Laith Alsarraf, an Iraqi-born entrepreneur, founded Birch Gold Group, a company well-known in the United States for its precious metals trading services. Laith has evolved Birch Gold Group into a recognised organisation in the business by empowering consumers through wise investment choices and in-depth expertise.
This article delves into Laith Alsarraf’s background, Birch Gold Group’s journey, its operational model, customer perception, product offerings, and more. It aims to provide a comprehensive overview to help potential clients make an informed decision about engaging with Birch Gold Group for their investment needs.
Laith Alsarraf, the founder of Birch Gold Group, was born in Ontario, Canada, in 1969. Both his parents were doctors, and he initially embarked on a pre-med degree at UCLA, following family tradition. However, life had different plans for Laith.
While at UCLA, he worked as a contract programmer and website designer. Recognizing the potential of his work in the burgeoning digital world, he put his formal education on hold to establish several corporations. One of them was Cybernet Ventures, Inc., which operated Adult Check—an online age verification service.
Designed to limit underage access to adult content websites, Adult Check provided adults access to these sites through a secure personal identification number (PIN). Over 200,000 websites reportedly used this service, demonstrating the significant influence of Cybernet Ventures in the digital space.
In 2003, Laith Alsarraf founded Birch Gold Group, marking his entry into the precious metals industry. The company, based in Burbank, California, is composed of financial advisors, former wealth managers, commodity brokers, and experienced experts. Their primary objective is to assist clients in asset diversification and retirement preparation through investments in precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
Despite his impressive achievements, Laith prefers to maintain a low online presence, shying away from media exposure. Therefore, the finer details about his transition from managing Cybernet to establishing Birch Gold Group remain unclear.
Inside Birch Gold Group: Management and Employee Perception
Despite the company’s diverse operational history, Birch Gold Group is viewed favourably by most of its employees and founder Laith Alsarraf. Former employees highlight the company’s commitment to training programs and fostering a competitive environment. Online employee review platforms such as Glassdoor and Indeed echo these sentiments, with most reviewers recommending the company to a friend.
While some employees have voiced dissatisfaction with their experience at Birch Gold Group, the overall consensus leans towards a positive work environment. This internal harmony is reflected in the quality of service the company provides to its clients.
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Laith Alsarraf: Public Perception of Birch Gold Group
Customer satisfaction is a cornerstone of Birch Gold Group’s business model. The company prides itself on providing top-tier services and products to its clients. The high regard customers hold for Birch Gold is evident in the positive reviews they leave on various online platforms.
Birch Gold Group’s product portfolio is diverse, offering a comprehensive range of precious metal products. Whether customers are interested in physical possession or precious metals IRA storage, Birch Gold has them covered. Here’s a glimpse of the precious metals they offer:
American Gold Eagle (bullion)
Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
Gold Bars and Rounds
American Silver Eagle (bullion)
American Silver Eagle (proof)
America the Beautiful Silver Series
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
Silver Twin Maples
St. Helena 1.25 oz. Silver Standing Lion Guinea
Silver Bars and Rounds
American Platinum Eagle
Australian 1/4 oz. Platinum Florin
Platinum Bars and Rounds
Canadian Palladium Maple Leaf
Palladium Bars and Rounds
The market value of these coins closely follows market spot prices. As such, Birch gold prices fluctuate over time, necessitating consultation with a specialist for accurate pricing information.
The Role of Gold IRA Custodians in Birch Gold Group
To open a gold or silver IRA, one must choose an IRS-approved custodian—an institution qualified to manage your account, ensure tax compliance, and execute account transactions. For precious metals IRAs, a custodian specializing in this field is essential.
Birch Gold Group partners with two such custodians—Equity Trust Company and STRATA Trust Company. Both are IRS-approved entities compliant with all IRS requirements for handling IRAs. They carry A+ ratings on BBB and have demonstrated exceptional service and reliability in the industry.
With Birch Gold, customers are briefed about these partner custodians, ensuring they make an informed decision.
