Investing in physical gold through a specialized IRA can be a wise decision for a well-diversified retirement portfolio.
Ideally, a good retirement-oriented portfolio will mix stocks, bonds, and index funds, in the right balance with bank accounts, cash investments, and other potential growth investments.
A smart IRA investor will do well to re-balance their retirement portfolio to include gold or other precious metals as a way of diversifying and hedging against future rough markets.
A gold IRA – alternatively referred to as a precious metals IRA – is a specialized Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that allows for investing in physical gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.
With a gold IRA, you actually own the physical metal as part of your retirement investment, in contracts to owning stocks in a gold-mining company or investing in an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks short-term trends in gold prices.
If you wish to include gold or other precious metals in your retirement portfolio, you must find a gold IRA company to help set up your account and buy the physical metals.
Top Rated Gold IRA Firms At a Glance
7 Best Gold IRA Rollover Companies
There are many benefits to investing in a gold IRA, but your experience may largely be influenced by the gold IRA providers you work with.
Impeccable reputation, vast experience, and excellent customer service are imperative when choosing a gold IRA company.
We screened the top gold IRA companies for the factors mentioned above and further narrowed down the list using additional considerations such as ease of gold IRA account setup, fee structure transparency, minimum investment requirements, buy-back programs, depository storage, and educational resources.
Ultimately, we found the 7 best Gold IRA companies for a variety of needs.
1) Birch Gold Group – Best Overall
Birch Gold Group is our top pick for a number of reasons.
As one of the premier gold IRA companies in the United States, Birch Gold Group maintains a solid reputation over close to two decades of handing investors’ silver and gold retirement portfolios.
It is hard to deny the company’s excellence in service delivery and customer support as their stellar ratings and perfect scores across major consumer advocacy websites tell it all.
To further enhance customer confidence in trusting Birch Gold Group to handle their retirement portfolios, the company highly prioritizes customer education.
Birch Gold Group makes available a ton of insightful educational resources designed to help their customers expand their knowledge on investing in precious metals.
We like to see this in top gold IRA providers since it shows the company’s commitment to helping their clients make the right decisions to secure their own future.
What we liked
- Top gold IRA company overall
- Reputation and credibility underscored by highest scores across top review platforms
- Extensive range of products to suit every investment portfolio
- Dedicated department for gold IRAs and other precious metals
- Service-oriented gold investment company
- Helpful and friendly customer relations department
- Simple setup and streamlined rollovers from traditional ira of Roth IRA
- Informative website with ample educational resources on gold IRAs
Since Birch Gold Group was first established in 2003, it has quickly developed a solid reputation in the gold investment space.
Birch’s excellent reputation stems from a combination of high service levels and competitive prices offered across its extensive range of products.
Additionally, the company is touted for putting customers’ success above their own profits.
Its teams of precious metals and IRA experts are known to pay more attention to individual client’s needs than on closing a sale.
Ultimately, when you are ready to invest, Birch’s experienced professionals will help you choose the right product that suits your investment or retirement goals.
Birch Gold Group’s range of products includes precious metals for personal investment and retirement savings.
Collectors looking to include physical gold, silver, platinum, or palladium into their personal investment portfolios may purchase the gold silver platinum and palladium metals from Birch Gold Group in the form of premium metals, bullions, bars, and coins.
For retirement plans, Birch Gold Group offers IRA-eligible gold bullion coins, gold bars, and silver coins and bar options which can be included in their precious metals self-directed IRA accounts.
Starting a self-directed IRA with Birch is pretty easy.
The company houses a dedicated IRA department that specializes in helping customers secure their retirement portfolios by diversifying into precious metals IRAs.
The company’s dedicated precious metals IRA department gets everything done, so you only have about a tenth of the work remaining to get your gold IRA account started with them.
Birch Gold Group also specializes in rolling over existing retirement plans into a precious metal IRA.
The company partners with A-plus rated Gold and Silver IRA custodian companies and offers trusted IRS-approved storage options.
Birch Gold Group recommends Equity Trust and STRATA Trust Company to serve as the precious metals IRA custodians for their client’s self-directed IRA accounts.
For storage of your metals, Birch Gold Group recommends the Delaware Depository and Brink’s Global Services.
These are excellent, top-rated depository firms in terms of security for the metals held in the IRA.
Birch Gold Group is itself highly rated by its customers, mainly receiving positive reviews for customer service, investor information focus, competitive prices and fair account charges, customer-friendly support, and smooth processes.
The company proudly displays budges from Better Business Bureau (accredited, A-plus rated business), Business Consumer Alliance (nil complaints, AAA-rated currently), TrustLink (highest rating, 5-out-of-5 stars), and TrustPilot (5-out-of-5 stars).
