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The precious metals (PMs) investing marketplace has been growing rapidly as the global economy begins to falter. There are multiple ways to buy, store, invest in, trade, speculate on, and possess gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
One category includes businesses that let account holders maintain digital PM balances stored in remote, certified vaults. All the companies in this niche also offer customers the choice of receiving physical metals delivered directly to their homes or office.
The other option is to sell some or all of the metals in the account and receive cash. OneGold is a well-known member of this category of precious metals investing platforms.
Review the following information about OneGold Inc, also called OG, before making a decision about where and how to invest in precious metals.
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What Is OneGold?
OG is an online platform for people who want to purchase gold, silver, or platinum at competitive prices and place the metal into a certified vault. The account holder then has a standard "bank account" that includes a combination of cash as well as vaulted precious metals.
The company has a solid reputation for trustworthiness but has received a few consumer-based dings regarding slow response times for customer service issues. Options for account holders include:
Why Do People Invest In Gold?
Individuals and institutions invest in gold for dozens of reasons. For millions of people, it's viewed as a way to protect their wealth from a volatile stock market and rampant inflation, a great way to round out a retirement account (like an IRA), or just to keep about 10% of their total wealth in a tangible, non-paper asset.
What's worth noting is that the price of most precious metals rises when equities are underperforming. For more than 3,000 years, human beings have used gold and silver as a simple, safe way to stash some of their accumulated wealth. While gold does not consistently outperform every other asset class, many prize it for its long-term price stability and protection against a possible economic meltdown.
Gold Basics & "Gold IRAs"
Gold is one of the most traded physical assets. Its value constantly fluctuates and often rises in turbulent times. The two principal drivers of demand for the yellow metal are the jewelry market and investors. There is a little demand for gold in heavy industry and science, but the bulk of purchases are by individuals and institutional investors and jewelry companies.
The spot price of gold is a point of intense interest for all kinds of investors, many of whom use the data to predict the overall health of the economy and possible changes in other asset prices. Private investors hold gold for long-term appreciation, short-term speculation, and as a physical asset within IRAs (individual retirement arrangements, sometimes erroneously called individual retirement accounts).
US law allows for self-directed IRAs (SDIRAs) that can hold physical assets like certain precious metals, real estate, and a limited number of other tangible assets. So-called "gold IRAs" can be funded with after-tax deposits or pre-tax money. So, you can set up a gold IRA that is either the traditional type or a Roth version.
OneGold offers gold IRA accounts, but investors much choose a custodian, by law, to open such an account. To make the process fairly simple, OG provides a list of IRA-approved custodians. Customers can contact one and begin the short process of completing paperwork and setting up their OneGold account as either a Roth or traditional SDIRA.
All of OG's storage facilities are approved for gold IRAs. As noted on the OneGold website, when you set up a gold IRA, which is a form of a self-directed IRA, you have full control over decisions about what goes into the account. However, investors must follow IRA rules about the purity and type of gold, silver, or other PMs they place into the SDIRAs and abide by all withdrawal legalities, like not taking money out of the account before reaching the age of 59.5.
How The Process Works
Note that US clients' metals are stored in US vaults operated by APMEX, Loomis, or COMEX. All physical metals that back the digital accounts are insured against loss or theft by Lloyd's of London. US customers can purchase gold, silver, or platinum.
The process is as follows:
Owners: Sprott & APMEX
Despite the name "OneGold," the business is made up of two companies, Sprott and AMPEX. The pair joined forces to build a more streamlined way for individuals of all income levels and backgrounds to get into the precious metals ownership niche. Scott Thomas opened APMEX in 1999 and has sold more than $10 billion of precious metals since then.
The company is based in Oklahoma, has in excess of 1,500,000 customers, and offers one of the largest selections in the global PM marketplace. Eric Sprott has been leading the PM and real estate firm Sprott since 1981 and oversees client assets to the tune of $7 billion, based on a customer population of 200 thousand individuals. Sprott is a Toronto-based firm with offices in Canada, the US, and Asia.
