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Before we get into this review, there's something important that you should know: Fortress Gold Group is no longer accepting new clients. They also don't appear to be offering customer support to their old clients. If you want to invest in precious metals, there are several other companies you can work with instead.
But what exactly did Fortress Gold Group offer? And what seems to have gone so wrong with the company? We've taken a look to try to figure out the answers.
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History of the Company
Fortress Gold Group began operating as a precious metals dealer in 1995, though it wasn't until 2007 that it officially became a privately held corporation. The company has also operated under alternative names like Figure Eight Enterprises.
While the company was in operation, it was part of quite a variety of different organizations:
In 2014, a former director of the United States Mint became the company's chief strategist. He was there to help oversee the expansion of the company's services, as well as the customer service to existing clients.
Between 1995 and 2015, the biggest priority of the company was to help people invest in precious metals. They also helped set up self-directed IRAs that people could invest precious metals in.
Clients say that after 2015, the main focus of the company seemed to shift to "home storage" and LLC IRAs. LLC IRAs are a type of self-directed IRA that have a strong focus on client autonomy. Because you have a checkbook for the limited liability corporation, you can directly purchase whatever assets you want using the IRA funds.
Home storage IRAs are a little more questionable. There is no legal way to store precious metals in an IRA in your home. You are required to have the metals stored in an IRS-approved depository that adheres to robust security regulations.
Clients have also mentioned that some subsidiaries of the company were involved in other aspects of alternative assets. For example, they helped people to invest in cryptocurrency and real estate. Some parts of the company might have offered business lending services to struggling small business owners, but little is known about this.
The company became unreachable at the start of 2019, which was when it stopped dealing in precious metals. Though the website has a support email to contact for prior customers, people have reported that they've been unable to get through. The company's Youtube channel has been taken down, and the Better Business Bureau no longer gives them an accreditation.
Products and Services
It helps to understand what products and services were available through this company. They have not officially declared bankruptcy or disbanded, but they do not offer precious metals services anymore. It is unclear whether there are any subsidiaries or partner companies that are still in business.
The company's main specialty was precious metals. They sold palladium, platinum, gold, and silver to customers in coin or bar form. You could make purchases for your personal investment portfolio or for your IRA. Some of the precious metals were eligible for placement in a self-directed IRA.
The company website did not have information about their fees, markups, or potential commissions. That's a red flag. While companies are not required to be upfront about these things, it's common for honest dealers to be transparent about their costs. That way, people aren't surprised by the value of their coins later.
Fortress Gold Group worked with Brinks for its depository options. Brinks is a global security firm with several IRS-approved depositories for holding IRAs. Depending on your needs and your location, you could choose from depositories in Salt Lake City, New York, or Los Angeles.
Since Fortress Gold was not an IRA custodian, it did not provide custodial services. It might have had custodial partners that it recommended. If you purchased precious metals through this company for an IRA, the custodian you used should still be reachable. You should also be able to work with a different dealer to add to your assets.
Better Business Bureau Page
Fortress Gold Group used to be accredited with the Better Business Bureau. Their page is still active, indicating that the company still exists. But there has been no way to contact the company representatives for a long time. They are not currently accredited, and they have a B- rating.
In the past three years, one complaint has been filed against the business. Keep in mind that they do not seem to have been actively operating since the beginning of 2019. In November of 2019, a customer filed a complaint to say that they had tried to contact the company and received no response.
Not only had the customer contacted the company by phone and email, but they had also had their attorney reach out. Neither the customer nor the attorney had been able to make contact. Apparently the customer needed information about an account with the company.
Their desired outcome was to speak with a company representative. But the complaint was never answered. There is no way to find out who technically owns Fortress Gold Group or who manages their current accounts.
It's unclear whether the company was managing an investment account for this customer, or whether they were simply giving the customer updates about their holdings. If the customer opened an IRA, they should have had a separate custodian and depository that they could have contacted instead.
There were quite a number of positive reviews of the company prior to their disappearance in 2019. These reviews also had responses from the company, so it seems like they did care about their online presence at one point.
A 2017 review on Trustlink said that the company was very professional, and that the representatives were nice to work with. Several of the reviews mentioned company representatives by name, though it's unclear whether any of these people actually had an ownership or managerial position.
Customers said that the company was very supportive and helpful when it came to rolling over funds into a precious metals IRA. They came highly recommended by consumers, and they seemed to have honest business practices.
Is Fortress Gold Group a Scam?
When Fortress Gold Group was operating, they seemed to be a legitimate business. They were a precious metals dealer based in California. Their goal was to help customers purchase and own precious metals to secure their investment portfolios.
Fortress Gold Group has stopped taking on new customers. Their website informs people that they are no longer providing services to new people, but that older customers can email their support team. They also don't seem to have updated the security registration for their website.
Prior clients of the company have stated that there has been no response to their support team emails. They are also not able to call the customer service phone number for the company. In fact, there is even a company that exists to help former clients of the company get in touch with a new precious metals dealer.
If you did work with Fortress Gold Group before, your best bet is probably to find a new precious metals dealer. Fortress is not the company responsible for managing your gold IRA or storage, so you shouldn't have any trouble with finding a new precious metals dealer.
If you were interested in working with Fortress Gold Group, it's better to look for a well-reviewed company that offers the same types of services.
Pros & Cons of Fortress Gold Group
Fortress Gold Group might have been a good company when they were in business, but they no longer seem to offer services to their clients. Existing clients have had trouble getting in touch with them, and they aren't accepting new customers. The company hasn't explained much about why they have stopped doing business.
There are a number of other gold dealers that you can work with instead of Fortress Gold. Even if you were a previous customer of theirs, you should be able to add new metals to your investment portfolio or retirement account by contacting a new precious metals dealer.
Overall, we believe that there is a better option when it comes to your investment.
The above company is our top recommendation after doing extensive research. Feel free to keep doing your own research, or you can visit Fortress Gold Group below!