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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How Gold Could Fix Turkey's Currency Issue

Forbes' Steve Hanke believes gold could make the Lira a worthwhile currency.

According to Forbes contributor Steve Hanke, Turkey's currency continues to serve as its country's Achilles' heel. Despite the Turkish president's political maneuvering, Hanke claims in a recent article that there is no hiding the truth from the Turkish people: the lira is effectively a junk currency and a bad choice of wealth storage.

In the article, banking data shows up to 70% of deposits in Turkey are made in a foreign currency. The lira has been on a declining trajectory since 2008, and the Central Bank of Turkey was forced to replace its diminishing foreign assets with lira denominations, further complicating affairs.

Hanke believes that, in order for the country and its President to yield real power, these rampant currency issues need to be fixed. And despite the extent of Turkey's currency struggles and the length of time that they stretch, the solution might be a simple one.

The lira could be made into a worthwhile currency, says Hanke, by attaching a gold standard to it. Although some show no recollection of it, Hanke reminds us that gold was a central part of money until the 20th century, owing in no small part to its ability to preserve purchasing power.

Ever since gold was abandoned by the official monetary system, the article states that there have been calls to restore it to its former role, with some predicting that the yellow metal is bound to return. To Hanke, the most infallible way of using gold to back Turkey's economy is in the form of currency boards.

These boards have existed in some form in over 70 countries and, when applied correctly, allowed for increased financial discipline and higher growth as opposed to a system revolving around central banks.

The article reads that, for optimal effect, the currency board would be stationed in Switzerland to improve regulation, and its purpose would be to issue notes and coins wholly backed by gold reserves. Furthermore, the issued currency would be convertible to gold by Turkey's citizens upon request and without fee.

Independent from Turkey's politics, Hanke's proposed board would alter the country's everyday financial dealings without assuming the burden of the government's obligations. And, so as to remove any doubt over bullion coverage, the physical gold tethered to the board's denominations would be held in an internationally-certified gold warehouse or a similar institution.

With the added flexibility of choosing whether the currency board would be government-run or private, Hanke believes that Turks would have an all-encompassing way of returning to a system that is proven to create more stable and organized economies.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Seeking Alpha Writer Sees 2 Drivers That Could Send Gold Prices Higher

Gold prices could steadily rise in the short term and long term.

Seeking Alpha's Clif Droke sees two solid drivers that could send gold prices higher, one in the shorter term and one over the long-term.

The short term driver is a potential reignition of safe-haven demand due to a build-up of weakness in stocks.

Some have expressed concerns that the stock market's run is built on overly-optimistic projections, and the recent surge in 52-week lows posted by NYSE-listed stocks corroborates this. In this article, Droke expresses that the broad market faces internal selling pressure, and a continuation of this weakness could lead to a familiar flight to the safety of gold as stock market indices slump.

As his long-term driver, Droke points to an unusual combination of fear and inflation expectations. While these might not seem to go hand-in-hand, Droke argues that they have been the yellow metal's biggest backers since last year.

After a jump in prices brought on by the merciless campaigns of both presidential candidates, gold assumed a downwards trajectory when Donald Trump was elected in November. The "Trump bump" saw investors abandon safe-haven assets in order to load up on equities, riding on the promises of a stronger and more stable economy.

However, the article points out that this faith has since largely evaporated amid political concerns, including uncertainty over Trump's tax plan and its ability to stimulate the markets. A strong booster for gold on its own, political uncertainty in the U.S. is aided by inflation expectations, which Droke feels are significant enough to facilitate a gradual increase in gold prices.

While the markets aren't expecting high inflation in the near future, Droke reminds us that present-day inflation is still markedly higher than it was two years ago when deflation was on the horizon. Furthermore, signs such as a lessened appetite for money point to an upcoming increase in U.S. inflation.

Droke notes that the demand for money was at its highest immediately after the credit crash as the world economy looked to rebuild itself. Since then, economies around the world have improved, led by developed Asian countries – in turn, demand for money has subsided as investors braced for higher inflation, improving the outlook for gold over the longer term.

Despite recent dips, Droke points out that the gold price is far above its December 2015 lows and is closer to its 4-year high than it is to the low. Cracks in the equity market, concerns over the U.S. political situation and a rise in inflation expectations should provide ample support for the yellow metal moving forward.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Why Iran Should Go For Gold

Forbes contributor Steve Hanke sees gold as an optimal solution for Iran's economic problems.

iran should go for gold

As Iran toys with the idea of a change in currency, Forbes contributor Steve Hanke refers to the slated reforms as nothing more than "a great illusion". According to the bill passed by Hassan Rouhani's government last December, Iran's national currency would be changed from the rial to the toman. This would also require a reduction of Iran's unit of account, since one toman equals ten rials.

Hanke states this is merely another cog in the engine of Iran's economic dysfunction, a problem that has persisted since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Since then, the rial has officially lost 99.8% of its value as the country continues to struggle with high inflation. Although official figures place the annual inflation rate at 9.6%, Hanke estimates it closer to 20%.

The article clearly shows that something needs to change with Iran's economic system. Adopting a foreign currency such as the U.S. dollar or the euro would be one way to fix the currency issues, but Hanke points out the solution is politically unacceptable.

And while it might seem that there is no easy fix to Iran's economic problems, Hanke believes that the optimal solution is simple and unjustly overlooked: a return to the gold standard.

