Editor's Note: We were pleased to see the Retail Gold Investment Principles released by World Gold Council. We know our readers have been listening as we have told the story of gold and we thought you might find value in this list. In order to improve trust in gold, they have launched a specific website for retail investors which covers the Principles, the Investor Guidance, most common FAQs and will provide targeted content for retail investors. Please check it out here: https://retailinvestment.gold/en
Surpassing the Standard for Retail Gold Investment
Last month, the World Gold Council released their official set of Retail Gold Investment Principles (RGIPs), designed to set the bar for precious metal dealers across the global market and further encourage retail investors to place their trust in gold. As gold and silver bull markets rise, so do unscrupulous types who wish to take advantage of investors hoping to capitalize on the favorable market conditions for precious metals. Therefore, it is in your best interest to only do business with gold dealers who follow these best practices:
- Fairness and Integrity - A provider must treat customers fairly and act with integrity, from information and service provision through to transaction completion.
- Transparency - A provider must be transparent about prices and key terms and disclose other material information related to product features
- Protection of Client Assets - A provider must ensure adequate protection of customers’ gold holdings and other assets including cash held on behalf of customers.
- Responsible Gold Sourcing - A provider must source gold of high integrity from trustworthy suppliers, whilst considering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria.
- Regulatory Compliance - A provider must adhere to all applicable regulations and local laws.
- Commercial Prudence - A provider must not take excessive risks and should be prepared for various eventualities, including a company wind-down.
- Operational Professionalism - A provider must conduct their business with due skill, care and diligence, and manage key risks.
Our central tenet at ASI is “Keep What’s Yours” and we believe that our mission closely aligns with the principles that the WGC is attempting to set as a standard for precious metals dealers worldwide. Here’s how we have always and will continue to practice our business in a way that best serves investors looking to own precious metals.
PRINCIPLE #1 Fairness and Integrity
ASI has been in business almost 40 years, with clients that we’ve known and served for several decades. There’s no way we could boast that kind of longevity in this business without treating clients with fairness and integrity. That means setting our margins so that customers can see returns on their investment, and seeing their value as a relationship, not just a single transaction. We believe the most important thing at the end of the day is that every customer is set up for a better future than before they interacted with us.
In addition, we are big advocates for client education and believe the best client is a well-informed one. We offer investors educational material on gold as an asset class and point them to other credible information sources in our free weekly and monthly newsletters, as well as offering quarterly webinars to keep our clients updated on the markets.
PRINCIPLE #2 Transparency
We want to connect clients to gold and silver products that best serve their needs and that means being transparent about pricing and premium options for bullion products. For instance, we do not recommend “modern numismatics” for this reason because we believe these types of product carry a high premium with no likelihood of additional value beyond their spot price.
PRINCIPLE #3 Protection of Client Assets
ASI segregates client funds in a manner which protects them under our safekeeping with 100% coverage from the FDIC. We know it’s important to safeguard client ownership rights of their assets. In addition, ASI delivers all precious metals directly to clients, or directly to the depository accounts under the client’s control.
PRINCIPLE #4 Responsible Gold Sourcing
ASI works only with trustworthy precious metal source distributors to ensure the highest quality of merchandise. In almost 40 years of business, we’ve never had any instance of counterfeit products because the suppliers we work with adhere to responsible standards of approval.
ASI works only with the most trusted depositories for clients who want to take advantage of secure storage solutions. Our storage partners ensure 100% accountability of unique client metals, 100% insured at full market value at all times.
PRINCIPLE #5 Regulatory Compliance
ASI operates in compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations, and are a Maryland-based corporation in good standing. We complete annual external audits of our business practices to ensure ongoing compliance and have established a program to prevent, detect, and report any money laundering activities as determined by the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
ASI voluntarily affiliates with key industry associations such as the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) to ensure we are current with all changes that impact precious metal dealers.
PRINCIPLE #6 Commercial Prudence
During the most recent bear market, many precious metal dealers felt their business drying up and their client base disappearing after they had taken advantage of them at the height of the market. In contrast, ASI takes little to no risks in our business model – no short positions, no hedging, no leveraged accounts, no pledging of client merchandise or funds to third parties. We simply don’t believe that taking financial risks for our company that could pose indirect risks to our clients would serve our clients in any way.
PRINCIPLE #7 Operational Professionalism
At ASI, we have a dedicated and knowledgeable staff ready to assist you with all your asset protection and wealth building needs. Our highly trained and educated Preferred Client Relations representatives can answer all of your questions, discuss your options, and assist you with international and domestic asset protection and investment needs. Your Preferred Client Relations representatives do NOT work on a commission basis, so they are always guided by what is best to meet the clients’ stated goals, not by their own interests.
In the end, the Retail Gold Investment Principles (RGIPs) as set by the World Gold Council are a base set of standards for the industry, but at ASI, we not only want to meet these standards, but go above and beyond.
Give us a call at 800-831-0007 or email us if you have any questions, or if you would like to find out how ASI can serve you.