Lear Capital Details
BBB: Rating of A+; 50 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 12 closed in last 12 months
TrustLink: based on 132 Reviews
Despite being a somewhat new company to the game of self-directed IRAs and gold-backed IRA investments, the company has managed to maintain a solid grade with the Better Business Bureau and somewhat positive reviews with TrustLink. While Lear Capital tends to specialize in gold coins, they do also handle gold IRA rollovers and a variety of other precious metal purchase options. We would not classify them as “experts” in when it comes to gold IRA rollovers, but the customer service agents we spoke with seemed to be capable of handling gold coin purchases so long as the investor had a solid working knowledge of precious metals.
NOTE: For precious metals and gold IRA rollovers, we recommend Regal Assets as our #1 gold IRA rollover company of choice (Click Here for our Regal Assets Review).
Purchase Options and Reliability
Lear Capital does have a few positives worth noting. First, the company does seem more transparent than some of the other companies we reviewed. Second, Lear Capital is almost as flexible as Regal Assets when it comes to forms of payment they accept. Not only can investors use a credit card, but the company even accepts personal checks. However, please be advised that payment by check my result in a slight delay for processing, which was a big negative with Lear Capital. While Regal Assets guarantees delivery in seven days or less, we found Lear Capital to take as much as one month or longer before the precious metals investments are actually processed and delivered. If a delay is not a big issue, Lear Capital may be an alright option, but we prefer to have our investments locked down quickly, which is why we prefer Regal Assets.
And as for “transparency”, Lear Capital places its terms prominently on the website, and offers price guarantees and buyback options. However, please read the fine print as we found some of the details to be misleading (as in your gold investment “buyback guarantee” depends on several factors not mentioned on the homepage). Here is one example. When an investor makes a purchase through the website, Lear Capital informs the investor of his purchase charges prior to him committing to the transaction. However, after he commits to the transaction, he may or may not be subject to several processing charges, convenience charges or other unexpected fees. That is one reason why we prefer Regal Assets, because they are 100% transparent and disclose all charges in advance to better ensure that he knows exactly what he will be billed for any given investment.
Lear Capital truly has one of the better customer service departments of any company we reviewed to date other than Regal Assets (our company of choice). As of the date of this review, account managers are on call to assist clients with investment decisions during normal business hours, and often have the experience and know-how to point clients in the right direction when handling retirement funds. Moreover, each customer receives a specific account manager that can then become familiar with the client’s investment goals and learn his or her specific portfolio. However, we found the account managers, overall, to be less informed about the intricacies of gold IRA investments than the account managers at Regal Assets.
The Lear Capital website is also quite useful when it comes to investments. Not only does the company offer email and text message services to keep customers updated with the latest market trends and investment information, but the website also keeps a regular graph highlighting the rises and falls in various precious metals trading prices. With both real time pricing data and virtually instantaneous news updates on market factors that could affect client portfolios, customers are advised to monitor the website regularly so help protect against unexpected drops in investment portfolio values. However, this is not a constant worry given the aforementioned email and text messaging update services.
Finally, the company even offers a database of rare coins with valuation information for beginner investors.
Regulations and Legal Hurdles
Not only does Lear Capital offer a limited variety of precious metal investment options, but the company also claims to keeps abreast of the latest legislative trends and regulatory changes in the industry. While we were less than impressed with Lear Capital’s customer service agents understanding of limitations and restrictions imposed by the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies, at the time of this review the company is advertising regulatory knowledge on the Lear Capital website. Understanding regulations is an important issue so that customers will not be caught off guard by unexpected fees or unanticipated taxes. However, we found that the agents at Regal Assets had the best working knowledge of regulatory changes, and those agents actually take regular education courses to remain up-to-date. Ideally, account managers will raise any regulatory issues with investors during the purchase or rollover process, but customers should also always keep those issues in mind and freely ask questions of their account managers when regulations might become a hurdle to investment. Unlike with Lear Capital, Regal Assets representatives kept us informed at all times of regulatory issues.
Points of Concern
While Lear Capital appears to be a generally reliable and decent investment company, there are points of concern. First, the number of low to moderate reviews on TrustLink has resulted in a slightly lower rating for the company. Moreover, the number of complaints with the Better Business Bureau was a bit concerning, although apparently not a largely significant issue. We also found the lack of understanding of regulatory issues and some unclear advertising terms to be troubling. For these reasons, we cannot recommend Lear Capital as our gold IRA rollover company of choice and instead recommend REGAL ASSETS.
If you are interested in reading our reviews on other gold IRA rollover companies, please Click Here.