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Tecate
11-19-2010, 03:01 PM
I've been going back and forth on this one for a few years now after hearing all of the arguments "for" and "against" storing REAL ASSETS in a safe deposit box at a bank or credit union. I don't mean important papers or documents either... I'm talking about gold, silver, and platinum coins, bars and numismatics - none of which I own, of course, but was just curious.

Your thoughts and opinions please...

Gingersnap
11-19-2010, 03:58 PM
Why wouldn't it be safe? :confused:

Tecate
11-19-2010, 04:45 PM
Why wouldn't it be safe? :confused:

How Safe Is Your Safety Deposit Box? (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7cgph_how-safe-is-your-safety-deposit-box_)

Tecate
11-19-2010, 05:02 PM
I've heard people like Clark Howard say numerous times on his radio show not to keep valuable items in a SDB. He never really gave a specific reason why.

Some alarmist types have said if the bank fails and closes that you would forfeit your items. I disagree with this entirely. The bank does not own the contents of your SDB which has nothing to do with your account there, they own the box that you rent and the vault that contains it.

Others claim that the Patriot Act has provisions for the government to seize the property of individuals which includes the contents of a SDB.


I don't spend a whole lot of time worrying about this, but was curious about the opinions of others on this matter.

Rockntractor
11-19-2010, 05:12 PM
Yeah our government would never search and take away our things.:rolleyes:

Tecate
11-19-2010, 05:14 PM
One more point that I failed to mention...

NOTHING is insured.

Gingersnap
11-19-2010, 05:40 PM
How Safe Is Your Safety Deposit Box? (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7cgph_how-safe-is-your-safety-deposit-box_)

Colorado doesn't handle unclaimed property that way. Our state kind of bends over backwards to reunite accounts and people.

Tecate
11-19-2010, 05:54 PM
Colorado doesn't handle unclaimed property that way. Our state kind of bends over backwards to reunite accounts and people.
It seems that the main points to consider are:

1) Keep the damn thing up to date, as in pay the annual fee on time and don't "forget" that you have things stored there. Check.

2) Make sure a trusted family member(s) also has a key and access in case something happens to you. Check.

3) it's probably a good idea to open it at least once a year whether you actually need to or not. Check.

Gingersnap
11-19-2010, 07:31 PM
It seems that the main points to consider are:

1) Keep the damn thing up to date, as in pay the annual fee on time and don't "forget" that you have things stored there. Check.

2) Make sure a trusted family member(s) also has a key and access in case something happens to you. Check.

3) it's probably a good idea to open it at least once a year whether you actually need to or not. Check.

Good ideas. We had one for a special purpose for a few years but we don't have one now. I will say that the items we stored there were insured.

lacarnut
11-19-2010, 07:43 PM
I have one. I have read that unscrupulous bank employees have removed valuables. Since it takes 2 keys, I do not know how they would be able to do that unless they picked the lock. My bank bills me a yearly fee for use of the safety deposit box.

Articulate_Ape
11-19-2010, 07:47 PM
I have my own vault in an undisclosed location.

Kay
11-19-2010, 08:00 PM
It seems that the main points to consider are:

1) Keep the damn thing up to date, as in pay the annual fee on time and don't "forget" that you have things stored there. Check.

2) Make sure a trusted family member(s) also has a key and access in case something happens to you. Check.

3) it's probably a good idea to open it at least once a year whether you actually need to or not. Check.

A big word of caution regarding item 2 - if you die even though that trusted family member has a key, if they are not the executor of your estate, or their access is not specifically worded with joint access and rights of survivorship then your trusted other family member could be refused access to the box after you die. We learned this the hard way.

Odysseus
11-19-2010, 10:47 PM
I'm inclined to keep the kinds of things that you're describing close at hand. If things do go to hell, you don't want to have to try to get to a bank that's in the middle of receivership to claim your property. It's not like it will gain interest there, anyway. You're better off spending the money that you'd have spent on the Safety Deposit Box on a good, small, highly concealable safe for your house, and enough firepower to protect yourself and your family.

