January 23rd, 2011: While attending the 2011 Cambridge House Investment Conference, Al sat down with
Bart Kitner, founder of Kitco Metals Inc., and discussed the rise of the bullion dealer and their well known website,
Kitco specializes in all aspects of the sale and processing of physical precious metals and related investments. Kitco.com
is the world's leading online venue for precious metal quotes, charts, news, and commentaries.
Bart got his start in the precious metals business, buying and selling scrap gold, silver and platinum from jewelers,
dentists and other fabricators in his native Montreal. He founded Kitco in 1977 while attending Montreal's McGill
University where he completed a Business degree with a major in Finance. Upon graduating, Bart made precious
metals his full-time career.
Al Korelin: Hey I’m Al Korelin, we are shooting video up here in Vancouver, BC at the Cambridge House Investment
Conference. I am sitting down right now with a gentleman who I have known for probably 15 years, maybe
20 years, Bart Kitner. Bart is a guy I really, really respect. Bart started his organization Kitco, which has
evolved into, in terms of a website where people go to get info on precious metals and precious metals related
topics, number one in the world, absolutely no question about that. Kitco is also a bullion dealership; we’re going
to talk a little bit with Bart about how he got started in the business. You been around since the seventies?
Bart: Since uh… late seventies is actually when I got started.
Al: Doing what?
Bart: It was a part time job; it was actually a summer job.
Al: And what was that?
Bart: It was a summer job, during the summer I was working. I wanted to do something different than you
know, the typical type of student job. So I was a student you know, I was 17, 18 years old. And my dad was in
the jewelry business and he knew about the gold business a little bit and he gave me the idea of going to jewelry
stores, buying scrap gold, sending it off to the refineries, getting back pure gold, then selling it back to the jewelry trade.
Al: And that’s how you got started?
Bart: That’s pretty much how I got started yeah.
Al: Ok so you got this high school kid in Montréal, going to jewelry stores, buying scrap gold, turning it into a more
valuable commodity, and obviously making some money on that. Ok from there, then what?
Bart: From there I decided to make it a full time career. From there, I was doing that for a few years, I did that while I
was going to McGill in Montréal, so that’s like a three-year program. So I was doing it summers, was doing it weekends,
I was doing it part time. Graduated and then I was deciding, alright now I got to decide what I want to be when
I grow up kind of thing, and I decided to stay in the business. I ended up staying and developing customers for many
years after that up to the point where we are today.
Al: Now when you say developing customers, Bart, you mean for basically the commodity itself?
Bart: Yeah, my plan to build the scrap business was to build that business. I mean, when I finished school I was basically
working out of my apartment. I didn’t have an office; I was on the road.
Al: That’s how I started man; I was working out of our family room in our house. It was just amazing yeah. Ok so then
you went from working with the metal itself into developing the website. Why did you do that?
Bart: The website was really just an excuse to have something fun to do computers, if you want to know the truth. I was
always very interested in computers. I was using them as much as possible for the business. To me it was fun.
To me computer’s was a hobby. It was fun. I was using heath kit systems and using cpm and downloading drivers
onto bbs’s way before most people even knew what computers were.
Bart: Seriously. I was actually planning to do, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the bbs system. Anybody who was
a hacker or geek back in the early 80’s they used to dial into companies with their modems; 1200, 2400 bod modems,
in order to get information so you would dial in, you would download software drivers; you would get onto some
online services, CompuServe back in those days, but it was very reserved for just really geeks and techies.
Al: You know what, CompuServe, I remember man
Bart: Remember CompuServe? You used a modem probably; you used a dial up modem.
Al: Ok and then you started the website and my guess is probably the way the website started and this isn’t a
fact, this is just my guess, is you were just giving quotes?
Bart: That was it, it was quotes, and going back to the bbs my original plan was to host bbs’s. So anybody with a
modem could dial in and get live quotes off the system. What happened is the internet kind of came long around
that time and kind of made bbs’s obsolete, and so I started the website. Yeah initially that what it was, it was quotes.
We put up gold, silver, platinum, palladium. One price, that was it. That was the site. That was 95’.
Al: 1995 and today in 2011 you are ranked as one of the top websites in the world, number one, easily one of the top
website in the world. Anybody in our industry, I have to tell you, goes to Kitco to get a plethora of information, your
buddy Dave Skazinsky was telling me he said on the audio I provide you guys two, three, four times a week, he said
you guys get 10-20 k people to listen to that. That is absolutely amazing. It’s amazing to have an audience like that.
Now you’re branching out and you’re doing more in terms of precious metals related news. You’re doing interviews.
You’re doing videos interviews etc., and I commend you guys for doing that, you’re doing a great job.
Bart: Thank you Al.
Al: Where you going to stop man? Where do you go from here?
Bart: Part of the fun is using all the new technology, kind of harnessing that new technology and seeing what we
can do with it, see where we can take it. And who knows? The world is changing so quickly, our plan is to stay on top
and stay ahead. Mobile is big. Mobile is something that we're are looking at.
Al: You’ve already got mobile. You’re on my blackberry all I do to get quotes is click on the Kitco logo.
Bart: Yeah it’s the Kitco site, and it’s a simple little thing, but I can promise you a lot of work and a lot effort and a lot
of planning went into designing a simple little mobile application, like the blackberry, lot of effort goes into that.
Al: You are talking to he wrong guy when it comes to trying to explain this stuff cause man I just don’t get it.
I don’t have an iphone yet I have a blackberry.
Bart: Blackberry is fine; you don’t need an iphone if you have a blackberry.
Al: Is that right?
Bart: Yeah. iphone is not better than a blackberry.
Al: It isn’t?
Bart: No, No it’s for a different market, most business’s use blackberry. iphone for email is not the greatest.
It has its limitations.
Al: Let me tell you something about Kitco out there and I'm not going to ask Bart to do it cause I want to prove to Bart
what a smart guy I am. Here’s what you get on Kitco. You get great commentary from the experts around the world.
A lot of my colleagues are on Kitco on a regular basis; James Turk. Roger Weigand. Jay Taylor. The list goes on.
My audio is on there two, three, four times a week. You get up to the minute quotes on virtually any commodity you
want in terms of charts visa ve stock charts, in terms of commodity charts, that’s all there. You want info on the usd,
that’s all there. I can’t think of any place else where a hard asset investor could get more information than on your
site my friend.
Bart: Thanks Al, and if you ever do think of something that you’d like to have that we don’t have, let me know,
and we’ll make it happen.
Al: There you go. Big al has been chatting with Bart Kitner founder of Kitco, the best hard asset website out there,
thanks for watching.
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