Scott R. Hillford
Author & Founder Gold Is Money 2
Disclaimer: Some or all of the companies reported here may provide compensation to us, at no cost to our readers. This is how we keep our reporting free for readers. Compensation and detailed analysis are what determines how companies appear on this website.
About Lear Capital Review
Precious metals investments are the perfect solution for diversifying an investment portfolio and increasing retirement savings.
Gold, silver, and platinum provide stability for investors, and the funds aren't affected by the current value of the US dollar.
Prior reading further, it is important to acknowledge that investing your savings is a not easy. When it comes to incorporating precious metals into your investment portfolio, how can you tell which companies are reliable?
After devoting extensive time and effort, we have conducted thorough research within the precious metals industry and compiled a selection of the most trustworthy companies.
Take a moment to read our list and determine if Lear Capital has what it takes to make the list this year!
This lets you to quickly compare the leading companies in this field and select the one that aligns with your specific requirements and investment objectives.
Get the FREE Gold Kit smart investors are using to protect their retirement savings.
As a result, these opportunities help investors avoid significant losses with a safe investment choice. Investors must weigh their options as they approach gold companies and avoid scams. Reviewing Lear Capital helps these traders determine if the company is the best choice for their investment endeavors.
Lear Capital Business History and Ratings
Lear Capital opened its doors in 1997 in Los Angeles, California. They offer phone and online precious metals orders for investors and collectors. The company buys and sells precious metals and provides IRA accounts for investors to save for the future. They also offer access to rare coins from all over the world.
The organization is part of the Business Consumer Alliance and Consumer Affairs. As of 2023, Lear Capital didn't have Better Business Bureau accreditation or ratings.
According to BCA and Consumer Affairs, the company has a customer rating of 4.7 stars. Trustpilot provided Lear Capital with a 4.9-star rating.
What Products Do They Sell?
Lear Capital sells gold and silver coins, bars, and bullion. Gold products include $10 Liberty gold coins, American Gold Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf, American Eagle proof, French 20 Franc, Australian Kangaroo, Austrian Philharmonic, Gold British Sovereign coins, Snowy Owl, Orca, and Killer Whale.
Silver products include half dollars, Peace Dollar, Polar Bear, American Eagle, Arctic Fox, Snow Falcon, Snowy Owl, Spirit Bear, Seated Britannia, and Killer Whales.
Buy Gold and Other Precious Metals
Lear Capital's precious metals sales are straightforward. Many of their precious metals are available through online sales; however, some selections require customers to call for pricing.
Customers must contact Lear Capital to set up an account for all purchases. They can assign a user account for online purchases, and customers complete these transactions through the checkout.
A customer service representative must complete the order for precious metals unavailable through online purchases. The customer care workers provide a quote after the client tells them what metals they want and what quantity.
These transactions may require a wire transfer to pay for the precious metals. A customer service representative must approve all transactions over $100,000, and Lear Capital must receive confirmation of the total payment before any shipments are set to the investors. For minimum and maximum purchase restrictions, clients must call to speak to a customer service representative.
All precious metal shipments arrive in discreet packaging to offer more protection. In addition, Lear Capital provides insurance coverage for all packages and offers insurance claims if the packages are stolen, lost, or damaged. Customers can add extra coverage to their shipments if they prefer.
All customers who commit to purchasing precious metals after receiving a price lock face penalties for canceled orders. Lear Capital can charge a fee for any financial losses due to canceled orders or payment failures.
For example, suppose the price of the precious metals decreases within the duration of the transaction. In that case, the client must pay the penalty to help Lear Capital recoup the profits lost because of the cancellation or failed payment.
Selling Your Precious Metals
Lear Capital offers a buyback opportunity where they purchase precious metals from previous customers. While there isn't a guarantee that they will approve the metals, customers can call a customer service representative and tell them what precious metals they want to sell back to the company.
The customer care representatives look up the account and review the metals the customer purchased. Then, they provide a price quote based on the precious metals' type, quantity, and condition when purchased. First, however, customers must send their precious metals to Lear Capital for an inspection before the buyback is approved.
Once the metals arrive, Lear Capital's workers complete an inspection and weigh the metals. Next, they evaluate the condition of the metals and look for imperfections. If the metals are acceptable, the organization processes the payment according to the quoted amount. If the metals are not inspected, they are returned to the customer.
Active Precious Metals Price List
On the Lear Capital website, visitors find an active product price list. They can also find the current market price for gold, silver, and platinum available through the company. If clients want to sell their precious metals, these price lists show them an estimated value for what they could get through a buyback.
However, the gold company won't provide the total market price for the metals as they won't generate a profit. Comparing prices for precious metals can help investors avoid financial mistakes like lowball offers from gold companies offering to buy back the metals.
Open a Gold IRA
To open a gold IRA, clients must prepare for the transaction. They need an IRS-approved custodian to open and manage the IRA, and after the transaction is completed, the clients need a depository for storing their precious metals. When they are ready to start, the custodian contacts Lear Capital to create the account. As of 2023, Lear Capital doesn't have any recommended IRA custodians.
The next step is to choose funding options for the precious metals IRA. For example, investors could use funds they already have or transfer funds from an existing IRA to transfer or roll over money from an existing IRA, such as a ROTH IRA, employer-matched IRA, or 401(k) IRA plan.
The custodian contacts the IRA provider to set up the transfer. Once the funds are available through the new IRA, the custodian contacts Lear Capital to set up the precious metals purchase; the investor must provide details about all the precious metals they want and in what quantities.
The custodian arranges the purchase and sends the money to Lear Capital through a wire transfer. Once they receive the payment, Lear Capital sends the precious metals to the investor's preferred depository.
