Lear Capital (www.learcapital.com) is a private company, founded in 1997, whose reported mission statement is to ensure that investors maintain a diversified strategy as we provide the tools needed to buy, sell, and trade bullion, rare coins, and physical gold and silver – all backed by an “Investor Friendly Service Guarantee.” The Lear Capital website offers brief, but concise articles. Main menu bar drop downs offer a variety of industry-related articles. The website also offers a free precious metals guide, retirement account guide, and RMD calculator tool.
The Lear Capital Website
The website identifies precious metal products qualified for IRA inclusion, as well as additional gold and silver products available for physical delivery. The site features a “Smart Tools Suite” offering a News Blog, Premium Coin Analyzer, Historical Chart Center, Portfolio Comparison Calculator, and live Precious Metals Spot Price Display download for desktop or mobile devices. Lear Capital claims that they “strive to maintain the greatest presence on the Web of any gold site.
Other site features include:
Purchasing Bullion Tab, which provides the “real time” pricing investors need on the most popular precious metals. All metals are available for purchase in the store 24 hours a day.
Numismatic Rare Coins Tab, provides information on timeless products, offering inflation-fighting metals choices with a long-term record of profitability. Numismatic gold coins, in particular, regularly offer strong portfolio diversification, due to the fact that they are typically “negatively correlated” to equities, a consideration that shouldn’t be lost in today’s tumultuous economy.
The Retirement Center Tab, provides a myriad of info, regarding the myriad of questions that arise from investors considering job changes, plan requirements, and options available when planning, modifying, and maximizing retirement income.
Market Charts Tab, offers a free, real time, online “ticker tape” service that displays gold and silver spot prices. The tab also provides charts for 24-hour spot gold, silver, platinum and palladium, going back thirty days if desired. This tool provides the real-time information necessary for timely market entry or exit.
Get Price Notification Tab, provides users with the ability to never miss a major move in precious metals, by immediately receiving an email when a price movement or threshold that you determine is achieved. As a registered member of Lear Capital you are “joining a fraternity of the world’s best informed tangible-asset investors.”
Sell Your Coins Tab, provides a forum to sell coins or entire portfolios, via outright sale, consignment, or auction. This tool will give you an accurate idea of what your assets are worth and if you wish, alternative ways to get your best prices when you sell. If you own a very large collection, Lear Capital will be happy to arrange to visit you and assess the value of your coins on site and at your convenience.
Coin Encyclopedia Tab, provides free access to detailed information regarding all of the popular American coins. “Now you can see what they actually look like before you consider investing.”
Lear Learning Center Tab, offers a wide variety of useful instructional videos regarding precious metals investing, risk management, and even disaster preparedness. Whether you’re looking into the general history of precious metals, or into specifics, like the 1933 gold recall, this tab provides the information you’re looking for.
Mail Me Free Information Tab, provides a free copy of the current newsletter, called Insight. “You’ll also receive printed, up to date information on precious metals, investment rare coins, and gold-funded retirement accounts – all for free.”
Keeping You Informed Video Series, “explores the common facts, historical perspective, and our policies with respect to investing in precious metals. By providing you all the facts about gold, silver, premium coins, and other tangible assets available to you, we feel you’ll be better prepared to make educated decisions about your savings and your future.”
The “Lear Price Advantage,” claims to offer competitive pricing on gold and silver and complete purchase transparency. “Our three-step Price Advantage Guarantee includes: a written account agreement, a phone confirmation, and a written confirmation of your precious metals purchase.”
Lear Capital offer a thirty-day price guarantee when you open or transfer a portion of your IRA into a new Lear Capital Gold or Silver IRA, whereby if the price of your metals drops within 30-days of opening your account, Lear Capital will adjust the value of your IRA to the market. However, restrictions apply and not all IRA’s are eligible. Additionally, Lear Capital will pay up to $500 (based upon qualifying purchase amounts) of the IRA set-up, annual maintenance and IRA custodial fees for new customers only who purchase or transfer precious metals worth $5,000 or more for an IRA.
Finally, Lear Capital is offering a $100 precious metals certificate, valid for new Lear Capital customers making a premium precious metals purchase of $5,000 or more. $100 will be applied as a credit against a subsequent purchase. Only a Lear Capital representative can provide specific information for details regarding any of the aforementioned special incentives.
Lear Capital Ratings, Complaints and Custommer Reviews
In spite of the positives previously addressed and a 4.5/5 TrustLink rating, recent false advertising lawsuits and a higher than acceptable number of customer complaints with the BBB and other reporting agencies, usually having to do with company policies regarding delivery prevent Lear Capital from qualifying for our Top 10 Gold IRA Companies and Bullion Dealers.
Another policy creating consternation is that when making a purchase, clients are required to transfer the necessary funds within five days, after which the company has exactly 28 days to deliver the order. And if payment is made by check, Lear Capital has no obligation to respond to the order until the check clears. Others have complained about a lack of transparency regarding the fact that credit cards not accepted on initial orders.
A great deal of turmoil occurred back in 2012- 2014 when a Lear television commercial ran consistently and stated that precious metals were achieving 20% growth per year on average, which was true through 2011, but in subsequent years, gold had fallen 33% and silver had fallen nearly 60%. Lear Capital did not curtail the use of or modify the content until they notified TINA.org of modifications in November of 2015.
www.truthinadvertising.org lists eight specific concerns about Lear Capital in their review of this company, including the commercial previously mentioned, as well as the fact that you’ll mere salespeople who can’t provide the “personal account representative…and a “real-time” investment relationship that keeps you abreast of spot pricing, precious metals news, and economic events that impact your retirement and your future” advertised in their commercial. “Mighty commissions” are cited, approaching 35% in some cases.
Lear Capital Lawsuit
Lear was sued by and settled with an octogenarian in a 2012. The site points out that Lear Capital has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but has received 27 complaints in the last three years and the Business Consumer Alliance reports 30 complaints over the same period. Coin delivery time is a very common complaint and their commercial generates further consternation by suggesting “free” silver, that’s not really free!
The devil is in the detail and the Fine Print is a constant source of complaint, which needs to be read and digested by anyone considering involvement.
And finally, Lear Capital produces, advertises and sells “exclusive” precious metal coins (at a 35% commission), which do not carry the appeal, acceptance, or trust credited to American Eagles, just as an example. Due to limited demand, owners might very well find it difficult to sell the coins for anything above spot value, and even then purchasers may simply be leery and not trust the coin for purity of content.
Standard Fees: Not currently listed on their website.
BBB: A+, 32 complaints
BCA: AAA, 3 complaints
Trustlink: 4.5 star rating
Address: 1990 S Bundy Dr #600 Los Angeles, CA 90025-5256
This Lear Capital review was updated October 9, 2017