All investments involve risk – coins and bullion are no exception. The value of a bullion coin (e.g., Maple Leaf or American Eagle) is affected by many economic circumstances, including the current market price of bullion, the perceived scarcity of the coins and other factors. Some of these factors include the quality, current demand and general market sentiment. Therefore, because both bullion and coins can go down as well as up in value, investing in them may not be suitable for everyone. Since all investments, including bullion and coins, can decline in value, you should understand them well, and have adequate cash reserves and disposable income before considering a bullion or coin investment.
BORROWING OR SHORTING PRECIOUS METALS CAN CREATE UNLIMITED RISK
A. If one borrows or shorts precious metals, such activity can carry unlimited risk. The risks in borrowing or shorting silver, platinum and palladium are usually greater than the risks in borrowing or shorting gold as there is less liquidity in the silver, platinum and palladium markets.
B. The prices of precious metals can fluctuate in wide ranges over relatively short periods of time, and from time to time have done so, and could double or more in an instant under certain circumstances.
C. POTENTIAL UP MARKET RISK
For example, if someone had borrowed 1,000 ounces of gold from A-Mark, basis $300/ounce, giving A-Mark 110% in good funds, or a Letter of Credit as Collateral ($330,000), and, while holding the borrowed gold outstanding, gold closed in the U.S. at $300.00 and then opened a few hours later in Australia at $500, based on that $200/ounce increase, the deficit on the 1,000-ounce short position would be $170,000. A-Mark, per the terms of its Agreements with its customers, would have the option to “buy in” the position, basis the $500/ounce price, to protect from the possibility that gold could continue to increase in price, which would increase the deficit. After the above-described liquidation of the position (say at $500/ounce), A-Mark would apply the $330,000 in good funds deposit or L/C against the price of gold plus the deficit. The borrower or shorter would then still owe A-Mark the deficit of $170,000 ($500,000 less the $330,000 of collateral) on the closeout of the 1,000-oz. position. If at the time of the close out of the above 1,000-ounce position, the party had the gold physically in his possession and unsold, then that inventory would have increased in value from $300,000 to $500,000 and the deficit owed A-Mark would be covered by the increase in the value of the 1,000 ounces of inventory. However, if the borrower had sold the inventory and hadn’t yet purchased it back or re-loaned it to someone who couldn’t or wouldn’t return it, they could immediately owe the $170,000.
D. There is always the potential that world events will cause sudden and unpredictable calamitous price fluctuations that could cause us to liquidate positions unless the borrower had adequate protections in place.
E. The best protection to such up-market risk is to:
– If one is a borrower of gold,
i. Make sure always to have the gold that is borrowed.
ii. If shorting gold, limit shorts to amounts manageable if the price of gold went way up.
iii. If shorting gold, limit shorts to amounts manageable if the price of gold went way up.
iv. Deposit additional good funds or precious metals with the lender, as a cushion in the event of a rapid increase in the gold price.
v. Anticipate and closely watch and plan for events that could cause the market to rise or skyrocket.
vi. Have lines of credit available from which to draw in case of a large margin call. – If a lender of gold,
i. Lend metal only to creditworthy customers (and/or secured by like metal or by a like metal denominated Letter of Credit) where margin calls can be easily and immediately met by the borrower, even of a doubling of the metal price.
There is a price differential or “spread” between our selling price and our buy-back price. While the spread varies, a typical spread for bullion coins is approximately 3% to 6%. For example, if our sell price is $300, then our buy back price may be $289 less a 2% commission (if, for example, you are a collector/investor non-dealer who sells to us between $1,000 and $15,000 worth of metals/coins).
To earn a profit upon resale to us, your bullion or coins must therefore appreciate sufficiently to overcome this price differential.
Our prices are set internally based upon our analysis of a variety of factors and are not necessarily tied to the prices quoted by any other organizations or markets. The prices charged by us for bullion and coins are subject to frequent change based on market conditions and many factors.
Bullion and coins purchased from us may not be returned for a refund, but you may usually sell the products to us at our prevailing buy-back price. It will be your responsibility to ship the products that you sell back to us, and you will be charged a $25 receiving fee per package.
Our trading personnel are non-commissioned individuals. Their work experience, knowledge and training are not regulated and vary widely. They and/or A-Mark may receive, from time to time, undisclosed compensation for recommending specific products (including cooperative advertising, and/or bonus profits).
A-Mark trading personnel may, from time to time, discuss the general direction of various financial markets. However, A-Mark’s employees are not licensed as investment advisors and they are not making any specific recommendations covering stocks or any other form of investment. Please check with a licensed professional with expertise in a particular market before making a decision to buy or sell.
Of the products that we generally buy and sell, bullion and bullion coins are usually more liquid then semi-numismatic coins and collectible products. Sometimes, because of its market influence, when A-Mark stops recommending an individual coin or collectible product, depending on many factors, its price may drop.
While we are not obligated to do so, we have historically made two-way markets to both sell and purchase the products in which we trade. We may alter this policy at any time, without notice to you.
After we physically inspect and confirm the quantity and quality of the products you wish to sell, you and the traders can negotiate a price and we will be able to purchase the products from you.
During the time of shipment and our verification of the products, the value of the products could change dramatically. The risk of such a price change is 100% your risk. It is also your responsibility to send the materials to us and to insure them until we agree to purchase them from you, and we provide you with a transaction confirmation number.
Make all checks or wires payable to A-Mark Precious Metals, Inc.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH
Metals and coins may be shipped to us by the carrier of your choice. However, we are not responsible for metals or coins that are lost or damaged in transit. If you would like your shipment to us to be insured, it is your responsibility to make your own arrangements.
Upon receipt of your bullion or coins, please inspect the shipment thoroughly to be certain you have received all of the products you ordered and that the products are consistent with those described on your invoice. Any variance must be reported by you within five (5) calendar days of your receipt of your shipment and you must have retained all original packing materials.
Please promptly notify us in writing if you change your address or any other account-related information. Be sure to include your account number and sign all correspondence. Telephone calls may be monitored/recorded in order to assure quality control and policy compliance.
Any deviation from A-Mark’s terms and condition must be in writing and must be signed/authorized by an officer of A-Mark.
A-Mark may, on occasion, ease or waive certain of its rules or provisions of its “Terms & Conditions” in order to expedite business. You acknowledge, however, that such easing or waiver is for that specific transaction only and does not alter the “Terms & Conditions” of any other transactions between the parties.
If A-Mark, in one or more instances, fails to insist that you perform any of the “Terms & Conditions”, such failure shall not be construed as a waiver by A-Mark of any past, present or future right granted under those “Terms & Conditions”, and your obligations under them shall continue in full force and effect.
You and A-Mark hereby waive their respective right to trial by jury of any cause of action whatsoever arising out of or in any way related to or connected with this or any other Agreement now or hereafter entered into between you and A-Mark.
You and A-Mark also waive any rights they may have to arbitration of any matter arising pursuant to this or any other Agreement now or hereafter entered into between you and A-Mark, including waiving any rights to arbitration under the rules of the Professional Numismatic Guild.
The above are only some of the risks in purchasing and doing business in bullion and coins.
We strongly recommend that you acquire a sound understanding of precious metals and coins before you make your first purchase. As a general rule, many investment advisers believe you should not commit more than 20% of your investment funds to bullion or coins. Protect your future with a diversified portfolio that meets your objectives for safety, liquidity and growth. Recognize that all markets can become volatile and have their ups and downs..