A few of our TRADEway students/precious metals investors have shown a great interest in proper storage for their metals lately, wanting some advice on how to do it properly and efficiently. This can be a slightly tougher topic to tackle than most, because storage can be so subjective. Obviously, the best person to come up with storage options for your hard-earned investments is yourself! But, I'm going to talk about a couple of points that you might find helpful as you embark on this new journey of precious metals investing.
1. Size Constraints
As you probably already know, gold is a much more dense metal than silver is, and this plays a part in storing them. This means that an ounce of gold is more compact in size than an ounce of silver, which can cause some constraints in and of itself. But, if that wasn't enough, there's also the massive price difference between the metals, in which the figures show that silver takes up roughly 128 times more space than gold for the same dollar value! So, if your bullion stack is comprised of mostly silver (or if you plan for it to), you're going to need put this into consideration as you make storage plans.
2. Easy Access for Emergencies
If you're like me, the main purpose of investing in precious metals is to have a safety net of intrinsically valuable items that could be used for trade in the case of an emergency. Or, at the very least, just for holding some of the value of my savings through another Great Recession. If something like this does occur, it’s important to be able to easily access at least a portion of your bullion. Many people choose to keep part of their bullion holdings at home since metal is one of the few financial assets that can be kept privately outside of standard financial systems. However, storing metals at home does come with security issues that you’ll need to consider for your own protection.
3. Home Storage
Storing at home all comes down to what you're personally comfortable with (again, this is very subjective). Various things can affect your comfort level, such as the risk of theft or natural disasters. For instance, you may not wish to store your metals at home if you live in an area with a high crime rate or if multiple people know that you invest in precious metals, which includes anything you may have posted to social media on the topic (which I highly recommend you never do). Keep your metals investing a private thing between you and your family!
You’ll also need to consider a storage method such as a safe for any sizeable collection. Your safe should be heavy enough to discourage a thief (at least 300 pounds is generally recommended), or bolted to the floor or wall. It’s also wise to invest in a safe that’s fireproof and waterproof to protect your metals in the event of disaster. Choosing to store your metals at home makes it a wise decision to ensure that your home security system provides ample protection, including video recording.
4. Hiding Your Metal
Whether you keep a small stash of metals in a shoebox or a large bullion collection in a safe, you’ll need to consider how to hide your metals safely at home. The idea is to find a place that’s difficult for thieves or workmen to find, but not too complicated for you and your family to find. A good rule of thumb is to hide metals three layers deep to prevent easy grab-and-go thefts. This might mean, for example, putting your metals in a small safe underneath the floorboards, covered by rug, with a piece of furniture over it. If you wish to bury your metals, ensure that you protect them in an airtight, waterproof container and choose a location that’s easy for you find without attracting unwanted attention.
At TRADEway, we will always advocate personal at-home storage over anything else, because we know that accessibility is so vitally important to protecting your family in the case of a financial collapse. However, there are MANY things you have to factor into your risk management (some of which were stated above). Hopefully, this little article can help get you started in protecting your precious metals today!