The U.S. market is reaching a tipping point — one that could change the entire financial landscape and have repercussions around the globe.
We have started yet another earnings season where companies are reporting reduced revenue — and many are pointing fingers at the strong dollar. The Fed is trapped with low rates, risking the destruction of both the domestic and global economy if rates rise too fast and too soon. The government has accumulated $19 trillion in debt, and the presidential candidates are preferring to ignore the problem rather than come up with a viable solution. (And we don’t even need to go into the social issues that are dividing Americans.)
But as Americans teeter on that edge, the earth crumbling away under their feet bit by bit, we don’t have to plummet into the deep, black abyss. We can set up a safety net to help catch us in the fall…
We’ve all probably grown up hearing that it’s best to save a little something for a rainy day. Well, as you can very clearly see, the skies are looking dark, and when the storm breaks, it’s going to be more than a light spring shower.
Jeff Opdyke, on more than one occasion, has talked about the importance of investing in gold bullion as insurance against the economic collapse that is coming.
Today, I want to show you an avenue for not only acquiring your own gold bullion, but also show you a way to store it safely outside the United States. I’m joined by John Mulvey, CEO and owner of New Zealand Vault, and he has graciously agreed to explain how New Zealand Vault can help protect and diversify your assets.
Safe Storage for Your Physical Assets
Jocelynn: Thanks for joining me, John. Could you start by giving my readers some background on who New Zealand Vault is?
John: New Zealand Vault has been operating since 1931. New Zealand Vault is an independently owned company that runs safety-deposit vaults located in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Vault is independent of the banking system and government. We are also authorized distributors for some of the world’s most respected mints and bullion wholesales. We have clients from all over the world and across New Zealand who have opened safe-deposit boxes and purchased bullion from us.
Jocelynn: What are some of the benefits for opening a safety-deposit box with New Zealand Vault?
John: A key benefit is that we are located in New Zealand. No country is farther away from the world’s hot spots. We have a stable government and banking system. New Zealand has an independent judiciary and highly regarded common-law legal system. We have a proud history of independent foreign policy. We have relatively low levels of public debt. In the Forbes report of Best Countries for Business, New Zealand has regularly ranked No. 1 or 2 among all countries for: the lowest levels of corruption, personal freedom, investor protection, lack of red tape and property rights. There is no sales tax or import duty payable on investment-grade gold and silver. Put simply, New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world to store bullion.
New Zealand Vault has developed a unique process that allows clients from anywhere in the world to open a safe-deposit box online, purchase bullion and have it deposited into their own private safe-deposit box.
New Zealand Vault has partnered with international accountancy firm Grant Thornton, which acts as the customer’s agent to deposit the bullion. Grant Thornton writes to the client to confirm what was deposited, and it holds the customer key in its safe custody. Both New Zealand Vault and Grant Thornton will only act on the customer’s written instructions, and so the customer is in control of who can access their safe-deposit box.
Jocelynn: How easy is it to open a safety-deposit box? What kind of things do you require? Would I need to do this in person?
John: You can open your own private safe-deposit box online at www.nzvault.com through our simple, four-step process:
- Complete our online registration, review and accept our terms and conditions.
- Make a credit-card payment through our secure online payment engine. The cost to lease a safe-deposit box for a year is US$395.
- We require a copy of photo ID and proof of address authorized as a true copy by a notary.
- Finally, post your authorized identification documents to us.
Your safety-deposit box will then be opened and available to receive bullion. You can send us bullion you already own, or you can purchase bullion through New Zealand Vault. When your bullion arrives at New Zealand Vault, it will be deposited into your safe-deposit box by international accountancy firm Grant Thornton. They will write to you to confirm what was deposited into your box and will hold your key in their safe custody.
Jocelynn: What security measures are in place to protect my assets?
John: We have a Treasury Grade vault that exceeds a Class III classification. It has been fitted with the most sophisticated multilevel electronic protection available. The vault is monitored 24/7 to provide you complete peace of mind. We have world-class security processes and protocols that have been audited and approved by our insurer. Customers have the choice of opting in on our comprehensive Lloyds of London insurance coverage for the contents of the box, or you can opt to organize your own insurance coverage.
Jocelynn: Would I be able to visit my safety-deposit box in person?
John: Absolutely! New Zealand is a great country to visit on vacation, and when you are here, you are most welcome to visit your private safe-deposit box. All you would need to do is organize a time with Grant Thornton, as they will be holding your key, and have some photo ID such as your passport.
Jocelynn: Are the safety-deposit boxes used just for bullion storage, or could I bring/ship other collectibles to be safely stored?
John: You are able to store anything you like in your safe-deposit box as long as it is not a firearm, explosive or anything illegal such as drugs. In fact, back in 2008 during the height of the great financial crisis, we had a significant number of clients even storing cash in their safe-deposit boxes. If you are bringing collectibles into New Zealand, it would be advisable to check whether or not the items would attract sales tax or import duties. There are no duties or taxes payable on investment-grade gold.
Growing Your Bullion Collection
Jocelynn: What options do you have for purchasing bullion? You have an agreement with the Perth Mint, correct?
John: Yes, we are an authorized distributor for the Perth Mint and several of the world’s largest bullion wholesalers, which gives us access to all the major mints of the world. These include the Royal Canadian Mint, the U.S. Mint, Swiss PAMP and Johnson Matthey.
On April 18, we launched our online trading platform that allows you to obtain a live quote and place orders 24 hours a day, five days per week.
Jocelynn: Americans have been hounded by FATCA and are fearful storing anything offshore. Would bullion purchased and stored in your vault need to be reported because of FATCA?
John: The rules around FATCA are continually changing, and so you should get up-to-date professional advice to determine what you are required to do. Our understanding is that bullion held in a private offshore safe-deposit box in your name is not a financial account and therefore is not reportable. There is no obligation on New Zealand Vault to report any information to a foreign government.
Jocelynn: Does New Zealand Vault offer audits of boxes? Can I send a representative to audit the assets held in my safety-deposit box?
John: Yes, for clients not based in New Zealand, you can chose to have international accountancy firm Grant Thornton deposit bullion into your box and have them hold your key in their safe custody. They will write to you and confirm what was deposited to your box. You can also request that they do an audit of your box at any time. There is a cost of US$195 for this service.
Alternatively, you can nominate your own auditor or trusted third party to complete an audit of the contents of your box. We just need your certified written authority and instructions on what authority you give the auditor.
Jocelynn: Is there anything you’d like to add? Any other benefits that my readers need to be aware of?
John: Using our Grant Thornton process to deposit bullion into your own private safe-deposit box means that you control by whom and when your box can be accessed. Each safe-deposit box has two key types: one held by Grant Thornton and one held by New Zealand Vault. Both keys are required in order to open the safe-deposit box. New Zealand Vault cannot access your safe-deposit box without the key held by Grant Thornton, and Grant Thornton cannot access it without the New Zealand Vault key. Both New Zealand Vault and Grant Thornton will only act on your written instructions to open your box for any reason. As a result, you are in complete control as to who can access your safe-deposit box.
Jocelynn: Thanks so much for joining me today, John.
If you would like to learn more about New Zealand Vault, you can visit their website at www.nzvault.com. You can also contact John Mulvey, CEO and owner, at +64 21 238 8434 or Sheila Ellis, bullion manager, at +64 4 915 1168. John can also be reached by email at [email protected].
Take steps now to diversify and protect your assets.
Sr. Managing Editor, Sovereign Investor Daily