With such stellar reviews, Birch Gold Group certainly stands at the top of its industry.
What We Didn’t Like
- Zero information about platinum and palladium
2) Augusta Precious Metals
With close to 50 years of combined experience dealing with precious metal investment products, Augusta Precious Metals (APM) is a leading precious metals seller and perhaps one of the industry’s best silver and Gold IRA providers.
To appreciate the company’s broad reach and deep roots in the silver and gold market, you have to get a peek into the Nuriani family’s 40 years of success in the precious metals business.
It was not until 2012 that the Nuriani family established Augusta Precious Metals to carry on their multiple years of helping clients build wealth and safeguard their retirement accounts with gold and silver IRAs.
With the highest work ethic standards and excellent customer service, the Nuriani family ensured that Augusta Precious Metals grew into America’s trusted partner for gold investments.
What we liked
- Nearly 50 years of experience in converting paper assets to gold IRAs
- Joe Montana’s choice for gold IRAs
- Knowledgeable, easy-to-talk-to precious metal IRA experts
- One-on-one web conferences
- Committed to enhancing customer experience through professionalism and efficiency
- Lifetime customer support
- 7-day price protection on premium gold IRAs
- Plenty of valuable educational resources and tools
- Perfect 5 stars rating across top review sites
Like many family-owned businesses, Augusta Precious Metals is a truly service-oriented company.
We were not surprised to see the company being highly touted its top-notch service.
The vast majority of the Augusta Reviews we found (and there are many) were positive.
The company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and is awarded the highest ratings on the site, A+.
We found one product-related complaint (long resolved) on the Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) website.
Augusta Precious Metals is AAA-rated on BCA.
TrustLink and Consumer Affairs reviews of the company were through the roof.
Star ratings for the company score a perfect 5 out of 5 stars on TrustLink and 4.9 out of 5 stars on Consumer Affairs.
The most interesting thing about Augusta Precious Metals ratings is not even in the customer reviews but in the employee reviews, we found on Glassdoor.
With a cumulative 4.5 star rating out a possible 5 stars, most employees (former and current) expressed their appreciation of the conducive work environment and respectful organizational culture while serving at Augusta Precious Metals.
APM’s fair employee treatment and respectful work culture contributed to staff morale, as evidenced in how diligently they worked to ensure an excellent customer experience.
AMP staff are certainly well-trained experts in their fields, able to discuss and evaluate every client’s individual capital needs and retirement goals before recommending the ideal precious metal assets to include in their retirement account.
APM’s ‘white glove’ service is simple, transparent, and highly personalized; much like what a butler would provide.
The experience is underscored by a high level of differential attention for each customer, professional assistance from start to finish, links to strategic business partners including experienced and trustworthy custodians and depositories, and a guaranteed streamlined process.
Augusta requires a minimum investment of $50,000 for retirement savers looking to buy gold or silver in gold IRA accounts.
You will need at least $25,000 to get started with buying gold or silver outside of an IRA.
Augusta runs several promotions and discount offers with qualifying investments receiving bonuses in free silver and 7-day price protection on purchases of their premium metals.
What we didn’t like
- Some product-related complaint
- Platinum and palladium not on offer
- High minimum investment
3) Regal Assets
Regal Assets has a long history of providing precious metal investments.
It is one of a few companies offering precious metal retirement investing alongside crypto investing.
With this feature, Regal Asset uniquely positions itself as a top choice for investors looking for smart options to diversify their portfolios.
What we liked
- Solid reputation with excellent customer care
- Gold IRAs and crypto IRAs combined to diversify your investment portfolio
- Extensive range of ira-approved precious metals and gold bullion coins
- Competitive pricing structure for gold IRAs in the industry
- Gold ira rollover experts
- $0 for rollover to precious metals ira account
- Beginner-friendly, knowledgeable, and highly experienced precious metal ira experts
- Free precious metal investors kit
- 7 days guaranteed shipping promise
- Annual fees waived for 1st year
- Top-ranking precious metal ira company with over 1,000 verified gold ira reviews
Founded in 2009 as a full-service precious metals dealer with a dedicated Retirement Department specializing in Gold IRA rollover accounts, Regal Assets has established itself as a market leader in the investing landscape.
Historically, much of the Regal Assets’ business came from US investors looking to roll over their traditional IRA into gold and precious metal IRAs.
Regal Assets’ highly trained staff have extensive knowledge and experience in handling gold IRA rollovers and transfers from 401(k), SEP, 403(b), or TSP plans into a gold IRA.
