Our rating is due in large part to 40+ complaints filed by customers at the BCA (Business Consumer Alliance).
*Also be sure to read our thorough review of Regal Assets, which is our #1 recommended gold dealer online.
There are many companies that help investors convert IRA accounts to precious metals. One of the oldest companies in the market is Lear Capital.
Lear Capital, Inc. is based in Los Angeles, California and has been in business since 1997. The investment firm sells precious metals including gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Apart from selling precious metals, the company also offers IRA rollover services.
The major coins sold by the company include the American Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf. As of June 2013, the company started limiting customers’ online orders to a max of $5,000.
From their website, it is clear that Lear Capital does not offer bullion. Instead, it appears to only sell gold and silver numismatics. These are collector coins that typically carry a large markup. For gold, the company offers the American Buffalo, American Eagles, Austrian 4 Ducats, Austrian Philharmonics, Swiss 20 Francs, Canadian Maple Leafs, South African Kruggerands and British Sovereigns.
Lear Capital sells silver American Eagles (from 1 oz to 1/10 oz ) and Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins. Unlike other formidable gold investment players in the industry, Lear Capital does not offer gold bars and bullion. Lear Capital is also not a good fit for investors looking to invest in other precious metals like palladium and platinum.
Better Business Bureau Review
Lear Capital is no longer accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
When they were accredited in the past, there were 12 complaints filed against the company in 2013. 6 of the complaints were related to advertising or sales issues, while 3 were with the product or service.
Investors should carry out their due diligence to ensure the company they choose to do business with will offer them what is actually being advertised. Review sites like the BBB can help you get a picture of what you should expect from a precious metals IRA company. If no accreditation exists, it may be a red flag.
Lear Capital has a positive rating on TrustLink. At the time of this review, the company has a 4 out of 5 star rating, based on 175 reviewers on file. Generally, most of the reviews at TrustLink are positive about the company and its products.
There are many additional customer reviews online, both positive and negative, about Lear Capital. The company has been given a “BB” rating by the Business Consumer Alliance (BCA). Although this is not the highest rating, according to the BCA, this is a rating signifying that Lear Capital has generally demonstrated good business-consumer relations and that any complaints made against the company are expected not to be of a serious nature.
There have also been some negative reviews. For example, a customer posted at TrustLink that the company took a long time to deliver his order. According to the reviewer, the shipment took more than 30 days. Apart from this, the company failed to notify him of delays when it was apparent that the product ordered was out of stock.
Another complaint is that Lear Capital typically charges higher fees for its coins than its competitors. A typical 1 oz silver coin reportedly costs $1 to $1.50 higher with Lear Capital, than it would with their competitors.
Cons of Working with Lear Capital
Like other gold IRA companies in the market, Lear Capital has some issues that you should know about. Here are the noticeable cons of working with the company:
a) Multiple Complaints Online
As noted previously, there are a mixed bag of reviews. Some are fairly damning.
Companies dealing in numismatics have faced increasing scrutiny, and government action. Since the gold industry is not “regulated”, some companies like Goldline and Merit have faced investigations and been required to pay millions in retribution & fines. Lear Capital appears to be dealing in numismatics as well, which is not encouraging.
c) Cancellation Fees
Another fee investors should know about before engaging the company is the cancellation fee. Lear Capital charges a 4% restocking fees on canceled orders.
One of the things you should note about Lear Capital’s website is that you may not pay the amount stated on the website when buying the coins. Lear Capital clearly indicates that gold pricing is quoted in real time and that the price that you will pay is set the moment purchase is finalized. Moreover, the company indicates that specific date/year of coins cannot be chosen. “The dates are determined by available stock, at the discretion of Lear Capital staff.”
Lear Capital is one of the companies that has been in the industry for a long time. Many years in the industry has seen it go through ups and downs. Before you deposit your money with the company, it is advisable to read reviews of other Gold IRA account dealers to compare the services offered and what consumers are saying about them.