The 2012/01/02 at 05:22
Alexandre T. Analis
Following studies in communications in Strasbourg (France), Louis Schneider, 22 years old, joined the company Euporos SA in Sion (Switzerland) ever since its creation and is its Manager.
Commerce International: How was the company Euporos born?
Louis Schneider: “Euporos SA was born on 31 August 2010 in Sion, in the French-speaking canton of Valais in Switzerland. It is registered on the Central Valais Trade Register. The element triggering its birth was the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. Our founder wished to oppose the savage ultra-capitalist system based on cheating and abuse of confidence perpetrated against savers and workers, by offering everyone the possibility of protecting their savings, that is, by offering them the opportunity to make a risk-free investment in metal. If this investment also proves to be highly profitable, all the better, but the main aim is for clients to go through the crisis without being ruined by the numerous ‘Madoff’ figures in the finance world. Silver, a little-known investment, has enormous capital gains potential. We are ‘the silver specialist’ in French-speaking Europe and leader on the French silver market (ingots and coins). In all, 70% of our private clients are based in France, 20% in other French-speaking territories (Belgium, Quebec, French-speaking Switzerland) and the rest is spread over 130 countries worldwide.”
Are your clients exclusively individuals?
L. S.: “Individuals represent, for the time being, the bulk of our clientele, made up of thousands of active members on our trilingual web site (French, English and German). However, more and more companies are drawn to our products and services. They are seeking to secure their capital and to make capital gains by investing in precious metals.”
How do precious metals represent an interesting investment today?
L. S.: “In a difficult economic context, silver and gold are genuine safe investments that are increasingly sought after by investors. Prices have practically never been so high. Demand is increasing day by day for gold, but even more so for silver, and many people are unaware that the latter also exists in the form of ingots. But more and more web sites and blogs are beginning to speak about the rise of silver. As a growing number of investors are entering that market, prices will necessarily increase.”
Why trust in silver as an investment?
L. S.: “A strong rise in silver prices will occur because production is declining and demand increasing. World stocks have gone down from 10 billion ounces to 1 billion in the space of sixty years. By 2015-2016, reserves will fall to zero. The recycling of old coins and cutlery is gradually decreasing. In addition, silver mines will be exhausted in the next fifteen years or so. But at the same time, demand is increasing: industry and the medical sector consume a great deal of silver (for computers, mobile phones, automobiles, solar panels…) and most of the time, this money is not recycled. Added to this is the growing demand of investors, namely from Asia (China and India).”
In concrete terms, how does one go about investing in precious metals with Euporos?
L. S.: “Whether it is the case of a private client or a company, the procedure is extremely simple: you just need to create an account free of charge on our web site, ask for a quote if you wish, then make your selection in terms of the quantity and type of product. Once the order is paid for, the client has a choice: the item can be home delivered by Fedex (100 % guaranteed parcel); the client can come and pick it up in Sion; or entrust it to Euporos SA for storage in Switzerland. For orders picked up from Sion or stored in Switzerland, the purchaser can make a tax saving, for the Swiss VAT is only 8 % instead of 19.6 % in France or 21 % in Belgium. Storage in Switzerland provides excellent value for money: maximal security at a moderate cost. All stored orders are physically placed in a special armoured room built inside a bank treasury. In this way, we stand out from most of our rivals who cheat their clients by only physically storing a proportion of the global volume of deposits, while charging expenses on all of them! The serial number of each ingot is individually entrusted to the owner. Each of our depositors own ingots allocated by name, whereas with most of our rivals, ingots are unallocated and the mere debts owing to depositors are worth nothing in the event that the trustee falls into bankruptcy. At any moment, our depositors can come and withdraw their ingots, get them dispatched to them, or else resell them to us (consult us). No entrance or exit fees are applicable, nor are there any handling fees, but only yearly fees (1 % before tax of the value of the deposit) apply.”
What product do you sell the most?
L. S.: “The one-kilogram silver ingot is our star product. We also sell smaller ingots (silver and gold). All are brand new! We work with partners including the prestigious Swiss foundry Metalor. One-ounce silver coins (‘Maple Leaf’ and ‘Silver Eagle’) are new, as well as the ‘Maple Leaf’ in gold, whereas the Swiss ‘Vreneli’ coins are old. We do not sell collector coins.”
How can you guarantee transparency to your clients?
L. S.: “Every year, our books are checked by external auditors approved by the State (Federal Audit Oversight Authority) who certify our accounts. In addition, Euporos S.A., as a ‘financial intermediary’ must be affiliated with a self-regulation body recognised by the FINMA (Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority). We are a member of the OAR-G (Organisme d’Auto-régulation des Gérants de Patrimoine, a self-regulation body for wealth managers in Geneva) that checks whether we respect the legislation every year. Being a member of the OAR-G is the equivalent of holding a State licence. In France, many colleagues work without having this type of licence. Transparency is therefore a major issue for us: the multiple checks to which we are subject guarantee that our management is beyond reproach.”