With Regal Assets, the Gold IRA rollover process is taken care of by a team of experts once you have given the green light.
Regal Assets make it easy to do IRA rollovers, but that may not be what makes it one of the best Gold IRA companies on this list.
For more than a decade, Regal Assets’ enterprising founder and CEO developed and expanded his brand to offer more investment options for both local investors and international investors.
Regal Assets currently offers precious metals and cryptocurrencies investments with their IRA vehicles.
However, it’s the ability to combine both their Gold IRA and Crypto IRA –through their trademarked Alternative Assets IRA 2018 brand called Regal IRA™– that sets the company apart.
The option of fully –or partially– combining any asset from the company’s entire product range into a single portfolio gives Regal Assets’ customers incredible portfolio diversification capabilities not found in any other Gold IRA company.
Including those on this list.
It is little wonder that Regal Assets features prominently with industry insiders who appreciate the need for diversification to hedge investments against market volatility and inflation.
Indeed, the company has gained noteworthy accolades from Forbes to Inc. 500, and Smart Money to The Huffington Post.
It will certainly not be lost to anyone keen to invest with Regal Assets that the company is widely praised by its customers, including a lot of celebrity investors.
Most third-party reviewers accord Regal Assets a high rating.
The company may have gone down a little from BBB’s ‘A+’ rating to an ‘A-‘, but it still maintains a high-profile rating of AAA with the BCA.
Impressive still is Regal Assets’ TrustLink 4.6-stars based on 1,000+ reviews and Birdeye 4.9-stars based on 1,500+ reviews.
Excellent customer service appears to have significantly contributed to Regal Assets’ outstanding success and reputation.
While all the best Gold IRA companies will provide a dedicated account executive to guide and help individual investors in getting the most out of their retirement funds, only a few companies will make you feel like royalty.
Regal Assets will, for instance, fill you in on every step of a rollover transaction, help you choose the right metals for your retirement account, and they’ll even record the delivery of your physical precious metals to the Brinks depository at Salt Lake City.
Regal Assets tops it all off with competitive pricing with no additional fees for setting up your IRA.
Expect an annual admin fee and storage charges, with the first-year fees waived.
A minimum account balance of $10,000 is needed to open the IRA account.
What we didn’t like:
- Little focus on platinum and palladium
- High minimum investment requirements
- Four complaints filed on BBB, now resolved
Founded in 2006, Goldco has grown from being a gold dealership to a reputable gold IRA company.
Specializing in silver and gold products has made Goldco become the go-to provider for precious metals IRAs in those products (Gold IRAs and Silver IRA).
Alongside GoldCos precious metal IRA products, the company also offers Crypto IRA through its sister brand called CoinIRA.
CoinIRA will help investors choose the best digital currencies to diversify their own retirement portfolios as well as for investing outside of an ira savings model.
Unlike, Regal Assets, however, Goldco and CoinIRA do not offer the feature of combining precious metals and cryptocurrencies in the same retirement account.
What we liked
- Specialize in silver and gold only(not the jack of all trades)
- Deals in IRS approved gold bullion, coins, bars, and silver products
- Extensive educational resources
- Knowledgeable, experienced reps
- Reputable strategic partners
- Most generous promotion with 10% back in silver coins
- Free precious metals storage with the first year
- Best overall ratings
Besides offering a varying selection of silver and gold products for both IRA and non-IRA customers, Goldco stands out for providing extensive educational resources to empower their customers.
For the Goldco team, an education-focused approach with tons of handy tools and learning resources is crucial to their work.
Only a hand full of gold IRA providers strive to provide useful investment information to customers interested in learning about a gold IRA and precious metals.
The amount of information you can get from the Goldco website alone is quite impressive.
Their educational resources section goes beyond offering a free guide but includes eBooks, videos, articles, live price charts, and FAQs.
The Gold IRA and Silver IRA sections explain everything about investing in silver and gold for retirement and detail all IRA-approved gold bullion coins and bars.
A retirement planning section provides some basic information about different types of retirement accounts, including 401 (K), Individual retirement accounts (IRA), SEP IRA, and SIMPLE IRA.
In part, Goldco’s customer-education focus has helped the company carve out a solid reputation for providing a high level of customer service and support.
Our most recent research in 2021 showed that Goldco was rated highly in the top independent consumer review sites.
Goldco has been a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business since 2011 and scores an A+ Rating, which is the highest accolade.
The gold IRA company also performed quite remarkably at the Business Consumer Alliance scale, achieving a AAA rating.
