HAA is now the standard for the world’s largest wealth managers, providing real, physical precious metals to their clients, for independent registered investment advisors large and small, and for their direct customers.
At times of uncertainty, precious metals always prove the best forms of investment. Unlike real estate and stocks that tend to tank during recessions, gold and silver tend to gain value even when the entire economy is in the red. If you're considering investing in the lucrative precious metal industry, chances are that you've heard about a company called the Hard Assets Alliance (HAA).
Often marketed as the "biggest" and the "best" place to trade precious metals online, HAA is far from perfect. Yup, you read that right. We took an unbiased review of the Hard Assets Alliance and here's our unfiltered truth.
Hard Assets Alliance Overview
Hard Assets Alliance is a US-based company that opened its doors in 2010. The company provides investors with the means to buy, store, and even sell precious commodities including gold, silver, and platinum.
It is worth noting that although this company is entirely based in New York USA, it actually serves a global audience. So, you don't need to be a US citizen to use their services.
That said, you need at least $5,000 (USD) as your starting capital to avail of the services of HAA.
To this end, we would like to remark that while the company seems to have a solid footing in its niche, it seems to lag behind in transparency. For instance, they are yet to even make public their list of owners or directors. And as if that isn't shady enough, their precious metal storage tools are all run by third parties.
In particular, their IRAs are fully handled by a company called Millennium Trust Company which has attracted complaints owing to its handling of clients and the tendency to introduce hidden fees.
Don't get us wrong, though. Hard Assets Alliance (HAA) is not a scam – just that we feel they could do a better job on the transparency front.
Who Really Owns HAA?
Well, according to their website, HAA is part of a group of companies that comprise names like Cambridge House, Oxford Club, Eagle Publishing, Sovereign Society, Casey Research, Agora Financing – and so forth (a total of 60 companies).
It is worth noting that all the systems of Hard Assets Alliance are powered by Gold Bullion International (GBI). GBI is a well-known and reputable brand often associated with two investors, Steven Feldman and Dan Tapiero.
Key Products Provided by This Precious Metals IRA Company
First off, all the products provided by HAA are provided through an online trading platform known as SmartMetals. It comes with an easy-to-use interface and even newbies can use it to buy and sell commodities on the go. What kinds of products is one permitted to buy/sell on this platform? Here are the details.
1. Gold Products
You can conveniently buy gold bars and coins via HAA, wherever you are in the world. Their cheapest gold bar goes for around $2,000 USD and weighs roughly about 1 oz.
Interested in gold coins instead? You can opt for the American Buffalo coin that starts from $2,043 or even the Canadian Maple Leaf that trades from $2,047.
2. Silver Products
Are you a fan of silver products? Well, with Hard Assets Alliance you can purchase silver bars from as low as $2,710 for a 100oz bar. And as for silver coins, you get the opportunity to own Rounds, Canadian Maple leaf as well the American Eagle from as low as $29 per oz.
3. Platinum Products
With the electric vehicle industry growing exponentially, you can hardly go wrong investing in platinum. And once again, you can do so using the HAA precious metals IRA company where you can purchase a 10z bar of platinum from $1,065.
NB: Like all other Hard Assets Alliance precious metal orders, platinum orders are fulfilled by LBMA-listed manufacturers.
4. Vault Service
It's not enough to invest in precious metals, you've got to keep your coins and bars in a safe and secure vault lest you lose them. Luckily this is one of the services provided by HAA albeit through third parties.
The storage fees are 0.7% per year's worth of the average daily value of gold and platinum. And 0.8% for silver. However, it is worth noting that a minimum charge of $5 per month is applied per account.
For your convenience, the storage fees are billed once every three months.
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How to Set Up Your HAA Account
If you're new to Hard Assets Alliance you'll need to complete a few steps to get your account up and running.
Step One: Of course, you'll need to start by opening an account under your name. You'll need to provide your SSN and Tax ID if you're a U.S Citizen or your National ID if you're an international client.
Step Two: Once your account is up and running, you'll be able to load it up with funds either through bank wire transfer, check, or even crypto.
Step Three: With your account fully funded, all you'll need to do is buy and sell as per your strategy. And the best part? You can buy/sell at any time of the day 24/7.
Benefits of Investing with Hard Assets Alliance
Although we have issues with this company's lack of transparency, it's not all doom and gloom when it comes to trading with them. Some of the key reasons why we'd vouch for them include:
-Real Precious Metals
Most gold IRA companies out there in the world only provide you with contractual documents whenever you purchase precious metals through them. Not the real thing! If you prefer to have your assets in real gold, then HAA is your best bet as the company only deals with hard assets (as their name suggests).
You can even get them to ship the metals to your doorstep. Alternatively, you can pay to have them store your precious metals in their real-life vaults.
-Powered by GBI
Gold Bullion International (GBI) is a well-known and trusted brand. The company was launched in 2009 and mainly handles clients with different wealth management needs. Apparently, their aim is to provide private investors with access to precious metals and delivery services for such metals.
To this end, we can confirm that GBI is a trustworthy platform and it's definitely reassuring to see that HAA runs on GBI.
