Gold price at turning point?

Is this the right time to buy gold? In August, gold price suffered one of the worst sell-downs in recent years when it fell from USD2055 per troy ounce on 7 August 2020 to USD1885 on 12 August 2020. Subsequently, gold price recovered to the USD1940 bandwidth in the following two weeks. What had caused the pull-back in gold price in early August?

Gold price smashed to record high

Year-to-date, gold price has surged by a whopping 28%. So the current correction in gold price may represent a good window of opportunity for wealth builders to buy bullion or bullion savings programs before gold price soars again. To put things into perspective, much of the increase in gold price in 2020 is attributed to the monetary stimulus measures introduced by US government in March 2020. The recent plunge in gold price in August is also largely due to the US monetary stimulus, or the lack of it in August 2020.

gold price

Against the backdrop of economy slow-down caused by COVID-19 pandemic, gold price has been in buoyant form in 2020 because the precious metal is viewed as a safe haven. So the recent correction in gold price must have confounded many wealth builders. Is this the burst of a bubble or just a healthy correction for gold price?

Gold price in golden form

In my view, there is still plenty of room for gold price to continue rising. Many countries had encountered second wave of COVID-19 infections after reopening their economies. So it would likely take at least another year or so before global economy returns to pre COVID-19 levels. Even so, this is based on the premise that a vaccine is developed by end of this year.

Due to the devastating economy harm caused by COVID-19 pandemic, the US Federal …

Read more

Gold price in high heaven

As 2019 comes to an end, let’s take a look at how gold price has performed. Looking back, 2019 will be remembered for a year of great uncertainties. The protracted trade war between US and China continued to rattle global economy. Brexit continued to drag on at this point of writing. And then the civil unrests in Hong Kong exploded out of nowhere in the middle of the year.

Amid the turmoil, gold price went on a rampage to reach a euphoric high of USD1544 per ounce on 3 September 2019. This is a remarkable surge of 20% since January 2019. Of course, this was still way off the peak of USD1900 per ounce seen in 2011, but current form of gold price reflected the resilience of the yellow metal.

gold price

Since the high seen in September, gold price had cooled off quite a bit. But a few factors could provide critical support for gold price in the coming months.

Gold price rally to continue?

It remains to be seen whether the rally for gold price will continue right into 2020. But the macroeconomic condition certainly lend support for continued momentum in gold price. Global trade tensions have not reduced and there is not really light at end of tunnel in sight between US and China. Risk of no-deal Brexit remains a possibility while the chaos in Hong Kong will continue to fuel flight to safety among the wealthy in Hong Kong.

Although most people will agree that the current situation does not represent a recession, the global growth outlook remains pretty challenging. Because of this, the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates three times in 2019. On looking back, the cut in interest rates could have led to the surge in gold price in 2019. This is because gold does …

Read more

Buying Silver as an investment in Singapore

The market for purchasing a variety of precious metals in Singapore has steadily increased in the last few years due to the removal of income tax or capital gains tax on imported investment grade precious metals such as gold and silver.

Investors are keen to take advantage of the savings they can make to ensure their deposits are even more profitable. Many of the products available include silver ingots but large numbers of silver coins are being imported from different countries around the world. Some of the coins have beautiful designs and are becoming popular as investments with collectors. You will probably recognise some of them fairly easily but others may be a little more obscure.

Silver

Canadian Maple Leaf

This incredibly popular coin was launched in 1988 and is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. It has the country’s national symbol of the Maple Leaf on the front and overleaf has a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

Fiji Silver Taku

The beautifully etched turtle featured on this coin has seen it become an instant hit since its launch in 2010. It is issued on behalf of Fiji’s government by the Sunshine Minting Inc.

Australian Kangaroo

The purity of silver in this striking coin is 99.99%. It is issued by the Perth Mint of Western Australia and features a sunburst pattern with the kangaroo in the centre.

Suriname Silver Coin

As an official coin that was issued in 2013, the Suriname weighs one ounce of virtually pure silver. There is the country’s coat of arms on one side and a map on the other.

Armenia’s Noah’s Ark

Not many people immediately think of Armenia for silver investment but Singapore imports the Noah’s Ark which is available in various sizes from just one quarter of an ounce up to a hefty five …

Read more

Singapore gold bullion market

In the aftermath of the Singapore’s GST exemption for investment grade precious metals since 2012, many bullion dealers has set up shop to take advantage of gold liberalization by Singapore government. In its latest financial results, it was revealed that BullionStar led in Singapore gold bullion market.

According to data released by World Gold Council, the overall bullion demand in Singapore decreased to 1.2 tonnes in 1Q16 from 1.6 tonnes in 1Q15. The sluggish demand in physical gold could be attributed to the surge in gold prices seen in 2016. Gold price exploded during that period of time because of the crash in China stock market. As a result, the high gold prices cooled demand among wealth builders. Interestingly, BullionStar sold 0.5 tonnes of gold bullion, thereby contributing to 42% of the total Singaporean bullion market.

As we enter into the 2nd quarter of 2017, the world continues to witness uncertainties arising from USA trade protectionism and the negotiations of Brexit with European Union. On the other hand, the recovery of USA economy and the positive employment data drive America stock market to new highs.

Wall Street continues its mighty bull run and at one point, broke the record of 21,000 points. It is unknown whether there would be further upside in stock prices but investors should exercise asset allocation to diversify risks in their portfolio. Gold bullion offers one of the best opportunities for wealth builders to de-risk their portfolios in the face of market volatility.

