Invest in Gold (II) — GoldMoney: Buy Gold and Use it as a Checking Account
This is the second part of the Invest in Gold series. In the first part, I compared several gold dealers, mainly from the angle of price (price of the gold, shipping fees, and insurance charges), and the direct outcome of that research was the purchase of a gold coin myself last week from Bullion Direct.
During the research, while I was more interested in finding a reputable dealer that can sell me physical gold (coin or bar) at a good price and get it delivered to my hands at a low cost, I also looked at other alternatives to buy gold and one of them is GoldMoney. With gold dealers, you can buy gold coins or bars, which are usually fabricated into fixed amount such as 0.1 oz, 0.25 oz, 0.5 oz, and 1 oz, then have the products delivered to you. In my opinion, there are two big concerns with taking possession of physical gold: safeguard of the medal and liquidation. Nobody wants to throw a $650 gold coin in a drawer and forget about it. If you have a larger quantity of gold, the easiest way to make sure the medal is safe is to rent a safe deposit box at your bank. However, getting a safe deposit box adds to the overall costs of owning gold. On the other hand, while owning the metal (as there are suggestions that the only way to invest in gold is owning the physical metal than paper gold) represents wealth, cashing it in case you need the money is not that straightforward. The conversion will be relatively easy if you can find a trustworthy local gold dealer to sell your coins. Otherwise, selling the metal to dealers you can only find online is more likely to involve other fees (not include the shipping and insurance charges you have to pay out of your own pocket).
With GoldMoney, however, the hassle of buying and selling gold is much reduced and the price is very competitive as compared to other dealers.
The way that GoldMoney operates is totally different from all the dealers mentioned in the first part. Instead of being a bullion dealer that sells coins and bars, GoldMoney is more like a bank account, though you still have the option to receive physical gold with some additional delivery costs. By default, the gold purchased from GoldMoney will not be delivered to the buyer, but is stored in an insured vault in London. The following picture illustrates how GoldMoney works:
That is, buyers don’t automatically receive physical gold, but have a recorder of how much they own in their accounts with GoldMoney, which charges a monthly fee equivalent to 1/10th a gram of gold ($2.05) to store the gold. As of prices, the gold price quoted at GoldMoney is the price of the spot gold plus an exchange fee, ranging from 0.98% to 3.74% above the spot gold price. At one time this morning, when I checked prices at different dealers against the spot gold, I found the price of one ounce gold at GoldMoney is very competitive:
Spot: $641.30, GoldMoney: $664.61, Bullion Direct: $671.10, Kitco: $678.89
Besides the pricing (here’s the full fee schedule), GoldMoney also offers:
- Flexible purchase: Gold can be purchased in the quantity of goldgrams (one goldgram in weight is equal to one gram of gold and there are 31.103 grams per troy ounce) instead of the fixed amounts with coins and bars;
- Direct funding: Purchases of gold at GoldMoney can be directly funded by a bank account in US with a maximum of 500 goldgram (special procedure needed for larger purchases);
- Easy conversion: There’s no fee in converting goldgrams into cash, which will be deposited right into the bank account connected to the GoldMoney account;
Another key feature of GoldMoney is that users can actually use their GoldMoney account as a checking account to make payments. Anyone having an account at GoldMoney (free to sign up) can receive payment made by GoldMoney in goldgrams, though there’s no physical gold changing hands. In addition, after converting gold into some major currencies, goldgram can also be used to pay bills, a feature that’s not available at any other dealers.
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