From time to time, we hear about (or at least poke fun at the notion of) people who hide their life savings under the mattress of their bed. Fear of bank failures, immediate access to cash and a general distrust in the government are all commonly cited reasons in support of this practice. What if this same, distrustful person is likewise concerned about the effects of inflation on storing cash under their bed? Let me introduce you to the gold hoarder.
In terms of consolidating wealth, gold is an excellent option. For instance, a pound of gold worth just under $20,000 USD and can easily fit in your pocket. Gold’s portability is a double-edged sword, however, because it makes for an easy target to burglars and the like. Thus, the real question that bemoans gold hoarders is where to hide it all.
In 2010, the FBI reported some $1.6 billion in precious metal and jewelry theft. This figure is up over 50% in the same five-year period from 2005. Even more discouraging is that a mere 4.2 percent of the stolen goods were recovered. These statistics necessitate the need of hiding your gold safely.
In The Bank
If physical gold fits into your overall investment strategy, the safest place to hold it has historically been the bank. However, if the bank is not an option for you, keep reading. This article will discuss some alternative places to store your gold.
Well, can’t I just hide my gold under the mattress like all those cash hoarders? Not exactly. The princess suffered from uncomfortable sleep even with a single pea underneath 100 mattresses. A brick of gold would cause severe discomfort even for brawniest of sleepers.
What about in a vault? Scrooge McDuck kept his gold in a massive vault, which doubled as a waterless swimming pool. Swimming in your gold is perhaps the epitome of unnecessary wealth. Practically speaking, a vault of that size would require a substantial security team to guard against theft.
King Midas had no need to hide his gold anywhere, for anything he touched turned into it. Security was the least of his worries. But what about the rest of us, who have a substantial amount of wealth stored in gold, and want to keep it in our homes as safely as possible?
Other investors chose to hide their gold and silver bars in plain site, often painting them black and using them as a doorstop. This practice is discouraged because the paint may chip, making your black and shiny doorstop a curiosity for an innocent passerby at the least.
If you plan to store any sizable amount of gold in your home, the best option is to have a safe, often weighing 2,000 pounds or more that is built into the foundation of your home and rated to withstand safecracking tools (drills, saws, torches and the like) for 30 minutes or more. A safe’s ability to withstand a tooled attack is known as its “TL” rating. The higher the better.
In any case, the safest thing you can do to protect your gold, irrespective of where you ultimately chose to hide it, is to not tell anyone. Secrecy is your number one defense against theft. If no one knows about your valuables in the first place, how else do they have the idea to rob you?