Lear Capital advertises itself as the leading place to get gold and silver as part of a precious metals IRA or for direct shipping to your home.
What we think of Lear Capital in a few words
Company name: Lear Capital
BBB grade: B
Summary: Lear Capital is a precious metals company led by founder, financial expert, and well-known analyst, Kevin Demeritt, who began the establishment in 1997.
Since then, it has been his goal for the company to earn clients' support by providing above-average service when it comes to investing in precious metals, which they boast has earned them over $2.5 billion in transactions.
The company is also an authorized Professional Coin Grading Service, so its members also benefit from skilled coin grading and authentication services. However, you should be aware there is currently a lawsuit filed against them and some customers think their fees are too high. Make sure to read our conclusion to know more.
Our score: 4/5
Should you work with Lear Capital 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 Lear Capital isn’t one of them and discover our top 3 recommendations for this year.
More Than 10 Years of Experience
The company proudly credits its success to the 10+ years of experience helping clients maximize and diversify their long-term investments against the market vulnerabilities of bonds, stocks, and other traditional equities using precious metals.
Live Web Assistance
It also prides itself on providing live web assistance during business hours for real-time support and guidance with opening a new account, IRA rollovers, and more.
IRA Rollover Assistance
Their IRA authorities can even help check the terms and conditions of your existing 401k, 403b, and more to see if it is eligible for a gold IRA transfer. If so, the specialist can have the funds transfer complete within about 5 days, depending on your previous retirement account custodian.
They will also walk you through their different options once your account is funded so that you make the best selections for you.
If you are new to precious metals, you can simply check out the investor resources located on their site before making your choices to help you make more confident decisions.
However, your Lear Capital representative will also answer any questions you may have. They can also make recommendations on the right type of IRA metals to add to your account based on your future objectives and more.
Your Precious Metals are Stored in the Delaware Depository
Like Augusta Precious Metals, the company also works with the Delaware depository, which is a notable, IRS-approved storage facility established in 1999.
Your silver, gold, platinum or palladium are also covered by a comprehensive insurance policy written by Lloyds of London while in their care, including during shipping, for peace of mind.
As a Lear Capital member, they also promise the added benefit of excellent customer service, which you can observe for yourself via their high business ratings with the Business Consumer Alliance and Consumer Advocate. They also have many favorable testimonies on Trustpilot and Google.
Authorized Professional Coin Grading Services
The company is also a member of the Precious Metals Association, which is dedicated to facilitating best practices and more among its team.
They also work with the widely recognized NGC coin grading service and Professional Coin Grading Service Authorized for the finest and most true-to-value evaluations of your holdings.
Main pros about Lear Capital:
They Enable IRA Savers to Own Hard Gold and Silver in Their Retirement Portfolio
Precious metals are shown throughout time to increase in value when the U.S dollar's worth declines due to various factors. Hence, when they are added to your IRA account, they can help buffer the impact of bearish market activity that can cause your entire portfolio to plummet without the right diversification.
However, the only way to own physical gold, silver, palladium or platinum in your retirement portfolio and still receive the same recognition and tax benefits as an IRA, you must get them with the aid of an alternative investments company like Lear Capital.
Therefore, by opening a gold or silver IRA account with them, it not only enables you to own actual precious metals but also with all the liability deferred advantages of other retirement plans.
They Also Offer Premium Rare Coins for Sale
You don't just have to be an IRA account holder to benefit from their products, as the company also trades rare coins for collectors of the most invaluable coins.
Rare coins are also hailed for their long-term stability throughout volatile market conditions compared to stocks, bonds, etc. And because they are rare, they also have a possibility of high profitability.
Hence, investors can get rare coins outside of or in addition to a retirement account to help counterbalance the negative effects of an underperforming economy.
Free IRA Setup and Storage
When users invest an initial amount of $10,000 to $75,000 in limited Mintage coins, they can have their IRA setup and/or storage account fees waived for the first year to three years of service.
An initial investment of $10,000 will result in a free IRA setup fee. However, your account setup fee and first year's storage costs will be waived for initial investments between $25,000 to $50,000.
