Monday, May 14, 2012

A Bit About The Safe

Have you heard the ads on your favorite radio station recommending the purchase of gold and silver for insurance against the ravages of inflation or protection in a world of fiat currencies? I have and most financial planners recommend somewhere between 5% and 25% of your liquid assets be invested in precious metals.  They believe, as do I, that precious metals can act as a hedge against the vagaries of the stock, bond and real estate markets. The big question we all ask when we bring physical metals home is where do I store it?

Some suggest a safe deposit at a bank is the one safe place.  It’s pretty hard for a thief to get into your safe deposit box, unless the thief is the banker or the government. Practically speaking, you may want immediate access to your stash.  What if some crisis happens over the weekend and you need your metals as part of your escape plan.  What if you need your bullion and access to your bank is forbidden.  That means you may want to consider a home safe.

Home safes are relatively inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes.  A 1.3 cubic foot safe is fairly common and would hold a foot high stack of 8 ½ X 11 paper or large enough to hold 1,000 of silver. A safe that size weighs about 100 pounds and might be easy for a thief to carry off, so you night want one bigger.  An alternative to the putting the safe in the bedroom, a common place for thieves to look, is in the basement and you might consider bolting the safe to the floor.

Consumer Reports Money Adviser suggests documents you should keep in a safe and for how long:

Birth and death certificates - Forever
Estate-planning documents - Forever (Unless your executor knows how to get into your safe, also make sure he or she and your lawyer have copies.)
Life-insurance policies - Until the term of coverage ends
Savings bonds - Until you cash them in at maturity (30 years in the case of Series EE bonds)
Stock certificates  - Until you sell the stock or have it converted to direct or street-name registration
Tax returns - At least seven years
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