For a full 29 years in entrepreneurship, she has spent all those years in the real market in the financial sector. She started with accounting, managing books for 20 companies, and noticed that balances rise and fall. “When balances rise, it’s important to think carefully and create a reserve for times when revenues decrease. Because no company only goes upwards. When you fall, the bank doesn’t give you a loan, you have to take care of yourself. That’s why I found my mission in creating a reserve fund, both for businesses and for families and individuals,” says Irena Linasi, an expert in advising on smart investments in precious metals.
Why did you decide to focus your entrepreneurship on precious metals and precious metal trading?
When I realized that money is created without economic activity, overnight, and often without backing, it seemed logical to me that all existing currencies could simply collapse. We have seen examples from history; we had Yugoslav dinars, coupons, tolar, and now they no longer exist. But gold has always remained gold. It is that gold which almost every central bank in the world holds, partially or entirely, as their wealth reserve.
How much do citizens, in your experience, actually know that investment gold is one of the rare forms of assets that is completely exempt from taxes, including VAT and capital gains tax, which means that all profits from investing in gold remain with the investor without any obligations to the state?
I believe that many people see gold as a certain material that does not generate income and has low growth. However, they are not aware that gold has increased at a rate of over 10% per year in the last 15 years. Some people like to buy papers tied to gold, but the fact is that there is not as much physical gold as there is paper, so it is possible for ETFs or other paper investment options to fail. The paper you then hold as an investment is worth as much as the paper on which the investment is printed. Securities have taxes, while physical investments in gold bars do not. Valores has been operating in the sale of physical gold and other precious metals for 10 years. Every buyer, even those purchasing the smallest quantities of precious metals, receives their own advisor who accompanies them with advice, helps them on the path to financial stability, savings, or independence, and guides them on what to do and how to do it, with the aim of generating profits and financial security, not losses.
In what way is it more profitable, as many still keep their money in the bank or prefer to invest in real estate, especially on the coast?
Every investment has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of a bank deposit is that you cannot have less money than you have deposited into your account, unless the bank fails. In that case, the bank does not suffer losses, but the shareholders, bondholders, and depositors do. Let’s say we believe that our bank will never fail. However, the question still remains: where is my profit, where are my returns? If the interest rate is 1% and a client deposits €100,000, it would take 72 years to reach €200,000. Which is certainly not going to happen.
Therefore, bank deposits are not a profitable option for savings and financial investments. On the other hand, we have real estate. Often, people forget about rental taxes and property transaction taxes upon purchase or sale (as there is no property ownership tax in Croatia yet). Every year, one must also consider the depreciation of the property, and it is not uncommon to have to renovate everything in order to live in it. The cost of materials has increased significantly, and it is also evident that there is a shortage of workforce for construction and maintenance work on properties. Today, for example, plumbers or electricians have hourly rates higher than before, even on par with well-paid directors.
When the investment in gold is mentioned, many people think that they need to have large amounts of money because they envision large gold bars. However, there are also smaller options available on the market?
Gold has its process of formation and shaping in the form of investment bars. First, geologists are needed to discover gold deposits. Then the processes of mining the ore begin. These processes can last for several years. The best gold deposits yield only 4 grams per ton of excavated material. Gold production is therefore very expensive and has high costs. Once the ore is mined, the gold goes to mints where the bars are formed. Valores has cooperation agreements only with the best mints in the world that carry the “Good Delivery” label, such as Valcambi, Argor Heraeus, and Heraeus – Swiss production, supported by the strongest banks. The production of bars incurs significant costs until the final product is achieved. Initially, it was expected that gold bars would be purchased only by those who have a lot of money, not everyone who wants to protect their wealth from inflation and other undesirable financial events.
That is why at Valores, we have created special products for purchasing gold, where anyone can become an owner of small bars with a purchase as low as 50 euros, and later they can buy at the lowest price per gram in the European Union. This is our product that is highly accessible to everyone, regardless of their income level, and it is called the Metal Account. It is also suitable for those who do not have a lot of money but want to save in gold, which applies to the majority of us.
What does saving in gold or Metal Account, which you have patented, mean? Why is it good to invest in gold and silver?
In addition to gold, silver is the most important investment in precious metals. Silver is a commodity that is needed in numerous industries and is currently one of the most commonly used commodities, second only to oil. There are no official reserves for silver, neither countries nor central banks hold it. It is immediately used in the processes of processing and production. It is a metal of the future, as the EU requires it in its plan for energy, environmental protection, and production. For example, electric vehicles require three times more silver than conventional vehicles. Silver is increasingly needed for chips, wind turbines, solar cells, mobile phones, bank cards, medical equipment, and more.
The business collaboration we have established with partners from Liechtenstein and Switzerland is a unique combination that is accessible and secure for all investors and people who want to save in silver, starting from as low as 50 euros. Metal Account represents security, intergenerational responsibility, profitability, and freedom. I have opened the account for my children, grandchildren, friends, and all good people, so that they can invest small amounts and create a reserve for themselves and for those they care about, in a currency that has never failed – gold and silver.
