First and foremost, the less people who know about you silver or gold bullion ownership the less risk of theft you may be facing.
This may also sound paranoid but take heed, the highest propensity of having your bullion stolen is by someone closest to you (family, friends, or house servants).
Beware you too social stars. I find it ridiculous I have to say this but common sense demands that sensible bullion investors refrain from posting their stashes or storage locations on Facebook, YouTube, or any other social media websites.
The safest bullion investment stashes are those which are well diversified in location, disclosed to as few people as possible, and unknown to one’s circle of acquaintances or strangers.
Your creativity may be the only limit to your home storage options. Hiding valuables in one’s home or apartment is nothing new and not extremely difficult. Use diversification of location in safeguarding your metals against the most probable and improbable scenarios.
A safe can be useful if it is hidden well and you are extremely private about the installation. Depending on how much you are planning on storing first hand, you might consider buying two safes.
Why buy two safes?! It may be a smart move to set up a decoy safe(s). Inexpensive safes can be bought on Amazon for around $100. You could stuff some petty cash in the decoy safe along with some gold and silver you would be willing to lose if the worst were to happen. In the case of a home robbery, the thieves will hopefully take the decoy(s), thinking they’ve made off with all your valuables.
Of course there are other typical hiding places like under beds, in the closet, or in a dresser drawers.
Remember too that the more creative your hiding spot(s) are the better protected you will be against theft because thieves won’t think to search in some places. If you’re looking for ideas on hiding spots, try searching Google for ‘secret hiding places’ or ‘secret compartments’ and you’ll find a wealth of information.
Know too that you will want to hide your gold and silver somewhere dry with low humidity. Silver oxidizes very easily and can erode the value of your investment if it oxidizes heavily. Gold coins that aren’t 24k pure can corrode too oxidation.
An important final point for anyone with benefactors, make sure you leave a letter for your loved ones (carefully sealed of course) that says where the gold and silver are located in case the worst happens. You don’t want your family tearing down walls searching for gold or silver they know should be there but cannot find.
First and foremost, if you can’t have all your metals under your own possession, then you’re going to have to trust somebody.
Maybe you are a six or seven figure bullion buyer, or maybe you are completely averse to the idea of having bullion in your house, either way there is a good case for using professional precious metal guards with reputable companies like Brink’s or Via Mat, Inc.
Before I go into further detail on the right way to choose a vault storage facility, let me quickly cover some not so smart moves when it comes to vaulting one’s bullion:
First, keep your bullion out of Safe Deposit Boxes for they are not FDIC insured yet they can still be subject to bank regulations. With a bank safety deposit box you are putting your safe haven assets back under the privy of the shaky banking system (probably a major reason why you bought this bullion in the first place). Also banks have limited hours of business, in other words you’ll only have access to your bullion less than 30% of the time. Bank holidays have and do occur (9/11 for example) during times of emergency, or in other words potentially the exact time you will want to have full access to your metals. Banks also have seized safe deposit boxes when they claim delinquency on a box, an heir doesn’t retrieve the contents within a matter of time, etc.
A second suggestion is to never store the metals with the same people you buy them. Beware of storing your metals with anyone who has autonomy over your account yet is also in the business of selling silver and gold for that matter. This rule should be common sense, but somehow or another Mr. Ponzi’s legacy will most likely not die anytime soon. My hunch is there are many more fractionally reserved silver and gold vaults operating unbeknownst in this world outside of the approved COMEX warehouses.
The best method is to find a professional segregated vault storage service where your metals are sealed separate and held separated from other’s metals. One where you have direct title over your account and holdings (no middlemen). If you want to visit your metals at the facility you call, make a secure appointment, and you can go audit your holdings. A storage facility should always allow you to take delivery via the mail if you so choose. As for reasonable storage fees, a good trustworthy vault shouldn’t charge you more than 50 basis points per year (1/2%) on your account’s overall fiat value. Bonus if the vault is only a drive away and if they offer a third party auditor who annually or semi-annually who verifies your holdings as well.
I also suggest you to get to personally know your vault manager and the company you entrust to look after your segregated vault storage stash.
As for should vault domestically or internationally, the question I would ask is how much do you fear or hate your government? Seriously though, diversification in location is great and in country jurisdiction that is an option for people who don’t want all their savings in country’s basket.
If international vaulting is appealing to you, you may give Singapore a look as that country has a high respect for the rule of law, private property rights, privacy, and they are actively opening up silver and gold trading hubs there… so liquidation should be pretty flawless and simple in Singapore as the years progress.
The next article in our Beginners’ Guide to Buying Physical Bullion will discuss selling gold and silver bullion.