As much as I love the city, I’m here in Vienna today on a mission– gold storage. After yesterday’s missive about Panamanian safety deposit boxes, I thought it appropriate to follow-up with a couple of strong solutions for offshore gold storage, and Austria certainly fits the bill.
First of all, if you love mountains, you definitely need to check out Austria. The Austrian Alps command some of the most breathtaking views in the world, and the summertime weather is absolutely spectacular.
English language proficiency is prevalent everywhere in the country; everyone from the gas station attendants to street performers speaks English, which is great because my Deutsche is terrible.
Cost-wise, Austria is reasonable, though certainly not cheap. Expect a decent meal for two with wine to run about 50 euro ($70) in Vienna, perhaps even a bit more in Salzburg… and a four star hotel to cost 120 euro per night ($170).
But let’s get back to the gold.
Vienna is home to a fantastic facility called Das Safe (www.dassafe.com), located at Auerspergstrasse 1 near the city center.
Das Safe provides anonymous safety deposit boxes starting at 400 euro ($560) per year, and anonymous means anonymous… all you have is the box key and a PIN code to access the secure room.
To be honest, you will feel a little bit like Jason Bourne when you walk into the place; the facility is completely secure and monitored at all times, though video surveillance is not recorded so you need not worry about your privacy.
I have done business with Das Safe in the past and find their level of service and professionalism to be spectacular; if you want to move your bullion offshore and make sure that no one knows about it, Das Safe is for you.
If, on the other hand, you don’t care about anonymity, Austrian banks will be happy to rent you a safety deposit box regardless of your nationality. They do require a photo ID, but the costs start at 65 euro ($90) per year for a small box.
Just about every bank in Austria also sells gold coins, making it very convenient to buy and store on-site. I am a big fan of the ‘Philharmonic’ coin, the Austrian version of the Eagle or Maple Leaf, which is paid for in euro. As I mentioned Friday, I am a long-term believer in gold’s value, especially against the euro.
Unlike the banks that I mentioned in Panama yesterday, I do not believe that Austria’s banks would suddenly and unilaterally change their policies about providing safety deposit box services, so establishing service there will probably not pose any problems for the next several years.
Furthermore, Austrian law prohibits banks from inspecting the contents of boxes except in narrowly defined instances when they’re sure that you’re dead, and Austria is one of the only countries in the world with this protection.
Tomorrow I’m going to talk about banking in Austria, and why it may be a good option for you. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this video from last Saturday morning in Zagreb.