The article states that the reintroduction of gold as currency has been a talking point for some time now – going back as far as 1997, Nobelist Robert Mundell predicted that the yellow metal would return to its role in the international monetary system in the 21st century. Hanke notes that, since President Nixon abolished the gold standard in August of 1971, many have described the international monetary regime as a chaotic non-system.

Out of the various methods of implementation, Hanke sees gold-based currency boards as the most prudent choice – currency boards have been implemented by over 70 countries and have generally contributed to the fiscal discipline, price stability and growth rates in related countries.

The gold currency unit issued by this board would have to be fully backed by gold and fully convertible to gold at a fixed rate on demand, rendering it immune to manipulation. Hanke outlines a proposition that includes the creation of a Swiss-based Iranian board whose purpose is to issue coins and denominations while maintaining enough bullion to allow convertibility.

The proposed board would be unable to increase liabilities without appropriate backing by gold or foreign exchange notes the article, and it would also be independent from the financial obligations of Iran's government.

As Hanke explains, a gold-backed solution is elegant enough to be accepted by the Iranian government without appearing as a concession. Whether such a system is adopted remains to be seen, but there is little question that it would be more effective than the inconsequential reforms suggested by Hassan's government.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Newly Released Gold Twin Maples Available Only Through Birch Gold Group

A new beacon of value.

gold canadian twin maples coin

After being named the sole distributor of the Silver Twin Maples coin in 2017, Birch Gold Group is proud to announce that it will also have sole rights to distribute the Royal Canadian Mint's (RCM) newest piece, the Pure Gold Twin Maples. Like its silver cousin, the Gold Twin Maples is the successor to a highly-acclaimed coin that has exceeded the RCM's expectations time and again.

"For decades, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf has been considered one of the most preeminent gold bullion coins in the world. We're thrilled to be able to offer to our customers a coin to follow in this pedigree, and believe that demand will be very high," says Peter Reagan, financial market strategist with Birch Gold Group.

Investors and collectors that have come to cherish the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf for its valuable properties will find a new beacon of value in the Gold Twin Maples coin. When designing the coin, the Royal Canadian Mint sought to make its value immediately apparent. Celia Godkin, a renowned artist responsible for the appearance of several RCM coins, adorned the Gold Twin Maples with a reverse proof finish and a serrated edge that pay tribute to the coin's background while giving it a modern appearance.

The obverse features a familiar portrait of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II, while the reverse bears the mark of Canada's native sugar maple tree. A closer look at the coin will reveal two cutting-edge security features that contribute to the coin's exceptional design: a micro laser engraving of a twin maple leaf and precise radial lines.

Following in the footsteps of one of the most popular precious metals coins in circulation, the Gold Twin Maples had to serve as an example of purity and value. The 99.99% gold content of the coin will ensure that it does just that, while its dimensions will make the coin available for addition to any portfolio or collection.

With a diameter of 20 mm (0.78 inches), a weight of 1/4 ounces (7.7 grams) and a face value of CAD $10, it's clear that the Royal Canadian Mint aimed to create an all-purpose gold coin with all the flair of its predecessor. And with the option to include the coin in a precious metals IRA, no investor will want to pass up on the opportunity to acquire the Gold Twin Maples.

To learn more about this new coin, exclusive to Birch Gold Group, visit

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Trump's War Position Poses as Big Reason to Own Gold

Unlike his predecessors, Trump shows lack of hesitation in waging war against North Korea.

As far as MarketWatch contributor Howard Gold is concerned, Donald Trump is the biggest friend gold bugs have had since President Nixon decided to abolish the gold standard in 1971. In a recent article, he writes that the reason for this lies in Trump's lack of hesitation to wage war, even nuclear war, against North Korea, as opposed to focusing on diplomatic solutions.

Trump's recent statement towards Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in which the President said the latter is wasting his time trying to negotiate with the Asian nation, serves as the perfect example of his battle-ready stance says Gold.

He compares Trump's feud with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un to the President's goading of rival candidates during the 2016 presidential race. However, the implications are far greater: not only does Kim command a nuclear arsenal that many think poses a serious threat to the U.S., but some also fear that the totalitarian leader might be dangerously unstable.

Gold notes that Trump's predecessors showed a willingness to negotiate with North Korea, aware of the danger that the country could pose if provoked. Trump, however, seems ready and willing to engage in war.

The article also states that the way the current President is handling Iran – another country with a developing nuclear arsenal – also raises concerns. According to Trump, the Iran nuclear agreement, which was designed to keep the Islamic Republic's nuclear weapons under control, is "one of the worst and most one-sided" deals ever – he went as far as to say he'd declare Iran out of compliance with the agreement, despite his own administration confirming the opposite.

Trump's back-and-forth with North Korea's foreign minister, with neither party showing a willingness to back down from the notion of war, only added fuel to a fire that could engulf several nations and plunge them into conflict on an unseen scale.

According to Howard, there is currently no better argument to own gold than Trump's stance. He warns that the risk of war is far greater than either Wall Street or Trump's supporters would like to admit, placing the chance of conflict on the Korean peninsula between 25%-50% and the likelihood of nuclear war in Asia between 10%-20%. He suggests, with odds like these, allocating at least 5% of one's portfolio to physical gold is the safest decision one can make. Bullion won't prevent a cataclysmic event from happening, but it's going to serve as insurance during a time when it's needed most.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Author and Precious Metal Broker Shares Reasons Behind Gold's Rise

Appetite for physical gold on the rise even after reaching one-year high.

gold on the rise

Official figures, such as soaring prices and volume metrics from precious metals companies, offer some indication of gold's appeal. To author and precious metals broker Bill Holter, however, a more telling sign that the metal is making strides is the burst of interest from first-time investors.

