13 December 2009

AWOL

Yes I am still alive. My break from blogging started with a trip to Canberra for the http://www.goldstandardinstitute.com/ conference. It was great to catch up with the attendees from last year and meet some new gold investors. The weekend after it was a short drive up to the Southern Highlands of New South Wales for the Highland Fling - a 100km mountain bike race. Six plus hours is physically tough, but it was harder mentally.

The plan was to get back to blogging on my return but the new Treasury system project I've been working on (in addition to the revamp of the Perth Mint's retail shop) kicked in with at lot of work required to meet deadlines. The new system will give us some efficiencies and thus help with customer service but we have decided to NOT go online for trading.

It is a bit old school, but the Treasury system will be standalone from our other computer systems and with no online ability means your account is just not hackable. I'm interested in any feedback on that decision - we feel if you want the ease of online then you can trade our ASX product (code ZAUWBA) or GoldMoney or BullionVault.

This Treasury system is going to take up some time so my blogging will be less frequent over the next few months but I'll keep any eye on any big issues that come up.

9 comments:

Justin said...

Hi Bron, not feedback, but I've forgotten the name of the super fund you mentioned at the conference, the one that lets you invest in gold.

Do you have an email address or website for it?

Bron said...

Spectrum Super http://www.spectrumsuper.com.au/

They don't have our ASX product listed as one of the direct security options (http://www.spectrumsuper.com.au/drawpage.jsp?parentID=770046&pageID=INVESTMENT_CHOICES&subpageID=770046) but it is listed in the Perth Mint's staff fund within Spectrum, so I think if you ask they should be willing to allow you to buy it. If you have any problems let me know

Anonymous said...

Please keep blogging regularly, I think your thoughts are quite thought provoking and I come here often for updates. The info on Australian gold confiscation is unique and quite valuable to us Aussies in my opinion.

Any snippets or even chunks from the gold standard institute conference would be great.

BT Wrap services allow investors to invest in gold miner shares, GLD ETF and I think the Perth Mint product as well but they put tight limits on the proportions allowed to place into bullion (closet gold haters methinks). For direct investment in bullion you need to start a self managed super fund.

Bron said...

Because people paid to attend the conference, I don't feel it is right to publish my stuff done at the conference, I sort of want to support them by encouraging people to attend.

Good that BT allows gold but outrageous they have limits on it, if anything the recent good performance of gold vs shares should have their trustees on notice that they were negligent by limiting gold exposure.

Perth Mint has many self managed super funds holding gold accounts, only way to really get control over your finances.

Anonymous said...

Bron, as a Perth Mint unallocated customer I am 100% satisfied with the way trades are done. I don't want online access.

Keith said...

Hi Bron,
Glad you had a good break. I am quite happy with the Treasury service. It's simple and I get to talk to a real human for a change.

I you have a moment to comment, I'd like your thoughts regarding the latest on the RCM fiasco :

http://www.windsorstar.com/Mint+reveals+lost+fortune+gold/2367398/story.html

It just seems ridiculous. It has taken a year to arrive at this version of the truth...what do you think ?

Cheers,
Keith

Bron said...

I don't know where to start. There are a number of reports on the RCM's website and it all sounds very technical but no matter how it is said, the simple fact is that they can't count their stock and reconcile properly.

Plus it seems they sent of slag externally without knowing exactly what it contained. This is most puzzling part. If you couldn't estimate with any certainty what the gold content of your slag was, then send it off for "toll" refining, where you pay the refinery for refining and you keep whatever gold is recovered. For them to say that they have lost it and will not be able to get it back from the external refiners means they must have sold the slag for cash (ie done deal, hence you can't go back and reneg on the deal, the external refiner bought the slag "as is", so to speak). This is not necessarily a problem, but you only do that if you know with certainty EXACTLY how much gold there is in what you are selling, which obviously they did not and which is confirmed in one of their reports.

A sorry state of affairs.

Jim said...

After the news that AGR Matthey partnership is dissolved, I'd like to see more information about PM's plans to improve marketing of its products.

Your recommendation of the mint's ASX product PMG (code ZAUWBA), GoldMoney or BullionVault was interesting. Does PM have/plan any formal agreements with GoldMoney or BullionVault?

PMG & PM gold certificates can be paid for with AUD, which has obvious benefits for Australian retail investors like me, but so far I've not bought either but I'm still waiting for GoldMoney to deliver on a long-promised acceptance of AUD.

Bron said...

Jim, if we acquire AGR certainly there will be a review of all our investment products.

Perth Mint does not have any arrangements formal or informal with GoldMoney or Bullion Vault. While they are competitors of our Depository service, my personal view is that the market is big enough for everyone and GM and BV are to the best of my knowledge reputable businesses, so I am not going to compromise myself and take a purely self interested position that someone would be stupid to use them.

I think PM has more in common with GM or BV against the hugely dominant ETFs.