Hard Assets Alliance Review

Hard Assets Alliance Review

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Hard Assets Alliance brands itself as an organization created by dozens of companies and individuals in the precious metals and technology industries. The company's main offering is a trading platform that lets you buy and sell gold in real time.

This software should make precious metals trading more accessible to the average person. But there are some concerning reviews that raise red flags. In addition, there's a marked lack of transparency. Since the organization is made up of so many different players, there isn't any listed owner, management, or CEO. There's no contact info if you need to talk to someone for accountability.

  • Product Type: Precious Metals
  • Owner: Unknown
  • Rating: 1.0/5

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About Hard Assets Alliance

Hard Assets Alliance Review

Hard Assets Alliance is a combination of a precious metals dealer and fintech broker. They offer software to make it easier to invest in precious metals. In addition, they back all of the metals on their trading platform with completely real assets. Rather than using intangible investments like ETFs or stocks, you're investing in tangible products. You can take possession of your metals when you want to.

According to the company website, Hard Assets Alliance was created because a variety of career professionals wanted a better way to invest in gold. They believed that the normal setup of gold dealerships and gold ETFs was too flawed. So they wanted to create a platform that would make gold a prized financial asset.

To do this, they created an online marketplace where precious metals could be traded electronically. They claim that this is the most competitive place to buy and sell precious metals, with the lowest prices you'll find.

But in actuality, the prices of the metals on the platform have nothing to do with the prices of precious metals on official exchanges. That means that the lowest price on the platform might actually be way higher than the spot price.

When you use the platform, you are trading real gold and silver. All of the assets are tangibly stored in fully insured, fully secure third party vaults. You own the assets entirely. There's no partial ownership or confusing ETF legality. You have paperwork establishing that you are the owner, and that's that.

The Hard Assets Alliance software is used by a variety of different institutions, though it can be tweaked for their purposes. Among the potential clients are investment advisors, wealth managers, and direct independent investors.

MetalStream Program

Hard Assets Alliance Review

The MetalStream program is one of the investment programs pioneered by Hard Assets Alliance. It is a type of automated investment tool. With it, you can accumulate more gold and silver over time, even if you only have a small amount to invest each month.

Unlike some other deals, you don't own just a fraction of the bar. You own the entire asset. The platform does this by saving up your money in liquid form until you have enough to purchase a bar or coin. Then it automatically makes the purchase for you, and it begins saving up again. When the precious metals are purchased, you become the full and direct owner of them.

All you do is connect your bank and decide on a monthly investment amount. Or if you don't want to connect your bank, you can pre-fund your account with a single transfer.

There aren't any contracts with the MetalStream program, so you can stop or start whenever you please. You also don't need to pay any extra fees for the automation. You have the option to invest any amount you want, with the minimum investment threshold being $25 per month.

Business Accounts

Hard Assets Alliance Review

One of the services that Hard Assets Alliance provides is business accounts. Basically, you can own precious metals as assets within your business. They work with all kinds of businesses, from sole proprietorships to major corporations to LLCs included in an IRA. That last option allows you to hold precious metals in your LLC as "checkbook IRA" funds.

When you have a business account, you use the same trading platform that everyone else does. But you use company funds to purchase company assets. It's somewhat different from being an individual private investor.

The idea is to make it easier for businesses to own gold. In some ways, the Hard Assets Alliance account is similar to having a business bank account. You can always view your total holdings and liquidate your assets when need be. Funds can be easily transferred from account to account. You'll be given daily reports on the precious metals market, as well as monthly statements regarding your account activity.

There's even the opportunity to set up access for multiple users with a business account. You only need to apply. The application process takes a few minutes. You'll need to talk to a representative about the type of business you have, the assets you have, and what your plans are for using precious metals in the future.

There are also estate and trust accounts. If you want to secure part of your will in precious metals, Hard Assets Alliance has the means to do so. You can also hold precious metals in trust for your children or grandchildren until they reach a certain age. Once the beneficiary reaches the right age, they can have the assets delivered to them or liquidated.

Is Hard Assets Alliance a Scam?

Hard Assets Alliance Review

It's hard to say whether Hard Assets Alliance is a scam. First things first, the company does not appear to be subject to any litigation. They aren't being investigated for fraud or other scam-related crimes. Unless a company is proven guilty of committing fraud, it's important not to label them a scam without due caution.

But with that said, there are many major problems with Hard Assets Alliance. The company does not seem to care about retaining the trust of its customers. In addition, it is not very transparent about its management.

The website does not disclose who the owner, founder, or current CEO is. The company has a Linkedin page that lists four employees. But it's impossible to view the employee profiles without a Linkedin account. There is no principal or basic contact information listed on the Better Business Bureau webpage, aside from a basic address.

But things get worse on the BBB page. A lack of contact info is the least of the company's worries. Not only are they not accredited, but they also have an F rating, the worst rating that you can get.

Companies only get F ratings when they completely fail to address customer complaints. According to the BBB, the Hard Assets Alliance rating is because they haven't responded to two official complaints. There are also two non-complaint reviews on the page, both of which give the lowest rating of 1 out of 5 stars.

It's very hard to find other customer feedback online. There are a handful of Trustpilot reviews from people who say they had positive experiences. Several people on Trustpilot have praised the staff for being efficient, knowledgeable, and patient. But the number of complaints is very high for a company with so little overall feedback.

