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Last Updated on June 8, 2023
In the world of investing, diversification is a strategy employed to manage risk and ensure financial stability. Among the myriad investment avenues available, precious metals have held their allure over centuries as a store of wealth.
Hard Assets Alliance (HAA) has emerged as a leading platform for investing in precious metals, particularly with its emphasis on safety, security, and transparency.
This comprehensive review aims to provide an in-depth analysis of HAA’s products, services, pros and cons, pricing, and what customers are saying about it.
What is Hard Assets Alliance?
Established in 2012, Hard Assets Alliance is an innovative platform that combines the features of a brokerage service with those of a traditional bullion dealer. It facilitates the purchase, storage, and sale of precious metals.
Offering an online platform that enables investors to buy, sell or take physical delivery of precious metals, HAA aims to make investing in precious metals as seamless as buying stocks or bonds.
Hard Assets Alliance Products and Services
Hard Assets Alliance offers a wide array of products and services designed to meet the needs of both novice and experienced precious metals investors. Its offerings span across different types of metals and services, each playing a crucial role in a robust investment strategy.
The allure of gold as an investment option comes from its long history as a store of wealth and a hedge against economic uncertainty. Hard Assets Alliance offers a selection of investment-grade gold products, designed to meet a variety of investment goals.
Investors can purchase gold in the form of bullion coins and bars. These include popular coins such as the American Gold Eagles, Canadian Gold Maple Leafs, and Austrian Gold Philharmonics, and gold bars from reputable mints across the globe. Such diversity in offerings allows investors to choose the gold product that best aligns with their investment goals and risk tolerance.
Silver, like gold, is a valuable asset that investors often turn to as a hedge against inflation and currency fluctuations. Silver is unique, though, as it also holds industrial value, being used in various industries including electronics, medical applications, and renewable energy.
HAA offers silver in the form of bullion coins and bars. This includes recognized coins such as the American Silver Eagles and Canadian Silver Maple Leafs, as well as high-quality silver bars from respected mints worldwide. The ability to invest in physical silver offers a tangible way to diversify an investment portfolio.
While not as popular as gold and silver, platinum offers potential advantages for investors willing to navigate its unique market. This white metal is both rarer and more heavily used in industry than gold, particularly in automotive manufacturing for catalytic converters.
HAA provides investors the opportunity to purchase platinum bars and coins, helping investors diversify their portfolio and take advantage of this often-undervalued precious metal.
Palladium, another precious metal offered by HAA, is primarily used in the automotive industry for catalytic converters, which turn harmful gases into less harmful substances. As emission standards globally become stricter, demand for palladium is expected to grow, making it an interesting investment prospect.
Investors can purchase palladium bars through the Hard Assets Alliance platform, offering a way to capitalize on the metal’s industrial demand.
A vital component of investing in precious metals is ensuring their secure storage. HAA offers a fully allocated, segregated storage solution, meaning your metals are individually marked and kept separate from others.
Their SmartMetals® storage program provides storage in professional-grade vaults located in the U.S. and other politically stable countries. Locations include New York, Salt Lake City, Zurich, London, Singapore, Sydney, and Toronto. This service ensures your precious metals are securely held and can be quickly liquidated if necessary.
HAA’s platform also offers features that streamline the investment process. These include an online trading platform that allows users to buy and sell precious metals 24/7, real-time pricing, and transparent, all-inclusive pricing models. Additionally, their MetalStream service allows for automatic, recurring purchases of gold or silver, providing an easy way to accumulate precious metals over time.
In summary, Hard Assets Alliance offers a comprehensive suite of products and services for precious metals investing. Its extensive selection of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products, combined with its secure storage options and innovative trading platform features, make it a one-stop-shop for investors looking to add precious metals to their portfolios.
Hard Assets Alliance Account Types
Hard Assets Alliance caters to a broad spectrum of investors with varied financial goals. They do this by offering multiple account types, each tailored to meet specific investing needs and strategies. Here is a closer look at these account types and who they may be best suited for:
The Standard Account is a basic, straightforward account that is designed to facilitate the buying, selling, and storing of precious metals. It’s best suited for investors looking to take a hands-on approach to their precious metal investments. It allows users to buy, sell, and manage their metal holdings in real-time via an online platform, similar to a brokerage account for stocks. This account provides access to a full range of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products.
MetalStream Automatic Investments
The MetalStream service is an automatic investment feature that allows clients to set up recurring purchases of gold or silver. This can be an excellent tool for investors who believe in the value of consistently investing over time, a strategy known as dollar-cost averaging. By investing a fixed amount at regular intervals, investors can potentially reduce the impact of price volatility on their overall investment. This account can be beneficial for both new and seasoned investors who want to build their precious metals holdings gradually.
