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Archive for the ‘Gold’ Category

TD Ameritrade Says “No Mas” to Expat IRA Plans

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

T.D. Ameritrade has joined the ranks of at least eight other retirement account custodians that are no longer processing IRA applications for U.S. expatriates, and expats with retirement accounts are now scrambling to find a willing custodian. analyst Bill Franklin says there are now three types of IRA custodians expats need to understand.

“T.D. Ameritrade may not be accepting new clients who are expats, but we have heard that they are accommodating current IRA clients who live abroad,” Franklin said. “Other IRA custodians are not only not opening new accounts for expats but they are contacting their current expat clients and telling them to move the retirement account to another firm.”

Some custodians have instituted a threshold of $500,000 that expats must meet to keep their accounts with their current custodian. The majority of IRA custodians, however, are still welcoming expats with open arms. “Custodians like Equity Institutional, which was formerly known as Sterling Trust, and GoldStar Trust, which was formerly known as American Church Trust, will be happy to take those retirement accounts off the hands of T.D. Ameritrade, Vanguard and others who have turned their backs on expatriates,” said Franklin. “The benefit of using an alternative IRA custodian such as Equity Institutional is that you can choose between stocks, bonds, money market accounts and other traditional investments, and you can also invest in real estate, an LLC and even precious metals.”

If you’d like more information on transferring your IRA or 401(k) to a custodian thatprovides you with such a wide range of options call today and the paperwork will be sent to you immediately, and’s non-commissioned advisers will be more than happy to answer all of your expat IRA questions.

Can Precious Metals Survive the High-Tech Generation?

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Precious metals have long been used as a store of wealth. Not only that, but for thousands of years they were also the world’s main currency. The last few years have spawned what many call the “Investment Revolution” and some say it could all but eliminate precious metals from the spectrum of investment vehicles.

If you have been away for the last 20 or so years, the world is going high-tech. I bought my first cell phone about 10 years ago, and the fact that I still use a flip phone (as does billionaire investment mogul Warren Buffet, by the way) has been known to cause some pointing and whispering when I am around younger colleagues.

Recently, there has been a surge in high-tech investments. You may have own some. Have you ever heard of GLD? It is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that is meant to track the price of 1/10 of an ounce of gold. This investment has no shipping fees, requires no storage and can be sold with the click of a mouse.

Some investors have opted for ETFs and other types of electronic gold, like pool accounts, instead of physical precious metals. Could these derivative investments be the end of privately-held, low-tech investments like precious metals? As John Wayne would say, “Not hardly, mister.”

While there will always be a greedy individual or a profit-hungry institution to give derivatives the attention they need to survive, the average American buys gold not for profit but for safety. Some people foresee simple inflation; some see hyper-inflation and the collapse of the dollar; some believe that the entire United States will collapse; some are preparing for Armageddon. In each of those scenarios, physically-held precious metals have a huge advantage over derivatives.

Physical gold and silver provide their owners with financial independence that is not tied to a computer or a company. Yes, precious metals will not only survive the Internet Revolution but could play a major role for the next generation of investors, especially if any or all of the above scenarios come to fruition.

Precious Metals and the U.S. Dollar: The See-Saw Effect

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

I attended an investment conference this weekend, and during the precious metals part of the discourse the keynote speaker asked the audience a question. He asked, “What is the single most important factor driving gold prices?” Having been in the precious metals industry for decades, I knew the answer immediately. My hand shot up, and I whispered the answer to those around me, some of whom looked at me as if I was either a genius or insane. After some coaxing, I noticed a few others cautiously raise their arms as well. The vast majority of the audience, however, looked clueless.

The speaker then took out his wallet, removed a crisp one dollar bill from within and held it up for everyone to see. “The value of the dollar,” he said, “decides gold prices more than any other single factor. A strong dollar means weak gold prices, and vice versa.” I was vindicated in front of my peers, but the initial response of the group stuck with me. How could gold’s inverse relation to the dollar not be more commonly known?

When I was growing up in a little town in South Carolina, there wasn’t much to do in terms of recreation besides catching lightning bugs and going to the local school’s playground. The see-saw, or teeter-totter (depending on where you grew up) was a staple on many playgrounds, and it serves as a simplified example of the relationship between gold and the dollar.

When the dollar loses value due to overprinting, it requires more dollars to purchase the same amount of gold. Thus, lower dollar = higher gold. Granted, this is a simplification of sorts, but one that is surprisingly accurate in terms of technicalities. So, if you think the dollar has hit rock bottom and will soon rebound, avoid gold. If you think that U.S. monetary policy is too loose and could result in the dollar losing more purchasing power, gold could be your new best friend.

The Sheldon Scale of Coin Grading

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The Sheldon Scale of coin grading was developed by Dr. William Sheldon, an American born in Rhone Island in 1898. He was a psychologist and numismatist. His coin collections were copper coins which were large cents. These coins became models for a system of grading which he decided to develop.

