Commodity investing is becoming more and more popular in recent years. One, in particular, that’s growing in popularity is gold investments. Gold is a precious metal that is high in value. It can help investors hedge against inflation, grow and diversify their portfolios, and earn extra income.
The thing about Gold and precious metal investing in particular is that they tend to attract a lot of scammers. These are typically people who promise to sell you gold but don’t actually have it. Before you give away your money for nothing, you want to be able to make sure the broker you’re giving it to is reputable.
Take a look at this review, https://www.medzilla.com/universal-coin-review/, as an example of what you should look for in a brokerage. Regardless of what reviews like this say, you’re still going to want to ask yourself and your brokerage a few questions first. Here’s what to ask when you’re conducting interviews.
Are they allowed to be a gold broker?
Reputable gold brokerages are heavily regulated so they can be held responsible for mistakes, theft, etc. If your broker says he’s not being regulated by any group, whether it’s stateside or not, then don’t go with them. If something happens, there’s no higher power to hold them accountable and make sure they’re doing their due diligence.
Are they stateside or international?
This is something that you probably didn’t even think about. Gold is something that is bought and traded all over the world. Even if your brokerage is stateside, you should check to see if they have any people working in other parts of the world. This makes it easier to do business in other parts of the world and suggests that they’re a large cooperation that does business internationally.
How many customers and staff do they have?
If they don’t have a lot of customers, that’s not necessarily bad as long as they have longevity. But if you see that they have a small staff and the client-staffing ratio is pretty daunting, then you might want to look somewhere else. This can be a sign of a small group of scammers working together, or they simply just don’t have the time or room to take you on as a client. You want to make sure whoever you’re getting into a contract with can give you the round-the-clock care and attention you deserve with your investment.
Do they have an established history?
Don’t choose a brokerage that doesn’t have a history of clients, particularly long-standing clients. Newer brokerages are risky since the market is competitive and without that clientele history, how can you be sure they can do their job? You also want to make sure that you’re looking to see how long their clients lasted with them. Do lots of clients pull out of their investment or move to another brokerage within the first year? If so, you should be asking why.
Are they using a personal email or phone number?
This is probably the easier way to check for a scammer. If the broker you’re talking to claims they’re from a specific brokerage but can’t provide you with a company email or phone number, then they probably aren’t who they say they are.
Check their email address if you communicate through email. Try to see if it’s a business email or a personal one. Do the same for their phone number. If you’re lucky enough for the phone to go to the answering machine, see what kind of voicemail the person leaves. Does it sound professional? You can also try looking up the phone number to see if any business pops up in association with it.
If you’re still unsure, look up the brokerage they claim to be a part of and see if they work there and if you can speak to them. If they don’t work there or the person you’re speaking to doesn’t sound the same, then they’re probably lying to you about everything. This leads me to my next question to ask yourself.
Are they open and honest?
If they say they’re from a certain brokerage company, are they really? Look to make sure that they are by calling or checking out the company directory for the name you’ve been given. If they don’t match up, don’t give them your money.
Also, if you start catching them in lies, then something’s probably up. Make sure the story they’re telling you matches throughout your dealings with them before you sign any papers or give away your money.
Are they just plain sketchy?
If the broker you’ve been talking to gives you the creeps, then chances are your subconscious noticed something and is trying to protect you. If you notice things like they’re calling you from different numbers or won’t bring you to their office – if they’re local – then they’re being sketchy alright.
Even if they aren’t, if you decide that you just don’t like them, then you don’t have to have a relationship of any kind. While it might seem awkward to choose someone else, especially if you’re already in talks with this person, don’t cave just because you want to afford potential conflict or hurt feelings. This is your money we’re talking about; you can’t be too careful. For more ways to spot a potential scam, click here.
In conclusion, make sure you’re not afraid to ask as many questions as you want. The more information you have on a broker, the more at ease you’ll feel when the time comes to invest. As I said, gold is a really lucrative and beneficial addition to any portfolio, but because of the fact that it’s gold, it tends to come with the risk of scammers. Make sure you know the signs of a potential scam before giving away your money.
As long as you practice investing safely, gather all important information first, and take your time choosing the right broker for you, you’ll have no trouble investing in gold.