My personal Story
My interest in precious metals started as a child. As a little boy, pirates, treasure maps and treasure chests filled with silver and gold captured my imagination. While I had zero intellectual understanding about the differences between fiat currency and real money, I was instinctively conscious of the value and worth of silver and gold. It is perhaps for this reason that even in my early teens, I found myself swapping my hard-earned money from small jobs for silver coins.
It was not long after I landed my first real job that I bought my first gold Krugerrand. Innately, exchanging a colourful piece of paper for an ounce of gold or silver was a no-brainer. Owning an ounce of metal sparked the key associations in my mind between real money, financial freedom and future security.
In early 2012, as a young investor in precious metals, I became frustrated and disillusioned with generally high premiums. I spent months researching how to purchase silver bullion at fair prices. My search paid off when I found an authorised international supplier who was willing to ship silver to me on a trial basis.
In my early years after university, I was often caught out exchanging expensive romantic dinners with my future wife for measly picnics and the occasional Wimpy breakfast so that I could pursue my passion for bullion! Still, I was merely a small individual investor buying every few months. But with each purchase, more and more friends and acquaintances asked me to pass on some of the silver I had bought at lower prices.
The word spread quickly. In just 12 months this goodwill exercise turned into a small business with about twenty clients who became regular purchasers of American Silver Eagles and Canadian Silver Maples for the months and years to come. Taking the small profits I earned from selling silver and converting it into silver bullion, my portfolio of ounces began to grow slowly, but steadily.
Through many years in the service industry I discovered that I had an innate passion to provide the perfect service. I applied this to my trading and selling silver without realising just how hungry precious metals investors were for exceptional service. However, I soon realised that admirable service and low prices counted for little without trust and economic knowledge (understanding precious metals and the value they can add to a typical investment portfolio).
I immersed myself into reading and studying everything written by economists and precious metals experts, a habit which stands me in good stead today. I learnt to understand the market and the products and passed pertinent information on to my clients. While most of my small original client base were aware of the value precious metals play in an investment portfolio, many did not fully realise its full importance. They simply understood that owning silver and gold was vital for future-proofing their financial wealth.
By the middle of 2013, I felt that my small informal ‘business’ was standing out in terms of service, price, non-financial advice on precious metals and the various products available for purchase. I had a relatively small (but significant for me) batch of stock that I was able to sell to buyers who wanted to purchase immediately, without having to wait weeks for the order from the US. I paid a company supporting new businesses to build a website, another to create a logo, set up a home office and started trading in earnest.
Not much later my bank manager called me to find out why I had so many transactions on my personal cheque account. I explained to her that I was using it for my silver trading business venture. After further study of my account, she suggested that I take the plunge and register a company to trade under and so, on the 24th of May 2013, Silver-Sphere Trading (Pty) Ltd was registered.
Within six months, keeping up with orders and the packaging was no longer possible. My wife Bridgette and I decided that it was time to take a leap of faith. She resigned from her position as PR Manager at her company and joined Silver-Sphere Trading full-time to take over logistics and client communications. She often jokingly referred to herself as the general manager and me as the CEO.
Silver-Sphere continued to grow as Kathy Schefler joined our team to assist with logistics and shipping operations. Mike Bondar was added as a driver and general gold Krugerrand contact person a year later and Lauren Hayes joined our team as office operations overseer.
Within a few short years, an insignificant hobby business has become a noteworthy player in the precious metals bullion market as we continue to build trust and relationships with investors all over South Africa. Silver-Sphere continues to expand our range of bullion products, we keep our prices low, and we untiringly review and implement processes that facilitate the best possible service to our trusted clients.