A few years ago I wrote a guide on how to purchase and store precious metals in your home. It has been available only to paying subscribers so far, but I am in the process of updating it and will make it free to everyone soon. The article below touches on the same subject and offers some sage advice regarding how NOT to store your precious metals.
If you must hide valuables at home (instead of in a private vault or bank safe deposit box), at least make them hard to find. I handled a burglary recently in which the burglar was in the victim’s house for at least 30 minutes but DIDN’T find her cash because it was so cleverly hidden. (The victim was a 73 year old woman with no training or education in crime prevention. Just clever.) If you have a burglary alarm system, you still want your valuables protected from discovery or removable for whatever time frame you believe is reasonable for the police to arrive after the alarm is triggered (5 – 30 minutes). This means placing them in a safe which can’t be found and broken in to for 5 – 30 minutes, or hiding them so well they can’t be found at all in that period of time. If you don’t have an alarm system or if conditions are such that you can’t expect police to ever respond, then you have to hide and/or secure your valuables for a long enough period of time for a burglar to give up looking, or trying to get into your safe (1/2 – 2 hours).
Whatever you do, don’t store your stash of 200 gold Krugerrand coins (approximate value today of $260,000) in a box, wrapped in paper, in a drawer, in a dresser in your basement without an alarm system in the house!! This is especially true if you actually NEED these coins to fund your retirement because you’re not filthy rich.
Notice also in the above story that the victim gave to police a list of people who have access to her house on a regular basis. (It appears they all had keys or the house was simply left unlocked.) Could it be one of them stole the Krugerrands? Duh. Or one of their “associates?” Duh.
Also notice the victim had six dogs in the house which did nothing to prevent this burglary. I repeat: dogs are highly overrated as burglary prevention devices.
Here’s another precious metals burglary. They become mind-numbingly repetitious after a while.
Entry was made through a window. I bet that was the 12 year old, and the window was unlocked. Duh. No word in the article on where the gold and silver coins were inside the house, but I doubt 12 and 20-year old skate boarders brought an acetylene torch with them to cut into the owner’s safe. I doubt there was an alarm system which was activated, though if the coins were out in plain view (or “hidden” in a dresser drawer! or some other common location) they could have easily found them and gotten out of the house in five minutes even if the alarm sounded. I’ve seen it done repeatedly.
A word to the wise.
And here is another tip that seems obvious, but there are still people out there doing it…