Posts Tagged ‘gold’
They say that gold is a good bet if you’re looking for a safe and steady investment but we poo-pooh that. Anyone can get their hands on stupid old gold. The REALLY hyper-desirable investment these days is an ACTUAL PIECE OF MARS.
It’s been confirmed by boffins at NASA that 15 pounds of Mars rock fell to Earth six months ago, with the bits landing in Morocco. It’s only the fifth time that pieces of the red planet have made it here and collectors have gone gaga for it, with the stuff selling for up to $22,500 an ounce.
If you were in Morocco in July, check your pockets – you might be a MILLIONAIRE!
But that was the grand plan of Paul Moran of Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. Sadly, his big dream turned to, erm, shit, when his amateur alchemy led to a fire that caused over £3,000 worth of damage to the block of flats where he resided.
A court heard that Moran left his own poo, along with other waste products such as fertilizer on a heater as part of an attempt to turn them into gold. Let’s be honest – we’ve ALL wondered if it was possible, but not many of us have had the wherewithal to actually have a stab at it.
Moran has been jailed for three months after admitting charges of arson and endangering the lives of others. His barrister described him a man of ‘considerable intellectual ability’ but added that he had problems battling drug abuse. “Shit for brains” might have been more appropriate.
No-one’s a winner at the moment. Loan finance is hard to get, the interest return on investments practically non-existent.But if you are of an investing bent, there is a market player that has consistently performed, and now gold has hit a new record price of $1,610 an ounce (almost £1,000).
Of course, this would be better news if you had taken our non-financial advice and trotted down to Harrods and bought your bullion back in 2009, as that would mean you were sitting on, um, a pile of gold. However, despite Monday’s bonanza price, the general consensus is that the price will continue to rise, with some experts predicting a price topping $2,000 an ounce in the coming years.
But is gold for you? Although it is normally considered a fairly safe investment, and one that rides a recession well, there are always winners and losers. After all, that savvy old Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, sold off more than half of the UK’s gold reserves, about 395 tonnes, between 1999 and 2002, when the price of bullion averaged $275 an ounce. Ouch.
Everyone knows that Gold is, well, a big lump of metal, normally found in slightly smaller quantities* around people’s necks and fingers. So how do you actually invest in it?
Well, you can invest in actual gold. Either in bullion form or in coins, the most widely known of which are gold Sovereigns and Krugerrands. Sovereigns normally cost slightly more (because they are prettier) but post-1837 coins have the huge advantage of being exempt from Capital Gains Tax, owing to the fact that they are actually legal tender. (In case you are interested, their legal value is £1. But whatever you do, do not go and spend them in Poundland. Please.)
But what if you can’t get to Harrods to pick up your bullion or you can’t quite manage a whole bar? You can even buy gold online these days, and on GoldMadeSimple.com you can even buy your gold by the gram as a fraction of an actual bar. On the downside you can’t actually hold your (partial) bar of gold, but neither do you have to pay for storage.
Before you go handing over wodges of cash to bloke in the pub, make sure you are dealing with someone reputable- check on the World Gold Councils – ‘Where to buy directory’ which can be found on its website at gold.org and the London Bullion Market Association members list which can also be located online at lbma.org.uk.
Other ways of investing in Gold could be to invest in gold-mining companies, which is the riskiest method of gold investment as you are also exposed to fluctuations in the stock market, or through exchange traded funds (ETFs), which works in a similar way to a unit trust, but the fund then invests in actual gold on your behalf.
Whoa. Back up. Tax?
Just like any other investment, any gain made on gold will be subject to UK capital gains tax, unless you hold legal tender coins (as above). Gold does not, in itself, produce an income, but if you invested in gold-mining shares for example, any dividends paid would also be subject to UK income tax.
However, if you are the canny sort and are wondering about tax-free wrappers, there is good and bad news. You cannot invest in actual gold (bars, bullion or coins) through an ISA, but you can hold gold-mining or ETF shares and benefit from tax free growth. Also, if you have a SIPP, you can invest in gold however you like, if that’s what you fancy, and get income tax relief up front and over time within the fund.
Well, while we’re looking at alternative investments, why limit yourself to gold? Why not look at investing in wine, provided you can be sure your mother-in-law won’t drink it all. A number of specialists now focus on wine as an investment. Or what about art and antiques? Bet the chap who bought Jane Austen’s unfinished manuscript back in 1988 for £90,000 was chuckling into his sleeve when it sold at Christie’s last week for almost £1million…
*Or, in the case of certain ‘bling’ celebrities, not that much smaller a quantity at all.
Today’s Deals Of The Day is all about the finer things in life – we refer of course, to champagne, gold and a set of computer speakers with plenty of oomph!