Though fewer than 1500 reviews collectively, the vast majority of customer reviews posted at Trustlink, Consumer Affairs, and Trust Pilot are positive, earning 5-stars, 4.9-stars, and 4.8-stars (out of 5 stars) rating, respectively.
With its top consumer ratings, Goldco has become a leading gold & silver brokerage company as well as a specialist in Gold IRAs and Silver IRAs.
Goldco helps customers quickly set up their gold IRAs. Everything is done online, and Goldco experts pretty much ‘hold your hand’ through the entire process.
GoldCo isn’t just for new investors.
The precious metals IRA experts at Goldco make rolling over an existing retirement account into gold or silver quick and easy.
You might have to contact Goldco to learn about their fees and account minimums.
Still, from what we gather, a setup cost is to be expected with no waiver for first-year fees on minimum IRA investments.
The timescales for open a Goldco Precious Metals IRA are very much case by case, but it may not take longer than 3 weeks.
Rolling over a traditional IRA into Goldco Gold IRA or Goldco Silver IRA may take 2 weeks on average (sometimes up to a month), with 4 weeks expected to deliver the chosen metal assets at the Delaware Depository.
There are special promotions for new Goldco customers, including waiving first-year fees for investments over $50,000, 5% back in free silver on $50k-$100k investments, and 10% FREE silver worth of $100k+ investments.
New accounts look at $2500 minimum in free silver and savings on a year’s fees, which is quite a generous promotion offer not matched by any other Gold IRA company on this list.
What we didn’t like
- No mention of platinum and palladium products
- High minimum investment required to purchase precious metals
5) Monetary Gold
Monetary gold is perhaps the best gold IRA company for investors and collectors who are just getting started.
The company quickly established itself through its commitment and focus on providing customers with affordable yet quality precious metals for collection or investment.
Monetary Gold’s secret to offering the most competitive prices in the market lies in its sources for metals and strategic relationships that support its IRA services.
Sourcing directly from precious metals suppliers allows Monetary Gold to obtain the lowest prices in the market and pass the savings on to their customers.
The company also leverages tax advantages, favorable shipping charges, and friendly custodian fees, and competitive storage costs offered by their various strategic partners and pass on the savings to their customers.
What we liked
- Top-rated providers of gold investment
- They sell precious metals sourced directly from the supplier
- Wide selection of ira approved metals
- Certified-graded coins and semi-numismatic coins are available
- Specialize in gold ira rollover from existing ira accounts
- Low minimum investment requirement for gold ira investments
- Insured, segregated, or non-segregated storage
- Hands-on customer support on gold investment
- Educational platform with rich knowledge on including physical gold in IRAs
The Monetary Gold website is an excellent place to learn about silver and gold IRAs if you are just getting started with precious metals investing.
The company’s educational platform includes a “Coin Guide” and “Gold IRA Investment Guide,” up-to-date metals prices, news on current issues and emerging trends, videos, and media guides, among several comprehensive educational materials.
Even without going through the free information kits provided to new customers, Monetary Gold plays host to knowledgeable and vastly experienced gold IRA experts who should be able to guide you through the entire process of setting up a gold IRA.
At present, Monetary GOLD offers a variety of IRA-approved silver and gold bullion coins as well as popular certified-graded and semi-numismatic coins.
Still, it does not have options for platinum and palladium investing.
The company makes it incredibly easy for retirement savers to set up their precious metals IRA.
Rolling over from existing IRAs, 401(k), and 403(b) accounts is quick and easy, with the new gold IRA account being ready to receive the investment within 48-72 hours.
A minimum purchase of $5,000 – $10,000 is required for gold or silver IRA, depending on your choice of custodian.
Account maintenance fees and storages charges are also incredibly low.
Monetary gold maintains a strategic partnership with America’s renowned custodians of self-directed precious metals IRAs, GoldStar Trust Company.
For storage of the metals, Monetary Gold recommends Delaware Depository Service Company (DDSC) for the many tax advantages associated with the IRS-approved depository located in Delaware.
Customer reviews for Monetary Gold are few.
Still, it’s encouraging to see that the company was highly rated with the top third-party customer advocacy websites like BBB and BCA, earning an A+ and a AAA rating, respectively.
What we didn’t like
- Platinum and palladium not offred
- Scaled fees increase the cumulative cost of gold investments
6) Blanchard Gold
Being one of the oldest investment management firms focused solely on the precious metals industry, Blanchard Gold certainly has a lot going for them.
However, the biggest incentive for choosing to work with Blanchard & Company, Inc. is their dedicated buy-back program.
As a major precious metals dealer, Blanchard Gold has made it their practice to buy back coins they have sold.
