Daniel Barrett says he wants to give investors a local place where they can go and physically acquire the metal rather than doing it in a faceless online environment.
"Having a certain small percentage of your portfolio or all of your investable assets in physical gold makes a lot of sense,' Barrett says, citing the complex array of geopolitical and economic undercurrents swirling around in the world every day.
Listen to the complete interview of Daniel Barrett on Mission Matters Money Podcast.
Gold has been around for 6,000 years, he says, and points out that it's not going away. With four locations around the San Francisco Bay Area, his company, Pacific Precious Metals offers people the opportunity to buy and sell precious metals online or in person and then pick them up at one of his physical locations. He plans to expand its presence nationwide.
'Buying from an online only dealer is not the best way to buy gold," he says. "They're more expensive than most local players. Most local players don't have the technology to offer to their local buyers, which is the motive behind Plutus Software.' Plutus, he explains, is a platform he's creating for gold and collectible dealers to conduct their sales online with tech-embedded features to help them serve their local markets.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
After the 2008 crisis, the hedge fund Barrett had been working for closed its doors. He was already investing in physical gold, but at the time, there wasn't much technology available specifically for that purpose, and he felt there weren't many dealers he could trust, so he started his own gold business. A few years in, he's more committed than ever to building a technology platform all dealers can use.
What do you think are some good alternative investments?
Barrett says he thinks investing in crypto is akin to investing in "digital gold." In his view, people should own a little cryptocurrency, keeping in mind the regulatory risks associated with it. He encourages people to do their research before investing.
He also emphasizes the importance of investing in hard assets. 'If your bank goes down... how can you get the money out?" he asks. "It's the same with stockbrokers, but your gold will sit buried in a safe. So, hard assets are the key.'
How can Pacific Precious Metals help?
Pacific Precious Metals allows you to place your order online, pay, walk in, and pick up and test your precious metals, Barrett explains.
'When I started the business, I was paranoid. How to know if it's real gold? It may look (like) gold, but how can I validate that it is gold? You can't cut the coin or the bar in half. How do you do it non-destructively? So we test the item using visual, X-ray fluorescence, specific gravity, and conductivity tests.'
At Pacific Precious Metals, customers can buy gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.
'I usually tell people about platinum or palladium is not the same as gold and silver. You have to understand those markets to know what drives them," he says. "It's not monetary, as it is an industrial metal. If you're going to invest in some of those lesser-traded metals, spend a lot of time figuring out what moves them, so that you know what to expect over time. Those are the fundamentals people can invest in at some point."
What is Plutus Software?
Plutus Software is an SaaS platform where gold and collectibles dealers can conduct transactions. It provides a cloud based platform where local dealers can have a state of the art website tied into an inventory system and also list collectibles on eBay or collectors corner simultaneously. .
The road ahead
Daniel's goal, he says, is to build up a software platform where dealers all over the country can compete, and where individuals can go to safely and confidently buy and sell their gold.
Visit Pacific Precious Metals to learn more.
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