As ever, the bargains come to you via HotUKDeals – you’d be mad to go anywhere else…
Tesco have recently sidled their way into the gold-trading market – a lucrative market in these times of extreme skintness, and as such, are trying to lure in customers with a tidy little offer.
They’ll give you £10 for every gram of 9 carat gold that you bung in an envelope and send to them. It’s a price that is better than many on the market – but not quite all. Check out the thread on the HotUKDeals forum for some ‘golden’ advice.
Once you’ve got the cash in your hand, you might want to celebrate your good fortune by immediately swapping it for a bottle of bubbly, or champagne as non-idiots call it. After all, you can get some for just £9.00.
There are whole range of varieties, styles and types of varieties of champagne on offer, from Moet to Mumm to Hanson and some others that we’ve never ever heard of because fuck knows, we don’t drink champagne round these parts.
Finally, some Logitech X210 2.1 speakers, perfect for transferring noise from your noise output device into your ears without chafing, burning or long-term scarring.
Still reading? Of course you are. You’ll be wowed to learn that you can nab yourselves a set of these magnificent animals for only £19.98 delivered.
(deals found by HUKD members mywife, offhistrolley and kzee)
The retailing behemoth that is Tesco has announced that it’s about to dig its claws into another piece of the revenue-generating flan (and make no mistake, it IS a flan).
They’re looking to muscle in on the thriving cash-for-gold market, as prices of the shiny, wonderful metal continue to rise. They’ll be trialling their ‘Gold Exchange’ service online and in about 15 of their stores, immediately threatening other postal services such as Cash4Gold and CashMyGold by following their business model.
Tesco are pledging to pay £7.81 per gram of nine carat gold and will take examine all kinds of gold jewellery, paying the dosh straight into the seller’s bank account, with the obvious Clubcard link-up hanging in the air as well.
Would the introduction of a ‘big-name’ player tempt you to part with your precious shiny objects are you hanging on to them whatever happens? Tell us you fools!
There’s something wrong with the world right now. Actually, there’s quite a lot wrong with the world and there aren’t enough years left of civilisation to list it all. But here’s another example to stick on that list; an ATM machine that doesn’t pay out cash, but gold bars. Gold bars. From a cash machine. We shit you not:
Yes, residents in Las Vegas and Florida will be able to punch in their PIN and scoop up their 1, 5, 10 and 28 gram (1 ounce) bars, with the machine checking the international price of gold six times an hour. We can’t wait for these Gold To Go machines to reach the UK – when the revolution comes, we’ll be snug in the Bitterwallet bunker with our assets secure in gold and tins of rice pudding.
It may not be as wrong as this, but that doesn’t make it right.
Today’s ad (for Guinness) was shoved under our noses by avid Bitterwallet reader A. Gainsborough – it’s one we’ve never seen before, even though over a million other people already have.
So with that in mind, it’s the first in a new spin-off series called Commercial Break GOLD that we’ve just made up, in an attempt to head off any smart arses who are thinking about filling the comment section with toss like ‘Ugh. 2008 called – it wants its advert back’
Screw that bunch – this ad made us laugh, and if you’ve been in a coma for the past couple of years (there’s another one that you can’t use), it might make you laugh too.
I bet virtually no-one noticed the incredibly subtle punning in the headline of ‘gold’ and ‘fish’. Those that did probably thought it was a rubbish pun. You can’t win with you sneering gits.
Anyway, what’s all this about golf and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)?
It concerns those TV commercials you will have invariably seen that ask you to send in your unwanted gold in exchange for cash. The OFT have requested information from some of these companies because they have a hunch that they might not be complying with consumer protection legislation.
What the OFT are particularly interested in is their business practices and want them to explain some of the claims they’ve made in their advertising and on their websites. One thing that sticks out like a sore golden glans is whether consumers’ rights to reject an offer for their gold and receive it back are being honoured.
The folks from The OFT have said: “No assumption should be made that any companies involved in gold buying have broken the law”.
Juliet Young, a Director in the OFT’s Consumer Market Group said: “Buying gold using the postal service is a relatively new business model, and while innovation often brings benefits for consumers, we want to check that the market and businesses operating in it are developing in a way that treats customers fairly.”
This move comes on the back of a Which? report which stated that these firms are offering terrible value. One firm offered a paltry £38.57 for the three pieces of new jewellery purchased for £729.
Which? found the TV gold buyers consistently offered the lowest prices, with CashMyGold offering just £38.57 for all three pieces of jewellery, including quoting just £9.64 for a 9 carat bangle that had been bought for £215, and for which an independent jeweller offered £54. In another case, Money4Gold told the Which? researcher that a £399 carat gold necklace was not gold and demanded they paid £10.95 to have it returned.
Basically, these new companies that are advertising on TV are making offers much lower than what is being offered by pawnbrokers and high street jewellers, who paid an average of 25% of the items’ retail price.