The system he developed is now in use today, particularly by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).It uses a scale of 1-70 The numbers 1-59 are used for grading gold coins that had been circulated and the numbers 60-70 for gold coins classified as uncirculated.

Before the advent of the Sheldon scale coin grading consisted merely of three descriptions which were broad imprecise: 1) Good: Details visible but surface worn out; 2) Fine: Details less worn out and a bit of mint luster visible; and 3) Uncirculated: Details sharp, luster approaching state of the coin at mint.

The system developed by Sheldon eliminated the guesswork. The lowest grade is Poor-1 or P-1, for a coin that is badly damaged or worn out, the type barely discernable. The highest grade is AU-59 (Choice About Uncirculated), virtually uncirculated except for minor wear marks on high points. .

In between are grades like G-8 (Very Good) for a coin with full rim and clearly discernible devices but coin significantly worn. VF-20 (Very Fine) for a coin with clearly readable but lightly worn legends. XF-40 (Extremely Fine) for a coin whose legends are sharp, devices are clear with slight wear.AU-55 (Good About Uncirculated) for a coin with sharp legends that show only a hint of wear on the high points.

For the uncirculated coins the grades from MS-60 to MS-70 (Mint State coins), as well as the proof designations, are all based primarily on eye appeal, quality of luster and/or toning, and the presence or absence of contact marks, hairlines, etc.

Franklin Gold

Will Gold Ever Run?

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Will gold ever run to $2000 or beyond as was the expectation in 2009? We’re into the fourth month of 2010 but gold has not so far behaved the way it was predicted.

As early as February 2009, months before gold posted its record breaking price of $1104 in December, one respected industry leader fearlessly predicted that gold prices would quadruple in 2010 to $3500 from the then current price of $994. Also early in 2009, another industry leader made a more optimistic prediction — $5,000 per ounce by 2010. Many more had expressed optimism for gold in various, though in much sober, degrees in 2010.

The two-week advance of gold prices that accentuated the end of the first quarter of 2010 was accepted by some as a positive sign “…reflecting the general commodities tone, which is bullish.”

But many were of the opposite sentiment. True, the end of the first quarter ended higher but prices were still in the vicinity of the decade-ending number of $1100. They recalled that prices even dipped to a low $1073.85 in January, an indication of gold’s uneasy footing.

“I’m not bullish about these prices,” reacted an industry leader. “Gold is still trading within a narrow range and prices have been propped up by investor interest, not fundamentals…”

Will gold ever runs as predicted? Could it be that it is too early to make a judgment on gold? The year 2010 is an extension of the 2000-2009 bull run and could be just a brief respite before the run is resumed. It will be recalled that the bull run of the 1970s started slowly from $34.94, reached $50 only two years later before it finally settled at $594.92 in December 1980.
Franklin Gold

Precious Metal Hedges

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Individuals who are wondering if precious metal hedges are effective for preserving wealth throughout prolonged inflationary cycles, should research gold spot prices throughout the 1970s. While inflation eroded the dollar’s purchasing power by more than sixty percent, certain types of gold investments increased by nearly 1000% during the 1970s. Bullion prices hover just above the current gold spot price, but rare gold coin investments are subject to much more dramatic appreciation during inflationary cycles, as investors gravitate to commodities like gold and silver, and dollar-based assets generally lose their value.

Most analysts believe that our economy will most likely become worse before it gets better, as our Federal Reserve continues to drag it’s collective feet on committing to any sort of feasible recovery plan. Anxious U.S. consumers eagerly await word of inevitable interest rate hikes, and the subsequent inflation that typically follows, and more and more investors are coming to terms with the fact that the economy is a critical state of disrepair. Precious metal hedges make a great deal of sense to multitudes of pragmatic investors, because they can be held for both long-term financial protection, as well as for short-term liquidations that may be needed in the event of a cash flow crisis.

Investors who have completed their research are encouraged to contact one of our friendly specialists, who can answer your precious metal investment questions, as well as offer you institutional discounts on gold and silver bullion, and certified rare gold coin.

Franklin Gold

Precious Metal Transactions

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

A significant precious metal transaction qualifies as such, by being large enough to affect the financial profile of a nation’s central bank, and which requires the facilitation of the IMF (International Monetary Fund). Global anticipation is mounting over which nation’s respective central bank will purchase 191.3 tons of bullion that the Fund intends to sell, and the most recent rumors about China’s pending purchase have been proven to be unfounded. Many consider India to be a far more likely candidate for the bullion buy, but India just raised her gold import tariff, and has also allowed her rhodium (which is used in polishing jewelry) reserves to decrease from 10 percent, to just 2 percent.

Even though neither India, nor China has actually purchased the available IMF bullion, mere rumors of such significant precious metal transactions have been enough to influence the gold spot price dramatically. Just since Thursday, the spot price reached depths of below $1090 per troy-ounce levels, and since then, flimsy rumors have managed to help propel the spot price to renewed heights of near $1120 per ounce levels.

