the companies involved and the individuals at the helm of affairs.
This opacity wouldn't raise eyebrows if the company enjoyed a robust reputation among its clientele. The business entities taking precedence over individuals is a reasonable expectation as these names have earned credibility in financial services and precious metals.
However, their reputation for delivering less-than-stellar customer service is a sore point. Several people have expressed dissatisfaction with company policies concerning buying and selling transactions. This, coupled with the absence of a distinct company head, arouses suspicion. Could this be a deliberate strategy to deflect customer complaints?
Among the alliance members are:
The website also asserts that it operates using Gold Bullion International. This firm enables individuals to conduct precious metal transactions by integrating a cutting-edge platform with their existing trades. Investment advisory firms may utilize this marketplace to supplement their stock options.
Understanding the distinct roles each alliance member plays can be perplexing. It could be that each alliance member partakes in the group's transactions with GBI.
However, this shouldn't necessarily be viewed as a negative. GBI boasts a robust platform and has cemented its reputation as a well-established company.
HAA is among many firms that purchase, vend, and safeguard precious metals for their clients. Their purported expertise ensures investment resilience and security for clients, providing an affordable avenue for portfolio diversification.
Indeed, precious metals are a sound decision when considering diversification of investments. Given their behavior towards the economy, they stand as a reliable shield against economic turmoil.
However, despite their assertions, HAA must provide the industry's most competitive prices. And although they tap into the knowledge of various investment advisors, competitors offer superior customer service at a more economical price point.
The bedrock of their business is their reputation. They depend on your conviction that they are unrivaled specialists in the field. This claim could be credible were it not for the numerous grievances lodged against them. We suggest opting for a business with a more commendable review from our end instead.
The marketplace has all four types of precious metal available: palladium, platinum, silver, and gold. You'll find the most diverse offerings in the silver and gold area.
The selection includes various gold bars, with weights spanning a single ounce to a kilogram.
They also offer several gold coins, all in one-ounce proofs. Rather than being collector's items, these coins are accredited for their exceptional purity standards.
Coins can be bought in numerous different currencies. The choices include American Eagles, American Buffalo nickels, Canadian, South African, Austrian, and UK coins.
The silver bars are significantly more prominent, with weights varying from 100 to 1,000 ounces. Since silver's value is more volatile than gold's, these make an appealing investment for those looking to inject a little risk into their precious metals portfolio.
Anticipated to surge in value due to its critical role in electronics manufacturing, silver is in demand by various phone, car, and intelligent technology producers. As silver grows rarer, its price is predicted to climb.
Like gold coins, there are one-ounce proof coins available in silver. Furthermore, you can acquire a box of 500 one-ounce American Eagle coins. This is an enticing option for those interested in buying silver in large quantities.
Sadly, there are no coin options in platinum and palladium.
If you're considering investing in either of these precious metals, your sole opportunity via the HAA marketplace is to secure a one-ounce bar.
HAA doesn't operate as an independent dealer. Instead, it adopts an unconventional structure. The myriad groups and corporations forming the alliance collaborate to build a marketplace, providing you access to reliable dealers, banks, and refiners.
When an order for precious metals is placed, the existing dealers in the marketplace vie to secure the sale. They attempt to offer the lowest possible market price to attract customers.
However, this does raise questions about the competitiveness of the prices.
Gold dealers must meet their financial targets. To achieve this, they may apply a premium to their gold. Since their competition is limited to other dealers within the HAA marketplace, they don't necessarily offer the industry's lowest prices. In reality, dealers are incentivized to maintain their lowest price, just above the average.
Research into the lowest prices and the actual market value of gold reveals a certain amount of markup. It's not as excessive as the rates charged by fraudulent brokerages, but it exists. The precise markup is subject to change due to the rapidly fluctuating competitive bids.
However, the average markup across different quantities is expected to be:
This is indeed better than many competitors. However, you won't be paying the precise market value for your precious metals. This implies that you must be confident of their increasing value to see a return on investment.
If you're purchasing to safeguard your financial health, you'll need to be comfortable with losing some money upon liquidating these assets. Depending on the type of account you have, you may also incur ongoing storage and maintenance costs.
More affordable precious metals can be found through alternative brokerages. Yet, this marketplace simplifies the comparison of different dealers, making it an appealing choice for those wanting to view multiple options simultaneously.
When you register, you'll undertake a brief procedure to authenticate your identity. Following this, you can provision your SmartMetals account to gain marketplace access. In the US, precious metals dealers must legally confirm customer identities. However, you can open your account from anywhere globally.
You can open various account types. These include:
The firm has endeavored to accommodate all account types needed for precious metals investment. Most people will utilize a personal account for their existing investment portfolio or open an IRA to safeguard retirement resources for the future.
Working with an IRA necessitates adherence to IRS regulations regarding your items' storage. This implies incurring a continuous storage fee to store your items in insured, IRS-approved facilities.
Another distinctive feature of the alliance is the MetalSTREAM provision.
Unique to the industry is MetalSTREAM, an inventive investment feature that delivers a set-and-forget solution for monthly precious metal purchases. It requires a nominal fee of $25 per month, allowing you to link your bank account and indicate your desired monthly investment.
This feature offers convenience for those who wish to maintain a steady ratio of precious metals in their investment portfolio. It eliminates the need to select investments each month actively. Instead, your funds accumulate in the account until there's enough to buy a complete bar or ounce.
While the convenience is undeniable, there might be better value than the $25 monthly fee. Remember, you're procuring metals via the HAA marketplace, which the alliance already benefits. Therefore, paying an additional amount just for the convenience of investing might not be the most economical choice.
Regrettably, several grievances have been registered with the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot. Clients utilizing the company's offerings have faced a host of difficulties.
A significant issue is the need for more openness. There needs to be clarity about who manages the alliance, oversees the marketplace, or deals with customer issues. This lack of transparency hinders knowing whom to contact during problematic situations and undermines company trust.
Another area for improvement is the company's complex operations. Their marketplace operates through GBI, but details about how they select their network's dealers must be clarified. It also becomes challenging to distinguish between the diverse entities comprising the alliance.
Instead of personally addressing matters, the company delegates responsibilities to third-party entities. Concurrently, there have been complaints about hidden charges and unwarranted expenses.
Numerous grievances pertain to subpar customer service. It's typical for clients to endure extended periods before receiving responses to their queries, even non-compliant ones.
These issues collectively sketch an unflattering image of a company seemingly focused on levying additional fees for tasks they don't handle directly. It certainly raises concerns.
Hard Assets Alliance purports to apply industry acumen. However, their operation is riddled with customer grievances. Moreover, their marketplace could be more budget-friendly within the sector.
Our advice would be to consider investing in an alternative enterprise. Regardless of broadening your private portfolio or accumulating funds for retirement, aligning with a firm genuinely concerned about your requirements is crucial.