Argentus Maximus Visits With Adrian Ash of BullionVault

Wed, Oct 9, 2013 - 2:43pm

A few days ago, our very own Argentus Maximus recorded this interview with Adrian Ash of BullionVault.

If you're not familiar with Adrian Ash, he's the Head of Research at

If you're not familiar with Argentus, you should be. He's a valued contributor here at TFMR and his very popular forum called "The Setup For The Big Trade" can be found here:

The video interview is a little over 40 minutes in length and can be accessed by clicking here:


About the Author


Blue Sky · Oct 9, 2013 - 2:49pm

Dublin Forever!

Always enjoy any contribution from Argentus.

"I'm goin" down now to Foley's...." for a first.

Orange · Oct 9, 2013 - 2:50pm

Well Done


sierra skier · Oct 9, 2013 - 3:06pm


Now to check out the interview.

bullion only sierra skier · Oct 9, 2013 - 3:11pm

Fourth ar·gen·tum   [ahr



[ahr-jen-tuhm] Show IPA noun Chemistry . silver. Symbol: Ag Origin: 

< Latin
Bongo Jim · Oct 9, 2013 - 3:19pm
silver66 · Oct 9, 2013 - 3:27pm

I'll take the fifth


Edit: you're killin me Bongo....I'll take the 6th

HappyNow · Oct 9, 2013 - 3:29pm

I'll check in just for the

I'll check in just for the heck of it.

tyberious · Oct 9, 2013 - 3:52pm


Why is bank robbery a federal crime, enforced by the secrete service, when the FRN is printed by a private bank?

Just asking?

AgNovice · Oct 9, 2013 - 3:53pm

Dollar flows

In the middle of California, red-state, agricultural bread-basket of America, the main County-seat branch of Wells Fargo, I note that no new monopoly money is to be found. BennieBux have yet to make their appearance. "Maybe tomorrow" is the response.

I also note that recently installed are thick plexiglass "friendship" shields now, floor-to-ceiling between the tellers and depositors.


(as if they were protecting gold or something...)

Stock_Canines · Oct 9, 2013 - 4:19pm

Interesting interview

Certainly the comment that there is no tightness in supply to be found anywhere in the market (besides retail) was a interesting takeaway. Flies in the face of what many state.

TREACHEROUS CRETINS · Oct 9, 2013 - 4:34pm

Please Clarify

Argentus; interesting interview. Towards the end, Ash seems to imply that the £85,000 guaranteed amount for individual depositors is valid for BV customers with money in their Lloyds account. My understanding, from previous communications with them, is that money in the Lloyds account does NOT qualify for the FSA [FDIC ] insurance. This is an important issue, as it is known that Lloyds is particularly exposed to non-performing European debt. Were it to go under, the bail-in would not be relevant if there was no deposit insurance.

Kcap · Oct 9, 2013 - 4:46pm


Awesome question.

The answer is counter-logical, and counter-intuitive.


ancientmoney · Oct 9, 2013 - 4:49pm

New C-notes coming to banks soon . . .

Supposedly, some banks started getting them yesterday.

A snippet:

"The most recent statistics from the Fed show that as of Dec. 31, there were 10.3 billion $1 bills in circulation, 8.6 billion $100 bills and 7.4 billion $20 bills, followed by $5's, $10's, $50's and $2's. A little more than 75% of the more than $1 trillion of currency in circulation is in $100 bills. Much of it is held outside the United States."

I wonder what will happen to that foreign-held stack of C-notes . . . will it still be considered legal tender here in the U.S.?

Bollocks · Oct 9, 2013 - 4:49pm

Argentus Maximus

Just listening now, but the audio at Adrian's end is dreadful. I can hardly make out what he's saying sad.

Are you aware of this? Is there a better audio version?

Or maybe it's just me as nobody else has mentioned this.

ancientmoney · Oct 9, 2013 - 4:51pm

Silver vs. gold Eagle delays . . .

