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There are many benefits to diversifying the types of investment you have. However, many challenges also come from this type of diversification.
Chief among them? Finding the right type of broker for your precious metals needs.
If you are going to purchase precious metals like gold or silver, you have many options. One such example is Lear Capital. In this review, we will provide an overview of Lear Capital, discussing its strengths, weaknesses, and where there may be an opportunity for you to invest.
Before we get started, investing your savings is a serious task. When it comes to adding precious metals to your portfolio, how do you know which companies to trust?
That is why we have researched every company in the industry and selected the very few with the highest customer service standards.
This way you can easily compare the best companies in the business, and choose one that fits your needs and investment goals.
Read the list to see if Lear Capital passed our strict customer service standards to become one of our top recommendations.
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What is Lear Capital?
Lear Capital has been in operation for the past 26 years, first opening its doors in 1997. Since that time, the company has expanded its offerings significantly.
Lear Capital allows you to invest in gold, silver, and other precious metals. You can purchase many types of products from them and use their in-house financial experts and storage facilities. This allows you to invest in precious metals, either inside or outside of an IRA.
Lear Capital is quick to note - correctly - that an investment in precious metals can allow you to diversify your portfolio against volatility, inflation, and other dangerous financial forces. While they are attempting to sell you as much of their product as possible, they do note that gold and silver can fit in well with an appropriately allocated portfolio.
Services and Products Offered by Lear Capital
Lear Capital allows potential investors access to numerous different products and services. This includes:
From a customer service perspective, Lear assigns all of its customers a "personal account representative." Many reviews specifically praised this concept, as it meant that you did business with someone you knew and who was comfortable with you. Furthermore, you would always be able to speak with someone at Lear that you trust.
Lear also appears to go out of its way to communicate with its customers as much as possible. It offers real-time pricing and full-price transparency, allowing you to order with confidence and ease. You can call their office with any questions or concerns. Furthermore, Lear has a secure email system, thus ensuring that you can regularly hear from the company with any concerns or questions.
Reviews From Customers
Like most major investment companies, Lear Capital has a slew of ratings on numerous rating websites. A positive indicator is that Lear openly steers people to these reviews on their website. The top of their website directly points people to reviews of theirs on numerous review websites, including Trustpilot, Google, and more.
A quick look at these websites quickly explains why Lear is steering users to these external reviews.
Lear Capital has 4.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with the vast majority of the more than 1,000 reviews being of five stars. Reviewers specifically thank specific customer service representatives, note the personal attention they receive, praise the website, and note the extensive transparency on the platform.
Leap Capital's Google rating is similar: 4.8 stars out of 5, with 290 total ratings. Again, users went out of their way to praise the personal touch of Lear's representatives.
However, it is worth noting that not all reviews are glowing. A quick examination of the Better Business Bureau website notes that Lear Capital has a B rating, is not accredited, and only has 2.65 out of 5 stars.
Customers left reviews stating that they were unhappy with the speed at which transactions were occurring. In at least a few instances, customers felt ripped off by the way their transactions occurred.
Furthermore, the Better Business Bureau has an alert that states that the company filed for bankruptcy in March 2022, although they are still allowed to operate during these proceedings.
Like all companies that allow you to open your precious metals IRA, Lear Capital does charge fees. As of this writing, Lear Capital charges $260 for opening an account and or storage, with annual fees costing another $180.
Commissions are charged for the purchase of precious metals, and these fees are levied with every purchase. A minimum investment of $7,500 is required.
It is important to keep in mind that these fees are relatively standard as far as precious metal investing goes. The broader problem is a weakness that is endemic to investing in gold and precious metals in general: You won't get this money back from dividends or interest, and the only time you will realize a profit on your precious metal is when you sell it.
How To Start an Account
In this regard, Lear Capital is extremely simple. Every page on their website has a "Get Your Free Investor Kit" button. By filling out this easy internet form, you can get a package from Lear Capital that will contain the following:
Filling out this information will automatically place you in Lear's marketing system. This means you will start to get emails and other solicitations from the company. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something you should be aware of.
Once you fill out this form, you will need to review and sign a written account agreement. A Lear Capital representative will then call you to confirm your order and introduce you as your Customer Service Representative. You will then get written paperwork that confirms your account. From there, you are good to start placing orders.
Lear Capital's website has many resources available that can help allow buyers to be more informed.
First, it has a Smart Tools Suite. This suite of information - which also comes with a pricing app - allows users to look up a vast array of information on pricing and coins.
Users can use the website to look up prices, find the price of coins, calculate inflation, and compare their portfolios to others.
This enables users to develop a very comprehensive perspective on the price of their precious metals and helps them make much more informed decisions about where to invest their limited money.
Next, Lear Capital has a very up-to-date news center. A quick scan of this center reveals a huge swath of information on gold, silver, precious metals, and the economy in general.
To be clear, the news is geared toward convincing investors to purchase more gold and silver. As such, it shouldn't be considered an aggregated, comprehensive view of the economy of the world today.
However, it does contain news from legitimate sources, like CNBC. Viewers should just consider these resources with a heft dose of skepticism.
Lear Capital also offers pricing charts on numerous precious metals. These prices are live to the second and can be customized for whatever period for which you are looking.
Interestingly enough, it also offers multi-year historical data that shows how the price of gold has performed against bull and bear markets. This can help guide investors, particularly during periods of economic turmoil.
Finally, Lear Capital also offers a vast array of investor downloads that deal specifically with investing directly with Lear.
This includes risk disclosures, a sample transaction agreement, a refund policy, your reporting obligations, and shipping instructions for ordering gold on your own.
This can help users acquire a degree of comfort with their investments.
Important Pieces of Information
Lear Capital is an IRS-approved vendor for precious metals IRAs. This means you can purchase precious metals from them, have those metals stored in an IRS-approved storage facility, and enjoy the tax benefits that come with that precious metal ownership.
Having an IRA-qualified precious metal IRA means that there are some limitations. You cannot physically store your precious metals and have those metals be considered part of your IRA. According to the Lear Capital website, it stores its metals in the Delaware Depository.
These metals are securely protected and fully insured, meaning that you never have to worry about the metals being stolen, taken, or otherwise damaged.
However, you cannot see these metals when you want. You also cannot take your precious metals and store them in your IRA, although Lear Capital does have options that will allow you to sell those metals and potentially reinvest the money into your IRA.
It is clear from a review of the website and reviews from real customers that Lear Capital has many strengths, including those that differentiate the organization from other similar businesses.
Many of the challenges associated with Lear Capital are not specific to Lear but instead specific to the process of buying gold, silver, and other precious metals in general.
There are unquestionably challenges and limitations associated with investing in precious metals for your IRA. However, Lear Capital manages these issues with transparency and efficiency.
Their customer service orientation is clear and has been noted by its customers in their reviews of the service.
While Lear Capital is a decent company, we do not think they are the best. There are much better companies to work with.
Remember to read our list of the Top Gold Companies to see if Lear Capital made the cut.
Or, if you like what you read about Lear Capital, you can visit their website below.