One thing you need to know about HAA is that they are not dealers or brokers. They are a marketplace where you get to freely buy gold, silver, and platinum directly from the marketing. Thanks to this non-compromising arrangement, they are able to keep their prices at competitive levels.
It's one of the few places you can legitimately buy 1oz of pure gold at $2000. Of course, cheaper sources do exist out there but for sure, HAA is one of the most affordable legit places to buy precious metals.
-Easy to Use
Because HAA uses the patented SmartMetals platform, no advanced skills are needed to buy, sell or even access their vault facilities. There's no doubt that SmartMetals is a credible platform as it is even used by the Bank of America (Merril Lynch) among other leading financial institutions of the world.
What Could Have Been Better – Some Complaints About HAA
On the surface, the company might look perfect. That's, however, because they have a very small number of reviews – essentially limiting the available sample size for independent assessment. But even then, the company has received its fair share of criticism – and this criticism touches on pertinent issues such as:
1. Lack of Transparency
We don't know about you but we'd feel uncomfortable investing our hard-earned money in a company owned by shadowy figures. While there is information to the effect that HAA is owned by multiple companies, you cannot bank on such information.
They might not be a scam but the information publicly available about them so far is far from reassuring. And if you too care a lot about such little things, it probably would be wise of you to steer clear of this precious metal company.
2. Too Many Cogs in the Wheel
There are way too many organizations involved to an extent that should something go wrong it would be difficult to pin any one of them down. Plus, even these companies don't handle most of the business themselves.
As we had noted earlier, HAA relies heavily on third-party systems. So, to put it into perspective you're dealing with a group of companies that prefer to outsource services from all over.
And even though the guys in charge of the Hard Assets Alliance IRAs seem to be doing a great job, it's weird that this company has decided to outsource too many core components of its business.
3. It’s Not as Cheap as You Think
If you were to judge them by the price they publish on their website, you'd probably end up thinking that they are amongst the cheapest IRA companies out there. But that's far from the truth.
Judging from the reviews they have attracted so far, quite a number of people finger this company for being notorious for charging hidden fees and exorbitant shipping fees.
This only goes to confirm the fact that this company is far from being transparent.
4. Their Customer Support
There have been issues with the Hard Assets Alliance customer support team for quite some time now. And that probably stems from the issues highlighted above i.e., lack of transparency, hidden fees, etc. Granted, even the strongest customer support team in the world would struggle to cover up for some of those imperfections, that's why.
They typically handle queries very well at the beginning of your relationship with them but start to struggle along the way as things get thick.
Overall, they're not pathetic but there's still room for improvement here – and that should involve working to improve the value of their products.
So, What’s The Better Option to Hard Assets Alliance?
There are endless options when it comes to precious metals IRA firms. And unfortunately, that tends to make it really difficult to identify one that perfectly suits your needs.
Some companies are only good on paper. Others seem good just because they work with the best PR firms. But when it comes to picking the perfect match, there are only three things you should focus on.
- Trustworthiness comprising reliability, transparency, etc
- Quality of customer support i.e. responsiveness and quality of responses given
- Reputation, need we say more?
So far, we have seen that Hard Assets Alliance (HAA) has issues with transparency. Their customer support could improve too. And that's not forgetting that they have a bad reputation for charging exorbitant fees when it favors them.
While they are not outright pathetic, if you are looking for a better experience, you're better off working with a company that has got its act together. And in our view, Goldco is the one that fits that bill.
What Is Goldco?
This is a company that has been specializing in gold and silver IRAs since 2006. To say that they have a good reputation would be an understatement. But don't take our word for it, let the number speak.
First off, they have an outstanding average score on Trustpilot and a quick look at their reviews suggests a 97% satisfaction rate. They also have a BBB page that's mostly flooded with positive reviews something that has enabled them to retain an A+ rating on the consumer watchdog's site.
They clearly are a trusted name in this industry. In fact, you'll have to spend long hours going through their reviews to find any meaningful complaints – and even those are typically responded to by their customer support team.
What's more? Unlike Hard Assets Alliance, this company charges a flat fee rather than a percentage of assets. This is quite good especially if you are looking to scale up your investment going forward.
We'd recommend Goldco over HAA because of three reasons:
- Transparent services with no hidden fees
- A long-standing reputation with a high customer satisfaction rate
- Knowledgeable, helpful, and professional customer support team
Read our full review: Goldco Review
Our Thoughts On Hard Assets Alliance
On a scale of 10, we'd give HAA a well-deserved 6. That means they are a fairly good service but have got some fixing to do to get that much-covered A+ score.
This is one of the top precious metal providers in the US, and it helps its clients open and fund precious metals IRAs. It was founded in 2006, and over the years, the company has helped its customers use tangible assets such as gold, palladium, silver, and platinum to diversify their portfolios and protect their wealth.
The company has its headquarters in Woodland Hills, California, and was founded by Trevor Gerszt. Its outstanding aspects are the customer support that it offers its clients and the high-quality educational resources that it is packed with.
It states that its primary mission is to protect its clients’ retirement accounts from the stock market's volatility and cushion them from the effects of inflation.
To use Hard Assets Alliance or not? Well, the answer to that question is entirely up to you. The jury is out. HAA isn't a scam, their services can be helpful to some extent – but better and cheaper alternatives exist out there among them Goldco.
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