There’s a lot of interest in precious metals these days. Government-backed fiat money, which is not backed by gold, isn't as trusted as it used to be, and some economists predict a global currency doomsday. Investing in gold, for example, which is crisis-resistant and expected to reach as much as $10,000 per ounce in the near future, is one logical safety measure. And, that's where Hard Assets Alliance comes in.
The legitimacy of the Hard Assets Alliance (HAA) has been questioned because it is promoted quite heavily by investment advisory services. So, for this HAA review, we’ll discuss the company's background, its products, and services, whether it’s a safe investment, its prices, any customer complaints, and more.
Our review of Hard Assets Alliance Metals in short
Company name: Hard Assets Alliance
BBB grade: F (not accredited)
Summary of our review: The main benefit here is actually the simplicity that Hard Assets Alliance offers for buying, holding, and selling precious metals. You can probably find precious metals being sold a bit cheaper elsewhere, but the HAA process is painless and the prices are competitive.
This can make it a better choice than some other precious metals companies as long as it's safe and secure, which appears to be the case with Hard Assets Alliance. However, you must know that HAA is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and the company had a few complaints over the last 3 years.
Our rating: 3/5
Should you work with Hard Assets Alliance in 2023?
We understand how difficult it is to choose a reliable precious metals company to work with. For that reason, we created a list of gold IRA dealers that we think are best to avoid. Click on the button below to make sure Hard Assets Alliance isn’t one of them and discover our top 3 recommendations for this year.
About Hard Assets Alliance
Founded by long-term investing professionals, Hard Assets Alliance saw gold's potential, but also saw its many shortcomings. Thus, their main goal was to transform physical gold into a first-rate financial asset.
Accomplishing that meant that they needed to make it electronically traded in a highly-competitive marketplace complete with a best-execution guarantee and good price discovery.
It was also very important that the gold be liquid like stocks and bonds, stored in third-party institutional class vaults, and all without being compromised like ETFs and fractional bars are. That way, they could be agents for customers like you while making no compromises as they protect your wealth.
Their platform has now become the worldwide gold standard for the largest wealth managers. They provide real, physical precious metals for clients and many independent registered investment advisors of all sizes, as well as direct to HAA customers.
Few of HAA 60+ members
The alliance itself is made up of 60+ members, including:
- Agora Financial
- Cambridge House
- Casey Research
- Daily Reckoning
- Eagle Publishing
- Mauldin Economics
- Oxford Club
- Peak Prosperity
- Rich Dad
- Sovereign Society
- Street Authority
- StreetWise Reports,
With the most options being for gold and silver, HAA offers several precious metals from gold and silver to platinum and palladium.
This includes gold bars that range from one ounce to one kilogram as well as one-ounce coins like gold American Buffalo nickels, American Eagles, Austrian Philharmonics, Canadian Maple Leafs, Great Britain Britannias, and South African Krugerrands.
At HAA, you’ll find silver bars ranging from 100 to 1,000 ounces plus one-ounce coins like American Eagles, Austrian Philharmonics, Buffalo Nickels, and Great Britain Britannia, as well as 500-ounce “Monster Boxes” of American Eagle coins.
Platinum & Palladium
The only options currently available are one-ounce bars.
HAA must verify everyone's identity when opening an account since it is a US company. This requirement always applies, regardless of where in the world you open your account. The process of joining SmartMetals and verifying who you are doesn't take long, and you can start making your first purchase right after joining. A variety of accounts can be created, including:
- Corporate Accounts
- Individual Accounts
- Joint Accounts
- Retirement (IRA) Accounts
- Trust Accounts
- Uniform Transfer to Minors (UTMA) Accounts
It's good to see all these options, however, the majority of investors will probably be mainly interested in opening either a Personal Account (the most common) or an IRA Account if you’re interested in investing for your retirement and saving money on your taxes in the process.
MetalSTREAM from Hard Assets Alliance: automate your precious metals investments
As an alternative to the above accounts, MetalSTREAM accounts are also available. This is HAA’s automated monthly investment account. MetalSTREAM requires a monthly fee of $25 and allows you to link your bank account to automatically invest a specified amount into precious metals each month.
Your money is held until you have accumulated enough for a full bar or coin. Over the long term, this is an excellent hands-free way to invest.
The annual HAA cost of storage is:
- Gold, Platinum and Palladium: 0.7% per year
- Silver: 0.8% per year
The Hard Assets Alliance Gold Edge
We all worry about financial markets and worldwide currencies' stability. And, like us, you probably worry about what lies ahead for you and your family. Unfortunately, nobody knows for sure.
That’s why investing in safe-haven assets makes sense since we can’t predict our future. In light of the fact that we can only make educated guesses about the future, prudent investors are holding onto a meaningful allocation in those safe-haven assets like gold.
If gold is maintained as a central part of your asset allocation, research shows that it not only reduces volatility and dampens losses in tumultuous periods, but also raises your overall portfolio performance. In addition to short-term market corrections, gold can be used to hedge against long-term events like recessions and inflation.
In fact, over the past 50 years, gold's returns have improved while volatility has decreased. To put it simply, gold has offered investors resilience. And, historically it can provide the optimum risk/reward balance at a 15 to 20 percent allocation. Gold also performs with much more reliability when it’s not in paper form but in physical form.
The Right Platform
Why not rethink your portfolio allocation and learn how gold can not only boost your wealth but also help you weather volatility and any upcoming crises? It is, however, necessary to have a platform that allows you to buy and sell gold bullion whenever you need to, on your terms, in order to take advantage of the benefits of physical gold.
