Lear Capital advertises itself as the leading place to buy gold and silver as part of a precious metals IRA or for direct shipping to your home.
Our review 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 customer transactions.
The company is also an authorized Professional Coin Grading Service, so its customers also benefit from skilled coin grading and authentification 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 rating: 4/5
Table of Contents
- Our review of Lear Capital in a few words
- More Than 10 Years of Experience
- Live Web Assistance
- IRA Rollover Assistance
- Your Precious Metals are Stored in the Delaware Depository
- Authorized Professional Coin Grading Services
- Main pros about Lear Capital:
- They Enable IRA Savers to Own Hard Precious Metals in Their Retirement Portfolio
- They Also Offer Premium Rare Coins for Sale
- Free IRA Setup and Storage
- Real-Time Precious Metals Pricing and Alerts
- 24 Hour Risk-Free Purchase
- Guaranteed Price Match
- Free Evaluation of Other Dealer’s Precious Metals
- Customer Perks
- Invaluable Investor Resources
- Their Website is Updated Regularly to Keep You in the Know
- Cons about Lear Capital precious metals
- Is Lear Capital a Scam?
- How is Their Customer Support?
- Has There Been any Complaints About Lear Capital?
- To conclude our review of Lear Capital
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 precious metal 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 precious metals 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 purchases to help you make more confident decisions.
However, your Lear Capital representative will also answer any questions you may have before your purchase. They can also make recommendations on the right type of IRA precious 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 precious metals storage facility established in 1999.
Your silver, gold, and other precious metals 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 client, 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 customer reviews on Trustpilot and Google Reviews.
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 precious metals.
Main pros about Lear Capital:
They Enable IRA Savers to Own Hard Precious Metals 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, and other precious metals in your retirement portfolio and still receive the same recognition and tax benefits as an IRA, you must purchase 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 a precious metals IRA account holder to benefit from their products, as the company also sells 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, like other all other precious metals, they also have a possibility of high profitability.
Hence, investors can purchase 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 customers 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 fees 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 free storage fees along with the free account setup fee, and investments of more than $75,000 will get you up to 3 years of free fees.
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 Precious Metals Pricing and Alerts
To jump on the best precious metals prices, you need the ability to track its current cost at all times, which Lear Capital enables you to do via its live price 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.
Clients can also receive instant email alerts when the price of the precious metals in their watchlist reaches their desired cost.
24 Hour Risk-Free Purchase
The company also gives its clients up to 24 hours to decide whether they are completely satisfied with their purchase.
If within, this time, for some reason the client is not satisfied with their precious metals investment, Lear Capital will allow them to cancel their order 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 metals purchase, if their clients happen to stumble upon a comparable product with a more reasonable price elsewhere, Lear Capital promises to reimburse them to match the price or to allow them to purchase it at a lower cost.
If there is ever an instance where they are unable to beat or match the competitor’s price, they will allow you to cancel your order altogether without any charges.
Free Evaluation of Other Dealer’s Precious Metals
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 sell 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 price evaluations are also free, and you can also receive free monthly or quarterly tracking of your portfolio by the company, even on precious metals purchased from other companies.
The company also offers various promotions and perks to its customers.
For instance, their current promotion enables clients to get up to $15,000 in bonus coins when they make their first purchase by November 30, 2022.
However, this only applies to purchases of $5,000 and up, and the amount of bonus coins you get per investment is based on a sliding scale starting at $100.
The promotion also only applies to coin purchases.
When you sign up for their Lear Advantage IRA, you also get a free Gold and Silver Guide that also includes a free silver coin.
Invaluable Investor Resources
The company also provides you with a host of investor resources to help keep you informed on the world of precious metals.
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 free newsletter that enables you to get current market news, the latest information on precious metals and investing in rare coins, and more via email.
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 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 investment 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 clients is to consistently provide them with current information on precious metals 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.
Clients can also stream news via their site for live reports.
Cons about Lear Capital precious metals
The Company’s Commission Fees are Not Disclosed
Lear Capital does a good job of listing its fees on the company site, from annual fees to storage fees 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 customers, not even in the paperwork, which makes it hard to calculate the total cost for their precious metals 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 fees, they chose not to disclose their commission fees, which makes you leery of their trustworthiness.
Is Lear Capital a Scam?
Lear Capital has many positive customer reviews overall, in addition to a triple-A rating with the Consumer Alliance.
However, we also conducted an online search on Google for the words “scam” and “complaints” along with the company’s name, and 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.
We also found 37 customer 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 customers feeling they were overcharged for precious metals and/or being charged hidden fees that resulted in a lower investment than they anticipated given the known charges for their account.
Several clients also complained of poor customer service, including no human response, unreturned messages, non-working contact numbers, and misleading information concerning their refund.
One customer complaint also accused the company of pushing them to buy coins instead of bullion, which is what they really wanted.
However, the company has a 100% Business Response rating 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?
Lear Capital boasts that customer 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 precious metals account to track their performance via their secure website for added customer care.
The company states that its clients 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 customer reviews, some clients 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 review of Lear Capital
Claims of Inflated Prices
Though Lear Capital boasts all the features of a leading IRA precious metals company by way of its site’s information, its number and type of customer complaints leave you feeling otherwise.
For instance, you wonder if they really honor their price match guarantee or even try to beat their competitors’ prices, given all the client reviews stating that they were overcharged for their coins.
Questionable Hidden Fees
And though they list many general fees 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, customers 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 customer 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 price, 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.