Review: Monex Precious Metals

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3.00 star(s)
1 Rating - Raters


Location: Newport Beach, CA

Shipping: Orders shipped insured via UPS. Cost ???

Payment Options: credit card/wire/check


Monex is one of those companies that doesn't offer a shopping cart on their website to place orders (though they do publish live prices). You have to call them and place orders over the phone.

Monex will try to sell you on buying metal in their one of their storage account programs. If you want physical delivery (like I always do), you have make that clear when you call them.

Because they operate an unallocated storage program for customers, it's important when the market is experiencing shortages to make sure that they actually have physical inventory in stock to commit to your purchase. I would be leary of ordering if they could not guarantee reasonably immediate shipment.

In my experience, their packing and shipping has been fine. I've never had any problems with any orders.

Once you are one of their customers, Monex will contact you from time to time to see if you are interested in buying or selling depending upon how the spot/futures market is moving. I managed to get them to stop calling after making it clear that when I had interest in buying or selling from them again, I would contact them. YMMV.
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My MONEX Experience

About two - three years ago I bought platinum from MONEX (I could not find Pt Eagles, my preferred form). They had sent me (at my request) some of their literature about their products.

On the day I pulled the trigger, I called up the Sales Guy I had been talking to. He told me to wire the amount for 10 oz of Pt "plus a little bit more" (to cover price changes I expect). So I did. I sent about $400 "extra", which remained on deposit with them, actually earning a small amount of interest.

Within about a week I received my platinum, which I had expected to arrive in bar form (as he had told me MONEX had no Pt Eagles either). Instead what I got were 10 Pt Nobles (Isle of Man), which actually was a little better for me than a 10 oz bar. The Pt came by Registered Mail.

A week or so later, I also got a letter from a VP there saying they were sorry for sending out coins instead of the expected bar. He threw in a MONEX silver coin they had minted up in Austria.

After a few months, I asked them to send me my money (the +/- $400), which they did.

Bottom line: They did what they promised to do, and I actually got a little bit better deal than I expected.

*** This purchase from MONEX is the ONLY online purchase I have made. Every other purchase of ANY PMs has been from coin shops. ***
Just realized Monex is 10 minutes away from my office. Their premiums are decent: $2.69 for ASEs, $2.18 for silver Maples, about $69 for gold Eagles and $51.50 for gold Maples.

Not sure where they're getting their silver spot price feed though, seems a few cents higher than Kitco's.

For those that have purchased from them, a few questions:

1) How did you pay? Their website mention bank wire and "other forms of payment". Wonder if they'll accept cash in an envelope.
2) Do they have a minimum?
3) How quick / slow was delivery? Their site mentions ~4 weeks.

I'll e-mail them in the next day or two to see if they accept walk-ins.
Pretty sure we paid by check years a few years ago when we bought from them. I don't recall if they had a minimum order requirement. It took a while for delivery, but then, this was during a period of tightness in the market when all dealers were experiencing slow delivery. At that time, Monex was one of the few dealers we could find that actually had inventory in hand for the items we wanted to buy.
I e-mailed MONEX a few weeks ago and got a reply saying to call. So I called today and spoke to one of their sales people. Q&A below:

Q1. Since I'm local, is there a way to pick-up instead of paying for shipping.
A1. No and yes. No, their depository is in NY, and the do not carry inventory in their office in CA. However, they are willing to lower some prices to lower/negate delivery. <-- I'm taking this with a big grain of salt right here.

Q2. Since their website only lists wire transfer. Do they accept other forms of payment?
A2. Yes, they accept wire transfers, cashiers and personal checks. No credit card.

Q3. Do they carry generics?
A3. No. Coin wise, they only deal with government mints, so they have Gold Buffaloes and Kruger Rands, along with Gold/Silver/Platinum/Palladium Eagles, Maples, Philharmonics.

Q4. What are the minimums?
A4. A bit more complicated answer:
- Silver: 100 oz
- 1 oz Gold: 10 oz
- 1/2 oz Gold: 5 oz minimum (roll)
- 1/10 oz Gold: 2 oz minimum (roll)
- 1 oz Platinum: 5 oz minimum

FWIW, the salesperson seemed to think in the next 18-24 months, silver will be in the mid $40s, gold will be at $2,400. Kind of a fast talker. Unless they offer discounts on shipping, it might be cheaper to go elsewhere.
Their "live" prices are a few minutes behind the market so difficult to pin down exact premiums, but a few cents off is close enough right?

Gold Eagles and buffaloes: spot + $69.70
God Maples: spot + $51.40
Silver Eagles: spot + $2.69
Silver Maples: spot + $2.19

Re shipping. They deliver using USPS. Can't find anything on their site with regard to shipping rates. I originally contacted them because they have a CA address about 10 minutes from my office and was hoping to pick up without having to pay for shipping.
Their "live" prices are a few minutes behind the market so difficult to pin down exact premiums, but a few cents off is close enough right?

Gold Eagles and buffaloes: spot + $69.70
God Maples: spot + $51.40
Silver Eagles: spot + $2.69
Silver Maples: spot + $2.19

Re shipping. They deliver using USPS. Can't find anything on their site with regard to shipping rates. I originally contacted them because they have a CA address about 10 minutes from my office and was hoping to pick up without having to pay for shipping.

It looks like their silver prices are pretty good even at a 100 ounce minimum.