This, Holter told KamloopsBCNow, means that people are finally understanding the volatile nature of currencies and the difficulties of storing your wealth loss-free.

According to Holter, appetite for physical gold has been on the rise even during bearish stretches, and it hasn't dwindled as gold reaches its one-year high.

The analyst believes that money printing is reaching a boiling point and could trigger a monetary reset – in this new world, gold will stand out as one of the very few assets that kept its value through the turmoil.

"We are headed for a monetary reset and the reason we're headed for a monetary reset is there's too much debt outstanding that cannot be paid on the current terms. When I say current terms, I'm talking about with current purchasing powers of the various fiat currencies (or paper money)," Holter explained.

The article states that, as opposed to traditional investments, gold serves as a guarantee of capital preservation, one that offers bullion owners peace of mind in any scenario. One major upheaval could happen due to the piling of credit – Holter says we're in the largest credit bubble in history and that, when it bursts, currencies will go with it.

Part of why gold retains its value so well is that it's finite, as opposed to currencies that governments have been printing carelessly since 2008-2009.

"The amount of gold outstanding and produced since then shows that gold is way, way cheaper than it has been in maybe ever. Gold is extremely cheap in relation to money supplies, in relation to debt outstanding," said Holter. "There's obviously uncertainty in global markets and you're seeing a flow into gold from all over the world - not just the U.S.. It could be looked at as a flight out of fiat currency."

Holter also shares the view of some investors that gold and silver could become scarce due to limited supply – a view that could have significant influence on market sentiment. "There's no way to tell. There's no way to tell where the bottom of the barrel is - logically - the western supplies have to be getting short," said Holter of the gold supply. And while he's bearish on all currencies, Holter is especially negative on the U.S. dollar, which he believes will lose out to the Canadian dollar as the latter is part of a resource-based economy.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Doomsday Clock Reinforces Need for Safe Haven

Global tensions increase appetite for safe-haven assets such as physical gold.

Somewhat forgotten in recent times, ValueWalk writes that the concept of the Doomsday Clock has flared up once again, due to the possibility of nuclear war between the U.S. and North Korea. The last time the clock ticked so close to midnight, they say, was 1953, when the Soviet Union tested its hydrogen bomb.

But tensions with North Korea aren't the only thing that has investors worried, the article notes. Political uncertainty in the U.S., a weakening dollar and ongoing terror attacks have all helped reinforce the value of safe-haven assets such as gold.

The metal reestablished itself in the financial crisis of 2008-2009, when the world's stock markets fell by about 50%, or a total of $34 trillion. During this time, gold helped savvy investors stay afloat due to the negative correlation that it often has with stocks. And it did more than just shield those who owned it; between 2007 and 2009, gold rose from $670 an ounce to $938 an ounce, amounting to a gain of 40%.

Gold's bull run continued after 2009, as governments around the world flooded their economies with money in a post-crisis environment. By 2011, the metal rose past $1,900 an ounce, posting its all-time high.

The article goes on to state that the money printing that allowed gold to reach peak levels shows why the metal continues to hold its value while currencies rise and fall. Unlike paper money, gold is finite, which means governments can't simply add more gold to the system as desired.

This is why, the article argues, the gold standard can't be restored: there is simply too much money in circulation compared to the finite supply of gold. It's also why the price of gold has close to doubled in the last decade, a trajectory that the metal is all but guaranteed to continue on.

Although the gold standard was abandoned in 1971, its proponents maintain that out-of-control money printing will end in disaster. It already had catastrophic results in France, China and Germany, and Zimbabwe and Venezuela are recent examples of paper money becoming worthless due to irresponsible actions from the government.

The article concludes by reminding readers that in all of those examples, those with a significant allocation to gold remained largely untouched by the consequences of central bank manipulation. And, they believe that the same will be the case when the next crisis hits, regardless of the direction it comes from.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Political Woes to Heat Up Gold and Bitcoin

Political uncertainty and elevated risk to increase appetite in safe-haven investments.

Gold and bitcoin ready to heat up

Safe-haven investments shine in times of uncertainty and elevated risk. As TheStreet's David Yoe Williams points out, for U.S. investors, there has been no shortage of either in recent times.

Yoe cites domestic issues as being the most immediate concern, with the publicized back-and-forth over Obamacare taking center stage. Republican Senators have neither managed to repeal the Affordable Care Act nor find a replacement for it, a problem which will have ongoing ramifications for the U.S. economy.

Aside from the growing U.S. debt ceiling, another point of concern is the growing perception that the Trump administration isn't as efficient as many had hoped it would be. Yoe claims that this could cause a significant downturn in the stock and bond markets, both of which benefitted from the promise of an economic recovery, or the "Trump Bump".

International issues are increasingly becoming a concern as well, with recent events putting more pressure on an already strained relationship between the U.S. and Russia. There's also risk coming from Europe and China – both face an increasing amount of debt, and both will soon host elections that could significantly shake up their politics.

Many people are concerned that North Korea is a ticking time-bomb, with the country continuing to make subtle threats in the form of showcasing its offensive might. The Trump administration seems content to respond to force with force, which would put the markets in turmoil and increase the appeal of safe-haven assets.

