As many of you may know already, I retired from the brokerage business almost 8 years ago left the country and came back only to have my house burnt down along with 1,700 others. Along the way I wrote for a few consulting clients and Bill Murphy at LeMetropole Cafe published much of my work. This was how David and Andy Schectman came across my writings. I recently decided to locally prospect for precious metals clients to satisfy a lingering tax problem caused by the fire and after just a couple of weeks I have a few thoughts.
First off, I really enjoy it. I spent almost my entire adult life in “sales” and have always enjoyed meeting people and the interaction involved. I can also say that I have seen and come across many people who “just don’t think right” in my opinion. It is amazing to me how many people are absolutely asleep at the wheel. In just a couple of weeks I have heard some pretty funny things. I decided that I would ask any and all prospects that I came across just one question, “Are you concerned that our government is broke?” and then go from there. I have had some interesting responses, from “the government is not broke and you can take your right wing teabag crap and shove it” to things like “yes they are broke but it doesn’t matter, we are all in the same boat and can’t do anything about it.”
The one thing that I have found is that probably 80% of the people I’ve spoken to so far admit or agree that the government is bankrupt. This is a much higher percentage than I remember (even though it was true) 10 years ago while working, my guess is that only 10% at the time knew it and if you said something so blasphemous you’d be branded a “crazy.” In any case, I have now found out first hand that people do know that “something” is not right. This isn’t to say that they know what it really is or what to do about it but they do know now, where 10 years it was total oblivion almost everywhere you looked.
I wanted to write the above so that you’d understand or have a background for the following. Because I had only done a few sales with people that I knew or happened to come across; I didn’t really know the ropes as far as who the competition was or sad to say how some competitors work. I did know about Tulving who recently went out of business and I did know that they closed while owing several hundred million dollars to customers who had sent money and did not receive their coins or product. What I have found is that for example, if someone wants a price on silver Maple Leafs they will come back and tell me, “That’s too high, I can get them for .75 cents less somewhere else.” It turns out that the “somewhere else” may have all sorts of complaints against them and the salesman was quoting for “buffaloes or horses” which are $1 or so less than Maple Leafs to begin with. It is important to understand what exactly it is that you are getting a quote for, is it the same product? Apples to apples? Yes I know, “silver is silver” but Eagles cost more than Maples which cost more than private rounds while limited mint products are more expensive than any of these. All I am saying here is that it is important to know which product you are getting prices for and the difference between products.
In the short time so far, I have come across a couple of situations where we were 1/2-1% higher in price than our competitor. Because of this, I have spent a little time checking on our competition. Not surprisingly and since precious metals is an unregulated business, I’ve found out that one must do their own due diligence on whatever company they decide to do business with. While checking on a few of the other companies I also checked on Miles Franklin and found this from the Better Business Bureau. I went checking for “complaints” and found that over the last 3 years there were none. In fact, after checking with both David and Andy, there have been none in all 25 years that they’ve done business! What I am saying here is that if you decide that you’d like to business somewhere, anywhere, make sure that you know who it is that you are doing business with and what their reputation is.
It is not only the firm whom you must know and trust when you are doing business because firms are made up of individuals. Individuals who can either be honest or not so honest, smart or not so smart. They can either give you guidance on why to do or even not to do something based on logic rather than their own personal gain. If you are someone who knows exactly what you want then an “order taker” will suffice. The brokers at Miles Franklin are anything but order takers, collectively and individually I know them to be wise, experienced and hard working. I have only been with Miles Franklin for two years and had already formed the opinion that there is no one in the company that I would not trust, my exercise of due diligence into the industry has confirmed this. I would also like to say that I am a very principled person, it would not matter one iota what someone was willing to pay me for my writings if I did not trust or respect them… they would not have the “privilege” to publish them. David, Andy and I all think alike. Your word is your bond and there is nothing more important than your word. I am proud to be associated with them and that they see merit in my work.
Before finishing I would like to mention one other area that Miles Franklin excels in, giving you the tools to make confident decisions. I don’t know of any other coin dealer that provides you with the amount of information that you are afforded from Miles Franklin …for free! Are we always right? No, of course not but we try to be accurate 100% of the time and when we are not we make corrections. We post logic and common sense, we try to look “ahead” and point out the “how’s and why’s” of what has happened and to what may happen.
Miles Franklin offers a total package to our clients. We offer nearly any precious metals product imaginable, we offer storage services, fair pricing from honest and knowledgeable brokers and you receive information free of charge every single business day of the year. We cannot be the cheapest price on every product all of the time, this would be a business model to bankruptcy and we’ve already seen this happen in the past to other “discount dealers.” Our business model is about “fairness.” We offer great service at fair prices and we try to teach you and keep you informed so that you can make correct decisions. I am sure that there are some who read our information and then go shopping for the lowest price, this may not be “fair” but it is the way it is. From my personal perspective since I write for you, I hope that we have the most knowledgeable client base out there!