Keeping Tangible Assets Safe and Secure
Be they rare coins, stock certificates, jewelry, personal mementos or family heirlooms, how we choose to protect the assets we deem valuable (and perhaps irreplaceable), is an important consideration involving many factors.
Most of us choose to secure our valuables and tangible assets in different ways, depending on our individual circumstances, experience and levels of trust. For example, if we need to access them frequently (e.g., jewelry), or if they are important, but replaceable and not inherently valuable (e.g., a stock certificate), we may simply keep them at home or hold them in a near-by safe deposit box. Some of us, on the other hand, may elect to keep them with an institution that specializes in providing custody or safekeeping services. But either way, when it comes to protecting valuables, one size does not fit all.
Where precious metals bullion or rare coins are concerned, some individuals literally bury their coins and bullion in their backyards, while some hide them in their garages, attics or basements. Though this approach keeps the coins/bullion close and within reach, it also presents number of potential pitfalls. In these circumstances, the owner is likely self-insuring their value, and loss due to theft or destruction by fire - precious metals do melt - are two significant risks the owner assumes. Also, getting the coins/bullion to a dealer quickly (and safely) for sale, when prices may be changing rapidly, is another, less obvious market risk the owner bears when self-storing these assets.
Others may choose to hold these items in their bank safe deposit box. While generally speaking, a safe deposit box provides a high degree of physical security for the assets, the owner must obtain his/her own insurance protection for them, as banks generally do not insure the contents of their customers' safe deposit boxes. And again, selling one's coins and/or bullion in a timely and safe fashion during a fast moving market can be a serious concern when stored in a remotely located safe deposit box where access is usually restricted to specific business hours.
Still others, for "convenience" reasons, may decide to leave their coins/bullion items on deposit with the dealer from whom they purchased them. BUT, unless the dealer is a known and preferably regulated entity, with a strong financial footing and a solid reputation for service and delivery, this option is probably the riskiest. History is replete with examples of dealers "storing" assets they "sold" to their customers, but never bothered to buy in the first place.
Probably the safest and most flexible means of securing one's coin and/or bullion assets is to use the personal safekeeping services offered by one of the professionally managed commercial depositories that exist for this purpose. Generally speaking, for a reasonable custody fee, these institutions will accept delivery of coins and bullion, and store them within a highly secure and insured vault environment in a personal storage account titled in the owner's name. Transaction confirmations and periodic account statements are then provided, so the owner always knows the exact status of his/her holdings. And, purchases and sales can be transacted with reputable dealers operating at the same location in timely and secure fashion right over the phone.
How to properly secure one's valuable personal effects and tangible assets is an important and important consideration for all of us. Perhaps, the best advice is to choose the storage option for your coins/bullion that enables you to sleep most soundly at night.
In order to learn more about the various options for storing bullion please read - http://www.gold.ie/Storing_Bullion_Internationally.htm.