UOB

Gold spot price had held up surprisingly well in the first quarter of 2017, rising by 9% year-to-date to USD1255 per ounce. At a time when the US Federal Reserve signaled at least three interest rate hikes, many thought that gold spot price would crash because of the opportunity loss …

Read more

Should stock investors run for their lives?

Every four years, money and power will have a showdown. October will be a nerve-wrecking month for Americans as the Presidential Election enters into the final leg. There are a lot of uncertainties as to who will be the most powerful person on earth. But regardless the outcome, investors dislike uncertainties. In view of this, should stock investors sell everything and run for their lives?

The US Presidential Election aside, there were already many warning signs of cracks forming in the stock market. In early January 2016, China stock market had two massive melt-downs, leading to forced trading halts by the regulators. Then entered Brexit. Pound experienced free-fall in value and dropped to decades low.

Next on the list may be Deutsche Bank, which has being ordered by US Department of Justice to pay $14 billion for its past practice in mortgage-backed securities that led to the Great Financial Crisis. Many analysts expressed concerns that Deutsche Bank episode could ignite another round of financial crisis but in my opinion, this is unlikely. This is because the German bank is too big to fail and very likely, the EU will bail out the banking giant.

gold

As a wealth builder, it is unproductive to predict when the next economic crisis will arrive because the matter of fact is that no one can predict the future. But we can certainly take concrete actions to future-proof our wealth by diversifying our assets.

In December 2015, the US Fed had announced the first interest rate hikes for many years. Many experts had predicted that there would be at least two more rate hikes this year. In my view, a December rate hike is very likely, given the encouraging employment trend in US for the past year. Many thought that interest rate hikes would cause gold …

Read more

Buy gold bullion in Singapore

The current dismal economy outlook and stock market conditions may entice many wealth builders to buy gold and silver bullion. After all, the price of gold has surged by 25% in the first half of this year, making it one of the best performing assets. You can buy gold bullion in Singapore from local bank UOB or various bullion dealers.

According to the latest World Gold Council report, gold continued its red-hot form, with global gold demand reaching 2,335 tons in the first half of 2016, 16% higher than the previous record in H1 2009. During the second quarter, overall gold demand grew to 1,050t, up 15% from the Q2 2015 figure of 910t. The growth was due to considerable investment demand as a result of global economic and political uncertainties.

The Chinese always has a penchant for gold and like to buy gold bullion. So not surprisingly, for the past 10 years, China has become the world’s largest gold producer and importer. The Chinese banks play a key role in making a gold hub in China through a range of gold-related business activities. In fact, more than 50% of investment demand involving sales of gold bars and coins is fulfilled through commercial banks’ network of branches.

Buy gold bullion

Gold Accumulation Plan

Against this backdrop, the first Gold Accumulation Plan (GAP) was launched by World Gold Council and ICBC in 2010, providing efficient and flexible platform for wealth builders to buy gold bullion. Such plan is backed by real physical gold and investors can choose to redeem physical metal at any point of time.

Interestingly, GAP trading volume exceeded 500 tons in 2014 and 2015, indicating that investors in China are using this product to trade for short-term gains. This trend contrasts greatly with those investors buying physical gold bars and coins …

Read more

Explosive Surge of Silver Price

Based on data from LBMA, silver price has increased 44.7 percent in the first half of 2016. The explosive surge of silver reflected many investors’ interest in silver in light of the current global market uncertainties. Interestingly, silver has also outperformed all other precious metals as wealth builders accumulated more silver in the first half of 2016.

Following the record demand seen in 2015, investors’ demand for silver bars has weakened some during this period. This is because in 2015, silver was in a bear market and investors seized the opportunity to accumulate silver bars on the cheap, with the view of potential price appreciation. Since then, the price of silver has galloped and this has somewhat dampened the demand for silver bars.

silver

On the other hand, silver coin sales increased by 29% globally, according to GFMS Thomson Reuters Quarterly Coin Sales Survey. Coin sales enjoy double digits increase across all major regions, such as North America, Asia and Europe. Unlike gold bullion coin sales, which fluctuate according to its prices, silver coin sales have remained resilient since 2010.

2015 has been a disastrous year for the commodity as prices fell across almost all the commodity assets. Silver was no exception as it fell below the support level of US$15 per ounce. This has led to many investors rushing to buy into silver as many hope to bargain hunt following silver price collapse. The demand was so strong that silver coin fabrication increased by 24% in 2015 and almost all key mints had to put their silver bullion sales on allocation. The delivery lead times for bullion dealers were also reportedly stretched to 3 to 4 weeks.

The series of events that had rocked the global stock markets in the first half of 2016 ignited the explosive surge of silver …

Read more

Gold and silver on fire

In the aftermath of Brexit, investors scramble for safe haven assets and set gold and silver on fire. The precious metals have climbed to new highs in recent weeks as investors realize that even a stable currency like Sterling pound can drop in value over-night.

As investors pile into gold, the price of the yellow metal surged by 28%, making it one of the best performing assets to hold. At the rate it is climbing, gold may hit the level of US$1,400 per ounce. This is a remarkable turn-around as previously, gold price has declined to a low of US$1050 per ounce in December 2015.

shutterstock_86860204

Precious metals bull-run

The current market sentiments seem to suggest that gold may be at the start of a bull-run. The sustainability of the bull-run will depend whether there are further market shocks that trigger investors to flee for safety. For 2016, shell-shocked investors have already witnessed the Chinese stock market carnage, plunging oil prices and then Brexit. These events have fuelled the surge in gold and silver prices.

