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Gold and silver have been traded for thousands of years. These precious metals have retained their value through the rise and fall of empires and economies. It's no wonder that the demand for them goes up when the economy is turbulent.
Many investors recommend investing a portion of your assets into precious metals. Since precious metals tend to act inversely to the stock market, they provide some stability. You'll have a cushion even if the stock market crashes. That will last long enough to see you through tough times.
Gold Trust Financial is one of many companies that offers to help people invest in gold and silver. But are they actually legitimate? And if they are, are their practices good enough to be worth looking into?
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About Gold Trust Financial
Gold Trust Financial is one of many precious metals dealers in the industry. They have a headquarters in Santa Monica and four employees listed on Linkedin. Though their Linkedin page is current, their social media hasn't been posted on in years. In addition, their website appears to be defunct.
The domain that the website used to be at no longer exists. As such, we've gathered information about the company from their Linkedin and Yelp pages.
Gold Trust Financial sells precious metals to people all over the United States. They have coins and bullion in silver, platinum, gold, and palladium. The company's Linkedin page says that transactions must be done through the website or over the phone.
We haven't been able to find a working phone number for the company, and as mentioned, their website is defunct. So you're going to have a hard time putting in an order. You'll find it much easier to work with a company that actually keeps up an active web presence.
The company says that all purchases are shipped using insured Fedex. You'll need to sign for the package. It does seem that they have done business in the past, as there are several detailed reviews on Trustlink. But it's confusing that they seem to have vanished from the face of the internet.
In addition to offering precious metals for general purchase, they also help people put precious metals into their retirement accounts. Their IRA services allow people to purchase IRS-approved precious metals and secure them in the proper depositories.
There's no information about whether the company is partnered with any custodians. It's hard to find information about their IRA services at all. That means we aren't sure whether they employ experts who can help you get set up, or whether they'll leave you to flounder through the paperwork alone.
The best gold IRA companies have in-house experts who will walk you through the entire process. They'll show you the paperwork you need to sign, communicate with your custodian, get your vault set up, and help you roll over your retirement funds. Then they'll advise you on the best precious metals to purchase based on your retirement goals.
It's hard to say whether this company will do that. Instead of working with them, you could work with a company that is transparent about its services and policies. There are a few other red flags to be aware of with this company.
Is Gold Trust Financial a Scam?
Gold Trust Financial appears to be a legitimate business. They have multiple excellent reviews on Trustlink. But they are not accredited with the Better Business Bureau despite being in business for nearly 30 years, and they have a D- rating with the BBB. There are other major red flags as well.
That's not a good sign. Even if they are a legit company, you want to have confidence in the company's third party ratings. There are no reviews on the BBB, but there have been two complaints closed over the past three years.
Both customer complaints on the BBB website are related to advertising and sales problems. Neither has been answered by the business, which is part of why their rating is so low.
One complaint stated that the company sold coins marked up to much higher than their actual worth. The customer was not able to liquidate them for the same value that they paid, and they feel that they've been ripped off.
The other complaint says the same thing, but it has more details. This customer was quoted a price at 20 percent higher than the actual value of the coins. They were unable to get in contact with the salesperson who sold them the coins, and the company would not return their calls.
This customer stated that they wanted their purchase price to be refunded. They said that the company charged them four times more than they said they would for each coin.
No attempt has been made by the company to address either of these complaints. It's alarming that the customers are alleging that the company purposefully used underhanded tactics to charge them more than they said they would. Even if it's not technically a scam, that points to pushy and manipulative salesmanship.
Positive Customer Reviews
The company's Trustlink page tells an entirely different story. There are 24 total reviews, with an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars. This is a little strange considering the lack of BBB reviews. It's hard to tell whether these reviews legitimately come from satisfied customers or not.
If they do, then there are many customers who have positive things to say. But somewhat tellingly, the last Trustlink review was posted in 2014. Both of the BBB complaints were filed in 2018. It's possible that the company underwent a change in management or policy that led to this dissatisfaction.