Rockntractor
11-19-2010, 11:05 PM
I'm inclined to keep the kinds of things that you're describing close at hand. If things do go to hell, you don't want to have to try to get to a bank that's in the middle of receivership to claim your property. It's not like it will gain interest there, anyway. You're better off spending the money that you'd have spent on the Safety Deposit Box on a good, small, highly concealable safe for your house, and enough firepower to protect yourself and your family.

My thoughts exactly!

Odysseus
11-20-2010, 01:50 AM
My thoughts exactly!

Yes, they are. And right now, you are thinking of Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston, fighting over you in a very sloppy mud puddle, in bikinis. :D

Adam Wood
11-20-2010, 02:12 AM
I've heard people like Clark Howard say numerous times on his radio show not to keep valuable items in a SDB. He never really gave a specific reason why.

Some alarmist types have said if the bank fails and closes that you would forfeit your items. I disagree with this entirely. The bank does not own the contents of your SDB which has nothing to do with your account there, they own the box that you rent and the vault that contains it.

Others claim that the Patriot Act has provisions for the government to seize the property of individuals which includes the contents of a SDB.


I don't spend a whole lot of time worrying about this, but was curious about the opinions of others on this matter.It doesn't require the PATRIOT Act. Generally speaking, a judge can issue a warrant for the contents of your safe deposit box and the bank will have no choice but to cough it up right away. Want to avoid this? Make sure your box is located in a bank in Zürich. Safe from the prying eyes of pretty much any government, but a tad inconvenient to get to from downtown Austin.

I keep a small safe deposit box. I use it primarily for paperwork I don't want to lose if my house burns down: insurance papers, wills, etc. I have a little bit of my grandmother's jewelery in there (not seriously valuable stuff, but I'd hate to lose it in a home burglary), but if I were keeping really valuable stuff (a significant amount of bullion or something like that), I think I would have a much more serious vault, off-site from my home, but in a secure location that does not attract people with guns trying to stick up the place. Let's face it: banks are robbery magnets. If you've got a significant amount of seriously valuable stuff (I mean tangible stuff), don't put it in a bank. Even if the bank takes all due caution on your behalf, they still have a target on their back.


All security is always a trade-off. If someone wants to get to it badly enough, they will, as any cop will tell you. There has never been devised the security system that cannot be overcome by someone with enough resources and imagination. But you can make it exceptionally difficult and expensive relative to the payoff. No one is going to spend ten thousand dollars to try to get to my will and insurance papers and maybe a thousand dollars' worth of Mana's jewelery. But they might well spend $100,000 to get to a million dollars worth of gold bullion that can be pretty easily packed out in a knapsack.

Tecate
11-20-2010, 10:02 AM
Perhaps I've been doing the right thing all along then, more or less, as in not keeping everything in the same place all at once. No matter how clever your hiding place is in your home, a fire would be a deal breaker for sure.

A home safe kind of scares me in a way due to the fact that any burglar / robber would immediately think "I've found the loot." In fact, some of the folks over at Gold Is Money (http://goldismoney2.com/forum.php) have suggested using an easily located diversionary home safe to trick a burglar into thinking he's found the goods. Other clever ideas include loading a piece of PVC pipe with gold coins, capping both ends and burying the damn thing somewhere. That's a bit too much for me. I'm not willing to go that far.

I guess Adam is right... No matter what you do, it's a trade-off in some way and nothing is 100% fool-proof.

Of course, if Bernanke would shut off the money printing machine and raise interest rates, I could just get rid of this stuff, but I don't see that happening any time real soon. I sure miss those 5% 1 year CD's from just a few years ago and would have no problem doing that again.

Oh, and one more thing about safe deposit boxes... I worked for Mosler ~20 years ago and we had to drill out SDB locks all the time when bank customers lost the keys. The VAULT is what protects your belongings, not the individual lock. The lock is an absolute joke, easily drilled out with no real special tools. They are actually designed to be easily drilled out. This is one of those trade secrets that we were told to keep quiet about.