Beyond politics, another current hot topic for the financial markets are cryptocurrencies. Recent ruling by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show that the government is starting to take them seriously. It's clear that investors are looking for a safe-haven commodity outside the monetary system because not only are they note closely tied to economic and geopolitical issues, but they are also able to provide anonymous transactions away from government scrutiny.

As popular as cryptocurrencies might be getting, Williams notes that the precious metals market looks ready to outstrip them. After all, despite their touted benefits, cryptocurrencies bring with them a significant amount of volatility and could be the most unpredictable out of any asset.

Precious metals can provide a safer alternative, which is ideal when talking haven assets whose primary purpose is protection. Gold has gained 9% this year with silver posting a 3% gain during the same period; by all accounts, this appears to be the beginning of a positive trend in both markets. As Williams puts it, the "gold standard" protection that these metals offer will continue to be highly valued in an environment where certainty seems less and less available.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Next Gold Bull Market Driven by Stock Correction says Sprott CEO

Weaker-than-expected economy could be the perfect catalyst for next gold bull market.

next gold bull market driven by stock correction

Central banks from around the world have grown bolder in their approach, with many of them embarking on a course of tightening monetary policy for the first time in recent memory. Aside from the U.S. Federal Reserve's much-publicized rate hiking, the Bank of Canada recently raised rates for the first time since 2010, and the European Central Bank indicated that it might follow suit.

According to Sprott Inc. CEO Peter Grosskopf, however, the banks are operating on overly optimistic economic forecasts and will not be able to hike rates as quickly as expected. "We think the underlying economies and the strength of the economies can be debated," Grosskopf explained. "If you look at the underlying statistics, it's a lot less evident that the economy is strong."

Grosskopf believes this will provide the next leg up for the yellow metal, with weaker-than-expected economic growth leading to the stock correction that many are expecting. This risk-heavy environment would act as a perfect catalyst for the next gold bull market.

"The next move on gold will be driven by an equity market correction," Grosskopf told Bloomberg in an interview. "It's a pretty safe bet that if equity markets start to look volatile and dangerous then a lot of money will flow into gold as a hedge to that."

Sprott USA chairman Whitney George agrees that it's dangerous for central banks to hike in unison amid low inflation. He expects this to not only put pressure on the stock market but to also negatively affect the currencies of the countries involved.

"When you look at the history of the last 20 years, every time central banks have decided it was time to take the punch bowl away we've had quite a dislocation," says George.
Grosskopf, whose firm is in the midst of returning to a precious metals-oriented investment strategy, feels that investors have been lulled into a false sense of security, resulting in a reduction of their gold positions.

These investors are sure to flock back to the safety of the yellow metal as soon as they think trouble is brewing, allowing gold to reach new heights. According to the firm's strategists, gold has the potential to rally past $1,400 by year's end.

"People haven't placed a high priority on having a hedge because the punch bowl seemed to be relatively full," said Grosskopf. "Gold is vastly under-invested by most investors, so it's got a lot of growth ahead of it."

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Uncovering Gold Ownership in America

While polls offer only limited insight into how much gold Americans own, history could give us a better clue.

Gold ownership in the US

The statistics of gold ownership in the U.S. are difficult to track. It's known that the nation occupies high spots on the lists of top gold consumers and biggest gold hoarders, but past that point, data is relatively muddled.

Polls show that Americans continue to rank gold highly as an investment, with the metal landing third on a recent list of the best-perceived long-term investments. This data, however, offers only limited insight into how much bullion Americans are buying. Even the U.S. Mint's statistics, which show $1.2 billion worth of gold coins being sold in 2015, does little to inform us about individual purchases.

Writing in the LA Times, James Ledbetter believes that a look at history might give us a better clue of where gold sits with American investors. Despite being illegal to own between 1933 and 1975, gold remained a very popular investment in the country.

When gold was first confiscated in the 1930s, the hoard of privately-owned gold was estimated to be at $1.4 billion, a massive amount that was twice the size of the Bank of England's reserves. After the government tried to  buy up all the remaining gold, the Treasury estimated that $287 million in gold coins still sat with people.

Clearly, Americans didn't want to give up on owning gold despite the administration's threats. As the government couldn't reconcile the high amount of remaining gold coins with their new illegal status, the figure was simply expunged from the books and the gold is thought to have been smuggled out of the country or kept in private collections.

Ledbetter notes that gold retains its secrecy even half a century after a floating currency was established in the U.S., and long after one could argue for the economic and security reasons of being vague about gold hoards.

The secrecy surrounding gold has also given rise to conspiracies involving a lack of physical gold, such as the notion that the Federal Reserve has little to no gold bullion. Yet despite the restrictions in producing accurate estimates, it's safe to assume that 1% to 3% of Americans own gold, although Ledbetter and others believe that the number could be as high as 10%.

These statistics would mean that anywhere between 2.5 million and 25 million of America's citizens own gold. Regardless of the size of individual gold hoards, these numbers underline the importance of gold investment in the country while a closer look could redefine what we know about Western appetite for the metal.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Exclusive: Canadian Silver Twin Maples Coin (2 oz) from Birch Gold Group

The evolution of the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is here

Canadian Silver Twin Maples

Perfection can be hard to top, and there are very few bullion coins as flawless as the ever-popular Canadian Silver Maple Leaf. Ever since the first Maple Leaf was minted three decades ago, the coin has stood as a paragon of value in a tumultuous world that has seen economic markets around the world rise and fall numerous times.

Demand for the 1 oz Maple Leaf has been elevated by its near-absolute purity, with a silver content of 99.99%. This has helped to establish it as a preferred coin among many people who purchase precious metals.