While gold has been attracting investors’ attention, silver price has also stormed to record level. At US$20.16 per ounce, spot silver rose by 47% since December 2015. Traditionally seen as more volatile as compared to gold, silver is a favourite asset among traders because of its low-cost. Silver has not reached the record level of US$43 per ounce seen in 2011 yet. But given the amount of uncertainties in the market now, there is sufficient leg room for silver to rise much further.

Interest rates

Market analysts are optimistic that US will not raise interest rates this year. A low interest rate environment is good for gold and silver because it will reduce the opportunity cost of holding physical precious metals as gold and silver bullion …

Read more

Brexit sparked explosive gold price surge

With the score-line at 0-0 nearing full-time, Brexit voters unleashed an unstoppable volley past the “Remain” goal-keeper and claimed an unexpected victory on 23 June 2016. UK has chartered into unfamiliar horizon. Government officials, analysts and economists were all dumbfounded by the results as most of them expected UK to remain part of European Union. In the midst of the chaotic situation, Brexit sparked an explosive gold price surge as expected.

Flight to Safety

At one point, when the Brexit was released, gold price stormed past USD1,300 per ounce as investors bolted to park their wealth in the safe haven amid carnage in the global currencies. Notably, Euro and sterling pound suffered record meltdown as investors flee for safety. Their concerns were not unfound as UK is the world fifth’s largest economy. Decoupling from European may have deep implications in terms of trade and military cooperation.

Whilst it is easy to argue that UK voters had let their emotions ruled their heads, it should be highlighted that the issue of immigration has always been sensitive in an open economy like UK. Many global leaders and analysts grossly underestimated that ground sentiments can swing the voting results, even though there are a lot at stake, in terms of political and economic stability. This is because when it comes to voting, personal interests always come before national interests.

shutterstock_396774535

Reason for “Leave” 

No doubt European Union (EU) is a massive bloc that allows UK to have access to a market of more than 300 million people and global investors had always regarded London as the gateway to trading with Europe. But such privilege also comes with conditions as UK is obliged to meet EU’s immigration and economic policies. Under the EU regime, UK residents are hapless against the massive influx of immigrants from …

Read more

Buy and store bullion in Singapore

Below is an email from one of my readers. I feel obliged to reply him because it is the first time that I received queries that touched on precious metals, a topic that I have a lot of interest in and am still learning. Through this sharing, I hope that there is a better understanding of precious metals among Singaporean investors.

Dear SG Wealth Builder,

I came cross your blog and enjoyed reading the articles. I am considering to buy gold and silver bars from dealers and also like to rent their vault storage facilities in Singapore. As such, I will be very grateful if you could help me by answering my questions stated below.

1. Do you have the list of licensed bullion dealers in Singapore?

To the best of my knowledge, based on information gathered from IE Singapore, there is no licensing requirements for the import and export of precious metals in Singapore. IE Singapore is the lead agency tasked to grow Singapore into a precious metal trading hub. Thus, this policy of not regulating bullion dealers make sense because Singapore government’s objective is to ensure a free flow of precious metals through Singapore without any hassle.

Actually, until a few years ago, I also shared the same thoughts that bullion dealers are regulated by Monetary Authority of Singapore until BullionStar revealed to me that bullion dealers don’t actually need a license to trade in Singapore.

2. I understand from friends that there were instances of exit or closure of some bullion players in the Singapore market in the past. How are investors or customers who keep their bars in their vaults protected in the event of their closure/bankruptcy and exit from the local market? Is there any provision for recourse in the Securities and Futures Act on

Read more

Record demand for silver in 2015

According to The Silver Institute, the silver market posted record demand in 2015, driven by new highs from demand of jewelry, coins and bars. Last year also saw the third consecutive annual silver market deficit of 129.8 million ounces, reflecting the continued strength in silver demand.

The data from The Silver Institute reveals a couple important trends that wealth builders should take note. Firstly, unlike gold, silver has very wide industrial applications. Thus, the majority of silver demand come from industrial fabrications for electronic devices, photography, solar and brazing alloys. In 2015, due to the weak global demand, the overall industrial demand declined from 611.2 million ounces in 2014 to 588.7 million ounces last year.

Interestingly, the data on investment demand for silver bars and coins reflected a contrasting picture in 2015. Silver coin and bar investment surged 24% to reach a feverish high of 292.3 million ounces as investors took the opportunity to buy silver on the cheap in the midst of market correction. This was the highest demand on record and overtook the previous high in 2013. The explosive demand from investors was a result of lower average annual silver price of USD15.68 per ounce. The low price of silver in 2015 was due to the slowdown of China and strengthening of US dollars.

Gold and Silver Bullion
Gold and Silver Bullion

Since the start of 2016, silver has bounced from a low of USD13.80 per ounce to the current USD16.00 per ounce. Based on the price trend, silver seems to be at an inflection point of moving up. Wealth builders should seize the opportunity and consider diversifying some funds into silver bullion. After all, to make money from investments, you should always adopt a contrarian approach and buy when prices are low. This is the same for precious metals too.

The …

Read more

Diversify Your Wealth with Investment Precious Metals

When it comes to precious metals like gold and silver, many Singaporean investors are still trying to figure out its status within the world of asset management.