Tecate
11-20-2010, 10:51 AM
A big word of caution regarding item 2 - if you die even though that trusted family member has a key, if they are not the executor of your estate, or their access is not specifically worded with joint access and rights of survivorship then your trusted other family member could be refused access to the box after you die. We learned this the hard way.
I'm allowed to give up to 3 other people access to the box, although only two keys are issued. I've told my family if something happens to me to go empty it out. How quickly can the bank learn that I have croaked?

Adam Wood
11-20-2010, 10:57 AM
I'm allowed to give up to 3 other people access to the box, although only two keys are issued. I've told my family if something happens to me to go empty it out. How quickly can the bank learn that I have croaked?I suppose that depends a lot on how you go about croaking. :p :D

lacarnut
11-20-2010, 11:09 AM
I think it all boils down to what you feel safest and comfortable with in protecting your valuables. A safe in a house has several drawbacks. A house fire will damage your coins in most safe's. Two crooks that know what they are doing can remove the largest house safe. Also, leaving your house for long periods of time is a red light for thieves.

Safety deposit boxes are your best protection in my opinion. I have a list of every thing in there. This is just common sense cause if you can not prove where you got the contents (bill of sale, inheritance, etc) the Feds can seize your property and you are SOL.

Offshore in a Swiss Bank is not that swift an idea either. The IRS has forced UBS to turn over 4,400 accounts and the list is growing. The IRS is going after offshore accounts throughout the world. Plus, there are reporting requirement. Unlike Charlie Rangel, you will face fines up to 50% (not taxes) just for failure to disclose your ASSETS in a foreign country. The Feds take the position that you are a crook if you have a safety deposit box overseas. I betcha they will audit you every year once you declare that on your Fed. Inc. Tax return.

Tecate
11-20-2010, 11:42 AM
I suppose that depends a lot on how you go about croaking. :p :D
Bang or whimper? :D

Tecate
11-20-2010, 11:52 AM
I think it all boils down to what you feel safest and comfortable with in protecting your valuables. A safe in a house has several drawbacks. A house fire will damage your coins in most safe's. Two crooks that know what they are doing can remove the largest house safe. Also, leaving your house for long periods of time is a red light for thieves.
Even those fairly inexpensive Sentry fire safes rated @2 hours will reach 350 degrees inside according to their own specs.


Safety deposit boxes are your best protection in my opinion. I have a list of every thing in there. This is just common sense cause if you can not prove where you got the contents (bill of sale, inheritance, etc) the Feds can seize your property and you are SOL.
I still have all of my receipts, even for gold and silver that I no longer own.


Offshore in a Swiss Bank is not that swift an idea either. The IRS has forced UBS to turn over 4,400 accounts and the list is growing. The IRS is going after offshore accounts throughout the world. Plus, there are reporting requirement. Unlike Charlie Rangel, you will face fines up to 50% (not taxes) just for failure to disclose your ASSETS in a foreign country. The Feds take the position that you are a crook if you have a safety deposit box overseas. I betcha they will audit you every year once you declare that on your Fed. Inc. Tax return.
I think I'll keep everything stateside which was all purchased with money that I have already paid tax on.

Adam Wood
11-20-2010, 12:18 PM
Offshore in a Swiss Bank is not that swift an idea either. The IRS has forced UBS to turn over 4,400 accounts and the list is growing. The IRS is going after offshore accounts throughout the world. Plus, there are reporting requirement. Unlike Charlie Rangel, you will face fines up to 50% (not taxes) just for failure to disclose your ASSETS in a foreign country. The Feds take the position that you are a crook if you have a safety deposit box overseas. I betcha they will audit you every year once you declare that on your Fed. Inc. Tax return.
I think I'll keep everything stateside which was all purchased with money that I have already paid tax on.FWIW, I was being tongue-in-cheek about the Swiss deposit boxes. Not only is it absurdly inconvenient, it's also inherently dangerous to store something like that thousands of miles away from home in another country. No matter how secure any of us feel about Switzerland, we simply have no knowledge of what could happen if there were some coup in that country, and there would be no hope of getting into the country to get to your box if something like that went down.