With tens of millions of the valuable coin in circulation, many have wondered when the Royal Canadian Mint will look to create another coin equally impressive, if not more so. That time has finally come, as we are proud to announce that Birch Gold Group will be the exclusive distributor of the Canadian Silver Twin Maples.

In some ways, the new coin is reminiscent of its predecessor: The memorable portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Susanna Blunt, remains on the coin's obverse. In addition, the coin's high purity once again acts as a guarantee of its inclusion in portfolios big and small, as well as in Precious Metals IRAs.

The coin's reverse has seen some changes, as the new image of the maple leaf was created by Celia Godkin in a tactful endeavor to reinvigorate a classic design. The Silver Twin Maple's leaf is the sugar maple, a Canadian native which has long served as a symbol of the country's prosperity.

Perhaps the most notable change from the Silver Canadian Maple Leaf (also sold by Birch Gold Group) is that the Silver Twin Maples will contain a full two ounces of silver, twice as much as its predecessor. Further, to show that they are truly keeping up with the times, the Royal Canadian Mint will imbue the coin's sparkling surface with two high-tech security measures in the form of precise radial lines and a micro engraved laser maple leaf – these will ensure that the coin is as unmistakable under a microscope as it is to the naked eye.

Click here to learn more about the 2 oz Silver Twin Maples, or to contact Birch Gold Group to make a purchase.

Ben Shapiro Gold Company as Heard on Ben Shapiro Show: Birch Gold Group

Shapiro and Birch Gold Group working to educate Americans on value of purchasing gold

Ben Shapiro gold

In today's world, it can be difficult to get an opinion from someone you know will speak from their heart. Getting an expert opinion on how to safeguard your hard-earned savings can prove even more difficult, especially in the current landscape of aggressive profit-seeking.

Birch Gold Group's collaboration with Ben Shapiro, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Wire and New York Times bestselling author, is a move towards clearing the clutter of incorrect and often damaging information about financial related matters, and bringing the cold, hard facts about money to the American people.

Since his early work, Shapiro has shown a fondness for precious metals, and the candid author and host of the Ben Shapiro Show continues to remind people why they can't afford to overlook gold and silver. His endorsement of Birch Gold as his precious metals firm of choice since August 2016 shows another level of dedication to helping Americans protect their savings.

Paper cash holdings have never been more vulnerable, especially when held in a virtual setting such as a bank account. The constant erosion of the dollar's purchasing power, coupled with the increase in cyber attacks, means that your holdings in "paper" or digital form are less secure than if they are resting in the form of a tried-and-true physical asset, whose intrinsic value is never put into question.

Time and time again, gold and silver have shown that they fit the bill perfectly, as they can help Americans avoid the volatility of equities, while still having growth potential. This is one of the primary reasons why Ben Shapiro advocates diversifying into precious metals with Birch Gold Group.

If you're an investor looking to diversify your portfolio, purchasing physical gold and silver is one decision that should make a lot of sense. Or, if you're simply looking to protect and preserve your savings, such as in an IRA or eligible 401(k), moving into an IRA backed by physical gold and silver is something that Ben Shapiro advocates for as well. And in a world where your savings are often under threat, Birch Gold Group can help you achieve this.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Proof, Uncirculated Brilliant, and Bullion: Everything You Need to Know about Buying Physical Gold

Proof, Uncirculated Brilliant, and Bullion: Everything You Need to Know about Buying Physical Gold

If you’re going to purchase physical precious metals, you should know the types and finishes available to you. Here is a rundown of the different kinds – and qualities – of coins.

Precious metals come in a variety of beautiful finishes. As a precious metals buyer, you’ll want to know and understand the different options. Proof, uncirculated brilliant, and bullion coins offer unique advantages to those who are looking to protect their savings with precious metals.

Proof coins – what are they?

Regardless of which government mint produces them, proof coins are the very highest standard of precious metal coin, with unparalleled detail and craftsmanship. Their extraordinarily sharpness and luster is a credit to the skill and artistry of the minter, having been hand-polished and specially treated before striking. With their stunning, mirror-like finish and crystal clear, intricate pattern, proof coins can be an excellent addition to a portfolio of precious metals.

Proof coins are struck by hand-detailed dies, so that any flaws that might mar the strike are removed prior to the initial press, and each coin is inserted into its press by hand. The proof blanks receive at least two strikes at a comparatively lower speed than other coin finishes, resulting in superior clarity and definition.

Furthermore, proof coins are individually extracted from the press and closely examined for any imperfections. After each coin is struck, the dies are meticulously air-cleaned in order to preserve the integrity of the design. The methodical attention to detail means that very few coins can be struck within a particular time frame. While thousands of bullion coins can be produced in one hour, fewer than 50 proof coins can be struck in that time. Furthermore, the proof die must be thoroughly re-polished by hand after approximately 100 strikes.

Although the number of official proof coins is limited, many are produced with unique finishes. One particularly beautiful example is the high relief coin, where the design has a crisp, three-dimensional effect, resulting in detail so precise that nuances can often be identified by touch. The artistry of high relief proof coins rivals that of fine jewelry.

Another category of proof coin is the relatively new reverse proof. Standard proof coins feature a high-gloss background (table), with frosted relief (the design detail). Reverse proof coins have a mirror polish relief, with a frosted background. The frosted detail can be produced as either a satin or matte finish.

