Compared to coins and small bars
Coins and small bars are normally 7% more expensive than gold on BullionVault. Dealers also tend to buy back at a discount of about 1%. BullionVault prices can be compared reliably against the published spot price. Our gold buying and selling prices are usually well within 0.2% of spot, and silver and platinum within 1%.
Although storing coins and small bars at home is free, it is not usually the wise geopolitical option. You will probably need to arrange your own insurance. For gold this is likely to be 10 times as much as BullionVault's combined storage and insurance fee of 0.12% for gold.
Compared to ETFs (Exchange-traded funds)
With ETFs, you never actually own physical gold. According to their trust deeds some ETFs are not even backed by gold; they are designed to track the gold price using complex derivatives. At BullionVault, we don't make something complex out of something simple. You own your gold.
With ETFs, you would pay a storage fee of around 0.40%, and most ETF gold is not insured, even within that fee. At BullionVault, storage and insurance costs just 0.12% per annum for gold.
The huge majority of ETF gold is stored in London and New York. The ETF manager chooses the jurisdiction – you don't. At BullionVault, we believe a choice of storage jurisdictions is important – as is the ability to switch. We let you choose. About 75% of our users choose Zurich, in Switzerland.
ETFs are traded on major stock exchanges, which tend to be open 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Not only do the results of referenda and elections usually come out overnight, but also there is now a growing list of crises which the authorities have deliberately kept hidden until late Friday evening, so as to avoid the judgment of the markets for as long as possible. To their regular frustration this prevents ETF owners trading at the most important and advantageous times. Being a 24/7 service BullionVault remains open, and becomes exceptionally active during these events.