Originally posted at The World Complex blog,
Today's reminder of the importance of taking physical delivery of gold at the best price possible comes from Singapore.
The Gold Guarantee is (was?) a company based in Singapore allowing "investments" in gold. They had two separate schemes. One allowed victims to take delivery of their gold, but at an approximately 30% premium, albeit with a monthly repayment of a small portion of the premium for as long as the gold was held (and the company remained solvent) and an option for the company to buy back the gold at a price related to the spot price. The other scheme offered a gold certificate and a higher monthly payout.
The monthly payouts amounted to over 20% p.a. I am unaware of any method by which a company could sustain such payouts through normal business practices. Were I aware of such a business, I would invest in it.
Today's Straits Times reports (unfortunately this story is not in the free online section) that the owner of the company is unreachable, and the offices have been shuttered since about January 9. The last communication most shareholders had was an email sent on January 8, announcing a merger between The Gold Guarantee and a similar company called Asia Pacific Bullion.
Customers have been dropping by the office and showing up at the CEO's home since he vanished, but to no avail. Some are facing losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The latest gold price reported on the company's website is dated January 7. What appears to be an apologist blog posting for the company is dated January 3.
Here is a link to a discussion group which includes some unfortunates who bought gold from this company within the last few months. Note the advice they have received.
The scheme looks like a carbon-copy of the Geneva scam which fell apart in October.
Avoid certificates, and if you take delivery of gold, verify the spot price (it should be part of your due diligence).
Here is an article on the topic by a local financial blogger.