Where Am I Supposed To Store All This Gold and Silver
by Larry LaBorde
As a metals broker I am always asked about storage. I have rather
strong feelings about this topic and I always advise people the
- Always store outside of the financial system. This means no
ETFs (Even though they are easy you should exercise caution
& read the prospectus and zoom in on the custody section
if you can stay awake long enough to read it). Also this means
no bank safe deposit box storage. Safe deposit boxes are the worst
of both worlds. They ARE NOT insured by the bank but yet they
are subject to banking regulations. It also means no commodities
contracts held by financial firms like MF Global. (Jon Corzine
seemed like such a nice fellow before he got into trouble betting
house money and hypothecated private accounts to cover his losses.)
- Take possession if at all possible. Sure it can be stolen,
so just like anything else you must take precautions. You are
an adult after all.
- If for some reason you feel uncomfortable storing yourself
or storing all of your metals yourself then look for a non-bank
storage facility. Preferably a storage facility or vaulting service
that is insured against loss. This will cost a bit more than a
private deposit box facility but you will be insured against theft.
Also make sure that your metal is in segregated storage
as opposed to pooled storage. You want to make sure
that your exact metal will be returned to you whenever you are
ready. Visit the depository and see exactly what is involved to
deposit metals and more importantly; what is involved to withdraw
those same metals.
Lets talk about taking possession first. Just how much room
will you need?
A box of 500 - 1oz silver eagles is about the size of a big shoe
box or about 9 x 15 6 tall. A box is worth
about $17,000 more or less. So if you want to store $100,000 in
silver you will need a space about the size of 6 large shoeboxes.
Large 100oz silver bars are a bit more compact and stack much easier
in a smaller space. 90% silver is a bit more bulky and doesnt
stack well at all in bulk bags. Gold on the other hand is much more
portable. Just 60 - 1oz gold coins are a bit over $100,000 USD and
do not take up much room at all. They could easily fit inside the
cardboard tube of a roll of paper towels.
That same $100,000 of silver (or 6 500 coin boxes of silver
eagles) will weigh about 206 pounds. The same $100,000 of gold (60
1oz coins) will weigh a little over 4 pounds. A million dollars
in gold would only weigh 40 pounds or so and could be easily carried
off by one person without much effort. A million dollars in silver
would weigh 2,060 and would require quite a bit of effort and a
truck to carry it all away.
So where to put all this? For centuries people have worried about
how to store their wealth. Ask someone who lived through the great
depression about hiding wealth. If you can find someone in their
nineties that can remember they will tell you that most people didnt
trust banks and hid their money around the house. The last 3 or
so generations have always trusted the banking system and have never
given much thought to holding their wealth. Over the course of history
it is more common than you may think to store your own wealth.
Just visit any old European city, affluent sections of central
or south America or even the French Quarter in New Orleans or old
Charleston and you will start to notice something about the architecture.
Most of the homes are built like a fortress. They have very nice
interior courtyards but also have walled fronts with heavy doors
and heavy shutters on the street windows. In some locations it was
common to set beer bottles in mortar along the top of the masonry
outer wall and then break off the tops (sort of a cheap home-made
razor wire). During normal times the heavy main door to the courtyard
and heavy window shutters were open and things looked fairly normal
but at night or in times of trouble these places could lock up fairly
secure. The modern suburban home is much harder to defend and usually
depends on a security system to notify the local police. While the
modern home in the US is not as secure as some there is certainly
no reason you cannot keep some of your wealth at home if you so
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