My on-line dealer still reports 3 week delays on shipping silver Eagles and junk, two weeks delay on silver Maples. 

No delays on any 1 oz gold coins. Short delays on 1/10th and 1/2 Eagles.

meegoreng1 · Oct 9, 2013 - 4:54pm

Yellen is a Jew

Make sense to nominate her.

Tradition has to continue

Bugzy · Oct 9, 2013 - 5:15pm


Think I may be suffering from end is nigh fatigue. Getting rather bored with all this waiting around. Nothing is happening. Gold - boring! Silver - BORING!, 10 year - Yawn. Stocls - no biggy. Not even a false flag to get all ranty about.

Think they may have infected everyone with apathy germ. Millions die of boredom and the planet is saved.

Yes Bollocks, audio was not good quality.

Byzantium · Oct 9, 2013 - 5:30pm


I'm a very satisfied customer; been using them for 4 years now.

Given the assumption that you have to have some phyzz as the ultimate security, I initially used custodial services such as BV in order to diversify my risks and ownership. Where BV distinguishes itself from Goldmoney, is the trading platform, which initially I did not use, but I have since become a great devotee.

It is a great way to move in and out of the market, with the option of three currencies (USD, EUR, GBP) and play the GSR, all from the keyboard.

Bollocks · Oct 9, 2013 - 5:40pm

Argentus, and Turd

Having listened, (to that I could make out), I'm a bit worried about this post.

This appears to be a sales pitch for BullionVault.

I say that because NOBODY should be buying gold or silver and have what they've bought held ANYWHERE other than where they are - where they can see it and touch it. Argentus and Turd - you do know that, don't you?

When the system starts to go down, those who have (what they think is) their PM's at bullion banks will find they don't have it. That is my honest opinion and I am sure I'm right.

I'm worried that Argentus and Turd appear to be promoting this bullion bank - and I would be interested to hear a disclosure about their involvement with BullionVault because this does not sound right at all.

Just to make it perfectly clear, and what should be being promoted to all buyers of PM's:


Argentus and Turd - I know I won't be popular with you for posting this comment.

The important thing is: Is it true.


edit: Byzantium - watch what happens when the system really starts to crash, as it will.

· Oct 9, 2013 - 5:45pm

@Bollocks & @Treacherous Cretins

@Bollocks: That's how it came out. I recorded it using both an online recorder and a recorder at my end, and they were identical quality-wise. Possibly a laptop mike at Adrian's end? He seemed to be in an open office space where I was enclosed. I had switched off my cam mike and was using a headset mike which I have found to be superior to the cam. The clarity at the two ends was quite different. Not having sophisticated audio software I can't filter to enhance the quality beyond what's there.

@Treacherous Cretins: You have a very good point there. I was trying to tease out and clarify all possible weak links in the chain of generic custodial arrangements there, as well as just BV own specific case, and I guess that's apparent from my line of questions. What I understood from the conversation myself is that clients funds are safest when actually in metal, in a vault, and probably one of the vaults of another jurisdiction has been chosen by the client. Adrian said that the national deposit insurance covers the client segregated account at their bank within the limits of that insurance. I accepted that but if you got differing information it is worth getting a specific reply about it to clarify.

I'll send an email to BV asking them confirm this particular point and post the reply here when I receive it.

Byzantium · Oct 9, 2013 - 5:57pm

@ Treacherous Cretins

BV's Lloyds account which holds your cash, is one bucket account that holds all their customers cash. The BV customers do not have a commercial agreement or account with Lloyds, so I would imagine that the 85k banking insurance applies once to BV, which once allocated back to a BV customer basis is zilch each.

I raised this with BV once, and they advised that my understanding is good, but your funds sunk in metal by contrast, are outside the banking system, which may in turn be in various jurisdictions according to your past purchasing patterns, and is their advised remedy. Obviously as one switches metal for cash, the cash is always theoretically vulnerable.