Storage for Precious Metals
Lear Capital claims to offer free storage for all precious metals IRAs. However, clients are not obligated to use the company's depository. Wise investors should evaluate depositories and ensure that their selection is secure.
The precious metals must remain in their preferred depository until they liquidate the account. There aren't any guarantees that Lear Capital's depository services are the best choice for investors.
Understanding Fees and Expenses
Investors who want to set up a gold IRA face fees for opening the account, custodian fees, and ongoing storage and maintenance expenses. When planning to open an account, the investor must get estimates for these expenses to ensure adequate capital to complete the transaction and manage their precious metals according to IRS regulations and guidelines.
Account holders must pay all their fees throughout the lifespan of their gold IRA. As the IRA account increases in value, the owner may face additional fees and costs, and discussing these expenses with a custodian helps determine how they should manage all incurring costs.
Increase the IRA's Value
Investors must calculate their annual investments before adding more to their gold IRA. In addition, there are restrictions on how much they can contribute to these accounts yearly. According to the IRS, investors under 59 can contribute no more than $6,000 to all IRA accounts. However, after they reach 60, the investors can increase their investment to $7,000 annually.
They must contact their custodian whenever investors want to buy more precious metals for their IRA from Lear Capital. In addition, the customer must disclose any separate contributions to IRAs besides the gold IRA. Once they complete their transaction, the custodian updates their documentation.
All contributions are tax-deferred, and the account holder must pay taxes on the funds when they receive the money. Careful planning can reduce high tax implications and help them stay within an affordable range during retirement.
Setting Up Distributions from the Gold IRA
Once the account holder reaches 65, their custodian can set up distributions from the gold IRA account. For example, the owner could limit the number of annual distributions to reduce tax implications, or they can liquidate the gold IRA and receive one lump sum. However, the account holder must pay taxes for the total amount within one tax season if they liquidate.
An Inherited Gold IRA and Estate Plans
Through an estate plan, the IRA owner can set up an inherited Gold IRA for any leftover funds in their gold IRA if they die before using them all. If their heirs use an inherited IRA, they can receive distributions monthly from the account or liquidate it.
According to IRS guidelines, if the heirs do not receive distributions from the account within five years of the owner's death, the custodian must liquidate the account and distribute it according to the provisions of the IRA. An alternative is to transfer the gold IRA into a trust and allow the estate owner's successor to use the IRA.
If the account holder doesn't transfer the IRA from their estate, the account goes through the probate court. Under the circumstances, if they owed creditors any money, the creditors could place a lien against the account and force its liquidation. On the other hand, a trust could protect the asset of their heirs and prevent seizure through probate.
Lear Capital's referral program allows customers to refer friends and family to the company for a small reward. Their friends and family must provide the customer's name to the customer service representative, and once the new customer completes a purchase, both parties receive a 1.5-ounce silver coin.
Mobile App Capabilities
Lear Capital has an app and website for customers to browse their products and complete purchases. The app is capable with most mobile devices, and the clients can sign into their account through the app with ease.
With the app, they can track current precious metals prices and get notifications when new products are available or when their favorite products are back in stock.
Free Investor Kit
The free investor kit offers a guide for new investors and answers questions about first-time precious metals investments. Visitors can request the investor kit via the website or the app. It will arrive via the email account associated with their Lear Capital account. In addition, there is a simple web form to complete if they don't have an open account.
Investor Resources and Educational Materials
Under the "Investor Resources" tab, visitors find several tools and information to help them invest wisely. First, the website offers a smart tool suite offering eBooks, videos, articles, and interactive tools. Next, the precious metals news offers valuable articles discussing new trends in precious metals investing, and investors read the latest market news.
The Lear Capital blog offers updates about the company, its services, and its products. And finally, investor downloads are providing specific details about buying precious metals from Lear Capital, including the risk disclosure, refund policies, and shipping instructions.
Designated Account Manager
Whenever clients set up an account with Lear Capital, they are assigned an account manager. Their account manager handles all future purchases, IRA accounts, and buyback opportunities for the customer.
When calling the organization, the client must contact their account manager to update their account, complete transactions, or inquire about new precious metals products. While it's nice to have someone overseeing individual accounts, there could be longer wait times for service depending on the account manager's daily workload.
Protecting Your Information
There is a feature at the bottom of the website to protect confidential information. If a client doesn't want Lear Capital to share customer details or contact information with third parties, the client clicks the "Don't Sell My Information" tab and completes the steps. The feature notifies Lear Capital about these requests, and they won't provide any contact information with their partners.
The advantages of Lear Capital start with their fixed fees. The company offers online ordering for all precious metals, including options for an IRA, and their customer service representatives can open an account for clients quickly.
All customer service representatives are patient and take their time assisting customers to ensure all questions are correctly answered.
Lear Capital's disadvantages include high storage fees even though they claim storage is free. Customers have reported higher costs for more modest investments; however, clients who purchased more precious metals at once saved more.
They don't allow customers to open an account online, and it is necessary to contact a representative to open the account. Sometimes, there is a long wait to speak to a customer service representative.
In addition, investors cannot get any precious metals from Lear Capital besides gold, silver, and a limited quantity of platinum.
After reviewing Lear Capital, investors discover that the company buys and sells precious metals and IRAs. All customers get personal account managers who handle client transactions and oversee their accounts. In addition, the company website offers many investor resources for investors unsure about investing in precious metals.
A referral program offers free coins after new customers purchase precious metals. Overall, it seems like a legitimate precious metals organization, but investors should compare Lear Capital to other providers before committing to buy.
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