The Business Account is tailored to meet the needs of corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships that wish to invest in precious metals. This type of account can be an excellent way for businesses to diversify their holdings and hedge against financial risks. It also provides businesses access to the full suite of Hard Assets Alliance’s services, including the online trading platform and vault services.
Precious Metals IRA
A Precious Metals IRA account is for investors who wish to diversify their retirement portfolios with precious metals. These self-directed IRAs allow you to hold physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, which can provide a hedge against inflation and stock market volatility. Hard Assets Alliance makes the process of setting up a Precious Metals IRA straightforward, offering a dedicated IRA support team to guide you through the process.
Estate and Trust
The Estate and Trust account is designed for wealth preservation and estate planning purposes. It allows individuals, families, and trusts to invest in precious metals, ensuring the safe passage of wealth to future generations. The account provides all the standard features of the Hard Assets Alliance platform and is particularly useful for individuals interested in long-term wealth preservation.
The diverse account types offered by Hard Assets Alliance are designed to cater to a wide range of investment needs. Whether you are a novice investor looking to invest a small amount each month or an experienced investor interested in diversifying your portfolio, Hard Assets Alliance has an account type to suit your needs.
Tips for Deciding Which Hard Assets Alliance Account Type Will Work Best for You
Choosing the right account type with Hard Assets Alliance is crucial as it can significantly impact your investment strategy, potential returns, and overall satisfaction with the platform. Here are some tips to help you decide which account type might be the best fit for your needs:
Define Your Investment Goals
Your investment goals will play a significant role in determining the right account type. If you’re looking to invest in precious metals as part of your retirement savings, then a Precious Metals IRA might be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if your goal is to gradually accumulate precious metals over time, the MetalStream Automatic Investments account could be a great fit.
Consider Your Risk Tolerance
Precious metals, like any investment, come with their own set of risks. Understanding your risk tolerance will help you decide on the right mix of metals and the type of account. For instance, if you’re comfortable with more risk for potentially higher returns, you might consider investing in platinum or palladium, which are often more volatile than gold and silver.
Understand Your Time Horizon
Your investment time horizon also plays a role in choosing the right account. If you’re investing for the long term, such as for retirement, a Precious Metals IRA might be a good choice. Alternatively, if you’re interested in potentially profiting from short-term price fluctuations, a Standard Account might be more suitable.
Evaluate Your Monthly Investment Budget
If you have a limited budget for investing in precious metals each month, the MetalStream Automatic Investments account could be a good choice. This account type allows you to set up automatic, recurring purchases of gold or silver, letting you build your precious metals holdings gradually over time.
Consider Your Business Needs
If you’re a business owner or part of a partnership looking to diversify your business assets, the Business Account might be the ideal choice. This account is designed to cater to the specific needs of businesses, offering features and benefits that are useful for corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships.
Evaluate Your Estate Planning Goals
If you’re interested in wealth preservation and estate planning, the Estate and Trust account could be the right choice. This account allows you to invest in precious metals as part of a long-term strategy for passing wealth to future generations.
In conclusion, selecting the best Hard Assets Alliance account type for you comes down to understanding your financial goals, risk tolerance, investment horizon, and specific needs. It’s recommended to consult with a financial advisor or a tax professional to understand the implications of investing in precious metals and to ensure the chosen account aligns with your overall financial plan.
Setting Up an IRA With Hard Assets Alliance
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) offer an excellent opportunity for individuals to save for retirement in a tax-advantaged manner. A Precious Metals IRA with Hard Assets Alliance (HAA) takes it a step further, allowing you to diversify your retirement savings with physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Here’s a step-by-step guide on setting up an IRA with Hard Assets Alliance:
Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility
Before you start, ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements for an IRA. Generally, you need to have earned income, and there are income limits for certain types of IRAs. It’s a good idea to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional to understand these requirements in detail.
Step 2: Open a Precious Metals IRA Account with HAA
Visit the Hard Assets Alliance website and navigate to the account setup page. Choose the Precious Metals IRA account type and fill out the required information. HAA uses New Direction Trust Company as its preferred IRA custodian. You’ll need to provide personal information including your Social Security number, employment information, and a valid form of identification.
Step 3: Fund Your Account
Once your account is set up, you’ll need to fund it. You can do this in a few ways: by making a contribution, by rolling over funds from another IRA, or by transferring funds from a 401(k) or similar retirement account. Note that there are annual contribution limits set by the IRS, and rollovers and transfers may have tax implications, so it’s wise to consult with a tax advisor beforehand.
Step 4: Choose Your Investments
After funding your account, you can select the precious metals you wish to invest in. HAA offers a variety of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products suitable for IRA investment. Your choices should align with your risk tolerance, investment goals, and time horizon.
Step 5: Storage and Management
Once you have purchased your metals, HAA will arrange for their secure storage in one of their approved depositories. Your metals will be stored in a segregated, allocated account, and you can manage your investments through HAA’s online platform. Remember that with a Precious Metals IRA, the physical metals must remain in the custody of the custodian until you start taking distributions.
