AFE Review

October 26, 2011 at 10:51



The Executive Team

Philip Judge

Philip Judge

Philip Judge: Director, Founder

Simon Heapes: Director, Treasury Operations Manager

Alex Stanczyk: Executive Vice President

Marquelda Isaza: Director

Darren Kelly: IT Consultant

Ryan Messer: Project Development

Justin Pettett: Energy & Caiptal Management

Naomi Judge: Client Relations

Lurdes Moncada: Office Manager

John Paul Young: Treasury & Back Office Operations

Anglo Far-East is the oldest private bullion custodian providing Allocated Good Delivery in the world. Yes there have been banks in this business for centuries, but AFE refuses to participate in the leverage that banks use to create profits, and serves as a custodian of un-encumbered gold and silver bullion only. This serves to truly insulate our clients from risks in the global financial system. AFE has served its many thousands of global clients for two decades of reliable, continuous operations.

Main Features
  • General
    • Buy, Sell and store Gold and Silver using Allocated Accounts & LBMA Accredited Storage [Clauses 3.4, 3.5, 4.1, 4.4 of Purchase, Sale and Storage User Agreement]
    • Offers other financial solutions including bullion savings program, investment funds, one-on-one trust, wills & estate services, and institutional accounts.
    • Extreme priority given to client privacy. Jurisdictions for their operations (management, client records, assets) are separate, and selected based on jurisdictions they consider most likely to provide the very best defense in terms of personal privacy and asset protection.
  • Vaulting
    • Transportation and physical custody is operated by VIA MAT International on behalf of BullionVault.
    • Vault in Zurich only
  • Bar Registration
    • Bar reservation is automatic. Once you’ve purchased enough bullion to form a bar (about 400 oz gold, 1,000 oz silver), a specific bar’s serial number will be registered in your name.
    • Bar registration available for both gold and silver.
  • Taking Physical Delivery
    • Option to take physical delivery anywhere in the world, or pick up your metal in person.
    • Fees and account minimums apply, but rates are available only upon request.
  • Fees

    • Gold
      • Buy commission ranges from 9.75% to 5.5% depending size of order
      • Sell commission fixed at 1.95% (out of account), 0.45% (account to account)
      • Annual Storage & Insurance for first 7 years is included in the Buy fee. Subsequent years at 0.9% per annum flat.
      • Bar registration is inclusive in Buy fee.
      • All fees are in USD or equivalent, and not in grams or ounces of metals.
    • Silver
      • Buy commission ranges from 9.75% to 7.75% depending size of order
      • Sell commission fixed at 1.95% (out of account), 0.45% (account to account)
      • Annual Storage & Insurance for first 7 years is included in the Buy fee. Subsequent years at 0.9% per annum flat.
      • Bar registration is inclusive in Buy fee.
      • All fees are in USD or equivalent, and not in grams or ounces of metals.
  • Buy and Sell mechanism
    • Has no online/realtime trading facilities. “Buy” and “Sell” orders are done through filling in an online form which will be acted upon by AFE in an offline mode.
    • All transactions with AFE are done through forms, some online, others offline (hard copies to be posted or faxed).
    • When buying bullion, AFE does not hold cash on your behalf. Unlike GoldMoney or BullionVault, you cannot wire in some cash and decide to buy at a time and price of your choice. All remitted funds will be converted into bullion at the prevailing spot prices on the next trading session. Conversely, all proceeds from sale of bullion will be wired out to your bank of choice (unless you use their other financial services).
    • Offers a gold or silver savings plan where you can issue standing instructions to purchase bullion at regular intervals and charging them to your credit card.
  • Account Opening, Client Identity Verification and Account Funding
    • Unlike GoldMoney or BullionVault, new account creation is not done in realtime. Have to fill in an online Client Account Qualification Form for processing. AFE will contact you within 48 hours. Only provider to provide an option for you to request someone to call you.
    • Qualifying requirements must be met prior to Bullion Account approval – minimum account guideline of $50K USD.
    • As with all providers under review, a client verification process as part of the account opening. AFE’s is the most elaborate and time consuming. You’ll have to provide notarized copies of photo ID or passport, an identification referee, source of funds declaration and signed bullion purchase, sale and storage user agreement. Documents cannot be submitted online – only through fax or post.
    • A Bankwire Remittance Application form has to be submitted each time you want to remit funds. It will be processed within 48hrs and you’ll be given a Bankwire Remittance Approval number, without which, your funds may be returned to the sender. Once the funds are in, you’ll need to fill in an Account Credit Transaction Form advising them what to do with your funds.
  • Account Management
    • Unlike BullionVault, AFE accepts funds from any of your bank accounts.
    • Wire transfers must be above US$5,000. Smaller amounts can be funded from your credit card.
    • Unlike BullionVault and GoldMoney, you can withdraw funds into any bank account.
  • Security & Safety features
    • Besides secure sockets layer (SSL) technology used by all browsers, there are no additional security features.
  • Corporate Profile and Corporate Governance
  • Communications & Client Relations
    • Provides a secure online messaging system within their website where correspondence between AFE and clients are conducted. This is more secure than communications through emails.
    • Excellent client relations. When I highlighted and complained about a security issue on their website, Alex Stanczyk, executive VP, personally called to assure me that they are working to resolve it. It was resolved as promised.
    • Highly personalized, white glove service. A personal liaison will be assigned to you, who will take personal responsibility for your satisfaction, whom you will have access to at any time.
    • More international presence, with official contacts in USA, Canada, Panama, UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

Summary & Opinion

  • Safe, Secure, Reliable. You are the outright owner of professional grade bullion (Good Delivery Bars).
  • More suitable for clients who plan to hold metals for the medium to long term. Great for protection, regular savings and privacy or the “buy and forget about it” approach.
  • Not suitable if you plan to liquidate your holdings in the near term or to do active trading. The website and fees structure are not designed for it.

Screenshot: Account Management Page after Login

AFE screenshot after login

AFE screenshot after login

Disclaimer: The above information is provided on a best-effort basis. It’s accuracy is not guaranteed, and may not reflect the most recent changes made by the service providers. Please perform your own due diligence and verify the information from their respective websites before making any decisions. The reviews are the personal opinion of the author and does not constitute any endorsement or recommendation.