Peter Vicary-Smith, Which? chief executive, said: “The poor value for money that these TV gold buyers are providing is simply shocking. The cash for gold market is unregulated, and this investigation has raised some serious concerns about the fair treatment of consumers. People should be wary of buyers’ adverts as they could almost certainly get more money for their gold elsewhere.”
Yesterday we warned you of the perils of flogging your unwanted gold off to shifty online nugget-buying nuggets. Today, the other end of the precious metal market has reared its proud head like an ecstacy-fuelled ox – Harrods have started selling gold bars.
Britain’s most glamorous corner-shop proprietor Big Mo Al Fayed has linked up with Produits Artistiques Metaux Precieux (whoever the hell they are) to pedal shiny gold bullion and coins over the counter.
But the move comes just as gold prices reach a record high (£662 an ounce), thanks to a weak American dollar. No doubt there’ll still be hordes of rich idiots queuing up for a nugget of their own.
In these trying times, more and more desperate punters are looking to raise extra cash by flogging their unwanted gold items. But it’s becoming an increasingly murky business and the angry sound of dissatisfied customers’ voices is becoming harder to ignore.
Recently we featured Cash4Gold, one of the major players in the growing flog-your-gold-by-post industry. Not only have they attempted to sue a whistleblower who revealed some of their dubious business policies, they have also tried to buy the silence of a dissenting writer who alleged that it is standard practice for Cash4Gold to offer just one third of the actual value of gold items submitted by their customers. (It should be pointed out though that Bitterwallet’s silence cannot be bought, although we’ll be happy to take a good hard look at any sensible offers.)
Now, the similarly-named Money4Gold are in the spotlight – the spotlight of shite that is. The Moneywatch site featured them a couple of weeks ago and since then, the gripes from pissed-off gold-sellers have steadily mounted up.
“The pieces I sent had been evaluated at just over 300 pounds for insurance purposes. I sent it off and within a few days received my cheque for 25 pounds!”
“I eventually got through to a human being on their phone line Wednesday last week – was told that a manager would phone me back within two days!!! well surprise surprise – no one has phoned yet.”
“I also looked at their address on Google Maps and it is a derelict-looking building in the middle of countryside. Be warned.”
Over on MSE, another poster says…
“I recently sent off over 100 grams of gold to Money4Gold using their Goldpak and got a cheque for £108!!! I sent it back immediately and sold the gold on my local market for £650!!”
So, does anyone actually use these distance-buying gold merchants and more to the point, has anyone been satisfied by their service? Anyone at all?
The message seems to be; people – don’t sell your gold to these companies. Instead, give it to Bitterwallet, and we GUARANTEE we’ll send you an exclusive signed pencil drawing of a drunken goblin in return.
Zee Germans are sooo damn clever. Not only did they invent pornography, but they have now come up with the ultimate recession-proof business: gold vending machines.
Nicknamed ‘Gold to Go’, the creation from Stuttgart based company TG-Gold-Super-Markt is to tap into the current increased interest in buying gold following poor returns in investments from the economic landslide.
Instead of purchasing a bag of Maltesers to sow sorrow from the poor financial markets, world class investors can now purchase gold coins and bars at 500 locations around that Deutschland.
Investment banker Jens Willenbockel told the FT that he believed there could be a market for the venture.
“It is also a great gift for children – for them getting gold is like a fairytale.”
We’d argue that a child’s fairytale would probably involve a Nintendo Wii but never mind. Nevertheless, the queues of passengers lining up at Frankfurt airport where the machine is installed suggests that it’s a whole different wet dream for grown adults, as they fork out a rip off €30 (£25) for a 1g wafer to €245 (£200) for a 10g bar.
And why so expensive? Simple reason: the gold prices from the machines have a 30% markup above market prices. This even gets automatically updated every few minutes. But before you decide to commit any sort of crime, know that the machines have gold armour plated casing, and high res CCTV cameras watching you. Like hawks.
Do you think gold is still just a passing fad, or is the money revolution becoming more real? Would a machine like this do well in the UK? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Apparently some bloke is trying to trek around the world at the moment relying solely on the help and hospitality of people on Twitter. The fool – he’s almost certain to be eaten alive in a dingy basement somewhere in Lithuania. Is that what he wants? You know what, it probably is.
So, as wacky challenges like that are all the rage, we’re going to commit ourselves to one too. Bitterwallet hereby announces that we’ll be entering a team in this year’s Tour De France. That’s right, the toughest endurance event on Earth (cue list of contradictory comments)
And what’s more, we’ll each be doing it on one of these – a 24k gold plated bike with Swarovski crystals. And blogging while we’re pedalling. Only problem is we can’t quite afford the $102,418.60 price tag per bike, so if you’d all like to chip in, we can make that Tour De France dream a beautiful reality.
No? Hello? Anyone on Twitter like to help us out then? No?