As an emerging asset class, gold is often regarded as money and a form of long term safe-haven during times of financial crises. On the other hand, silver is deemed more as an investment instrument for investors to make money because of its short term price volatility. Whatever the case it may be, it is important for investors to diversify wealth across several asset classes, such as investment precious metals, so that during financial crises, the impact to wealth is mitigated.

In 2012, Singapore government announced that precious metals which qualify as Investment Precious Metals (IPM) will be exempt from GST. The change is to recognize gold and silver bullion as financial assets, and also to grow Singapore into a regional precious metal trading hub. Nonetheless, it is important to note that not all gold and silver bullion are granted the status of IPM. There are basically four criteria to meet:

Gold and Silver Bullion
Gold and Silver Bullion
  • It is gold of at least 99.5% purity, silver of at least 99.9% purity or platinum of at least 99% purity.
  • It is capable of being traded on the international bullion market.
  • It bears a mark or characteristic that is internationally accepted as guaranteeing its quality.
  • It trades at a price based on the spot price of the precious metal it contains.

Based on the above criteria, below is a list of coins recognized as IPM under the Fourth Schedule to the GST Act:

(a) List of qualifying gold coins

(i) America Buffalo

(ii) Australia Kangaroo Nugget

(iii) Australia Lunar

(iv) Austria Philharmoniker

(v) Canada Maple Leaf

(vi) China Panda

(vii) Malaysia Kijang Emas

(viii) Mexico Libertad

(ix) …

Read more

BullionStar versus UOB

Many years ago, I wrote several articles on UOB’s Gold Savings Account (GSA) and Silver Savings Account (SSA) in this blog. I had made some monies from GSA and had shared with readers my first experience with gold. But that was the time before BullionStar was established in Singapore and since then, my understanding of gold and silver has improved. The regulatory landscape for bullion trading has also changed as Singapore aims to be a precious metal hub by first removing GST for investment grade bullion. Subsequently, Singapore FreePort was established to cater to gold storage facilities.

UOB’s GSA and SSA

UOB is one of the largest local banks and is the only Singapore bank that sells physical bullion. It is also the only bank that has Gold Savings Account (GSA) and Silver Savings Account (SSA). The biggest advantage of opening a precious metal savings account with UOB is the convenience of transacting online via UOB Personal Internet Banking or UOB Mobile. You can also use your CPF funds to buy gold or silver through GSA or SSA.

However, investors should take note that UOB’s GSA and SSA are not backed by physical bullion, and thus you cannot convert your account balances and take physical delivery of gold and silver or certificates. Basically, UOB’s gold price is benchmarked to international prices but there are no underlying assets.

Another important thing to highlight is that UOB’s GSA and SSA are not deposits, thus they are not an insured deposit within the coverage of the Deposit Insurance and Policy Owners’ Protection Schemes Act. So even if UOB is considered a safe bank that has a minimum possibility of going bankrupt during a financial crisis, in the event of a bank-run, your investments are not protected.

For UOB’s gold and silver savings accounts, …

Read more

Safe haven in the midst of stock market chaos

U.S stock market plunged 252 points on 6 January 2016 as falling oil prices and North Korea nuclear tests combined to send the Dow Jones to below the support level of 17,000. This marked a terrible start to the year 2016 as investors are spooked by global issues affecting economic growth and looking for safe haven in the midst of stock market chaos.

Stock Market
SG Wealth Builder

U.S stock market

The bright spot is that U.S data continue to support the notion that U.S job market is improving and that the U.S economy should be able to withstand these headwinds. However, investors should be cautious and heed the warning from the stock market. Dow Jones had reached an incredible record level of 18,200 in 2015 and is showing signs of peaking. As there will always be cycles of ups and downs in the stock market, existing investors with substantial stock holdings may want to take profits or cut losses on their stock investments now. After all, if the major correction did arrive this year, the opportunity to offload shares will be a premium given the widespread panic selling.

Chinese stock market

Over at the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the China stock market presents a scarier situation. On the first trading day of 2016, China’s stock market dived 7% after data indicated weakness in China’s manufacturing sector. This triggered the circuit breaker and caused trading halt. Today, the trading was halted again when the stock market fell 7% and wiped trillions off in stock valuations.

Investors should be wary of the Chinese stock market because it is not just a matter of the Chinese economy slowing. Investors in China have basically brought a whole new meaning to the definition of market bubble. According to TrueWealth Publishing Singapore, more than …

Read more

Silver’s Price at a 5-year Low

Silver bullion has always been a favorite of many investors because it’s relatively low price as compared to gold allows investors to buy silver at a fraction of the cost of gold bullion. Today, silver’s price has reached a 5-year low of USD14. In fact, this is the lowest price level last seen since the Great Financial crisis in 2009, thus representing a good window of opportunity to buy silver bullion in Singapore.

Is it a good time for wealth builders to buy silver bullion? If so, should wealth builders buy gold or silver bullion? My perspective is that even though prices of gold and silver are expected to continue to slide moderately in 2016 due to the surging strength of the US dollars and improving US economy, precious metals still offer a form of asset allocation for individual investor’s portfolio.

gold and silver

In my previous article on investing in silver, I had touched on the risks involved. One of the key reasons why silver bullion is not featured in many professional investors’ portfolios is because silver can be very volatile. It can surge more than 5 percent in one day and therefore, not many people can stomach this kind of volatility. In fact, silver reached its peak during 1980, valuing about $50 per ounce. 34 years later, it is languishing at less than $20 per ounce while gold has more than doubled in value since then.

