So, you've spent weeks trying to decide what assets you want to acquire. You've purchased some stocks, picked up a piece of land, set up a precious metals IRA and/or ordered some coins that should arrive in a few days. You're feeling pretty confident that you've made some excellent decisions and are looking forward to seeing your new shiny stuff. As you check the tracking number you picture in your mind what it will look like, reminding yourself to count it to make sure it's all there, and then you'll… oh, wait, what will you do?
It's interesting that we can devote tens of thousands - millions of dollars to purchasing our coin collections before we've given any real consideration regarding to where to stash it. However, this shouldn't be taken lightly. Storing them under your bed, in a drawer or in your closet, still in their delivery box, is a recipe for disaster. If you face the unfortunate situation of being burgled, any experienced thief will find your box. And any expectation of seeing it again is slim to none. According to the FBI, of the $1.6 billion in precious metals stolen during 2010 (an annual increase of over 50% in just five years), only 4.2% was recovered.
With this in mind, before we get into different storage options, consider making sure you take careful inventory of what you have. If your coins are graded, the slab will include an identification number. If the thief attempts to sell these coins anywhere, they should be traceable by this number, so make sure you have them recorded. Keep records where others can't find them, but where you know you can retrieve them in order to share with law officers.
You should also have pictures. The list and pictures serve dual purposes. Besides helping you offer identification to the law, you'll want to be able to supply good proof to the insurance company that you actually owned the coins in the first place. Let's face it, you didn't want anyone to know you had them, so simply claiming you had them will be a hard pill for the insurance company to swallow. So, you're your receipts, make lists and take pictures. Again, make sure such evidence is safely stored, away from your coins, in a place nobody will find it, but where you can get to it if needed.
So, where do you put your new acquisition? The answers are as varied as the choices of how you invest. Did you purchase gold or silver? How much did you take delivery of? Do you have one residence where you want it, or are you going to spread it around? What is your philosophy in regard to ownership? With these questions in mind, I'll be offering several options that can be used in concert, or all alone.
The first thought might surprise readers though. The last place I'd consider putting my metals would be in a safe deposit box. Let's face it, banks are in trouble. What will happen if your bank goes belly up? What happens if there's some sort of Federal seizure? What if there's an IRS audit? What if there's a simple robbery? Or, in the worst case, what if chaos strikes, you need to move quickly, but your stash is locked up in a bank that's just bolted its doors in order to protect your deposit from the rioters? It may seem unlikely, but it's not something you can overcome if it does happen.
If you have a lot, you might consider spreading it out a bit. Perhaps you are able to put a large safe in an inconspicuous place, hidden behind a false wall or under a false floor. It's a great option, if you are able to pull it off. But do you want it all in that one place?
As you consider this, consider also placing a certain amount as a decoy. It needs to be enough that it would be pay dirt for the thief, but small enough that you'd be relieved if it was all they took. And you'll want to include some cash and maybe a cancelled credit card with it. By cash, we're not talking about $20 or so. Consider this insurance. Make it at least a few hundred bucks. As an alternative, you can get cheap gold plated coins instead. They look real and might work. You could stash fake money for that matter, if you dare.
Now, what are some of the most common places to hide cash? Under the mattress, under the silverware, in your sock drawer, junk drawer, shoes in your closet, toilet tank or any number of other locations that a thief is likely to look should be considered for your decoy. You might have a couple of stashes, so he'll be convinced he's found what he's looking for. Perhaps a small stash in the house somewhere, then a larger one in your dresser drawer would work well. Thieves know that just about everyone has at least some valuables in their house. They'll tear it apart until they find a stash. It's not that they won't necessarily stop after finding it. It's more that they'll keep looking until they do. So, give them a stash to find.
Also, attempt to think of a worst case scenario. What do you do if a burglar catches you at home with your family? What if he threatens a loved one and demands to know where you keep your valuables? What do you do? You tell him of, of course. But, what if you've prepared for this with multiple locations? Your first answer - dresser drawer; still being threatened - small to medium sized safe in the closet or somewhere else. Whatever the case, think these things through, striving to give yourself layers of protection in any situation.
You'll also want a small amount in a location you can grab in an emergency. This could be included in the decoy stash. Think carefully about what you would want if you needed to head out quickly though. Smaller denominations, fractional and readily recognizable coins should be at the top of this list. It needs to be where you can get to it quickly, slip it into your pocket, money belt or even under your hat, and head out the door.
Some might read these ideas and think it's over the top. Here are a few thoughts to consider in light of this. One is, how safe is too safe? What is it they say about an ounce of prevention? Also, what are the reasons you're taking personal possession in the first place? Is it because of your unshaken confidence in the current establishment?
Now that we've discussed how to think in regard to protecting our cache, tomorrow we'll consider some specific places to hide it.For your prosperity,
The Gold Informant