Think the money in your bank is safe? Of course you do. Security is one of the primary reasons you keep your money at a bank.
Recent news reports, however, cast doubt on just how much you should rely on your bank to keep your savings protected and accessible. It turns out some of the biggest banks in the world are freezing bank accounts and even “misplacing” customer assets altogether in the course of routine business. The stories are a stark reminder of what can happen when you put your hard-earned money in the care of a third party that quite literally sees you as just a number.
Major Banks Freezing and Even Losing Customer Accounts
A recent investigation by NBC television in the San Francisco Bay Area revealed that, since 2011, more than 500 Wells Fargo customers have filed complaints against the bank, alleging the financial giant lost their certificates of deposit (CDs). According to NBC Bay Area, their inquiry on behalf of one man whose money went missing at Wells Fargo led to contact with a bank spokesperson who told the news network the customer’s “auto-renewing CD had somehow gone dormant.”
An article in the Miami Herald details the plight of Iranian student Saeed Moshfegh whose account Bank of America froze because allegedly he provided the wrong documentation to prove he’s a legal U.S. resident. Moshfegh, who has been living both legally and uneventfully in America for the past seven years, couldn’t pay his rent and found his credit card payments wouldn’t clear as a consequence of the freeze. Moshfegh says the bank got it wrong and the form he supplied was the right one.
In July, an article in the Kansas City Star reported on the troubles married couple Josh and Jessica Collins encountered in their dealings with Bank of America. The Collins’ account was frozen when Josh – who was born in Wichita, Kansas – was flagged by the bank as possibly being out of compliance with citizenship requirements.
It’s not just banks themselves that can make your life miserable as a depositor. There is the ever-present risk a government agency may decide you owe them money. Whether it’s fair or not, they can use their authority to directly access your account without informing you. Another example: It seems there’s never any shortage of criminal hackers trying to penetrate bank computer security to steal the money in your account.
Nightmares such as these underscore the reality that when you deposit your money in a bank, you give up absolute control over it. As a consequence, you and your family are exposed to an array of risks that could result in your money being taken from you. This risk extends to the large number of retirement investors who choose to invest their IRAs and other tax-deferred accounts in bank products such as CDs and money market accounts.
Here’s the challenge: Finding a way to mitigate these very real risks and still have the ability to conveniently go about your day-to-day existence.
Retain Ultimate Control and Value of Your Money with Gold and Silver
One option for staying safe is to keep a bare minimum of money in the bank for everyday transactions and a larger portion of your savings, including retirement savings, entirely outside of the banking and paper asset system. A great place to do that is an alternative asset with the demonstrated capacity to serve as a store of value even during periods of great economic upheaval: precious metals.
Precious metals provide a number of benefits not available in the realm of traditional paper assets. One significant benefit is the ability to sidestep the turmoil that puts paper assets, including equities, at risk during financial crises.
Another big advantage is the significantly greater personal control that can come with owning metals. Those who own physical gold and silver can store those assets in a non-bank, non-government depository where they can access their holdings when they want to.
To learn more about how you can better secure your money from threats ranging from bank mishandling and criminal hacking to global economic crises, call Augusta Precious Metals at 855-242-4121 and speak with one of our knowledgeable gold and silver professionals. If you’re interested in a physical gold and silver IRA, be sure to ask the Augusta representative about that, as well.