Of course, with volatility, there are opportunities to make money but then again, the difficulty in predicting the direction of silver prices had deterred many investors from buying silver. With silver, you stand a higher chance of losing lots of money if you are not careful with the price volatility.

Indeed, there are many supporters for gold and there were huge demands for …

Read more

BullionStar’s Bullion Savings Program

SG Wealth Builder is pleased to catch up with Luke Chua, Chief Operating Officer of BullionStar on their latest product offering – Bullion Savings Program. 

1) What are the key features of Bullion Savings Program? You can actually convert the grams in BSP to physical metals?

The key features of the BSP are that it allows customers to save and/or trade in precious metals. With the BSP, customers can buy BSP Grams of Gold, Silver or Platinum that is fully backed up by physical precious metals in BullionStar’s stock inventory. Grams in the Bullion Savings Program (BSP) are fully allocated physical precious metals. Our BSP Grams are available in Gold, Silver and Platinum for a low price premium and a low spread. This provides customers with a cost-efficient way to start saving in precious metals.

BSP Gold Grams can be converted in increments of 100 grams to 100 gram PAMP Gold Cast Bars. BSP Silver Grams can be converted in increments of 15,000 grams to 15 kg Heraeus Silver Bars. BSP Platinum Grams can be converted in increments of 1,000 grams to 1 kg Heraeus Platinum Bars. BSP Grams can be converted to physical bullion bars at any time or sold back to BullionStar at any time.

2) Fundamentally, what is the difference between BSP and the previous Vault Grams? 

Fundamentally, the BSP is superior to Vault Grams because customers are now able to convert the BSP grams into physical bullion bars in the above mentioned increments. This is the major difference to Vault Grams.

3) Any restrictions for foreigners residing in other countries? 

There are no restrictions whatsoever. Foreigners as well as companies and other entities are welcome to buy BSP Grams.

4) Is this the first-of-a-kind of bullion scheme in Singapore? To address the transparency concern, I

Read more

Silver Market Review for 2015

Festive season is fast approaching and now is the time to buy gold or silver bullion as gifts for your loved ones! Before making a move, let’s take a look at the global market trend for bullion.

According to a report by Thomas Reuters, 2015 has been an intriguing year for silver as total supply is forecasted to fall by 3% from the previous year. This represented the weakest performance since 2002, when mine production fell by 2%.

There are a lot of head winds for the silver mine production and on top of this, scrap supply is expected to fall for the fourth consecutive year. Because of this, silver will face a physical shortfall for the third consecutive year. Nonetheless, this shortfall is mitigated by outflows from the ETFs and derivative exchange, thus softening the impact of supply shortage from the mine productions.

Interestingly, the deficit in the supply may not cause a spike in prices. This theory is vindicated by the performance of silver prices this year, which saw silver prices averaged US$15.91 per ounce, which was 18.3% lower than in the same period in 2014. Wealth builders have seized this window of opportunity to snap up silver on the cheap and this led silver bullion coin sales to reach record level in the third quarter of this year. The slide in prices has apparently triggered a massive surge in buying in the silver coin market, leading to an unexpected shortage of silver bullion coins among global mints.

In the midst of global shortage of silver coins, BullionStar is well stocked on the popular Silver Maples and Silver Eagles. With Christmas coming, BullionStar is running their best silver coins promotion.

Silver banner

Buy Silver Maples for only the spot price of silver + 16.9 % (≈spot + USD 2.39; …

Read more

BullionStar explains the difference between ETF Gold and physical Gold

Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is a form of passive fund comprising of a basket of securities listed and traded on the stock exchange. To put it simply, ETF combines the best of shares and unit trust, thereby enabling investors to achieve diversification in single transaction with minimum investment. However, ETF Gold is a little bit different and requires a different approach as compared to owning physical gold and silver.

Below is an article from BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore which exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). Just like BullionStar, one of the the goals of SG Wealth Builder is to educate Singaporeans on the merits of owning gold and silver bullion as a means of wealth preservation. 

A Gold Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) attempts to track and ‘mirror’ the price performance of gold bullion by holding gold bars or derivatives and issuing shares backed by their holdings of physical metal or derivatives.  A Gold ETF, like GLD, has their shares sold in baskets of 100,000 and is marketed by State Street.  As compared to physical Gold, a key difference is in ownership and redemption.

Ownership and Redemption

Even though an ETF like GLD might be “physically backed,” ordinary investors cannot simply go to the ETF marketer or the vaults in which the bullion is claimed to be stored at and redeem their bullion.  Only “authorized participants” are allowed to deposit or withdraw gold and create or redeem shares.  Authorized participants are registered broker-dealers or other securities market participants which have entered into agreements with the trustee and sponsor (think Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Citigroup, etc.), allowing them to deposit either gold or shares in exchange for the other through unallocated accounts until the operation is completed. Ordinary investors can only buy …

Read more

Where to store your wealth in Singapore

Many critics of gold and silver like to point out that investment guru, Warren Buffett disdained gold for its lack of utility as a form of investment. In my opinion, I find it strange that many people tend to follow what he preached or wrote. Firstly you need to understand that Warren Buffett is one of the richest men on earth and he is definitely not obliged to reveal the details of his wealth to the rest of the world. Nobody can accurately pin down his amount of assets and the various forms of investments he held.