That having been said, I don't think that the IRS has managed to crack deposit boxes at UBS or any other Swiss banks. I know that they have gotten into investment accounts and the like, but I don't think that they have managed to penetrate the hard assets in deposit boxes. I could be wrong, though.

Tecate
11-20-2010, 12:24 PM
FWIW, I was being tongue-in-cheek about the Swiss deposit boxes. Not only is it absurdly inconvenient, it's also inherently dangerous to store something like that thousands of miles away from home in another country. No matter how secure any of us feel about Switzerland, we simply have no knowledge of what could happen if there were some coup in that country, and there would be no hope of getting into the country to get to your box if something like that went down.

That having been said, I don't think that the IRS has managed to crack deposit boxes at UBS or any other Swiss banks. I know that they have gotten into investment accounts and the like, but I don't think that they have managed to penetrate the hard assets in deposit boxes. I could be wrong, though.
I think it's Mark Faber that is always telling people to own gold and keep it stored off-shore. He's certainly talking to people who are a helluvalot wealthier than I am.

on edit: If there was anything that could get me to chain smoke about 5 packs of cigarettes a day, it would be gold stored off-shore in country X in some arbitrary vault somewhere.

Adam Wood
11-20-2010, 12:58 PM
I think it's Mark Faber that is always telling people to own gold and keep it stored off-shore. He's certainly talking to people who are a helluvalot wealthier than I am.That's the dumbest idea I think I've ever heard of. How about if I tell you to own guns and ammo and keep them stored in Dakkar. Does that sound like a good idea? Twelve hours away from your guns at .87 Mach when you need them?

I don't know who this Mark guy is, but he sounds like an idiot to me.


ETA: re-reading, that comes off sounding like I'm castigating you personally. That's not my intent at all. I'm just astonished that this guy would make such a suggestion and I'm trying to make an example of why he's so wrong.

lacarnut
11-20-2010, 01:02 PM
Even those fairly inexpensive Sentry fire safes rated @2 hours will reach 350 degrees inside according to their own specs.


I still have all of my receipts, even for gold and silver that I no longer own.


I think I'll keep everything stateside which was all purchased with money that I have already paid tax on.

Sentry safes are better than nothing. I got rid of the ones my dad had. I have a Class C safe which should safeguard my papers from fire. Jewelry safes might be the way to go. They are very heavy (700 pounds up) and are drill proof and the top of the line ones are explosive proof.

Tecate
11-20-2010, 01:09 PM
That's the dumbest idea I think I've ever heard of. How about if I tell you to own guns and ammo and keep them stored in Dakkar. Does that sound like a good idea? Twelve hours away from your guns at .87 Mach when you need them?

I don't know who this Mark guy is, but he sounds like an idiot to me.


ETA: re-reading, that comes off sounding like I'm castigating you personally. That's not my intent at all. I'm just astonished that this guy would make such a suggestion and I'm trying to make an example of why he's so wrong.
Nah, I didn't take it that way. He's pretty out there and does make the rounds periodically on CNBC, Fox Business, etc. as a guest. He says invest in land, barbed wire, guns and ammo for SHTF scenarios. He also claims that the ultra-elites will start a world war when their fiat Ponzi empire implodes.

Tecate
11-20-2010, 01:13 PM
Sentry safes are better than nothing. I got rid of the ones my dad had. I have a Class C safe which should safeguard my papers from fire. Jewelry safes might be the way to go. They are very heavy (700 pounds up) and are drill proof and the top of the line ones are explosive proof.
I have a Sentry fire safe rated @2 hours, but I certainly don't keep gold and silver in it and would never feel comfortable doing so.

lacarnut
11-20-2010, 01:20 PM
I think it's Mark Faber that is always telling people to own gold and keep it stored off-shore. He's certainly talking to people who are a helluvalot wealthier than I am.

on edit: If there was anything that could get me to chain smoke about 5 packs of cigarettes a day, it would be gold stored off-shore in country X in some arbitrary vault somewhere.