OneGold's App For Mobile Devices
Account holders who choose to download and use the OG mobile app can trade, transact, deposit, withdraw, buy metals, sell metals, and follow up-to-the-minute prices for gold, silver, and platinum any time of the day or night.
The 24/7 app capability allows users to check in on their holdings as often as they like, manage their PM portfolios, and do everything from home, work, or anywhere they have a connected device with the downloaded app. There's a feature that lets users customize various alerts based on metal prices. The mobile app also delivers recent news and information relevant to the metals markets.
Gold storage fees are .12% of the annual balance, while silver and platinum are considerably higher than that, at .30%. When you use funds in your account to purchase "vaulted" metals, the items are stored in US vaults for US customers. There's a minimum $5 quarterly storage fee, and all storage is billed every three months based on the account holder's ADB (average daily balance). In the US, all stored, vaulted precious metals are insured by Lloyd's of London for loss and theft.
Audits & Verification
Many people have concerns about "digital" precious metals accounts. They want to be assured that the assets are physically located in the designated vaults. OG does regular inventory audits for this very purpose. Each month, the company's official partners who supply vault storage provide detailed reports on inventory levels.
All metals are specifically identified, and all the information is a matter of public record. Anyone can visit the OG website and see the monthly report details. For even more security, OneGold annually renews its commercial insurance coverage.
In some cases, third-party representatives do thorough audits two times per year. Finally, all stored metal is reconciled to match customer accounts every day.
For people who prefer to "set it and forget it," OG offers a unique auto-investing feature. Account holders can set the function to regularly, on a specific date, convert cash from the primary account into vaulted metal. The company calls it "AutoInvest," and it's a hassle-free way to accumulate precious metals as a standard type of savings.
Users can invest this way every day, each week, quarterly, or monthly. Plus, it's possible to set AutoInvest to purchase a fixed dollar amount of metals or a fixed quantity, like an ounce or gram.
Converting: Cash-To-PMs, PMs-To-Cash
The terminology on the OG website can be confusing, so here's the simpler version. To buy or sell anything with OneGold, you must open and fund an account first. The minimum balance is $100. Then, once you own a funded account, it's possible to use that money to purchase "vaulted" or "shipped-to-you" precious metals.
Your choices are gold, silver, and platinum. They call the purchase of metals for storage "converting" your cash to stored PMs. Likewise, the website calls shipment or cashing out "redemption." As can be expected, there are fees for just about everything, including, of course, having physical metals shipped to your location.
Redeeming your vaulted metals means you'll receive lower than the spot price while simultaneously paying a higher price to purchase deliverable metal products from APMEX for shipping to you.
Pros & Cons of OneGold
There are several PM trading platforms similar to OneGold Inc, and all have their strong and weak points. Here are the pertinent pros and cons for OneGold.
Consumer and Industry Reviews
On the Better Business Bureau (BBB) official site, OneGold ranks 4.12 on a five-star scale and also notches an A from BBBs evaluators. The majority of verified online consumer reviews for the company are positive. They routinely note that OG's account setup and initial purchasing experiences are simple and speedy.
People seem to enjoy the mobile app best of all and think OneGold is a convenient way to amass a metals portfolio. There are several negative comments from prior users about the slow response time from the customer service department, as well as scattered problems with redeeming metals for cash.
Objective Rating of OneGold
OneGold is not perfect, but the company does have a streamlined business model that works well for beginners and experienced PM investors. Their main strengths are their reputation, large selection of APMEX products, time in the industry, and ease with which people can set up accounts and begin accumulating a digital PM portfolio.
Additionally, OG is the only major competitor in the space that offers silver and platinum. Most others only include gold on their product menus. On a general 1-5 scale, it's fair to say OneGold ranks a solid 4. It could do better by resolving customer service and redemption complaints and by lowering its transaction and storage fees.
OneGold is a solid company and certainly not a scam. Nevertheless, we do not recommend them as one of our top companies, because we think there are better!
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