Initial investments above $50,000 up to $75,000 earns you up to two years of complimentary storage fees along with the account setup fee, and investments of more than $75,000 will get you up to 3 years.
Otherwise, there is an initial charge of $280 to set up your IRA account and maintain it, and then a $200 annual fee after that time, which covers the cost of quarterly statements, insurance, storage, and 24/7 access to your online account.
Real-Time Value and Alerts
To jump on the best precious metals value, you need the ability to track its current cost at all times, which Lear Capital enables you to do via its live chart.
Using the chart, investors can analyze gold, platinum, silver, and palladium prices for the past 24 hours up to 30 days or more to get a personal feel for the right time to enter the market.
Members can also receive instant email alerts when the value of the precious metals in their watchlist reaches their desired cost.
24 Hour Risk-Free Acquisition
The company also gives its users up to 24 hours to decide whether they are completely satisfied with their acquisition.
If within, this time, for some reason the person is not satisfied with their investment, Lear Capital will allow them to cancel it without an explanation.
Clients also will not be charged for canceling their order as part of the company's 24-hour risk-free guarantee.
Guaranteed Price Match
Up to 24 hours after their precious metal acquisitions, if their members happen to stumble upon a comparable product with a more reasonable value elsewhere, the company promises to reimburse them to match it or to allow them to acquire it at a lower cost.
If there is ever an instance where they are unable to beat or match the competitor's value, they will allow you to cancel your order altogether without any charges.
Evaluation of Other Dealer's Holdings
Coin collectors looking to have their coin portfolio evaluated and valued can also do so via the company.
This way, if you are looking to dispose of any or all of your assets, you have a professional estimate of what you can get for them.
For larger, more substantial collections, Lear Capital will even come to your residence to assess your coins so that you don't have to fret over how you will lug them into their office. They also provide skilled estimates for auctions and consignments.
Their evaluations are also complimentary, and you can also receive monthly or quarterly tracking of your portfolio by the company, even on assetsacquired from other companies.
The company also offers various perks to its members.
For instance, their current one enables clients to get up to $15,000 in bonus coins when they make their first investment.
However, this only applies to $5,000 acquisitions and up, and the amount of coins you get per investment is based on a sliding scale starting at $100. It also only applies to coin acquisitions.
When you sign up for their Lear Advantage IRA, you also get a Gold and Silver Guide that also includes a gratuitous silver coin.
Invaluable Investor Resources
Like Patriot Gold Group, the company also provides you with a host of investor resources to help keep you informed on the world of silver and gold.
For instance, to calculate how much you'll need to set aside for your retirement taking inflation into consideration, or to compare the effect of the addition of precious metals on your stock portfolio, and more simply visit their Smart Tools Suite.
You can also keep track of the latest developments in the finance industry and the economy to see how they impact your retirement savings while there. The Smart Tools Suite also includes access to investor eBooks, videos, and more to help increase your understanding of precious metals investing.
The company also offers a newsletter that enables you to get current market news, the latest information on the industry and investing in rare coins, and more via email.
Lear Capital's retirement center
There is also a retirement center to learn the answers to various questions concerning using a Gold IRA for your retirement and more.
And then, for those of you who have ever heard the names of various popular American coins like gold plated quarters but have never had a reference that enables you to put a picture to the name, they offer the coin encyclopedia.
This way, you can actually see what different coins look like to determine if you want to invest in them.
The pictures also include details about the coin, including its history, to further help with your holding choice.
If you'd like, you can also download the company's reporting obligations, refund policy, transaction agreement, and more before you invest in their Lear Advantage IRA.
Their Website is Updated Regularly to Keep You in the Know
One of Lear Capital's commitments to its users is to consistently provide them with current information on gold IRAs and rare coins.
Therefore, their website is updated each day and also weekly for real-time gold, silver, platinum, and palladium prices. They also provide new articles regularly. Users can also stream news via their site for live reports.
