Jump to section:
The joy of owning physical gold coins and bars lies with the enjoyment of holding it in your own hands. The sheer weight of the gold, coupled with its unparalleled beauty, reinforces the knowledge and comfort of owning something of real value. With so many ‘paper assets’ becoming worthless overnight, the tangible nature of physical gold remains one of its most compelling selling points.
However, the one danger of keeping such a valuable asset in your possession is the threat of theft. So if you’re considering investing in gold, read on.
It seems that a particularly well-organised crime ring in the Greater Manchester area is well aware of this vulnerability. They also know that gold is synonymous with the Asian market where it has been bought and kept by Indians especially for many years. This tradition has clearly flowed over to British citizens of Asian origin, as this particular crime gang realised. They’ve been targeting Asian families in Manchester and Salford for their gold coins and bars.
The gangs of men have been known to smash through patio doors with a brick to enter premises, fully clad in balaclavas and wielding machetes.
As well as demanding car keys, the thieves have asked: “Where’s the gold ” Some have even asked this question in Punjabi, suggesting that their knowledge of the gold’s existence stems from some of them being Asian themselves.
The spate of attacks has been particularly frequent in the Spring and Summer months, renowned as the Indian Wedding season when many Asian families purchase gold as wedding presents.
Clearly, the thefts have left many families feeling vulnerable and considering alternative places to store their gold.
The whole point of owning physical gold is to have peace of mind that you possess something of real value. Therefore if you’re losing sleep over a safe place to store it, then it makes sense to pay for somewhere secure. And you don’t have to resort to storing the gold in your stomach as one man did in our recent blog.
If you’re lucky then you may already have a safe deposit box with your bank. Fees are low at around £30-40/year, but space is tight and access has to be arranged during banking hours. This will certainly remove the worry from your home although if robbers targeted the bank you wouldn’t be covered for loss unless you had your own insurance. Realistically these days, such facilities are difficult to find as high street banks have experienced a rise in demand for boxes, leaving little space for new safe deposit customers.
A similar alternative is to hire a 3rd party safe deposit box. A tiny box will set you back around £130/year but you will most likely have 24-hour access to the box. Unfortunately, these facilities aren’t on every street corner so you may have to travel to gain access to your gold.
The safest option is to utilise specialist precious metals facilities as offered by gold dealers such as ourselves. It will cost you slightly more, but it includes insurance, handling and peace of mind that the gold is being stored by experts so your coins and bars will not tarnish. Be sure to check that your gold is being stored on an allocated, segregated basis. This basically means that you have real gold allocated up to the value of your purchase, rather than electronically, and that it’s ring-fenced from the storage company, gold dealer, and other investors.
If you do wish to take custody of your gold at home, ensure that you’re insurance company is aware of its value and that you’re covered for loss. We always use Royal Mail to deliver gold so it’s discrete for our customers. So if you want to buy gold bullion, ensure a large van doesn’t turn up to your house with Gold Bullion written on the side, otherwise, you can’t blame the thieves for targeting you!
Daniel Fisher formed physical Gold in 2008, after working in the financial industry for 20 years. He spent much of that time working within the new issue fixed income business at a top tier US bank. In this role, he traded a large book of fixed income securities, raised capital for some of the largest government, financial, and corporate institutions in the world and advised the leading global institutional investors. Daniel is CeFA registered and is a member of the Institute of Financial Planning.