A new com­pany is rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing your ac­cess to the world’s old­est and most re­li­able cur­rency.

Log Home Living - - BRANCHING OUT -

TRADE WARS. VOLATILE MAR­KETS. Bank fraud. Cur­ren­cies that only ex­ist on a com­puter screen. Is your money re­ally safe? ¶ Many Amer­i­cans are ask­ing this ques­tion to­day, and wish­ing we could re­turn to this coun­try’s orig­i­nal form of sav­ing and spend­ing: gold. ¶ Good news: There’s a new debit card that en­ables any reg­u­lar Joe or Jane to pro­tect your wealth by pur­chas­ing phys­i­cal gold. With the Glint Pay mo­bile app, you can in­stantly own gold bul­lion that is stored in Brinks vaults, in­sured by Lloyds of Lon­don, and avail­able for with­drawal at any shop or ATM that ac­cepts Mastercard® – with­out the usual bank fees or an ex­pen­sive in­vest­ment ad­vi­sor. ¶ Log Home Liv­ing re­cently had the op­por­tu­nity to speak with Glint co-founders Ja­son Cozens and Ben Davies about the ad­van­tages of gold for any­one who dreams of a log or tim­ber home. The prob­lem Glint is try­ing to solve is ob­vi­ous, says Davies. “Since the last fi­nan­cial crash, cen­tral banks have been print­ing more and more money, which is un­sus­tain­able and erodes your sav­ings as the value of pa­per money falls. By hold­ing gold, you negate that – and pro­tect your hard- earned wealth against the re­ces­sion many are pre­dict­ing.” There has never been a bet­ter time to own gold, says Cozens. “We also be­lieve gold is re­ally un­der­val­ued, so you may see very sig­nif­i­cant re­turns. On av­er­age, gold has ap­pre­ci­ated by 8% per year in the last 50 years. When you con­sider in­fla­tion is cur­rently around 4%, the case for gold is clear.”

Davies ex­plains that Glint is in­tro­duc­ing gold not just as an in­vest­ment, but as money you can save and spend. “All money can be held as sav­ings or spent for daily needs, or for more dis­cre­tionary pay­ments such as a va­ca­tion or down pay­ment on a prop­erty. It just so hap­pens that gold is one of the best forms of sav­ing over time.”

Cozens con­curs, point­ing to the wealthy fam­i­lies who have saved in gold and used it to make ac­qui­si­tions out of those ap­pre­ci­ated sav­ings. “It has al­ways been a smart ‘in­vest­ment’ strat­egy, al­though we would re­place in­vest­ment with the word sav­ings. There’s never a bad time to put your money into gold; if you save on a con­sis­tent ba­sis, you’ll win over time. It’s the safest form of money in his­tory.”

The at­trac­tion to savers is ob­vi­ous: new par­ents putting money aside for their kids, young pro­fes­sion­als build­ing a nest egg for a home or yacht, and mid- ca­reer cou­ples can all ben­e­fit. How­ever, the merg­ing of gold with Glint’s global dig­i­tal pay­ments sys­tem also means trav­ellers are able to ben­e­fit. With this app, there’s no longer a need to ex­change cash when dock­ing or fly­ing into in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions. “Our tech­nol­ogy au­to­mat­i­cally con­verts your debit pay­ments to the lo­cal cur­rency, and the Glint debit card works any­where Mastercard® is ac­cepted,” says Davies. “That means you’ll zip through with­out the has­sle and high fees of for­eign cur­rency booths.”

“When for­eign ex­hange com­pa­nies say there are no fees, 99% of the time that is a brazen lie,” say Cozens. “They put an ex­tra mar­gin in the FX quote that they give you, up to 5% on av­er­age.”

So what does Glint charge? Cur­rently it’s only 1%: 0.5% when you buy gold, and 0.5% when you spend it. There’s also a stor­age fee of 0.125%.

While there’s some­thing retro about pay­ing for gro­ceries or lift tick­ets in gold, the ben­e­fits ad­dress very modern prob­lems – notably in­fla­tion, which both founders iden­tify as the curse of the modern fi­nan­cial sys­tem. “If you hold money in your bank, it’s de­pre­ci­at­ing,” states Cozens. “Even though of­fi­cial in­fla­tion rates are 3% to 4%, in re­al­ity those statis­tics un­der­es­ti­mate our true cost of liv­ing. If you are los­ing 7% on your money through in­fla­tion, in 7 years your money is worth­less. It has de­pre­ci­ated by 100%.”

If you want to know why gold is so important, just look at the world’s cen­tral banks, says Davies. “They all hold huge gold re­serves be­cause pa­per money is too eas­ily ma­nip­u­lated. If peo­ple can save in gold and use it as spend­ing money, they’re in­de­pen­dent of the sys­temic risks of the fi­nan­cial sys­tem. By us­ing gold, you are safe.”

Safety is para­mount for the firm. Glint is reg­u­lated by British fi­nan­cial au­thor­i­ties, and ev­ery ounce of gold you buy is held in se­gre­gated ac­counts at a tier 1 bank. In the United States, your ac­counts are FDIC-in­sured up to $250,000. The gold is held in Brinks vaults in Zurich, Switzer­land and is 100% in­sured.

Glint is set up so that if there is an­other fi­nan­cial crash and the world’s bank­ing sys­tem does col­lapse, your gold is safe. Even if Glint it­self goes down, your gold can be sent straight to you. And con­sider this: If there is an­other crash, gold will likely shoot up in value. It typ­i­cally rises dur­ing times of stress, mean­ing you could be mak­ing a hand­some profit when the stock mar­ket slides.

But what are Glint’s ap­pli­ca­tions for home­own­ers deal­ing with the main­te­nance costs in­her­ent in rural liv­ing? “Glint works just like any other ac­count but with bet­ter abil­ity to keep track of ev­ery­day costs,” says Cozens. You’ll also be able to cap­i­tal­ize on rises in the price of gold, adds Davies. “Your Glint ac­count may in­crease in value as you tend the gar­den. Will your reg­u­lar debit card do that? Putting cash into gold and spend­ing with it al­lows you to re­al­ize big­ger sav­ings. Imag­ine how much taxes, gas prices, fuel costs, elec­tric­ity, and food have all risen in the last 20 years. Sav­ing and then spend­ing in gold would al­low you to avoid all of that.”

What about those sav­ing now for a re­tire­ment cabin? Gold is a good op­tion be­cause it’s so steady, says Davies. “If you go to a wealth man­ager, they can put your money into all kinds of eq­ui­ties, bonds, dif­fer­ent cur­ren­cies. But chances are, you’ve en­dured a lot of risk and lost a fair chunk over the last 20 years. The risk/re­ward ra­tio has been poor, and you don’t have as much se­cu­rity go­ing for­ward as you’d like. If you have a big dream, gold is the best way to make it come true. It’s lowrisk and it holds value bet­ter than pa­per money. In the last 30 years, gold has gone from $400 to $1300 an ounce.

Glint’s mo­bile app gives you real-time vis­i­bil­ity of your spend­ing, debit bal­ance, and gold sav­ings.

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