- Confirm the company's legal status. Has it filed its accounts and tax reports correctly in the state where it's based?
- If the company is publicly held, you should review their financial strength. If the company is private then you should ask for their audited financial statements.
- Research the precious metals company's background and reputation. This is easy thanks to the internet. But make sure that you're looking at independent, verifiable information about the company, and only from high-repute sources.
- Enter the company's name into major news-site search engines, and also search the names of its chief officers.
- Compare the prices and cost of services against those offered by its leading competitors. All the costs and prices should be transparent. This means that you should be able to understand where the price is coming from and how it compares with other pricing.
- You should buy what you want to buy, not what they want you to buy! If a vendor or provider attempts to strongly influence your purchasing decision this should be a cause for concern. It is better to do your own research prior to agreeing on a precious metals deal you didn't intend to make.
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Vice president of business development for BullionVault from 2012 to 2014, Miguel Perez-Santalla is a fierce advocate for retail investors, and a regular speaker at industry and media events. With over 30 years' experience in the precious metals business, Miguel has worked at the United States' top coin dealerships, as well as international refining group Heraeus.
See the full archive of Miguel Perez-Santalla articles.
Please Note: All articles published here are to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it. Please review our Terms & Conditions for accessing Gold News.