How is saving in precious metals a solution to inflation, decreasing pensions, and declining purchasing power?
Inflation refers to the increase in prices, which causes paper money to lose its value. Precious metals, on the other hand, possess true value. Their value is created during their production process, from mining and transportation to refining and delivery of the final product to customers. As a result, the value of precious metals has a tangible expression that constantly grows, given the rising costs of electricity, production, and transportation, leading to higher prices of physical precious metals. Therefore, investing in physical metals is beneficial, as they retain their value over time.
Saving in precious metals, such as gold and silver, is a solution to inflation, declining pensions, and diminishing purchasing power. Precious metals hold genuine value, which is created during their production, transportation, and processing. Due to the tangible value of physical precious metals, their price constantly rises due to increased energy costs, production expenses, and transportation. Investing in physical metals is, therefore, a good investment as they preserve the value of assets, while paper money lacks intrinsic value and individuals tend to lose out in the long run.
Is saving in gold (as you have named it – Metal Account) something fictional, digital, and intangible (like cryptocurrency), or does the account holder actually have their savings in gold?
We are a company registered solely for trading in physical precious metals. We do not trade in papers, and it is prohibited by law. We only buy and sell physical bars. This is the trade of precious metals, which is exempt from taxation. Storage for customers who purchase silver and gold is strictly monitored by auditing companies. We also have an insurance company overseeing and covering any potential undesired consequences. The inventory of our savers in the storage facility is regularly checked. Therefore, all those who have decided to purchase with us and save in physical precious metals can sleep peacefully, knowing that their assets are secure if they have chosen storage in the vault in Liechtenstein, where we provide safekeeping for our clients’ deposits.
Explain to us the experiences of other countries and people in saving in gold, for example, do Germans save in this way?
According to data from a German consumer organization, 68% of Germans invest in gold for their future goals, intentions, or even retirement. This has become their habit in recent years, as the euro does not bring interest or desired profits. They are also traditionalists and believe in what they see. The majority of gold investors today come from Asian countries, where there is a thousand-year-old tradition. Austria has had the same tradition for many years, so all banks sell gold as an investment. For us, this has been unfamiliar and foreign so far, which is why it seems that we trust paper investments more than gold bars. However, this is slowly changing.
The data shows that the price of gold in euros has increased by over 450% in the last 20 years, which means an average of more than 8.5% per year. Isn’t this already a significant challenge and a clear call for investors?
It seems that people today want to make a 100% or even higher profit overnight. Who wouldn’t want that? However, people often don’t consider that anything gained quickly and easily can disappear just as quickly. What remains for a family, for example, if an unfortunate event occurs? It is important to think about ourselves and those we care about. Precious metals have a significant difference in price compared to a few years ago when the first customers who trusted us started coming to us. Today, I am happy when someone wants to sell part of their accumulated stock because the price has risen, and they have made a nice profit. I always congratulate them on their excellent decision in the past, which has brought benefits to the present and future of their wealth and investments through Valores.
What is Valoreschool – Why did you start this project?
Valoreschool is an educational platform about finance, money management, and financial literacy. Personally, I have spent a lot of money from my own pocket on education, lectures, workshops, and I have obtained licenses for insurance and securities trading.
Together with my colleagues, we have knowledge, so I decided to take what we have learned in schools and other forms of education, along with our extensive business experience, and create a unique platform called Valoreschool. We wanted to bring it to the market and help individuals with our experiences, skills, and knowledge, primarily to assist each individual in making the right decisions regarding their finances.
The World Health Organization has stated that depression is the second most common disease of our time. Depression is largely influenced by financial uncertainty and the challenges that most people face today. Therefore, our mission is to help people from different countries live in financial freedom, independent of worries, stress, and problems that can be caused by finances.
You operate both in Slovenia and Croatia – why did you enter our market and what do you expect from it?
Croatia and the people here are close to me. If in Slovenia more than 50 people, who are members of our team, support their families with our knowledge, why wouldn’t we do the same in Croatia?
How encouraging are the data showing that over five tons of investment gold were purchased in Croatia in 2022, which is twice as much as the previous year?
More and more people are thinking for themselves in this direction and not believing everything that is served to them. We all want one thing – to live freely. But this freedom primarily comes from financial freedom. Therefore, it is good to adhere to the well-known saying: Gold is the money of kings, silver is the money of gentlemen, barter is the money of the poor, and debt is the money of slaves.
I am positive about people’s knowledge and thinking, so each individual today knows best where they want to be in the future. Precious metals certainly provide that assurance for all of us.
What is the secret of success for entrepreneurs like yourself – where do you draw your energy from, how do you assemble your Valores team into an efficient workforce, and why should people trust you?
The blessing lies in having people around me. For me, wealth is not hidden in things but in people. I have no other secret except my passion for the mission I undertake, which makes me more proactive. I love my employees – or rather, my colleagues and everyone who works with me. And people always reciprocate with love, trust, and positive energy.
I adhere to the proverb: Take care of people, and money will take care of you.
Author of the article: Milivoj Pašiček