Not Satisfied with Your Retirement Plan? You’re Not Alone

OWNx Team Money & Financial Technology, Retirement Planning

Since the days of the late 1990s Dotcom  Bubble and subsequent bursting of that bubble, the investment landscape has been increasingly difficult to navigate. Geopolitical uncertainty, combined with wild market swings, have left a growing number of people dissatisfied with their progress in saving for retirement.

The numbers are telling. In a recent article from, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), in 2016, the number of people who were “very satisfied” with their retirement plans dropped by nearly 12% since 1998, from 60.5% to 48.6%.

Many Americans are feeling a need to re-think their retirement plans by either delaying the date they plan to retire, or by re-adjusting their expectations on the lifestyle they will be able to maintain during retirement. The key today then is twofold – proper planning based on the reality of today’s markets, and setting proper expectations.

Increase Your Satisfaction

Having enough income to spend in retirement is important. Today, that requires digging a little deeper in order to learn what works and what doesn’t.

  • Where are tomorrow’s opportunities?
  • Are there practical alternative investments that you should consider?
  • How do you manage risk?

These are all critical questions to ask when building and maintaining a solid retirement portfolio. The answers may mean you will need to re-evaluate your retirement strategy. Is your investment advisor forward-thinking, or do they tend to lean on traditional models? Do you have an avenue to access and manage alternative investments in order to take advantage of new trends and opportunities?

One aspect of retirement satisfaction today is knowing that you have access to a wide variety of assets – and that you can manage them once you invest. It is no coincidence then, that the rise in popularity of self-directed IRAs is happening at the same time that overall satisfaction in retirement is falling. Self-directed IRAs provide an array of assets to choose from when structuring your retirement portfolio, and thus, more flexibility to match a rapidly-changing investment environment.  

At OWNx, we have integrated our technology platform with some of the most respected self-directed IRA custodians in the nation. Our IRA platform enables you to easily buy and sell gold and silver bullion from within your IRA. This empowers you to hold and manage one of the most sought after alternative investments available – all from a simple online Dashboard.

Learn more about opening a self-directed IRA, and how you can own physical gold and silver within it, or, call our IRA customer service at 785-282-7629. They will be happy to answer your questions.

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Why The Price of Bitcoin and Ethereum Matters to Gold and Silver Owners

OWNx Team Cryptocurrencies, Gold & Silver Market, Money & Financial Technology

Bitcoin and Ethereum are the top two cryptocurrencies in the world. Over the past month, their price has risen dramatically, creating a great deal of buzz in investment circles. What does this mean to those who own gold and silver?

The increased activity surrounding these two bellwether cryptocurrencies indicates a broadening base of people who see a future for cryptocurrencies in general. This is a positive sign, as the world begins to rethink payment systems, currencies and how the attributes of money (medium of exchange and store of value) can be managed.

Yet this development also has many traps. The barriers to entry in the cryptocurrency world are relatively small. Nearly every day, new currencies are being introduced through “initial coin offerings” (ICO). Just like an “initial public offering” (IPO) for stocks, ICOs carry a tremendous amount of risk with them. Of the hundreds of ICOs flooding the market, few will find long term success.

A Currency – or Not?

The price volatility of Bitcoin and Ethereum begs the question – aren’t cryptocurrencies supposed to be, well, currencies? By definition that implies they should at least be a stable medium of exchange. Yet the cryptocurrency market looks more like a stock market, and a speculative one at that. So what are they? Where is the “store of value” attribute of money? These are questions that the investment market, along with the money and banking system, will eventually have to answer.

Related: Are Cryptos Money? Not Yet. 

Meanwhile, with cryptocurrencies being in a state of flux and debt based national currencies increasingly coming under stress, there has to be an anchor. Gold and silver have played that role throughout recorded history, across borders and for all currencies. We doubt that this time will be any different.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum will see their prices swing wildly as the world begins the guessing game of who will be the winners and losers in the new world of money and banking. New cryptocurrencies will rise and be touted as the next “sure thing.” Some may succeed. Most will fail spectacularly. Meanwhile, gold and silver will continue to be a safe, tangible store of value while this volatile world of cryptocurrencies sorts itself out.

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Two Noteworthy Developments Related to Gold

OWNx Team Gold & Silver Market, News & Current Events

The Fed Talks Interest Rates

This week, the Federal Open Market Committee released minutes from their May meeting. Some speculated the minutes would indicate that the Fed was reconsidering hiking rates in June. This thinking created downward pressure on the US dollar. However, the minutes offered little to support that view.

Earlier this month, the price of gold rebounded nicely from a low in the $1,210 range. Now, gold buying has slowed with Fed Fund traders placing an 83 percent chance that the Fed will hike rates in June.

Thus, we are witnessing a continuation of gold and silver being stuck in a range between $1,200-$1,300 and $16-$18 respectively. This range bound trading is likely to continue while global markets seek to understand if the Trump administration is going to be able to implement some of its pro-business policies. Also adding to market uncertainty is whether geopolitical tensions are going to either significantly subside, or escalate.

