I was delighted when as part of the client experience, they gave me a gram of gold to start the account with. I felt richer, by the magnitude of one gram of gold, and to be honest felt a little smug having added some of the good stuff to my net worth, however small. I wondered a little about the business model but really gave it no second thought beyond the semantics of redeeming my one gram (the downloads were working, which was all I wanted).
About a month ago, I received the following email:
Dear BullionVault user,We are about to reclaim the free gram of gold you received when you first registered your account 'BULLIONBARZ' with us.As I'm sure you recall, it was given on a "Use it or lose it" basis.And with new enquiries now running at very high volumes here at BullionVault, it's time to give someone else the same opportunity that you had.
Right, got it. Yes, of course the gift was conditional. Silly me. Not wanting to lose my strategic advantage, I managed to use the system to trade my gram of gold (at a loss, oops). I tried to fund the account but I don't have an offshore bank account, so I just had to let that sit new balance sit. I figured that because I had 'used' the gold, that I wouldn't 'lose' it. I figured I might buy low and sell high and somehow build my wealth. Nope, not safe as 'cash' either. 'Promotional Funds Expired'. Damn. This wasn't rehypothecation, but it felt like it.
The moral of the story is that gold is good, but the power to enforce claims to your advantage always wins. Like the people who keep sending us a bill for some random unknown medical test*, or the new $2 government surcharge per 1000 litres of water**, when govt changes superannuation rules***, or when the taxation people write you a letter informing you of how much you owe them. Don't be the muggins sitting pretty with the asset if others have the arbitrary/discretionary power to take it from you.
The database now holds information from 43 different funds/structures, I discover new bar lists two per month on average.
- Gold (17)
- Silver (13)
- Palladium (5)
- Platinum (8)
The amount of data is huge, it's a lot to process and index.
* Note to self: Always make sure the doctor informs you of the test they're sending off. We've had about three random ones from these people where the first we know about them is a bill saying 'you owe us this much'.
** We're not heavy water users, but the new charge adds about $600/year to our household expenses. If you include tax then the income gap required to service this new random liability is north of $700. Solution: live without water? Yeah, right. FCKERS.
*** Recently, the Australian government has made changes to the concessional cap amount for superannuation contributions - if you didn't know about them then you got taxed extra. They have also made a recent ruling on keeping coins as part of a SMSF (has to be bullion, or else meet with other stringent requirements like insurance).