Even if there were hundreds of positive reviews, that F from the BBB is a big deal. The BBB is one of the main third party organizations regulating business in the US. They are the major go-to for people who want to solve conflicts with a business without legal action. For a company not to cooperate them is major, and it indicates that they may be neglecting their customers.

Let's take a more in depth look at the major complaints that people had.

Customer Complaints

Hard Assets Alliance Review

On the BBB website, there have been two complaints filed against the company. Both of those were related to issues with a product or service. Hard Assets Alliance has never responded to either of them. Despite this, the complaint details are not available through the BBB website.

It's not clear why the complaints have been made unavailable. The customers themselves may have asked not to have their complaints posted publicly. This happens sometimes when customers have a strong need for privacy.

Usually, complaint details are hidden because the customer asks for them to be removed after resolving the issue. But the lack of response from Hard Assets Alliance makes this puzzling.

The website Ripoff Report often keeps reports of companies rumored to be scams. There are currently no Ripoff Reports written about Hard Assets Alliance. This is a small point in their favor.

Fortunately, even though the BBB complaint details are unavailable, there are still the customer reviews. Both of these give the lowest scores possible. They do not count toward a company's BBB rating, and they are not hidden from the public.

Delayed Withdrawal

One customer left a review indicating that he was having issues with making a withdrawal. He hadn't had any problem with putting money into the platform or making trades. But when he wanted to cash out, that was when he ran into issues.

Right away, that's a red flag. It's always suspicious if a trading platform makes it difficult to cash out. You should be able to take possession of either your metals or your money whenever you want. Otherwise, the company has incentive to make up problems so they can keep your funds.

The customer stated that his withdrawal had been put on hold for several weeks. Eventually, his assistant managed to do a three-way call with the bank to confirm the customer's identity. A customer service representative named Lauren with Hard Assets Alliance said that the withdrawal confirmation would be emailed, and the transaction would finally be finalized.

The customer did receive an email saying that his bank account had been verified. Since the bank account was finally approved, the request for delivery would proceed.

But weeks and weeks went by without any check showing up in the mail. So the customer logged in to his account to see what was happening. He was told that his withdrawal had been canceled, even though he'd received confirmation that it was progressing. No one had reached out to inform him about the cancellation or explain why it was happening.

The customer found this to be extremely unprofessional and upsetting. He stated that he had provided all of the documentation and other information necessary to withdraw his funds.

If there had just been some kind of error or misunderstanding on Hard Assets Alliance's part, they could have responded to this review. They might have explained the reasons for the cancellation, apologized for the lack of communication, and vowed to do more going forward.

But the company has never responded to the review. They've never acknowledged it at all. Since there is no operating manager or CEO listed on the website or the BBB page, it's hard to find someone to be accountable to. The customer has never followed up to say whether he ever did manage to withdraw his funds in the end or not.

Scam Accusation

One customer accused the company of being a scam. This is a very serious accusation that was made almost two years ago. It doesn't seem like Hard Assets Alliance has been subject to any government action, so it's unlikely that any scam was ever proved.

The customer said that she was roped in by the professional web design. She found it impressive and assumed that the company practices would be legitimate. But she was immediately disappointed with her experience.

When she opened her account, she was told by a representative that she'd hear from the company within two days. So she funded her account and waited to have access to the trading platform. Two days went by with no response. Then two weeks went by. There was no sign of the customer's money, no access to the platform, and no explanation.

Once again, the lack of accountability is a big factor. The customer stated that she couldn't contact anyone because the business didn't provide any management or contact details. But to add insult to injury, the company was still giving her the option to purchase more funds in the nonfunctional account.

Again, this would have been a great opportunity for Hard Assets Alliance to respond. But they ignored this review as well.

Companies can ignore customer reviews without impacting their rating. But many choose to respond to negative feedback so that they can maintain their reputation and explain the complicated situations happening on their end. It doesn't seem that Hard Assets Alliance cares much about its reputation, judging by the way they ignore official complaints as well.

Pros & Cons of Hard Assets Alliance

PROS

  • Gold investment platform that supposedly has low prices, though they're often higher than the basic spot price.

CONS

  • F rating from the BBB for failing to respond to complaints.
  • Multiple extremely negative reviews, some of which allege illegal activity.
  • Not enough positive reviews to offset the negative.
  • Complete lack of transparency regarding ownership and management.

Final Thoughts

Hard Assets Alliance seems like a good idea on the surface. You can download a gold trading platform and begin buying and selling precious metals as an individual. There's no need to go through major dealers or worry about high commissions, since you can look for the individual selling the cheapest metals.

Unfortunately, there are several details that keep it from working in practice. The platform is supposed to drive prices lower through competition, but many of the prices are higher than the spot price of gold and silver. That means you'll pay more for these metals than for gold purchased with a legitimate local dealer in your town.

In addition, the company itself has a terrible reputation. Over time, their BBB rating has dropped from an A+ to a C to an F. They haven't responded to two complaints, leading to the F rating. The people behind the software don't seem to care about problems that their customers have.

You don't want to work with a company that doesn't care about its customers. For this reason, we recommend working with a different precious metals company instead. There are many gold dealers that have excellent reputations and customer satisfaction ratings. With these, you can be sure that even if you have some sort of problem, the company will actually care about making it right.

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