His name is Marc and he is an economist and owns an investment firm. His book Doom Boom Gloom has sold more books than any other investment book. The fact that he lives in Hong Kong may have something to do with his radical idea of storing gold offshore. He is considered a nut in some circles but he has made a ton of money for himself and his clients; he is also a bull on commodities.

Odysseus
11-20-2010, 02:31 PM
A lot of this has to do with what kind of scenario you are protecting yourself from. What it comes down to, to paraphrase Dirty Harry, is do you feel unlucky? And if so, how badly do you expect things to go?

If it's a run on the banks, or a sudden devaluing of the currency, the banks will be swamped with people trying to get their accounts closed or converted to gold. Best to have your valuables close at hand. If it's a grab by the government, that goes double, but having them off site and hidden becomes a concern, since that scenario will involve searches, and anything on your property will be tossed with metal detectors if they are that desperate. Worst case is a societal collapse or other disaster that disrupts commodity distribution networks. At that point, you can't eat gold, but you can make others eat lead. If that's your fear, then stock up on food with a long shelf life and ammunition.

Of course, if Obama is reelected, it's all of the above. :D

Tecate
11-20-2010, 02:44 PM
His name is Marc and he is an economist and owns an investment firm. His book Doom Boom Gloom has sold more books than any other investment book. The fact that he lives in Hong Kong may have something to do with his radical idea of storing gold offshore. He is considered a nut in some circles but he has made a ton of money for himself and his clients; he is also a bull on commodities.
Many of the so-called "nuts" have been nothing but correct since 2005-2006 and some even earlier about what eventually happened to the economy and the price of commodities.

Tecate
11-20-2010, 02:51 PM
A lot of this has to do with what kind of scenario you are protecting yourself from. What it comes down to, to paraphrase Dirty Harry, is do you feel unlucky? And if so, how badly do you expect things to go?

If it's a run on the banks, or a sudden devaluing of the currency, the banks will be swamped with people trying to get their accounts closed or converted to gold. Best to have your valuables close at hand. If it's a grab by the government, that goes double, but having them off site and hidden becomes a concern, since that scenario will involve searches, and anything on your property will be tossed with metal detectors if they are that desperate. Worst case is a societal collapse or other disaster that disrupts commodity distribution networks. At that point, you can't eat gold, but you can make others eat lead. If that's your fear, then stock up on food with a long shelf life and ammunition.

Of course, if Obama is reelected, it's all of the above. :D
I'm not really a Mad Max Road Warrior SHTF person, but I do plan to turn a profit from the fear and greed of others. I already have.

I've already gotten out ahead of any bank runs... Been prepared for that for a long time.

Guns and ammo? Check, with a capital "C". :D

I believe that food will always be available, but it will become more expensive.

lacarnut
11-20-2010, 03:07 PM
A lot of this has to do with what kind of scenario you are protecting yourself from. What it comes down to, to paraphrase Dirty Harry, is do you feel unlucky? And if so, how badly do you expect things to go?

If it's a run on the banks, or a sudden devaluing of the currency, the banks will be swamped with people trying to get their accounts closed or converted to gold. Best to have your valuables close at hand. If it's a grab by the government, that goes double, but having them off site and hidden becomes a concern, since that scenario will involve searches, and anything on your property will be tossed with metal detectors if they are that desperate. Worst case is a societal collapse or other disaster that disrupts commodity distribution networks. At that point, you can't eat gold, but you can make others eat lead. If that's your fear, then stock up on food with a long shelf life and ammunition.

Of course, if Obama is reelected, it's all of the above. :D

If Obama is not denutted within the next 2 years, it may be time to go Galt.