Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can and should non-coin-collectors purchase precious metals?
Most West Hills Capital clients are not rare coin collectors; they are individuals who understand the value of protecting their wealth and assets for the future. However, some of our clients have become interested in collecting over time. We don’t discourage collecting gold coins and other precious metals, but we are primarily focused on helping clients protect their wealth for retirement.
Q. Am I “investing” when I purchase precious metals?
The term “investment” is often used when referring to buying gold and silver for the simple reason that by doing so, you are taking your available cash and converting it to gold. This isn’t buying gold stocks or other high-risk investments where your return is based upon company performance, price and other factors. Converting to precious metals is about protecting the purchasing power you have today well into the future. Gold and silver are currencies, whereas other metals, such as platinum and palladium are not.
Q. Is this a risk-free investment?
Every investment has risks. With traditional investments, such as stocks and bonds, you could double your money in a few years – or lose everything. With gold and silver, your investment will not increase or decrease in value but will remain steady as the value of the U.S. dollar fluctuates. Your investment in gold and silver could be outperformed by a stock, but that stock could also depreciate to the point of having no value at all.
Q. What happens when the price of gold and silver fluctuates?
The price of gold and silver will fluctuate because that price depends on a number of economic factors, as well as how much money is in circulation, but your purchasing power remains the same.
For example, one gold token is worth $1 and there are 1 trillion gold tokens in the United States. There are also $1 trillion U.S. dollars in circulation. One gold token is worth $1. However, if the government decides to print more money (putting more into circulation) – another $1 trillion – then there are $2 trillion represented by that same one trillion gold tokens. Now, a single gold token is worth $2. You still have the same purchasing power as you did when it was $1. Now, if the government reduces money in circulation, the price of gold will decrease, but it will still have the same purchasing power.
Q. Can I buy gold, silver and other precious metals as part of my IRA?
Within your IRA, you can purchase precious metals. The same tax structure applies to your IRA regardless of the assets in it. For traditional IRAs, taking distribution before 59 1/2 years of age comes with a 10 percent penalty, and then you pay taxes on top of that. Required mandatory distributions start at 70 1/2 years old. ROTH IRAs maintain their existing tax structure as well.
Consult your tax advisor for more information regarding your scenario.
Q. What is “spot price” and can I take advantage of it?
The spot price is a twice-a-day price point that is determined by members of the London Gold Pool and is set against the British Pound. This price is used to determine the value (pricing) of gold and other precious metals. Additional costs are added to the spot price, such as mining and production. Most individuals cannot purchase metals at spot price. Only governments that purchase billions of dollars’ worth of gold could even consider purchasing at the spot price.
Q. How do I make a purchase?
Contact a West Hills Capital representative and set up an account. Call us at 800.867.6768. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is prepared to answer any questions and concerns before you make a decision. Once you select the gold, silver or other precious metals you would like to purchase, we will walk you through the rest of the process.
Q. Do you accept checks or credit card payments?
West Hills Capital accepts personal checks, bank checks and wire transfers, which are convenient swift and secure, resulting in an instant receipt and peace of mind. We do not accept payment via credit card or debit card.
Q. How much does shipping cost?
The cost to ship precious metals varies according to the amount of metal, weight, location and other factors. Full details will be disclosed at the time of purchase and any direct questions regarding shipping costs can be addressed at that time.
Q. How do you secure my gold for shipping?
We package your gold in a secure, discreet package and choose the most reliable and secure shipping partners to ensure that your precious metals arrive at your door into your personal possession.
Q. Do you insure my delivery?
We insure every delivery to your signature. However, should you choose to allow the shipping clerk to leave a package unattended, leave it with a neighbor, property manager or other situation that doesn’t place the package in your immediate possession, we cannot guarantee safe delivery. It is important to note that all packages sent from West Hills Capital require the signature of an adult, 21 years of age or older, with verifiable proof of identification.
Q. Do you have a return policy?
We guarantee your satisfaction, not only with your precious metals purchase, but also with every aspect of your experience with West Hills Capital. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with the products purchased, we will exchange them for the same product of greater satisfaction.
Q. Are shipping costs paid if I decide to return the product?
You are responsible for any shipping costs incurred to return the product. You must package it in the same, safe and secure manner in which it was delivered to you. West Hills Capital reserves the right to reject any returned item that does not meet these requirements.
Q. Are the shipping and handling expenses you charge refundable?
We want you to be completely satisfied with your purchase and will do our best to accommodate your requirements. If you’re not satisfied with the product you receive, we will do our best to find an acceptable replacement. However, shipping and handling costs are non-refundable due to the nature of the items we ship.
Q. What tax advantages do I have when buying gold or silver?
Since converting your wealth into gold or silver is unlike investing in stocks, government bonds, real estate or other common forms of investments, purchasing precious metals does not offer the same tax advantages. The aforementioned investments defer their tax liabilities. Every citizen is responsible for capital gains taxes, but what the government deems to be capital gains may differ in the future.
Q. What if taxes end up being lower in the future?
It’s certainly possible that capital gains taxes could decrease in the future, but considering that the federal government is more than $17 trillion dollars in debt and has more than $125 trillion in unfunded liabilities (Medicare, Social Security, pensions, etc.), the only logical direction for taxes to go is up.
Q. Will my purchase be subject to state or local taxes?
Tax laws vary from state to state so it’s important that you contact a tax professional to find out what your state considers a taxable transaction. West Hills Capital does not tax any purchases.
West Hills Capital does not offer tax advice. Any information about taxes that we offer is from our best understanding. It’s important that each client consult with a certified CPA to understand all aspects of taxes and liabilities related to investing in gold, silver and other precious metals.