So yes, cash held in BV, Goldmoney etc, is vulnerable to bail ins. The metal itself carries some risk but is a separate and hence diversified risk (government confiscation) but can be sub-diversified in turn, into several or preferred jurisdictions. I can tell you that New York does not appear to be a trusted jurisdiction among customers (USA seems to have a pariah 'banana republic' status as a place to store metal, I wonder why? ha-ha) and Singapore seems to carry the biggest premium between customers.

If the day comes that we all get Cyprused, that's what your phys is for. But for trading / liquidity / the option of moving in and out of the metals / storing metal in foreign jurisdictions / diversifying your ownership away from the sock drawer, then custodial metals have much in their favour, in spite of the contingent bail-in risk, which is indeed, unambiguously real.

Bollocks · Oct 9, 2013 - 6:05pm

@BollocksThere is no


There is no commercial payback. I dreamed up the idea of industry interviews and raised that matter with Turd for this first one. We even discussed possible "referral links" and Turd then set the thread up for me as I asked, I agreed to defer to his judgment and experience in this. I looked above and can see no affiliations or "agent links" or the like. Just the BV website link. I accept his experience in this matter. Though if Turd got advertising from BV for an ad in the future I would say to him that's fine and why not do so since he requires revenues to run his business.

I am a client of BV myself for just under a year. I use their service. That's the limit of my connections.

This post has two clear parts. In the first part I intentionally allow Adrian Ash to explain at length the merits of using a custodial vaulting-trading arrangement. I was aware that much of what he said would also have relevance to eg Goldmoney or similar wealth management custodial vaulting competitor alternatives where similar services are on offer.

He had plenty of time to say all the salient points, and listeners/readers of this thread will then have information with which to make comparisons with other alternative arrangements of which there are a few. Then I questions his specifically to learn more about what I though might be weak links in the custodial-vaulting process when viewed from the client side, and I considered that he gave reasonable answers. But I'm not all knowing and it's possible I might have asked different questions if I had used competitors of BV, however I have not done that. So you get what came out in the discussion and it is honestly and earnestly done without ulterior motive.

I hope that's enough disclosure (though I really have nothing but a BV account to disclose). If I do other interviews the same standards will apply from my end, or if not I'd be happy to say so.

· Oct 9, 2013 - 6:10pm

Re: this bullion bank

That was an inaccurate choice of words by myself in the introduction, and Adrian Ash answered that they are not a bank. They do not have title to the clients assets. They buy, sell, provide a transaction platform for clients, and engage the services of 3rd part vaulting providers.

It's there in the first minute or two - just about the first thing he said actually.

Byzantium · Oct 9, 2013 - 6:18pm

@ Bollocks

good prompts, good questions, here are my 2 cents:

  1. Disclosure: I have no stake myself in BV other than as a customer. I have no personal stake in recommending them. I know that a number of others in this community disclosed that they use them, including Argentus himself, Daveyboy, and Fr Bill to name a few.
  2. Sales pitch: I think that some readers may appreciate awareness of BV, Goldmoney and their services, and what they are offering.
  3. Phyz vs custodial ownership: Some people like me, are not comfortable holding too much phyz. There is always a paper trail of purchases leading to you. Who might acquire this info? What will they do with this info? This is a matter of personal preference. For anybody like me, who sees a risk in holding too much phyz, then custodial metal is one way to go.
  4. For people who have the option to move across borders, custodial metal is one way to avoid having to haul metal around with you. It can always be sold online and bought back locally with the proceeds, where a relocation was involved.
  5. Trading: I share the view with many, that there is a core position to be held in phyz, for the fiat collapse scenario, and a swing portion to be traded (and what better than online metal) till then. Hopefully, fiat collapse & bail ins won't come, in which case putting all our eggs in the phyz basket may turn out to have been a bad decision. My argument for a virtual 'swing portion,' is that I can be a winner in the 'status quo' scenario, and if paper money collapses and I lose it all, well I am a winner again because I have phyz too. In the absence of fiat collapse, stacking alone may be a dead end policy.
  6. Cash Flow & versatility: I never expected such a bear market in the metals as we had these last two years. I have been grateful for the platform to be able to pull out of, and dive back into the metals market, from the keyboard. At times of unexpected cash flow tight spots, I had no worries because metals back to my bank account was an easy option.