For those steadily accumulating gold and silver, this price action isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact it allows dollar cost averaging into physical metal at today’s lower prices.

State Legislation on Gold and Silver

On a completely unrelated front, the Governor of Arizona signed into law a repeal of all state capital gains taxes on gold and silver. According to one analysis of the law,

“The bill defines legal tender as “a medium of exchange, including specie, that is authorized by the United States Constitution or Congress for the payment of debts, public charges, taxes and dues.” “Specie” means coins having precious metal content.”

Arizona now has become the fourth state since 2011 to enact laws aimed at enabling gold and silver to be re-monetized. Utah, Idaho, and Texas have also enacted similar bills.

We have long stated that despite the promises of Financial Technology, gold will always have its place in any future monetary system. Passage of these bills continues to support that view.

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Do We Really Want all this Tech? Gold as a Bridge to Reality

OWNx Team Gold & Silver Market, Money & Financial Technology, Retirement Planning

Artificial intelligence. Robo advisors. Trustless ledgers. Sounds like a world where humans aren’t responsible for doing much. Is this future world really coming?

In some form, yes. All of these technologies are rapidly emerging, and the three mentioned are converging in the investment space at a rapid clip. Investment decisions are being made by computers, purchases and sales of assets are determined by algorithms, and the trades are being recorded on distributed ledger technologies such as the blockchain.

Related: The Insanity of a Cashless Monetary System: Why You Need Physical Gold and Silver

While many people embrace this coming wave of tech, others view this new hyper-tech world as something to keep a wary eye on. Technology is good, yes. But it has its limits.

In his book, “The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter,” David Sax takes a long look at a counter culture that is emerging in an increasingly high tech world. About Millennials in particular he says that though they like their technology , “They are turning to analog to define their individual sense of identity.”

There is a great deal being written about how AI and technology are going to take over the world. Self-driving cars. Augmented reality. The internet of things. Are all of these commentators missing the fact that as human beings, we have an innate desire to work, to create, and to interact with our world in ways that go beyond virtual reality? Is there really a backlash growing against all the hype?

David Sax thinks so. And in some ways, so do we. As the investing world moves toward digital everything, we like to help people stay in touch with something tangible. Real, physical gold and silver are certainly wise to hold for their investment properties. However, it’s also nice to know that if you want, you can actually hold them in your hands. Owning gold and silver coins and bars can assure you that in this high-tech digital investing world, there is still a bridge back to reality.

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Gold Will Always Shine in our Complex World

OWNx Team Global Finance and Economics, Gold & Silver Market, News & Current Events

Gold continues to show just how important of a role it plays in today’s complex, modern, global, geopolitical, and financial world. After reaching a high near $1,300 per ounce last month, it retraced some of those gains, falling back to near $1,200 last week. A slight ease in the war of words between North Korea and the United States, along with a strengthening dollar helped increase selling pressure.

What a difference a week makes. Domestic political uncertainty has cast doubt on the ability of Congress to pass, what was perceived as, a “sure thing” pro-business agenda. The resulting weakness in the US dollar has driven gold to over $1,250 as of this writing.

This price volatility is not surprising given the present domestic and geopolitical environment, as well as continued concerns about the long term health and stability of the global financial system. In such an environment, we will likely see periods of wide swings in the price of gold and silver. So, what should one do about it?

Always consult with your financial advisor on the proper allocation of physical gold and silver in your portfolio. Then, within those guidelines, it may be a good idea to steadily accumulate gold and silver each month. Set aside some additional cash, if you’d like, and make one time purchases of gold and silver on significant price drops. 

The OWNx platform provides you with the tools necessary to accumulate your gold and silver. But buying gold and silver is only half of the equation. Just as important is the ability to sell your metal when personal circumstances or market conditions warrant it. With our platform, you can do this 24X7 from your online Dashboard. Manage your personal holdings, as well as those you may have set aside within a self-directed IRA to protect your long-term investments.

In this rapidly changing world, you need tools that enable you to manage your physical gold and silver. Because for the foreseeable future, market volatility will be the new norm. 


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Removing “Friction” in Financial Services

OWNx Team News & Current Events

With the boom in FinTech, there are many new buzzwords entering the dialogue that describe the future of money and banking. One of those words is “friction.” Just what is this friction?

Broadly defined, financial system friction is anything that impedes the process of accessing financial assets (money/investments) or services (loans/capital).These include:

  • Steps to setup and manage accounts.
  • Time and effort necessary to perform a financial transaction.
  • Monetary cost associated with financial transactions.

This affects the  environment in which you manage your financial life. The goal is to seamlessly integrate this very important aspect of your life with the way you live day-to-day.  

  • Do you really need to go to a branch bank to deposit a check? No.
  • Should you be able to participate in non-traditional investments and easily manage those investments online? Yes.
  • Should you be able to instantly send money to anyone in the world and have the currency conversion and regulatory issues handled in real time? Yes.
  • Should you be able to protect your identity and maintain privacy when conducting financial transactions? Yes.
  • Should you be able to immediately acquire and liquidate physical assets such as gold and silver? Yes.