No, I am not saying that Warren Buffett is hiding any things from the public but the matter of fact is that wealth is a personal thing and you don’t reveal something so personal to the public.

One of the greatest fears of the rich is losing their wealth. This is understandable as very few people can take the blow of losing their hard-earned wealth accumulated over years of hard work. It is this fear that drive the rich to seek safe haven to protect their wealth from the risks in the financial system and store their wealth in precious metals. In fact, gold was reincorporated into the financial system only recently by institutional investors in the western world. Henceforth, for many investors, the understanding of gold and silver ownership as a form of wealth preservation is still at infancy stage.

If you are buying physical gold and silver, always make it a point to look for the largest and the more reputable dealers. For international and domestic investors seeking a safe haven for their precious metals, BullionStar’s “My Vault Storage” offers a convenient, end-to-end solution for the purchase, sale, storage, and delivery of an assortment of bullion products.

Bullion investors assume a …

Read more

Future-proof your wealth

Many investors and financial professionals struggle to make sense of gold and silver bullion as a form of wealth-building asset. After all, precious metals do not offer dividends like stocks, nor do they provide investors with interests like bonds. In addition, unlike real estate, they do not allow investors to establish steady stream of passive income through rental collections. So what is exactly the basis for wealth builders to buy physical gold and silver? The answer is simple: risk management and future-proofing your wealth.

When you invest in stocks, there is a possibility of losing your capital invested. Of course, the potential rewards can be much higher than owning gold and silver when the management of the companies deliver on earning expectations. Conversely, if the companies are poorly managed and consistently making losses, your stock prices may also plummet. The frightening thing about investing in stocks is that whenever the stock market crashes, novice investors who put all their life savings into stocks watch in horror as their retirement funds evaporated overnight.

I feel sad whenever I read investors committing suicide as a result of losing all their life savings after dabbling in the stock market. They certainly don’t deserve this and something should be done to educate investors the perils of the stock market. It is true that you can make money from stocks but if you don’t practice risk management, you would end up losing your pants as well.

Bond is a form of financial instrument that allows investor to collect interest payment in exchange for investors’ money. In Singapore, the bonds issued by the government (SGS) consistently achieved very high rating from international agencies, so they are considered very safe investments with very minimal risk of default on the debt obligations by the Singapore government. However, the …

Read more

Sell gold and silver bullion in Singapore

Many investors deem gold and silver bullion as “bad investment” because they don’t yield interests and furthermore incur storage costs. Even the famous Warren Buffett expressed a disdain for gold but it should be noted that the world class investor bought 129,710,000 ounces of silver through Berkshire in the 1990s. In this regard, I don’t deny that gold and silver are a form of bad investment. Because they are never meant to be an investment tool in the first place.

Gold and silver are actually money and have been used as money historically. From a wealth builder’s point of view, gold and silver are meant to hedge money portfolio during time of volatility, high inflation and financial crisis.

Another concern of precious metals is its level of liquidity. This is indeed the case in Singapore where there are not many precious metal dealers willing to buy back gold and silver which are not sold by them. For example, as far as I understand, UOB does not buy back gold bars and coins not sold by them. This is where BullionStar comes in and address the gap in the industry.

Gold and Silver Bullion
Gold and Silver Bullion

Sell Gold & Silver to BullionStar

Sell orders for bullion products are placed on this page. To sell bullion stored under My Vault Storage®, click here.

Guide for how to sell to BullionStar:
1. Select product/s and quantity.
2. Enter your personal customer information and payment instructions.
3. Submit your order by clicking “confirm”.
4. Hand over the metals to us in our shop at the address below within one business day from the order confirmation. You can walk in with your metals. No appointment is necessary. Alternatively you can send/ship your metals to us within one business day to:

Address:
BullionStar Pte Ltd
45 New Bridge …

Read more

Buying gold and silver from BullionStar

SG Wealth Builder was alerted to an article written by fellow finance blogger on “Precious Metals: The warning signs are already here”. Personally, I like that article because it provides me value-added information on the latest updates on precious metals. The blogger highlighted that there is currently a tight supply of bullion even though the spot prices for gold and silver are falling. He also cited several notable reputable precious metal dealers to buy from, such as BullionStar. The challenge now is finding trustworthy dealers who have inventory to sell bullion to investors because of the huge demand.

As a wealth builder in Singapore, whilst I have been tracking the prices of gold and silver for quite some time, I did not really note down the price premiums for the gold bars that I bought like what the blogger did. This is because I have always been confident on the long term prospects of both gold and silver, as such, I don’t see the point of monitoring the price premiums. Nonetheless, I was really impressed by the blogger’s research and I must say he really knows what is considered the “normal price premium” for different products.

BullionStar CEO

In his post, he wrote “Today spot silver is at $14.65, but American Eagles are selling for $29.16. When I bought my American Eagles 2 months ago when spot silver was $14.80, I bought the Eagles at $24.57! Spot prices are 1% lower, but physical prices are 18% higher? Whoa, that’s weird, isn’t it?”

Perhaps I can help to address his query.

Even though the blogger has been tracking the price premiums for gold and silver bullion, he failed to realize the difference between spot price and market premium. The spot-price is the price for which someone can buy certificates or futures …

Read more

7 tips to start stacking Silver coins or bars

Below is a piece of editorial from Gold Silver City, a bullion dealer based in Singapore which exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). Just like Gold Silver City, one of the the goals of SG Wealth Builder is to educate Singaporeans on the merits of owning gold and silver bullion as a means of wealth preservation.