The rarity of proof coins, combined with their exceptional beauty and precise detail, makes the pieces extremely attractive to precious metals buyers seeking to supplement their collection with high-value products. For holders of precious metals IRAs, however, it is important to remember that American Eagle coins are the only proofs that are IRS-approved, since their purity is guaranteed by the U.S. government.

Brilliant uncirculated coins – a breakdown.

Although proof coins are the very highest grade of coinage, brilliant uncirculated (also called “B.U.”) coins can nonetheless be a great addition to any precious metals portfolio.

In order to be classified as “brilliant uncirculated,” these coins must retain at least 95 percent of their original degree of brilliance in their finish, with no scratches or wear marks that are indicative of circulated coins. While they are produced at a markedly larger scale than proof coins, there is nonetheless a fair amount of craftsmanship and quality control during the minting process – the dies are hand finished in the same way that proof coins are, only they are not hand-fed into die itself.

Bullion coins – an important consideration for any portfolio.

Many people who buy physical gold, silver, platinum, or palladium as an inflation hedge will also find bullion coins as an excellent option.

Standard bullion coins won’t necessarily be as intricate as their brilliant uncirculated counterparts, but they can be purchased at a lower premium. Bullion coins aren’t rare – gold coins can be struck at roughly 250 per hour, while as many as 3,000 silver coins can be struck per hour.

Surprisingly, one significant advantage to holding bullion is the fact that it is common, and therefore has a large, eager market. If you ever want (or need) to sell your bullion, the transaction will likely be very quick and straightforward, since there is no ambiguity with products that approach melt value. More collectable items, on the other hand, might take a bit more time, effort, and negotiation.

Although bullion coins won’t be valued very much above the spot price of the precious metals they contain, the coins are still remarkable pieces any buyer can be proud to own.

In order to ensure the best outcome for your precious metals investment – whether you are looking for growth or protection – it is critical to know what kind of bullion will most effectively meet your personal and financial goals. Here are a few things to consider before you make your purchase:
  • Do you want to preserve your wealth?
  • Do you want easy liquidity?
  • Did you set out to buy proof coins?
  • Are you comfortable with market fluctuations?
If you are interested in purchasing precious metal coins – proofs or standard bullion coins – it is critically important to find a reputable dealer. At Birch Gold Group, we offer a diverse spectrum of precious metal products, and have the experience and industry expertise to help our clients realize their long-term economic objectives. If you are interested in either purchasing proof coins or bullion for your portfolio, contact the professionals at Birch Gold Group today for a thorough consultation.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Protect Your Retirement Savings – Fight Inflation With Gold

Protect Your Retirement Savings – Fight Inflation With Gold

The dollar just isn’t worth what it used to be, and as time progresses, its value seems to be decreasing – or plummeting – at an alarming rate. If you’ve been setting aside the same amount into your 401(k) or IRA for the past decade, it is very possible that you could arrive at retirement age without enough money to see you through the first year, let alone the following 30. So, what can you do?

You can make sure you have a solid inflation hedge. You can buy gold.

How to Triumph Against Inflation

Cash is intrinsically incapable of combatting inflation. As we’ve seen, its buying power is continually diminishing; if you put aside $1000, in 25 years’ time, you may find that that $1000 can only buy you a fraction of the same goods that it can today. However, hard assets like gold, commercial real estate property, and farmland have inherent value – value that can protect you and your future against the plunging value of currency.

Gold has consistently stable buying power. While, unlike other assets, it doesn’t typically increase in value dramatically, it also generally doesn’t lose its purchasing power. For example, if you were to buy $100,000 in gold in 1955, you wouldn’t merely have $100,000 today; you’d have a hard asset with the buying power roughly equivalent to approximately $900,000.

It is essential that your retirement savings can cover everything your annual wages currently cover (and more, ideally). By purchasing physical gold, you can increase your financial stability throughout your retirement years, even as global markets and interest rates fluctuate.

For more details on how a Precious Metals IRA can help you meet your financial challenges and achieve your retirement goals, contact the experts at Birch Gold Group for a thorough consultation today. Visit facebook page for more details.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Dreaming Of Early Retirement? A Few Factors To Consider

Dreaming Of Early Retirement? A Few Factors To Consider

Many of us fantasize about leaving the stress and aggravation of our 9-to-5 jobs and simply living the lives we want. While winning the lottery or inheriting millions of dollars from a long-lost relative probably aren’t sound financial strategies, it is possible to retire early if you make a series of reasonable, pragmatic decisions.

Downsize your lifestyle significantly.

If you want to live the rest of your days in the lap of luxury, then you might need to win the lottery. However, if a lavish lifestyle isn’t important to you at all (but managing financial pitfalls is), you can take stock of your spending habits and assets and determine what you’ll need for food, shelter, and healthcare, and go from there.

Firstly, calculate your current spending rate, since it will determine how much you’ll need to save. Figure out what you will be able to eliminate simply by no longer working (cost of commuting; professional association fees). Next, determine which expenses you can simply eliminate (cable television; lattes). Finally, investigate where you could be over-spending (cell phone plans; expensive grocery stores; car payments and maintenance).

Work towards paying off your debt.

This is probably the single biggest hurdle to overcome when planning for an early retirement. While it might be wise – in some circumstances – to keep a mortgage if the funds can be used to invest in lucrative financial markets, you should nonetheless do your best to pay off other outstanding debt that can’t be successfully leveraged, like student loans and credit cards.

Plan for medical expenses.