Precious Metal Depositories and Birch Gold Group
In addition to being a reputable custodian, a reliable storage facility for your precious metal assets is crucial. When partnering with Birch Gold Group, customers are given the choice of partnering with leading industry depositories.
Birch Gold Group recommends two storage options:
The Delaware Depository
The Delaware Depository, an approved facility, offers world-class physical precious metal storage services to individuals and financial institutions. They comply with IRS requirements, and Birch Gold Group customers can fully utilize their storage services.
Additionally, the Delaware Depository provides an insurance package that includes $1 billion ‘all-risk’ coverage from Lloyd’s of London and $100,000 per package of transportation coverage. Customers can choose between two of their secure facilities located in Wilmington, Delaware, or Boulder City, Nevada.\
Visiting Your Precious Metals
Customers storing their Birch gold coins, bars, and other precious metals in one of Birch Gold’s recommended depositories have the privilege of visiting their assets. Here is what you can expect during a visit:
Contact your custodian and request an in-person depository visitation.
Your custodian will contact your chosen depository regarding your request.
A depository staff member will contact you to set up the visitation schedule. You should prepare your identification credentials for identity verification before and after your visit.
A depository staff member will greet you upon arrival at the facility and lead you to an empty conference room.
Another staff member will retrieve your assets, which are usually stored in a metal container for security and convenience.
You can perform your audits and take pictures upon receiving your precious metals.
After you’re satisfied with your stay and asset inspection, your depository assistant will assist you courteously to the exit. Another employee will take your precious metals back to the vault.
Please note that not all depositories allow visitation. Some depositories will take pictures of your precious metals for you due to security reasons.
Why Are Investors Diversifying Their Portfolio?
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The financial system would be in great peril if one or more big banks fail.
“When we get to a downturn, banks won’t have the cushion to absorb the losses. Without a cushion, we will have 2008 and 2009 again.”
Student debt, which has been on a steep rise for years, could figure greatly in the next credit downturn.
“There are parallels to 2008: There are massive amounts of unaffordable loans being made to people who can’t pay them”
The US national debt has spiked $1 trillion in less than 6 months!
“If we keep throwing gas on flames with deficit spending, I worry about how severe the next [economic] downturn is going to be–and whether we have enough bullets left [to fight it],”
Total household debt rose to an all-time high of $13.67 trillion at year-end 2019.
“Any type of secured lending backed by an asset that is overvalued should be a concern… that is what happened with housing.”
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Birch Gold Group’s Minimum Investment for Precious Metals IRA
To open a precious metals IRA with Birch Gold Group, a minimum investment of $10,000 is required. Compared to its competitor Augusta Precious Metals, which requires a minimum of $50,000, Birch Gold’s initial investment is more affordable.
The rollover process can be initiated if you have an existing account such as a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, Simple IRA, or eligible 401(k), without incurring tax penalties. With Birch Gold, an assigned precious metal specialist will guide and help you through the entire process.
Customer Complaints and Pending Lawsuits
As of this writing, there are no pending lawsuits against Birch Gold Group. However, like any gold IRA company, they have received several customer complaints on different online review sites. In each case, Birch Gold Group has been quick to investigate and devise a resolution to the satisfaction of all parties involved.
Birch Gold Group vs. Competitors
Birch Gold Group faces stiff competition from other players in the precious metals industry, such as Patriot Gold Group and Augusta Precious Metals. Here’s a comparison of these three companies:
Gold IRA Company
Accommodates Precious Metals IRA
Google Reviews Rating
Birch Gold Group
4.8/5 stars (222 reviews)
Patriot Gold Group
4.8/5 stars (71 reviews)
Augusta Precious Metals
$200 after first year
4.9/5 stars (296 reviews)
Conclusion: Is Birch Gold Group Legit?
In conclusion, Birch Gold Group is a legitimate and respected player in the precious metals industry. Founded by Laith Alsarraf in 2003, the company has empowered thousands of customers through proper education, quality customer service, and goal-oriented investment planning.
With its trusted reputation and commitment to customer satisfaction, Birch Gold Group offers a reliable choice for those looking to invest in precious metals.