With that said, these are some of the positive things people had to say about the service a decade ago:
But as mentioned, the most recent positive review was posted over seven years ago. There are a lot of companies with much more recent positive reviews -- and they have better BBB ratings, too!
Potentially Defunct Company
Though there's ample evidence that this company operated in the past, it's hard to tell whether they're still operating now. Perhaps more alarmingly, there's no explanation of why they closed their doors, if indeed they did.
The Better Business Bureau maintains a page for the company, but they are not accredited. There have not been any reviews whatsoever, and the last complaint was filed in 2018. On Trustlink, the most recent review was written in 2014. It's difficult to find information about more recent aspects of the company.
In fact, their website doesn't appear to be in operation anymore. It's unclear whether they purposefully took it down or just let the domain expire. Either way, they don't seem to care enough to fix the issue. That seems to indicate that they don't have a lot of customers knocking on their door.
It's alarming that the company seems to have disappeared after refusing to respond to the two BBB complaints. One of the complaints stated that a customer's credit card was charged 400 percent more than they were quoted on the phone. They overpaid by thousands upon thousands of dollars.
If that's true, and it isn't the result of a misunderstanding or shady sales tactic, then that is a scam. And the disappearance of the company makes it seem like they don't want to face potential legal repercussions for their actions.
The company's Twitter was last used in 2015. The tweet links to what looks like an article. When you click on it, though, you're just brought to an advertising page for an SEO firm. It's possible that there was once an article, but it has since expired or been taken down by the SEO partner company.
The company Twitter wasn't particularly active in the first place. There are only a handful of tweets spanning 2013 to 2015. Each links to a different article that now redirects to the SEO advertisement. So you can't even see what commentary they used to offer.
Gold Trust Financial has a Facebook page. But they haven't posted anything since 2013. Their last post was a link to one of the same articles posted on Twitter. This post actually goes through. It's a link to a Bloomberg article that doesn't appear to be written by anyone working in the company.
Yelp says that the company is still in operation. It has the address of their headquarters and says that they operate from 9 AM to 5 PM on weekdays. On weekends, the office is closed.
But there have been no user reviews of this business. No one has asked questions about it, either. The Yelp page says that the business is "Unclaimed," which means that no representatives or owners have claimed it.
It's possible that the Yelp page was automatically generated. In turn, this means that there's no evidence anyone still runs the business. If it does still exist, it might only be for tax purposes. There are no official sources stating that the company has shut down or left its place in Santa Monica.
Pros & Cons of Gold Trust Financial
Gold Trust Financial is a puzzling company. They don't appear to be maintaining their website anymore, so you'll have a hard time buying from them. And yet they're still an active business. Are they continuing to serve clients? It's difficult to say.
Most of the information we've gleaned has been through investigating external reviews.
The company is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau despite being in business for almost 30 years. They have a D- rating and have failed to respond to two customer complaints. Both complaints alleged that the customer was ripped off when the company marked items up to much higher than their normal price.
It looks like the company did satisfy customers at one time. There are many five star ratings on Trustlink from happy consumers. While some of these might be company plants, others are detailed enough to seem legitimate. The only problem is that the most recent review there is from 2014.
There's not much we can recommend about a company that doesn't have a working website. But even if the company does put their website back up and begin offering precious metals again, we wouldn't recommend them. The allegations of shady sales tactics are alarming, especially since the company didn't make any effort to respond.
There are better companies you can invest with instead. A streamlined gold IRA company can walk you through the process of setting up your IRA. Many of these companies rely on setup and maintenance fees for their profits, so they can sell you gold at a lower price than the competition.
Although we do think that Gold Trust Financial could be a decent company, we believe that there are better companies out there to make your investment with.
Or you can get a free precious metals investment kit from our #1 recommended company right now!
Or, continue with Gold Trust Financial...