The second biggest hurdle for many Americans is anticipating the cost of healthcare during retirement – and now that the Affordable Care Act is under threat, it’s nearly impossible to know what mandates will be available.

Because the cost of health care has historically risen faster than the inflation rate, it is important to calculate your health-related expenses at an increase of approximately 5 percent per year. Also, investigate different supplemental insurance plans as well as the benefits of a Health Savings Account.

To learn more about how purchasing precious metals may be able to preserve your savings in retirement, contact the experts at Birch Gold Group for information on how a gold IRA could benefit you. Visit twitter page for more details.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Think You’Ve Got Your Retirement All Figured Out? Think Again – 3 Major Retirement Mistakes

Think You’Ve Got Your Retirement All Figured Out? Think Again – 3 Major Retirement Mistakes

If you’ve gotten a head start on your retirement savings, congratulations! You’re well ahead of the curve – particularly if you’re under 40. However, your 401(k) contributions and your IRA might not solve all of the issues you may encounter when you reach the magical age of 65. Here are a few factors that you’ll want to consider when planning for your retirement.

Not considering the costs of significant medical care.

Major medical events can wipe out retirement savings quickly and easily. One study conducted by HealthView Services found that the cost of healthcare for seniors who’ve begun their retirement in 2015 may range between $290,000 and $400,000 per couple – and that’s not factoring in out-of-pocket costs not covered by Medicare Parts B and D. Medical calamities could place a tremendous burden on retirement savings.

Also, the costs of assisted care for those who’ve suffered a mental or physical disability can be absolutely devastating. Make sure you investigate long-term care insurance plans.

Believing that you’ll be able to work past retirement.

Even if you’ve been at the same organization for most of your working life, it’s unwise to assume that you’ll still have a place even as you enter retirement age. Whether it’s because the business downsizes or closes, or if you suddenly have to retire due to health or familial obligations, it is very possible that retirement could be forced upon you.

Failing to diversify your portfolio.

If your retirement portfolio is mostly stock in the organization for which you work, you could be in for trouble. It’s easy to keep your finances tied to a company you know and trust, but if your company fails, your nest egg will shatter.

A well-diversified portfolio should contain physical assets as well as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Gold and other precious metals can help to protect your savings with the kind of long-term security you can rely upon when other markets take a significant hit.

If you are interested in purchasing gold or precious metals, contact the professionals at Birch Gold Group for a thorough consultation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Why Open a Gold Ira? Here Are 4 Reasons

Why Open a Gold Ira? Here Are 4 Reasons

You have numerous retirement savings options to choose from, so why should you decide to open a gold IRA? Here are four reasons you should consider carefully.

Bonds might not offer the yields you hoped.

Although bonds are a popular retirement solution because they usually present lower risk than stocks, you may want to consider their yield upon maturity. Also, you may want to consider what kind of protection they offer against inflation.

You have inflation protection.

Even if you don’t trust banks and instead choose to hold your cash in a safe in your home, you’re still vulnerable to rising inflation. The $10,000 you squirreled away will still be there in 20+ years, but that same $10,000 won't have nearly the same purchasing power!

Gold, on the other hand, has historically maintained the same buying power, so the value of your savings will remain relatively the same over time.

Rising gold value is tax-deferred.

When you opt to roll over retirement savings from a traditional IRA or 401(k) into a traditional gold IRA, you can do so without accruing penalties.

Gold has been the monetary standard for all of human history.

For thousands of years, gold has been a universal symbol of wealth and stability. There is no currency system anywhere in the world that can match gold as a source of prosperity.

If you would like to learn how buying gold can help you reach your retirement goals, contact the team at Birch Gold Group for a comprehensive consultation today. Visit blog link for more details.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Safe Haven Assets: What You Need To Know

Safe Haven Assets: What You Need To Know

It is possible – according to many financial experts – that we could be at the beginning of a difficult economy. In 2008, the financial crisis left numerous Americans in absolute fiscal ruin, with their retirement savings and 401(k) accounts depleted. As we enter a new year having only barely recovered from the beating we endured not even 10 years ago, how do we protect ourselves against such dangerous economic fluctuations?

One answer: Safe haven assets. But, how do they work?

The Function of Safe Haven Assets

Safe haven assets aren’t necessarily going to make you wealthy in the blink of an eye. These are assets that retain – and maybe even increase – their value over the course of several decades, even during fiscal crises or periods of inflation.

Even cash itself isn’t a safe haven asset. Think about it – in the 1950s, you could buy a home for roughly $8,500. Today, the average home price is approximately $350,000. If you held on to your $8,500 from 1950, you’d have currency that had lost approximately 97% of its value!

What are the best safe haven assets?

While there used to be several categories of safe haven assets to choose from – government bonds, and the U.S. dollar were among them –one reliable safe haven asset that has stood the test of time is Gold.

Gold has universally agreed-upon intrinsic value. It is also a physical asset that doesn’t solely exist on paper; it’s a commodity you can hold in your hand. Historically, the value of gold has gone up in times of economic recession, because consumers know that it’s something tangible that has had remarkable spending power for nearly all of human history.

If you want to guard against economic turbulence and protect your retirement assets, contact the Birch Gold Group today to learn how having gold as a part of your savings can benefit you. Visit pinterest for more details.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Roll it on Over: Should You Transfer Your 401(k) to a Precious Metals IRA?

Roll it on Over: Should You Transfer Your 401(k) to a Precious Metals IRA?

If you currently hold an employer-managed 401(k) plan from an old job, you might want to think about the benefits of opening, or rolling over to, a precious metals IRA.