If you are new to stacking and don’t have a clear concept on how to start, here are some tips here. I am no expert, there are many more experts out there preaching their advice. Be cautious though, as many advice can be confusing and not suitable for newbies. I learnt this the hardway. I started some years ago and learnt through the school of trials and errors:-

start stacking silver
The joy of seeing your wealth grow
  1. Start stacking silver with a clear budget. Know what amount of your disposable income you can afford to start stacking. Only use spare cash that you can afford, for example, how about reducing your entertainment expenses like that weekly drinking session? Or cut down on that expensive daily starbucks? Those small bills can pile up to be a good silver stack.
  2. Do not get carried away and over-stack. Start small, and do it regularly, along the principles of dollar cost averaging. Do NOT throw all your cash into silver. Keep some cash for unpredictable emergency needs. This is to avoid selling your silver at inappropriate timing when you badly need the cash.
  3. Diversify your investments for the future. Do not invest in silver. It is healthy to hold a good portion in precious metals, such as gold. Invest in stock index funds, some healthy insurance plans or pay off your mortgages and debts. Plan for the future.
  4. Especially for newbies, do not
Read more

Texas building gold depository

Below is a piece of editorial from BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore which exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). Just like BullionStar, one of the the goals of SG Wealth Builder is to educate Singaporeans on the merits of owning gold and silver bullion as a means of wealth preservation.

I found this article about Texas building a state owned gold vault making the gold in it “non-confiscatable” very interesting.

To summarize, the US state of Texas signed a bill into law 12 June that will allow Texas to build a gold and silver bullion depository. Texas is furthermore planning to repatriate USD 1 billion worth of bullion from the Federal Reserve in New York upon completion of the depository.

It thus looks like the state government in Texas are losing faith in the ability of the Federal government and central bank to safekeep bullion.

Gold and Silver Bullion
Gold and Silver Bullion

The law specifically includes a provision stating that a purported confiscation, requisition, seizure or other attempt to control the ownership is void and of no force or effect!

It’s perhaps not strange that Texas politicians are concerned about the financial health of the federal government. What is surprising though is the brazen way of posturing and displaying it with this law basically stating that they will not allow the federal government to confiscate their gold.

If the vault materializes, this is a major step by a western state government to legitimize the importance of holding fully allocated, segregated metal in one own’s possession and may serve as a precedence for other states and to go the same way. This is of particular interest in a time when federal and supranational unions are trying to exert more power and can be viewed as

Read more

BullionStar launches new silver products and bullion competition

Below is a newsletter from BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore which exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). Just like BullionStar, one of the the goals of SG Wealth Builder is to educate Singaporeans on the merits of owning gold and silver bullion as a means of wealth preservation.

Nadir Silver Bar Promotion 

Nadir Silver Bars are produced by the LBMA certified Nadir Refinery. The Nadir Silver Bars known for their attractive price premium offering investors more silver for their money.

Nadir is one of very few LBMA certified companies to produce 250 gram and 500 gram silver bars. As the price per gram for these bars is lower than for coins, they may serve as a good alternative to silver coins.

We currently run an exceptional time-limited offer for these silver bars reducing the price premium as much as 40 % compared to the normal price! The offer is valid until 24 May or while stocks last.


Nadir Silver Bar 250 gram

Current time-limited price: Spot price of silver + 9.9 % regardless of quantity bought!

Nadir Refinery Silver Bar – 500 gram

Current time-limited price: Spot price of silver + 8.4 % regardless of quantity bought!

Nadir Refinery Silver Bar – 1 kg 

Current time-limited price: Spot price of silver + 7.9 % regardless of quantity bought!

 

Video Competition 

Let your creativity loose and shoot a video of your bullion bought from BullionStar to Win Big!

Record a video with bullion bought from BullionStar. We’ll leave the ideas up to you. Perhaps you want to shoot your bullion together with Singaporean landmarks or talk about how you stack bullion from BullionStar.

The length of your video must be between 15 seconds and 3 minutes. E-mail your video or a …

Read more

BullionStar offers Gold Buffalos for only spot price of gold +3.99%!

Below is a newsletter from BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore which exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). Just like BullionStar, one of the the goals of SG Wealth Builder is to educate Singaporeans on the merits of owning gold and silver bullion as a means of wealth preservation. 

We are currently offering 1 oz Gold Buffalos (2013, 2014 and various years) for only the spot price of gold + 3.99 %. The offer is valid until 4 May or as long as stocks last.

The Gold Buffalo was first minted in 2006 and is the only 1 oz .9999 gold coin produced by the United States Mint. Encapsulating a monumental time in history, this beautiful coin is a modern rendition of the James Earle Fraser’s 1913 Buffalo Nickel, produced in pure .9999 fine Gold.

New Sales and Operations Manager

We would like to introduce our new Sales and Operations Manager, Mr. Luke Chua.

Luke brings with him the skills and experience required to propel us forward in the areas of customer experience, operational efficiency and effectiveness.

If you have any development ideas or would like to give us any feedback, please feel free to contact Luke.

Luke is a precious metals enthusiast who has decided to make his passion his work!

 …

Read more

BullionStar: Gold, Governments and Central Banks

Below is an article from BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore which exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). Just like BullionStar, one of the the goals of SG Wealth Builder is educate Singaporeans on the merits of owning gold and silver bullion as a means of wealth preservation. 

