How to Choose a Gold Broker

Investing in bullion or bullion coins is a big decision. If you’re thinking about it:

  • Ask for the coin's melt value. The melt value for virtually all bullion coins and collectible coins is widely available.
  • Consult with a reputable financial advisor you trust who has specialized investment knowledge. You may want to talk to other investors, too.
  • Shop around. Most banks offer gold bullion, often at a lower markup than dealers. You also can enter the name of the coin into an online search engine to compare prices from other dealers.
  • Get an independent appraisal of the specific asset you're considering. The seller's appraisal might be inflated.
  • Consider additional costs associated with the investment. You may need to buy insurance or a safe deposit box, or you may need to rent offsite storage to safeguard your bullion. These costs will cut into the investment potential of bullion.
  • Be wary of buying bullion or bars that won't be delivered to you, but rather to a "secured facility," by the seller or a third party. When you buy metals without taking delivery, you face the risk that the metal doesn't exist, isn't of the quality described, or isn't properly insured.
  • Walk away from sales pitches that minimize risk and sales representatives who claim that written risk disclosures are just formalities required by the government, and therefore not necessary. Reputable sales reps are upfront about the risk of particular investments.
  • Refuse to "act now," regardless of the consequences. Any sales pitch that urges you to buy immediately is a signal to walk away and keep your money in your pocket.
  • Check out the company by entering its name in a search engine online. Read whether other people have something to say about their experiences with the company. Try to communicate offline if possible to clarify any details. In addition, contact your state Attorney General and local consumer protection agency. Checking with these organizations in the communities where promoters are located is a good idea, but realize that it isn't fool-proof: it just may be too soon for someone to realize they've been defrauded or to have lodged a complaint with the authorities.
  • Ask for a guarantee or certificate of authenticity for the bullion's precious metal content. Research the company behind the guarantee or certificate because certificates of 'authenticity' can be faked.