Holding funds in an old 401(k) plan might not be as lucrative as you think. While many appreciate the ease of a 401(k), it has become an increasingly popular and financially sound long-term strategy to either roll over or transfer those retirement assets to an IRA; particularly a precious metals IRA. With the value of the dollar on the decline, making the transition might be one of the smartest retirement decisions you can make.

While holding a precious metals IRA may not be the right choice for everyone, it is nonetheless important to consider the many benefits of holding a precious metals IRA. First, let’s discuss the difference between a 401(k) and a precious metals IRA.

401(k) Vs. Precious Metals IRA

A 401(k) account is either an employer-sponsored or sole proprietor retirement account that allows people to invest a portion of their salary prior to taxation. These accounts usually contain a combination of stocks and mutual funds.

A precious metals IRA (Individual Retirement Account) is a self-directed IRA that allows the holder to purchase and/or invest in a broad scope of products using the monetary value of physical metals owned by the account holder. In 2015, IRAs held approximately $50 billion in what are known as “alternative” or “unconventional” assets. These are classified as items that have significant monetary value, such as private equity, precious metals, and real estate, yet are more difficult to liquidate than paper assets, like stocks and bonds.

401(k) Contributions: If you are still with the employer that sponsors your 401(k), in 2017, the holder of a 401(k) account could contribute a maximum of $18,000 (including employer contributions) annually if the account holder is 49 years of age or younger. After the age of 50, the maximum annual contribution is $24,000.

For account holders over the age of 50 that are still with the employer sponsoring your 401(k), it is possible to make up for an under-the-maximum contribution with a “catch-up” contribution the following year of up to $5,500, which is not counted towards the standard maximum contribution. So, if your contribution one year is $20,000, the contribution the following year can be $26,000.

For 401(k)’s with a current job, an employer can match the account holder’s contribution up to 6 percent.

Precious Metals IRA Contributions: In 2017, the holder of a precious metals IRA could contribute a maximum of $5,500 annually if the account holder is 49 years of age or younger. After the age of 50, the maximum annual contribution is $6,500.

Account holders over the age of 50 who make contributions under the yearly limit can make a “catch up” contribution of up to $1,000.

There are numerous reasons why it could be beneficial to move your funds out of a 401(k) from an old employer and open a precious metals IRA.

Diversification Options

Typically, holding a 401(k) account limits your options when it comes to investments. Account holders looking to broaden their choices find that their 401(k) plans are quite conservative; the point is to mitigate risk with the goal of hitting a particular target over the course of several decades. Moreover, it is likely the account advisor – not the account holder – who oversees the choice of investments.

A precious metals IRA account, however, allows for greater control by the account holder in terms of asset classification. A precious metals IRA can hold gold, silver, platinum, and palladium; more broadly, because it falls under the umbrella of a Self-Directed IRA, it can also hold real estate, stocks, and privately-held companies.

However, some account holders – particularly those who are already close to retirement – might be concerned about increased risk. While there might be greater risk associated with the types of assets held in a precious metals IRA, the reward will be considerably greater than what could be achieved with a comparatively conservative 401(k) plan. Moreover, precious metals can act as a safe haven asset against poorly performing stocks.

Early Withdrawal

Both 401(k) accounts and IRAs allow for early distribution. During times of financial crisis, or personal or medical emergencies, you might require access to your retirement savings. While it is possible to borrow against your 401(k), if you make an actual early withdrawal, you would have to pay state and federal taxes as well as a 10 percent penalty (unless you are experiencing a hardship as outlined by the Internal Revenue Service).

A precious metals IRA, on the other hand, offers greater flexibility for the account holder. Although taxes will still apply, in some cases, you may take an early distribution of a portion of your retirement funds without being penalized (when you first buy a home, or for higher education expenses). However, you will have to pay state and federal taxes.

Easy accessibility isn’t without a downside, however. The difficulty in withdrawing from a 401(k) account can sometimes act as an incentive to leave it untouched. The ease of taking funds from an IRA, on the other hand, might cause some to use it frequently and inappropriately, significantly compromising the potential for growth in the long run.

Flexible Financial Solutions

An employer-sponsored 401(k) account is managed by an account advisor who is working with only a fraction of the investment options available to precious metals IRA holders. Precious metals IRAs offer a far more customizable suite of assets than 401(k) accounts.

Nevertheless, a precious metals IRA requires greater participation from the account holder than a 401(k). The 401(k) account is set up with a precise retirement goal in mind, which many holders find safer and more convenient.

What’s Right for You?

Some holders of a current employer-sponsored 401(k) might not be able to roll over into a precious metals IRA until after the age of 59 1/2. Additionally, if you’re participating in an employer-match contribution plan, you’ll likely want to keep taking advantage of the matching funds.

However, if you’re carrying a 401(k) plan from a previous employer, or if you’ve recently retired, it could be to your advantage to consider rolling over your 401(k) into a precious metals IRA. With the possibility of a more lucrative and flexible options with a precious metals IRA, you may find yourself at a significant economic advantage. Furthermore, holding physical precious metals might prove to be a wise move, considering the current lack of stability in the global economy, and the weakening U.S. dollar.

Ultimately, having a precious metals IRA – even in addition to a 401(k) plan – will increase your chances of long-term security while opening you up to the possibility of a significant return.

If you have any questions about rolling your 401(k) account into a precious metals IRA, please contact the team at Birch Gold Group for a thorough consultation.