Setting up a Precious Metals IRA with Hard Assets Alliance is a relatively straightforward process. HAA provides a dedicated IRA support team to guide you through the setup and answer any questions you may have. It’s important to remember that investing in a Precious Metals IRA should be considered as part of a broader, diversified investment strategy. As always, consulting with a financial advisor or tax professional is recommended when making significant financial decisions.
Hard Assets Alliance Pros and Cons
Hard Assets Alliance (HAA) provides a platform that offers many benefits for investors interested in precious metals, but like any service, it’s not without its downsides. Understanding the pros and cons can help you make an informed decision about whether HAA is the right choice for your investment needs.
- Wide range of products: HAA offers a variety of precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. This broad range allows investors to diversify their holdings and choose metals that align with their specific investment strategies and goals.
- Multiple account types: HAA caters to a broad spectrum of investors by offering different account types, including Standard Accounts, MetalStream Automatic Investments, Business Accounts, Precious Metals IRAs, and Estate and Trust accounts. Each account type is designed to meet specific investing needs and strategies.
- Secure storage options: With HAA, investors can opt for secure storage of their precious metals in professional-grade vaults located around the world. This feature provides peace of mind and adds a layer of security for investors.
- Transparent pricing: HAA uses an all-in pricing model, which means the price you see includes all fees – there are no hidden charges. This transparency can make it easier for investors to calculate their potential returns and manage their investment budgets.
- Highly-rated customer service: HAA has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a high score on Trustpilot, demonstrating its commitment to providing quality customer service.
- Easy online access: HAA’s platform is user-friendly and provides 24/7 access to your account, allowing you to manage your investments at any time.
- Limited options for platinum and palladium: While HAA offers a variety of gold and silver products, their offerings for platinum and palladium are more limited. If you’re specifically interested in these metals, you might find the options to be somewhat restricted.
- No face-to-face customer service: HAA operates entirely online, which means you can’t walk into a physical location for customer service. While they offer phone and email support, some investors might miss the personal touch of face-to-face interactions.
- Potentially higher minimum investments: HAA has minimum purchase requirements that could be higher than some other platforms, which may be a deterrent for investors with smaller budgets.
In conclusion, Hard Assets Alliance offers many benefits for investors interested in precious metals, such as a wide product range, secure storage, and excellent customer service. However, the potential drawbacks, such as limited options for certain metals and lack of physical locations, are also worth considering. As always, it’s important to do your own research and consider your personal investment needs and goals when choosing a platform for investing in precious metals.
Pricing on HAA is based on the ‘spot price’ of the metal plus a premium, which varies based on the product. HAA offers competitive pricing due to its large network and volume of transactions.
Storage Options & Shipping
HAA provides secure storage in seven global vaults located in the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, and the UK. Clients can also choose to take personal delivery of their precious metals, unless they opt for an IRA, in which case the metals are stored in an IRS-approved depository.
Ratings and Reviews
Hard Assets Alliance (HAA) enjoys a positive reputation within the precious metals investment community, which is reflected in their ratings and reviews from trusted organizations and customers.
Trustpilot is a platform where customers can share reviews and experiences with businesses. HAA currently holds an impressive rating on Trustpilot, demonstrating a high level of customer satisfaction. Many of the reviews praise the company’s customer service, ease of use, and the seamless buying process. Some customers have mentioned their satisfaction with the secure storage options provided by HAA.
What Customers Are Saying
Apart from the ratings, HAA has received numerous positive reviews from customers on Trustpilot and other review platforms. Many customers have praised the company’s knowledgeable and responsive customer service team. They’ve also expressed appreciation for the easy-to-use online platform that provides 24/7 access to their accounts.
One recurring theme in the reviews is HAA’s secure storage options. Customers appreciate the peace of mind knowing their investments are stored safely in professional-grade vaults. Moreover, customers have mentioned the transparent pricing model as a big plus, as it helps them calculate potential returns and manage their investment budgets effectively.
However, it’s also worth noting that some customers have mentioned the higher minimum purchase requirements as a potential drawback. Investors with smaller budgets might find these minimums restrictive.
In conclusion, the positive ratings and reviews suggest that Hard Assets Alliance offers a reliable and trusted platform for investing in precious metals. The company’s commitment to customer service, transparency, and security is evident in the feedback from customers. As always, prospective customers should consider their own investment needs and goals when evaluating a service.
In the realm of precious metals investing, Hard Assets Alliance stands out as a reliable, secure, and customer-friendly platform.
With competitive pricing, a range of products and account types, and secure storage options, it offers a comprehensive solution for precious metals investing.
Despite some areas for improvement, the overwhelmingly positive customer feedback and high ratings suggest that HAA is a sound choice for those looking to diversify their portfolios with precious metals.