Data Might Be The New Oil but Buying Gold is Data Driven
See original interview here, 16th April 2015
DSA caught up with CEO of Indigo Precious Metals David Mitchell. Indigo Precious Metals has been launched to enable Malaysians and South Asian's to purchase precious metals such as Gold and Silver in a secure way at competitive market rates. In order to achieve this Indigo have built an impressive platform that is taking data from multiple live feeds in real time 24 hours a day to deliver possibly the most advanced platform in Asia for consumers to purchase precious metals.
We caught up with David to understand his offering and look at the challenges he faced in building a platform that incorporates pricing data flows coming in with "Big Data-Like Velocity". We have constantly been reminded that Data is the New Oil, but in Indigo's case they are using Data to offer precious metals at the most competitive possible rates.
DSA - What does IPM Group do?
David - IPM Group (Indigo Precious Metals Group) was incorporated to source investment grade precious metals directly from the world’s refineries and mints on behalf of customer’s predominately in Malaysia and Singapore, although our mandate includes expansion into Indonesia. We also offer purchasing and vaulting facilities for customers worldwide. We presently offer the most fluid and accessible methods of purchasing precious metals in 3 separate currencies (Myr, Sing$ & US$). We trade in Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium. Working on a range covering approximately 100 products from refined minted bars to official minted coins of the realm (UK, USA, Canada, Austria, Australia & China) and obviously cast bars.
These will be delivered directly to customer’s domestic or commercial addresses, using fully insured couriered delivery through recognized international logistical companies such as Brinks, FedEx and UPS. One of our most popular options within a variety of services we offer is the opportunity of storing their physical metals in their own segregated “allocated” personal bullion holdings within the storage facility of ‘Freeport Singapore’, which gives our customers undoubted advantages over other storage facilities.
DSA - What made you found IPM and why do you feel there is a need for your service?
David - There are a few dealers and e-commerce platforms supporting the business of supplying precious metals to the customer. But many sites and dealerships in this part of the world do not support multiple live updated currency payment options; they also fall down logistically in several areas. Our competitors in Malaysia do not offer guaranteed metal pricing on a real time basis over their platforms, you always have to call them to confirm pricing and also check on stock availability. We are also unique in having the logistics in place to deliver across the peninsula and Asia with full insurance.
Their storage options on behalf of customers simply cannot compete with the advantages of storing in Freeport of Singapore. We are not only looking to serve the domestic buyers in Malaysia and Singapore, but also and more importantly the family wealth trusts, wealthy families and institutions across Malaysia and elsewhere. Invariably these sources of fund diversifications resort to banking institutions to service their needs. We advise very strongly indeed of holding bullion outside of the banking system itself hence there simply are not that many options available.
We host our sites on a virtual private server (VPS) out of the USA, this actually gives us the scalability to handle an ever increasing customer database using our own dedicated operating system and security protocols considering the technical aspects of our setup with overall disk space (120GB) and Bandwidth of over 1.5TB. We have Comodo SSL certificate which carries a US$ 250,000 warranty to further protect customer purchases. Effectively any data submitted to our website over an https connection will be securely encrypted with the strongest available algorithms which provides 256 bit encryption of customer data.
DSA - Are you tapping into real time data feeds to ensure your pricing reflects fair market value - how do you achieve that?
David - Yes we have multiple real time feeds coming into our back-end from a number of different sources. We have implemented a 30 second price update 24/5 (24 hours a day 5 days a week). We use a proprietary system that is basically made up of a number of direct feeds coming from live market data supplied by a number of banking institutions. We use the multiple feeds to weed out erroneous market data. We also require live foreign exchange data feeds, which come via a currency data API (Application Program Interface) feed, which we pay for a frequency licence from XE.com in Canada. These joint data feeds need to be utilised seamlessly to calculate dynamic price changes on our site in real time in the currency options we have made available to our customers. Considering the logistics are in place we could effectively expand our system to receiving Euros, Sterling or any number of currencies. With that in mind we will follow customer demand.
DSA - There has been a history of "gold scams" in this part of the world. Businesses such as yours that are "born in the cloud" are somewhat anonymous - how can you establish trust with your potential customers?
David - The gold scams you speak off are actually ‘investment ponzi schemes’ and are very easily recognised if one actually cares to look properly. For example the largest gold scam instigated in this region was by a company called Genneva, who offered their customers a return in the form of “Hibah” (or monthly gift) – ranging from 1.8% (50g – 95g of gold purchase) to 2.5% (3kg and above of gold purchase) in cash return every month. That’s a whopping 21.6% – 30% annual rate of return while guaranteeing your original gold holding held in "un-allocated" bullion form by 100%. They flower it with language such as 'innovative gold trader'. But how does holding gold return 30% working returns every year? You can only see these returns by physically selling your metal on price appreciation. This scam obviously ended disastrously for all investors concerned.
IPM Group are not a market trader or investment scheme and we do not hold gold on customers behalf, we simply source directly from refineries and mints and then supply immediately to our customers via insured shipment or we offer 'independently audited segregated ‘allocated’ holdings in the customers own name in a vault in Singapore which for example, they pay vaulting fees of approximately 1/4 of one per-cent a year on gold bullion. It really is not the same business model whatsoever. Also we spend a great deal of time meeting with clients directly and I believe my career history at the highest levels of banking with an unblemished past stands for itself and helps build trust.
DSA - What about the future will you add functionality to the site (e.g. Metals trading) ?
David - We are continually working on adding advances on our platform and also looking to build a dynamic customer database with live market updates on their holdings for their own personal use; these are presently in the pipeline.
We believe gold is very close to finding a base and over the next few years will move discernably higher, in fact a revaluation of gold within our monetary system. Many financial institutions are beginning to accept gold as collateral for borrowing and investment opportunities on behalf of their clients. This is something we are very focused on, but again this will not only be lead by customer demand but more importantly by their own instigation, as the gold they hold is their own legal holdings and we cannot touch it !
Thank you for the chat.
About David Mitchell
David’s career in the financial industry began in 1986. Today, as an industry leader with nearly three decades of experience and expertise in the financial markets, hallmarked by an unbroken track record of top performance and profitability working for some of the Worlds leading international banks he brings his knowledge and energy to the role of Man. Dir. at IPM Group.
Since 2007, and following ever-increasing client demand for his financial market reports on the global macro-economic backdrop, he has operated effectively in all time zones as a precious metals trader and has expanded a client base with private and family office investors.
Protect your wealth; invest in physical gold, silver or other precious metals at best prices from Indigo Precious Metals. Physical delivery in Singapore, Malaysia or safe storage at Free port Singapore.