It's essential to have a platform that lets you grow over time while keeping your gold safe. It should also provide the near-instant liquidity of a mutual fund without all the sacrifices, so you can generate profits, rebalance, or move into cash. Last but not least, there’s nothing more important than having a platform that gives you direct access to your whole coins and bars.
And. that’s where HAA comes in. Unlike paper promises or shares of giant bars that you can never claim, each ounce of physical metal purchased through them goes 100 percent to you. They store it in world-class non-bank vaults under your name and your name alone.
International Vault Choices with HAA
You can choose to store your precious metals in one of their world-class international non-bank vaults. They’re located in London, New York, Salt Lake City, Singapore, and Zurich and are run by the world’s most recognized security professionals, namely Loomis, Brinks, and Malca-Amit.
These professionals house gold for international banks, governments, and other entities that regularly demand total auditability and absolute security.
Do you want or even need to have access to the physical possession of your gold? Well, with Hard Assets Alliance, you can do that. After all, they’re your precious metals, and you can request delivery from storage at literally any time with absolutely no hassles or hidden fees. All you have to do is pay for the insured shipping and handling for delivery directly to you.
By storing your gold with HAA, you will always be retaining complete control over your holdings. And, you can even sell your precious metals in the HAA marketplace with immediate access to your proceeds.
Audits & Replacement Insurance
As well as daily audits by their vaulting partners, Hard Assets Alliance holds precious metals audits multiple times per year. And, they insure all of your metals for full replacement value with Lloyd's of London, unlike the insurance you'd have to purchase for metals stored at home.
In addition, independent security firms will audit your online account for added security and to ensure it complies with best practices and prevents unauthorized access.
Independent protocols ensure that no one can access your metals without your permission. With 24/7 onsite staff and biometric access control, their data centers are equipped with state-of-the-art security systems.
Furthermore, SAS 70 Type II audits are conducted regularly on their infrastructure in accordance with ISO 17799. All of this is structured specifically for giving you complete peace of mind when it comes to your precious metals investments.
Flexible Account Options
When you open an HAA account, you get the same tax advantages and/or estate account options that are regularly offered by brokers such as Fidelity and Vanguard. And real physical gold bullion can be used to diversify your retirement assets or gifts to beneficiaries instead of paper assets. On top of individual (one-owner) trading accounts, HAA supports the following:
A. Estate planning tools- Available w/ UTMA accounts, Trust accounts, and/or companies.
B. Flexibility-The flexibility to easily give a gift of gold and, when your beneficiary finds that they need the assets, they can be sold/delivered easily.
C. Retirement options w/ IRAs that are tax-advantaged- Yes, you can easily enjoy tax-free or tax-deferred gold investing with traditional retirement account options like Roth, SEP, or SIMPLE. And, if you already have an IRA, it’s easy to transfer the funds from your existing IRA or rollover your funds from your 401k or even a business account.
D. Whether you have a small business, a larger enterprise, or even a “checkbook IRA” that owns metals, you could be enjoying multi-user access the same as a business bank account only backed by gold.
E. Joint accounts- You can add two owners to a single account and share full ownership of the assets in it.
In just five minutes, your account can be created and funded with checks, bank wires, ACH transfers, or even cryptocurrency. And, with MetalStream TM, you can also automatically invest in gold and/or silver and adjust or stop investments at any time, as well as set up monthly deposits.
HAA provides an end-to-end long-term solution for investing in physical bullion that is simplest, most secure, and most flexible.
Is Hard Assets Alliance a scam?
Does this place offer reliable gold, silver, and other precious metals for sale, or is it a scam? It's legit, however, in spite of the fact that HAA is not a scam, there have been some legitimate complaints against the company.
Complaints About Hard Assets Alliance
OK, HAA isn’t a scam, however, there are a few complaints that you should be aware of. In general, HAA doesn't seem to have too many complaints, however, it may be because the company isn't too well-known yet. The majority of the complaints come from Trustpilot and involve
- Hidden Fees
- Lack of Transparency
- Lots of Moving Parts
- Poor Customer Service (in some cases)
How is their customer support?
This is one of the more common complaints that we've come across. Apparently, the customer service may leave a lot to be desired. One complaint says that they take days to respond instead of minutes or hours. Now a few days to receive support isn't great but it's not horrible either unless you really have an urgent situation that you need help with.
However, one complaint with the BBB had a client claiming that it had taken nearly two weeks to receive support.
On the other hand, as is usually the case, there are other clients who have reported a positive experience with HAA customer service, calling them helpful and responsive. So, whether there's more of one than the other remains to be seen.
Hard Assets Alliance's Pros and Cons
Every company has its pros and cons, including HAA, and here are a few of each:
- Buying, holding, and selling via HAA are all extremely easy.
- A decent number of precious metals options are available.
- HAA runs on the trusted GBI platform.
- Remote storage is available along with shipping directly to you as well.
- A lack of trust and transparency for some investors.
- A bit overpriced.
- Customer support doesn't appear to be that responsive.
- Not much info on the storage facilities used.
- Expensive shipping.
- Not accredited by the BBB
- Rated F by the Better Business Bureau
Final thoughts about HAA
We hope that you found this review informative and that it helps you to make an informed decision about HAA, its products, and its services. The big question now is whether HAA is worth using. Well, this will depend on what exactly you are looking for.
For beginners just getting started, they do make the process of investing in precious metals quite easy.
In addition, HAA provides both digital access as well as true ownership. And, HAA's vault storage option gives you the flexibility to sell or ship your precious metals anywhere in the world at any time. But, be sure to bear in mind that you’ll have to pay the shipping costs.
Would you rather invest in silver?
Our rating: 3/5