Our U.S. dollar continues to compete with the euro for superiority, but even though the greenback is at around 80 on the Index, this in no way reflects as a legitimate indication that our nation’s economy is recovering. Unemployment levels are still around ten percent, yet the media’s attention has been redirected toward Greece’s outstanding debt these past few days.

Trend savvy investors who seek long-term financial safety are encouraged to contact one of our friendly specialists, who can answer your questions about your own physical gold purchase, and offer you institutional discounts on bullion, and certified rare gold coin.

Franklin Gold

Precious Metals

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

This web-Blogger has recently been fielding more than his fair share of questions surrounding the precious metals given as awards in the Olympics, so the following is a brief overview on the actual precious metals that comprise each of the coveted awards, which are meant to embody the purest ideals of sport, fair play, and peace on Earth.

Plenty of people share the opinion that Olympic medals should be pure, solid precious, or semi-precious medals, believing that the award should truly match the accomplishment. The International Olympic Committee, who has always maintained that the honor of competing, excelling, and winning is prestigious enough, however, does not share this opinion. In ancient Olympic games, medals weren’t awarded at all. Rather, an olive wreath was placed on the victor’s head, representing god-like qualities to honor victorious mortals here on Earth. The modern Olympic Charter was originally drawn up in 1896, and specifies the following criteria for modern Olympic medal awards:

  • First place medals are made of gold-gilded silver medals of 925-1000 grade, and are gilded with at least 6 grams of pure gold. A diploma accompanies the gold medal.
  • Second place medals are made of silver, and must be of 925-1000 grade. The medals must all be at least 60 millimeters in diameter, and 3 millimeters thick. A diploma also accompanies silver and bronze medals.
  • Each medal must also mention the name of the sport, and the individual event that was held, and must come with a detachable chain or ribbon to be placed around the athlete’s neck upon awarding.

    Those with questions about precious metals investing are encouraged to contact one of the specialists for answers and a free copy of our award-winning investment tutorial. Go USA!

    Franklin Gold

    Precious Metal Industrial Uses

    Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

    It is always advisable for investors to keep abreast of the latest advances in medical, technological, and industrial arenas, as precious metal industrial uses are incorporated in all of these disciplines. Precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum are widely known to be used in dentistry, but these metals have other medical benefits in the manufacturing of cancer fighting drugs, as well as in orthopedic, and microsurgery.

    Precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum are malleable (easily manipulated by hammering), ductile (able to be drawn, or stretched into fine thread, or filament), as well as biocompatible, which means that the human body doesn’t readily reject them as a health-threatening foreign body. For these reasons, precious metal industrial uses also include making surgical instruments, as well as foil that can be used for preserving damaged nerve endings.

    Probably the most widely observed precious metal industrial uses are evident in jewelry manufacturing, but the auto industry also uses silver and platinum for manufacturing exhaust systems (catalytic converters), as well as for thermocouples that are used in heating and cooling systems.

    Gold is a highly reflective precious metal, and is used in the crafting of high-powered lenses, as well as for light filters in eyewear. Our soldiers and astronauts benefit from this technology, as well as everyday people who wish to protect their eyes from Ultra Violet radiation damage. Precious metals are also excellent conductors, which is why they are also used in electronic components like microchips, and circuitry boards.

    For all of these, and many other reasons, it is wise to invest in precious metals, since the next technological breakthrough could mean an increased demand for gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.

    Franklin Gold

    Liquidating Precious Metal IRAs

    Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

    Prospective precious metals investors needn’t be deterred, nor intimidated by the concept of liquidating precious metal IRAs, as this transaction is an everyday occurrence for reputable, large-volume, precious metals exchanges. These exchanges regularly handle transactions for corporate buyers, like banks, and insurance companies, and also handle setting up, and liquidating precious metal IRAs for household investors like you.

    Precious metal IRAs have boomed in popularity since 1997, when legislation was passed by congress, which allowed for U.S. citizens to store gold bullion bars and coins in precious metal-backed retirement accounts. This long-term investment strategy is widely popular among baby-boomers who cannot afford rare coin prices, and who are using government-approved bullion for their financial protection. Rare coins like Double Eagles aren’t permitted for IRA storage, and bullion, $50 American Eagles are the only acceptable 22-karat coins for gold-backed IRAs.

    By dealing with a reputable, large-volume, precious metal exchange, household investors can also receive institutional discounts on their government-approved bullion, which includes 24-karat bullion bars with reputable brand names like Credit Suisse, Engelhard, PAMP Suisse, and Johnson Matthey.

    Acceptable 24-karat bullion coinage includes American Buffalos, Chinese Pandas, Canadian Maple Leafs, Austrian Philharmonics, and Australian Kangaroos, Koalas, and Lunar coins. These bullion coins are also available in fractional denominations like ½-ounce, ¼-ounce, and 1/10th-ounces, to accommodate a wide range of budgets. Investors are encouraged to complete their research, and then to contact one of our friendly specialists, who offer institutional discounts on bullion, and rare gold coin to household investors like you.

    John Burke