Their price versus minimum buy for gold is not that great. You are not forced to 10 ounces of gold at a time at Apmex and they have similar gold prices. I can even walk into most LCS and get similar deals (once you account for shipping).
I have heard about Monex precious metals and its looking quite interesting as they are offering metals for investing. As an investment product, gold, silver, platinum and palladium are available in coin or ingot form. Coins have a currency value or they are actually defined as ingots. I strongly prefer Gold or Silver investment as its prices are rising day by day so a person having gold is i think a rich man. He could hold this Gold & Silver and after some month sell it he will surely enjoy a huge Return on his this precious investment.
    Rating:   3.00 star(s)
  • #10
You have to deal with a little bit of sales BS when buying from them.
PSA: The BBB warns that Monex was the subject of some action by the CFTC. I looked it up:

December 21, 2022

Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California entered a consent order for permanent injunction, monetary sanctions, and equitable relief against Monex Deposit Company, Monex Credit Company, Newport Services Corporation, and their owners Louis Carabini and Michael Carabini.

The order requires the defendants to pay $33 million in restitution to customers, and a $5 million civil monetary penalty. The order further bars the defendants from trading futures or options on a regulated market, unless such trading is for the purpose of hedging. It also bans the defendants from registering in any capacity with the CFTC for 10 years, and permanently enjoins them from engaging in off-exchange leveraged retail commodity transactions or fraud.

“This settlement resolves a long-standing and significant precious metals case that CFTC Enforcement staff fiercely and successfully litigated at the district court level, up to the court of appeals, and back to the district court,” said Acting Director of Enforcement Gretchen Lowe.

“First, the CFTC won a judgment against the defendants for illegally offering leveraged retail commodity transactions and established important law on the meaning of ‘actual delivery’ of commodities under the CEA. This settlement resolved the remaining charges of fraudulent solicitation that lured unsuspecting customers into the highly risky leveraged trades, and obtained significant restitution for the victims of the unlawful conduct,” Lowe continued. “The CFTC will take any action necessary to prevent and terminate such illegal transactions and return funds to the defrauded customers. I thank the team for their tenacious commitment to this case and ultimate success.”

General Counsel Rob Schwartz said, “This is an historic case for the agency with implications far beyond metals trading. Not only did staff put a stop to a large-scale fraud and shut down an illegal, unregistered trading platform, but in the process developed important caselaw on the subject of actual delivery of any commodity, and fortified the agency’s strong anti-fraud authority. This comes at a critical time when the agency is contending with fraud across a broad range of commodity assets, both traditional and digital.”

The order resolves a CFTC action filed against the defendants on September 6, 2017, alleging that, while acting as a common enterprise, the defendants executed illegal, off-exchange leveraged retail commodity transactions for thousands of customers, and engaged in pervasive fraudulent sales solicitations. [See CFTC Press Release No. 7609-17]

The order comes after substantial litigation, including two appeals to the Ninth Circuit [See CFTC Press Release No. 7984-19], entry of a preliminary injunction against the defendants, an order granting summary judgment in favor of the CFTC on the charges relating to the offering and execution of illegal retail commodity transactions, and also imposing a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from engaging in leveraged retail commodity transactions.

Case Background

As found in the order, between July 16, 2011 and August 31, 2021, the defendants operated a retail over-the-counter trading platform, known as “Atlas,” which allowed customers to speculate on precious metals price movements, with Monex acting as the counterparty to every transaction. During the relevant period, the defendants executed thousands of leveraged trades with retail customers, all of which were required to be executed on a regulated exchange, but were not, as found by the court in an earlier order.

The order also finds the majority of these trades resulted in losses for Monex’s customers and the defendants engaged in fraud in the solicitation of customers. Specifically, Monex touted the importance of precious metals as a hedge against economic uncertainty. Monex’s solicitations highlighted profits, claiming that precious metals offer “outstanding price appreciation” and “outstanding profit potential.” Monex trained its sales representatives to pitch leveraged trading with descriptions of the possibility of “30-40% net gains,” “annualized rate of return of 20% or more” and “unlimited upside potential” according to the order. Monex also trained its sales force to gain customers’ trust in order to make sales. In addition, Monex incentivized its sales staff to push customers into leveraged trading with increased commissions and bonuses, the order finds.

Monex never disclosed that the majority of its customers lost money, according to the order. As a result, Monex’s claims about the profitability of leveraged trading of precious metals were misleading. Moreover, Monex’s customers who expected to make profits from such trading instead lost money, the order finds. The order further finds that Louis and Michael Carabini controlled Monex and are liable for its illegal activities.

The CFTC cautions that orders requiring repayment of funds to victims may not result in the recovery of any money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The CFTC will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable.

The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Carlin Metzger, Ansley Schrimpf, Bryan Hsueh, Stacie Pan, Anthony Marozas, Matthew Flagge, Jon Kramer, Elizabeth Pendleton, David Terrell, Joseph Konizeski, Scott Williamson and Robert Howell. The Division of Enforcement also received substantial support from Kyle Druding, Anne Stukes and Robert Schwartz of the Office of General Counsel, who represented the CFTC in the Ninth Circuit. Former Division of Enforcement staff members Jeffrey Gomberg, Michael Frisch, Brigitte Weyls, Mary Beth Spears, and Rosemary Hollinger also contributed to this matter.


CFTC’s Precious Metals Customer Fraud Advisory

The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories and Articles that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Precious Metals Fraud Advisory, which alerts customers to precious metals fraud and lists simple ways to spot precious metals scams.

Also, before investing or trading with a firm, check the firm’s registration status and disciplinary history, if registered, with the National Futures Association. A company’s registration status can be found using NFA BASIC.

Customers and other individuals can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the Division of Enforcement via a toll-free hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382), file a tip or complaint online, or contact the Whistleblower Office. Whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 10 and 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected paid from the Customer Protection Fund financed through monetary sanctions paid to the CFTC by violators of the CEA.

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