Cons about this organization
The Company's Commission Costs are Not Disclosed
Similar to American Bullion, Lear Capital does a good job of listing its fees on the company site, from annual to storage costs to its minimal requirement investment for bonuses to precious metals pricing and more.
However, they do not disclose their commission charges on their site and, according to several persons, not even in the paperwork, which makes it hard to calculate the total cost for their IRA, only to discover later, and to your surprise, that it's not the ideal price for you.
It also makes you wonder why out of all their costs, they chose not to disclose their commission fees, which makes you leery of their trustworthiness.
Is Lear Capital a Scam?
The firm has many positive testimonies overall, in addition to a triple-A with the Consumer Alliance.
An on-going lawsuit against them
However, we also conducted an online search on Google for the words “scam” and “complaints” along with the company's name, and unfortunately similar to what happened with Monex, we found information published on the New York Attorney General's website that the company is being sued by the Attorney General for allegedly defrauding almost 1,000 New Yorkers out of $10 million via hidden commission fees, misleading answers.
The lawsuit states that the company was able to do so under the pretense that they were registered commodities broker-dealers or investment advisors in the state of New York, of which they are not.
Few complaints closed in the past year and 100% Business Response rating
We also found 37 complaints on the company filed with the Better Business Bureau in the last 3 years, resulting in a B accreditation. However, 8 of the complaints were closed in the past year.
Most complaints filed against the company involved people feeling they were overcharged for precious metals and/or being charged hidden costs that resulted in a lower investment than they anticipated given the known charges for their account.
Several persons also complained of poor customer service, including no human response, unreturned messages, non-working contact numbers, and misleading information concerning their refund.
One complaint also accused the company of pushing them to get coins instead of bullion, which is what they really wanted.
However, the company has a 100% Business Response badge with the BBB, which can be assumed is because they are quick to respond to their customer's grievances and care about their reputation.
How is Their Customer Support?
Like Money Metals, Lear Capital boasts that user satisfaction tops the list for them when it comes to their service.
Hence, they promise that you will have a trained account representative as your main contact for addressing your questions and concerns. However, they also have a dedicated customer Care line and email listed on their site for answering more complex inquiries.
They also state that their IRA Custodians at Self Directed IRA Services, Inc., provide you with 24/7 access to your account to track their performance via their secure website for added customer care.
The company states that its members also enjoy immediate processing of their distributions and funds when they are ready to make a withdrawal from their accounts.
But as we observed from their member reviews, some of them may or may not have received this degree of customer care on all or some levels when dealing with Lear Capital.
Has There Been any Complaints About Lear Capital?
A Google search of Lear Capital returns various complaints about the company. So be sure to do your research before investing with them.
To conclude our audit of this company
Claims of Inflated Prices
Though the firm boasts all the features of a leading IRA precious metals company by way of its site's information, its number and type of complaints leave you feeling otherwise.
For instance, you wonder if they really honor their price match guarantee or even try to beat their competitors' costs, given all the people stating that they were overcharged for their coins.
Questionable Hidden Costs
And though they list many general costs on their site but omit their commission fees makes you wonder if it's to deliberately hide their high costs until you've already invested, after which time you may simply forego the refund process to avoid the hassle.
However, in some cases, they shared that their commission fee took up to 1/3 of their investment, which made it worthwhile for them to pursue a refund.
There is a Lawsuit Filed Against Them by the Attorney General of New York
The worst of the worst about this business is it has a lawsuit filed against it by the Attorney General of New York, which means its complaints are nothing to disregard.
Furthermore, one of the claims in the suit is that the company preyed on elderly investors, which doesn't give you confidence in them morally or make you want to recommend them to senior members of your family, especially, for their safety.
They May be Better Suited for Simply Purchasing a Few Rare Coins Here and There
If you can stomach Lear Capital's negative publicity, perhaps you've reached the conclusion that the only thing the company may be useful for is purchasing its rare coins independently of its IRA, which, even at an inflated cost, may be worth it for just a few coins of their type.
However, we still advise that you do so at your own discretion, given the unfavorable claims against them.