BullionVault Review

Founded in 2005 by Paul Tustain, BullionVault is now owned by Galmarley Ltd. It holds gold in vaults in London, Zurich and New York for its customers, and in June 2012 held around 30 tonnes of gold.

The company is registered in England, and is regulated under UK Company Law. Because it trades in bullion which is outside the scope of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), it is not regulated by it.

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Investing in Gold through BullionVault

An investment in gold through BullionVault is a purchase of the physical gold, though this is then held in an allocated account within its vaults. This has the benefit to the investor of not having to pay the costs of taking delivery of the gold, and the cost of storage is incurred at wholesale rates rather than the more expensive retail rates. The gold is certified as investment grade, and is held in a named and numbered account for the benefit of the purchaser.

Sizes of Bars to suit the individual

A purchase of gold through BullionVault is an investment into bullion bars. These bars are of investment grade gold, and are available in a range of sizes from 1 gram. There is no maximum purchase. These bars are then stored in vaults in one of the major centres of the investor’s choice: London, Zurich, or New York.

Its accounts are audited daily, with lists of client holdings matched off against its actual holdings. This is done by a nickname system, and only account holders know their nicknames. An investor can ‘see’ his gold by viewing the independently posted audit.

Currency of Dealing and Commission

An investment can be made in either Euros, or Sterling, or US dollars. This means that the potentially costly exercise of exchanging currencies can be avoided.

When BullionVault buys its gold, it buys in bulk. In this way it avoids high commissions and fees, and it passes much of these savings to its customers with very competitive commission rates of its own. Commission at 0.8% and storage and insurance charges of just 0.12% – with a minimum of £2.75 per month – are probably the cheapest in the industry. For the investor with larger sums to invest, the commission rate graduates down to 0.02% on sums over $600,000.

Ease of Use

Opening an account at BullionVault is an easy online process, which takes around five minutes. There are details to supply in the registration stage, and then the account needs to be funded (either by bank transfer or card payment). An investor may need to provide extra details or documentation for money laundering purposes.

Once the funds have been transferred into the investor’s BullionVault account, deals to buy and sell gold can be executed via its online trading screen.

All customers will have to validate their accounts within two weeks of first registration. This is a legal requirement, though again can be done online and only takes a few minutes.

Customers can also post bids and offers on the trading system, allowing then to trade ‘the right side of the spread’, almost unique in the market. Buying and selling gold really is possible in a single mouse click.

24 Hour Access

An investor has access to his account, and can buy and sell gold through BullionVault, 24 hours a day every day of the year. This makes it a great offering for active gold investors as well as those with a buy and hold profile.

Overall

BullionVault is one of the largest online gold bullion dealers in the world. It has over 40,000 customers, and holds 30 tonnes of gold in allocated accounts.

With its cost structure and flexibility of deal size, it is an ideal solution for a retail investor who wants to buy gold and store easily. An investor can take physical delivery of his gold from his allocated account, though this course of action is cost restricted: withdrawing the physical gold incurs a charge of 2.5% of the value of the gold, with a 5% surcharge below 400 ounces – (the size of a standard London Good Delivery Bar).

The company has a critical mass that is enhanced by its 24 hour, seven day per week, service hours, and its system of storing gold in allocated accounts gives a level of security at minimal charge not available in an unallocated account structure. Adding to this security for investors is the daily independent audit.

Proceeds from sales are deposited within hours, and withdrawals of these proceeds can be made within 24 hours.

With an easy-to-use system, low dealing and storage costs, and 24 hour access with high customer security, BullionVault is hard to beat for the gold investor both large and small.