Our resident precious metals guru, SWP General Manager Mark Yaxley, answers the question “What should I look for when considering storing precious metals offshore?”
It’s a great question and one that investors ask us often. By the time they ask us, they’ve identified a fundamental concern with the jurisdiction they currently hold their precious metals. That concern varies from person to person, but generally it has to do with increased government regulations, the physical security of their metals or that they’ve simply accumulated most of their wealth in one single place.
When it comes to storing precious metals offshore, there are two main areas that investors need to consider. Number one, is the jurisdiction where the metals should be stored and secondly, is identifying the best secure storage facility within that jurisdiction.
The jurisdiction comes first. Here’s what to look for:
Discretion from wealth reporting – you want to select a place where your personal information and holdings are not going to be reported to the local or foreign governments or tax authorities.
Tax and tariff free – ideally, a country that does not impose any sales tax on the purchase or storage of precious metals, nor any import tariffs on precious metals (in the case of a delivery).
Metals Friendly – a place whose government is not only stable, but who understands and appreciates the importance foreign investment and values investor privacy.
Proximity - you’ll want to maintain proximity to your metals, so select a country that is within a half-day’s travel, shares a similar time zone and whose residents speak the same language.
Find the best storage facility in the jurisdiction and take a close look at its policies:
Retain direct ownership – understand the form of precious metals you are buying and how it will be stored. Ideally, 100% allocated and segregated, clearly defined as your personal property.
Visitations and self-audits – you’ll want to select a facility that allows you to visit your metals upon request. There is no better way to know that your metals are safe and actually exist.
Independent third-party audits – the facility must perform independent audits and provide you with a statement from a recognized third-party auditor at least once per year.
Insurance policy – make sure that the facility maintains a robust insurance policy against events including theft (also employee theft), fire, flooding and mysterious disappearances.
Liquidity – this is a critical item, often overlooked by investors. Make sure that the facility can provide you with a liquid market to buy and sell your precious metals on demand. In the case you are selling metals, they must be able to pay you within 48-72 hours. The last thing you want is for your metals to be stuck in a facility where you can’t sell them quickly, if needed.
If the jurisdiction and storage facility you select successfully checks all the above boxes, it’s very likely that you will have addressed the initial concern that led you to seek out offshore storage in the first place. Note, SWP offers investors access to secure storage in nine jurisdictions worldwide, all managed under one single SWP account, including eight outside of the United States.
To learn more, visit our website: https://swpcayman.com/storage/locations
Mark Yaxley is the General Manager for Strategic Wealth Preservation. Following the completion of his studies at McGill University, Mark joined world-renowned Kitco Metals in 2006, serving as their Product Development Manager and Product Marketing Manager until 2013. Mark joined Strategic Wealth Preservation in 2014 and now serves as the General Manager, focusing on the diverse needs of SWP’s high-net-worth and commercial clients. He has become an advisor on the education of investors as to how they can most easily invest in precious metals and manage their portfolios. As the how-to guru, Mark’s writings offer practical solutions to the questions asked by those seeking to own and store precious metals.