 

Governments and central banks are frequently criticized by goldbugs for being anti-gold. Examples include the Indian government restricting gold import, the US government refusing to carry out a full audit of the US Treasury’s gold holdings and the Swiss government and central bank strongly opposing the “gold initiative” demands.

India, the US and Switzerland are all three on the top 10 list of official gold holding countries and thus relevant for the discussion.

India

The Indian government and central bank are notorious for repeatedly discouraging gold importing and gold hoarding. In trying to curb India’s trade deficit, the Indian government and central bank, Reserve Bank of India, are working together in pushing a policy they call “moderating gold demand”. There’s currently an import duty of 10 % on gold imported to India.

India, in a rare glimmer of common sense, however recently announced that it had scrapped the weird 80:20 rule mandating gold importers to re-export 20 % of their imports. The 80:20 rule was clearly instigated to complicate gold importing and thus make life difficult for jewellery and bullion importers.

It however didn’t take long until the government in March announced a new plan to require Indian gold customers to quote their tax code for gold purchases. According to the article as much as 80 % of Indian gold the demand however comes from rural customers lacking the so called PAN-number which would be a prerequisite for buying gold

Read more

The Silver Bull Market: Four Investment Factors to Consider Before Buying Silver or Gold

In Shayne McQuire’s The Silver Bull Market, he highlighted four important factors to consider before buying silver or gold:

1) Investment safety refers to your capital protection from the financial market risks. Most people always lament that owning silver or gold bullion does not provide dividend incomes. However, they don’t realize that precious metals allows you to remove wealth from the financial system. This is because gold and silver have historically been used as store of wealth and gold in particular, is seen as an effective tool to beat inflation. Take the current Euro crisis as an example. Greece is facing possible exit from the Euro because of its massive national debts. The country had been previously bailed out with a $275 billion international loan and is now asking for fresh fund of $10 billion euros in short term financing. Clearly, the country’s plight shows that the Europe economies are not doing well and holding on to the Euro currency might be risky as it could face possible devaluation if the crisis spreads across Europe.

Silver Bull Market2) Investment potential refers to the ability for the price of silver or gold to rise over the long term. It is interesting to note that while Warren Buffett disdains gold for its lack of utility, he views silver differently and even purchased 130 million ounces (at low price of $6) in the late 1990s, one fifth of the global production at the time. He would have made a lot of money in the period of 2008, the year of the worst global financial crisis in recent memory. This was because silver performed extremely well against other investments.

3) Liquidity risk refers to the ease of buying and selling silver or gold. This can be an important consideration as who would want to buy something …

Read more

CPF Investment Scheme for gold bullion

In my research on gold bullion investments in Singapore, I found out that Singaporeans can actually use their CPF Ordinary Account to invest in gold bullion. Interestingly, UOB is the only agent authorised by CPF to sell physical gold using CPF savings and if you wish to invest in gold, you need to set up an investment account with UOB.

There is a limit to the amount you can use for gold investment and it is capped at 10% of your investible saving for gold bullion (if you have more than $20,000). Now, a few questions had been bugging me.

What if I sold the gold bullion bought from UOB to another dealer? How is CPF going to make me return the proceeds back to my CPFIS or OA account? If the policy does not address this aspect, does this mean that this is a potential loophole for investors to liquidate their CPF monies before turning 55 years old (without giving up their citizenship or ending their lives)? Out of curiosity, I wrote in to the CPF Board to find out more details. If you are interested to know more, read on.

BullionStar

Dear Gerald,
I refer to your email of 2 August 2014.
We are sorry that we are unable to advise.
You may wish to check with UOB directly.
I would be pleased to help you if you need clarification or further assistance on CPF matters. Alternatively, you can call us on 1800 2271188 from Mondays to Fridays, 8am to 5.30 pm. Thank you.
Yours sincerely
Michelle Thoi (Ms)
Customer Correspondence Unit

Central Provident Fund Board

When I saw the initial response from CPF, I was pretty upset because of the heck-care reply from the CPF customer service unit. As public servants, they are supposed to serve the

Read more

The risks of Silver

In many of my previous articles, I have always encouraged Singaporeans to buy precious metals such as gold and silver bullion as a means to build up wealth in Singapore. This is because I have always believed that wealth is more secure in the long run when invested in physical bullion than in the current stock market, which I think is long overdue for a massive correction. But the perennial question is: is it worthwhile to buy silver or gold bullion? How do you build wealth with silver and gold bullion? To answer this question, it is important that Singaporeans understand the risks involved in silver investments.

Many novice investors thought that prices of silver tend to go in tandem with gold. This is not true and history has validated this point. During the Great Depression in the early 1930s, many people were buying gold to preserve their wealth, resulting in surging gold prices. But surprisingly, silver demand declined sharply during that period. Also, during the Civil War in America during 1860s, silver fell while other commodities like steel and rice soared. So the gist is that unlike gold, silver should not be mistaken as a form of wealth preservation during turbulent times. Unlike gold, it is not a sure thing that the price of silver will go higher during crisis times. History has proven that in terms of investment track record, gold fared much better than silver.

One of the key reasons why silver bullion is not featured in many professional investors’ portfolios is because silver is a very volatile investment. It can surge more than 5 percent in one day and therefore, not many people can stomach this kind of volatility. In fact, silver reached its peak during 1980, valuing about $50 per ounce. 34 years later, it

Read more

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software