- Story of pensioner in Paris who has had US$500k of gold stolen by fake police highlights risks of storing gold in home
- Criminals impersonating cops gained access to home claiming to be investigating gold robbery
- 13 kilogram bars worth $500,000 taken, pensioner unharmed
- Gold owners must take precautions
- Greek depositors taking precautions by taking cash out of banks
A curious and sad story broke last night about a pensioner in Paris who had US$500,000 worth of gold bars stolen from his home by con-artists posing as police officers.
The criminals arrived at his home claiming to investigate a gold robbery according to Agence France Presse. The pensioner was asked if he had gold bullion and he told them that he did and allowed them into his home to inspect it.
While one of the robbers distracted the 69-year old with paper work the other stole his gold - 13 bars, each weighing 1 kilogram or 32.15 ounces each with a total value of US$500,000.
The story lacks details but if it proves to be true then it is a cautionary tale for owners of gold who take possession.
We have no details as to why he may have been targeted. It is unlikely that he was selected at random. The thieves must have had some information regarding his affairs. It highlights how discretion is of utmost importance when buying gold.
Storing gold in the home can be quite risky - especially in very large volumes. If one can afford to own €450,000 worth of kilo gold bars, one can afford storage costs. Insurance for gold held in the home is available although it tends to be prohibitively expensive.
We do not discourage holding gold in the home per se but it is essential to take certain precautions. No matter where one's gold is held one should not disclose the fact that one owns gold except to one's closest confidantes and indeed in a will.
It is also highlights the importance of buying from established and trusted bullion brokers who have a track record in terms of being very protective of client’s confidentiality and privacy.
Gold has a mysterious aura, pun intended, evoking folklore and mythology which tends to intrigue and fascinate people. People with loose tongues enjoy relaying tales of gold and its owners to eager listeners. One should be certain that one is not the subject of such tales which may fall on ears whose curiosity extends beyond mere gossip.
In the not unlikely event of a currency devaluations, negative attitudes toward gold will shift dramatically. In such a scenario criminals will become very interested in the affairs of gold owners. Some desperate governments will too.
Discretion is vital, not just to protect gold held in the home but also to protect against being forced to ship one’s stored gold home - to hand over to criminals due to intimidation or tiger-raid style coercion.
In the UK and Ireland in recent years, there have been many instances of the homes of Indian national’s being targeted by criminals in search of gold jewelry. These thieves are aware of the strong cultural affinity that Indians have for the precious metal.
When buying gold in volume to be shipped to one’s home it is wise to use a reputable broker who is sensitive to security issues. One does not want one's information being passed on to unknown third parties.
As with all investments diversification is important - even within asset classes.
If you are compelled to hold gold coins and small bars in your home as a kind of absolute bedrock insurance - and there are plenty of good reasons to do so - that is fine. However, be careful how this is done and other alternatives should also be utilised such as local safety deposit boxes run by reputable firms and the major international vaults in safe locations such as Switzerland and Singapore.
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,217.75, EUR 1,068.30 and GBP 788.60 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,206.50, EUR 1,059.36 and GBP 781.77 per ounce.
Gold climbed 0.22 percent or $2.70 and closed at $1,211.20 an ounce yesterday, while silver slipped 0.36 percent or $0.06 closing at $16.45 an ounce.
Gold made gains yesterday as buyers viewed the recent price falls as excessive and a buying opportunity. The U.S. Fed minutes released yesterday showed that Fed officials were cautious about raising interest rates too soon, hurting the dollar.
The Fed's dovish comments led to gold’s finish up 0.3 per cent on Wednesday after hitting a six week low of $1,197.56 earlier in the session. The close above $1,200 was positive from a technical point of view and emboldened technical traders to go long.
Spot gold last traded at $1,217.82 up 0.39% in late London trading while silver was $16.66 up 0.76% and platinum was also up 0.78 percent to $1,179.31.
The Greek debt saga continues and financial tragedy seems increasingly likely.
Greece officially applied for a six month extension to its loan agreement, Eurogroup chair Jeroen Dijsselbloem confirmed on twitter. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew contacted Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis yesterday and warned him that failure to strike a compromise would bring further hardship on the country.
Bank runs continue as Greek depositors rightfully fret regarding bail-ins or a return to the drachma. The prudent money is diversifying their savings so as not to be financially decimated.
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