These are just a few of the friction points that financial technology is beginning to remove. Currently, the industry is wrestling with the best way to solve these problems given the introduction of world changing concepts such as distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Within the next few years, an ecosystem will emerge within which you will be able to manage your entire financial experience. Because money and finance are intimately intertwined in each person’s life, this ecosystem will be nothing less than world changing.

Financial technology is here. It’s finding it’s legs. Friction is being removed. Soon, best practices and standards will begin to emerge. We are here to help you understand this new financial world and ultimately, to enable your gold and silver holdings to integrate with it.

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Can Financial Technology Put Gold Into the Hands of the World’s Poor?

OWNx Team Global Finance and Economics, Money & Financial Technology, News & Current Events

Yes. It can. There are thousands of new applications that companies are applying DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) to. They range from smart contracts that hold government officials accountable, to digitizing ownership of almost everything that has value in the economy. Of all of those applications, one of the most exciting is the ability to help lift millions of people out of poverty.

In a recent article on Financial Sense, University of North Carolina scholar of business and technology, Nir Kshetri noted,

“Major aid agencies, nonprofits, and startup companies are working to extend blockchain systems across the developing world to help poor people around the world get easier access to banks for loans or to protect their savings.”

“Protect Their Savings”

There are many challenges that poor people face around the world. DLT will certainly help solve many of them, including:

  • Lowering the cost of sending money to family across borders.
  • Providing humanitarian aid more efficiently and bypassing corruption.
  • Unlocking people’s true potential.

One of the most important, however, will be to help these people protect something many of them have never had – savings. Currencies of poorer nations have tended to be more unstable than those in the developed world. What is occurring now in Argentina is one example.

How might the plight of the citizens be improved if they had a means to allocate just a tiny bit of their savings into physical gold or silver in order to protect it? The answer is, it could be life changing.

FinTech is transforming the world in more ways than we realize. As it does, it will not only improve our lives by bringing efficiencies to our banking experience and access to a broad category of investment assets. It will improve the lives of the poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged of the world. One way this can be accomplished  is to enable them to have access to gold and silver to protect their new ability to save.

Image credit Jimmie under CC license.
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Dollar Cost Averaging – Gold and Silver Ownership on Autopilot

OWNx Team Money & Financial Technology

Increasingly, people are taking control of at least a portion of their investments. New financial technologies are making this easier than ever before. While improving access to traditional and alternative assets is a good thing, you still need a strategy on how to accumulate and manage your investments. Dollar cost averaging is one that has stood the test of time.

Most individual investors do not have the resources to hire top notch analysts and investment advisors to guide them into the “perfect” time to go “all in” on an investment. And the truth is, in today’s volatile markets the best analysts rarely get it right.

Rather than have an analyst try to get it perfect, how about asking them to help you be diligent? Smart? Patient? Those are qualities that are sometimes in short supply in the go-go world of finance, however decades of evidence show that exercising those qualities can produce tremendous profits. One need look no further than successful investors such as Warren Buffet, who accumulates his positions in companies over extended periods of time.

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What do Employees Really Want? Monetary Compensation and Access to Alternative Investments Like Gold and Silver

OWNx Team Money & Financial Technology

A recent article on Benefits Pro made the following observation: “There’s plenty of talk these days about all sorts of employee benefits that might help to attract and retain top talent — but when push comes to shove, it’s the dollar sign that has the most influence.”

People have access to more information today than ever and with information comes empowerment. In today’s often confusing economic and financial world, many are making the decision to take control over their own financial well being. While trendy “perks” such as cool lunch break rooms and pet insurance may have their place, they do not give one control over his or her financial future.

The trend toward financial self-determination is understandable given studies that show that the financial services industry is rated as one of the least trusted industries – a trend set in motion by the 2008/2009 financial crisis. So how are people choosing to take control?

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China’s Shanghai Gold Exchange is Now an International Player

OWNx Team Gold & Silver Market, News & Current Events

April, Financial Literacy Month, is often seen by those in the financial sector as an opportunity to educate people on how to manage their money within an existing financial system. At OWNx, we take a different approach by helping you understand what the role of gold and silver will be in the financial system of the future.

Monumental shifts have occurred in the global gold market over the last decade. FinTech has provided improved flexibility in global payments and how gold can be used as money. Geopolitics and global economic trends that have been in place for decades are shifting, restoring one of gold’s traditional roles as geopolitical and financial insurance. Some of these changes happen quickly. Others occur slowly and go unnoticed for years until an event occurs that signifies a major milestone has been reached.

Such was the announcement two weeks ago that the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) launched a gold futures contract. This contract a) is traded internationally, b) is denominated in the Chinese yuan, and c) uses the Shanghai Gold Exchange as the Benchmark to set the contract price. What this means is the world now has a means to trade gold futures outside of the US dollar.

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