We've private messaged before Bollocks about our different perspectives on this and agreed to disagree; there isn't a right answer, it is just personal preference. But good prompts, let the reader assess what is best for them.

Spartacus Rex · Oct 9, 2013 - 6:18pm

Right On Bullocks!



'Nuff said.

Byzantium · Oct 9, 2013 - 6:33pm


again my 2 cents; I prefer BV as a custodial provider, but nonetheless I am a Goldmoney customer also, on the basis of diversification & hedging risks.

Goldmoney also offers Platinum & Palladium as custodial metals, which is unique to them.

They also facilitate trade in a greater number of currencies, last time I checked. Again, I might be out of date, but you can do FX conversions there without involving metal, for a small commission.

On the downside, it is more expensive to buy metal through Goldmoney, but they do have the distinction of adhering to spot, which is quite useful during flash-crashes.

In summary, I see Goldmoney as a diversification from physical stacking and with a platinum option, while BV adds the crucial trading functionality for those who seek it, while being in my view, a cheaper way to buy gold & silver than Goldmoney. Both providers have a role to play in terms of asset diversification.

Byzantium · Oct 9, 2013 - 6:38pm

@ Spartacus Rex

It depends where you sit in this broad generalisation of the TFMR community.

Goldbugs can be traders too, and then phyz by itself, is not enough. 

Bollocks · Oct 9, 2013 - 7:13pm

Spartacus Rex

Yes. yes. Thank you.

Bollocks · Oct 9, 2013 - 7:16pm


You've posted some amazing articles and your forum is full of gems - even though as a non-trader much of it is not in my arena - nevertheless, I genuinely respect your insights and your posts.

Simple question: With what many of us Turdites know (this is coming from reading the posts here at TFMR, plus my own knowledge, of course) - what are you doing giving time to a bullion vault?

Do you know that if you don't have it in your hands then you are in serious danger of losing what you think you have, when the inevitable collapse comes?

Of course you do. You're an intelligent chap - it's abundantly clear from your past posts.

So once again - what are you doing giving time to a bullion vault? Why did you not raise in your interview the dangers of putting PM purchases into the hands of a bullion vault?

Not a mention of "if you don't have it in your hands..." - or something that brought attention to that.

Come on Argentus. At the stage we're at, this isn't a game. I thought we were about educating people about the truth of what's going on - here at Turdville.

· Oct 9, 2013 - 7:32pm

I can't argue with any of

I can't argue with any of your points Bolllocks. They're all valid.

... you can tell there's a "but" coming can't you !

but .... here are the two things that I can't do with phyzz ...

I think there is room for multiple options.

1 the cost of physical is higher, this forces a long term view regarding holding time. But that is inflexible IMO. The future may take a long time to arrive. And if one plans to sell some (not all) in the short term, custodial provides a no-delay transaction time, comparable to eg trading stocks or ETFs, but with bullion as the investment vehicle. After all there are plenty of outcomes which fall short of the "all civilization gone forever" outcome, and small buys and sales seem (to me) to be an added angle to have available.

2 If moving abroad, there may be huge problems with the "all in phyzz only" plan. Custodial with international vaults has something to offer there, in that vaulted PMs could be taken delivery of at the vault location itself.

Now in a collapse scenario, your points are undoubtedly correct. But as I mentioned that might take longer than you think, and my own view is that it is far more likely there will be a series of degradations of public service, with localized variations in this, and maybe the "one day it all gets switched off" moment that suits the in-your-hands-physical solution - maybe that moment will never arrive in my lifetime.

So I guess I'm saying I like to have a more liquid form of physical, which is still bullion, and the custodial arrangement fits that in-between requirement for me, and I want some of both physical AND custodial.

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