Blanchard Gold has an entire department dedicated to their buy-back program to help clients who wish to liquidate their precious metals investments.
What we liked
- Family-owned precious metal investment company
- Started as an investment advisory service
- Reputable business for gold investments
- Buy-back promise with competitive gold prices
- Gold IRA rollover from existing ira accounts
- They also sell platinum and palladium bullion
- 10-day customer satisfaction policy
- Well-designed and informative website
Blanchard Gold has a storied history in the precious metals industry.
The founders, James U. Blanchard III and Donald Doyle, were visionary gentlemen of their time who went the extra mile to ensure that private ownership of gold was legalized.
Jim Blanchard was at the forefront of a 1971 nationwide campaign to legalize GOLD ownership when President Richard Nixon abandoned the gold standard and limited private gold ownership.
As chair of the National Committee to Legalize Gold, Blanchard went as far as chartering a biplane to pull a “Legalize Gold” banner during President Nixon’s inauguration.
His efforts were greatly rewarded when President Gerald Ford repealed the decision to limit private ownership of gold in 1974.
Blanchard and Company, Inc were established in the year that followed.
Nearly five decades in the precious metals space, and Blanchard still manages to be successful year over year.
However, while being the oldest silver and gold company has its own unique appeal, more so in terms of proven competence and reputation, you cannot ignore the challenges that come with the demands of an ever-changing economy.
Blanchard Gold, for instance, appears to be struggling to maintain an internet-savvy presence, as evidenced in their absence of press and consumer reviews online.
That Blanchard Gold has a well-designed and informative website, complete with a media relations section, should give the company a positive impression in that regard.
Additionally, Blanchard has been a Better Business Bureau® accredited business since 1982, and it’s striking that the company has maintained the highest score, A+.
However, most reviews (however few and very limited to specific consumer advocacy sites) rate the company poorly.
I should also add that one complaint was filed against the company for a sales issue and another past complaint about their shipping practices.
Still, there is no evidence that Blanchard Gold misled its customers.
The company seems pretty straightforward about the nature of its business and the authenticity of its products.
Blanchard Gold offers a wide variety of gold and silver coins, bullion coins, and bars.
They further specialize in selling palladium and platinum bullion like a precious metals investment vehicle. Investors can also buy rare numismatic coins.
While a significant level of marketing goes towards the company’s non-IRA business, Blanchard also offers precious metals IRA services.
They feature IRS-approved silver and gold coins, which can be used as part of a self-directed IRA.
The company’s IRA experts will guide you through the entire process and offer assistance with the paperwork involved in setting up the IRA account or 401 (k) roller into a gold IRA or silver IRA.
The minimum IRA purchase amount is $10,000, and annual maintenance and storage fees are scaled starting from $60 and $100, respectively.
Timescales for the gold IRA transfer process and 401k rollover process range between 10-to-24 business days, with the delivery of metals at the HSBC vault, NYC, within 2 weeks.
Blanchard Gold is undoubtedly a reputable gold IRA company worthy of consideration.
They seem to understand the ins and outs of investing in precious metals.
And when it’s time to cash out, Blanchard Gold urges investors to sell to take advantage of the company’s dedicated buy-back program and department.
Blanchard gold offers its customers competitive prices that competitors cannot beat.
They urge customers to give them first refusal when it’s time to cash out.
Overall, while they are not dedicated to 100% IRA services, they offer a few features that set them apart from most of the best gold IRA companies out there.
What we didn’t like
- Lack of customer reviews
- Complaints found on BBB, and Ripoff Report
- Only deliver in the US
- Questionable shipping methods
A fairly recent gold IRA company, it’s remarkable how GoldSilver has managed to earn a solid reputation in the gold investment industry over such a short period.
Since being established in 2005, GoldSilver has helped thousands of first-time gold collectors and retirement investors back their hard-earned dollars with a comparatively stable investment.
What makes GoldSilver particularly attractive to first-time investors is how the company prioritizes customer satisfaction over its profits.
Since first-time buyers make the bulk of the company’s clientele, GoldSilver avoids using high-pressure sales tactics, which they say amounts to forcing clients into buying gold that may not do much for their portfolios.
Instead, GoldSilver management claims that the company prides itself in its clients’ success stories above the volume of transactions handled.
What we liked
- Trusted gold investment company
- Excellent selection of ira-eligible gold and silver coins
- Gold ira business with storage centers in different countries
- International shipping of physical metals
- Low minimum investment requirements with favorable gold ira fees
- Competitive pricing on silver and gold purchases
- Allows credit/debit card, wire transfers, and checks
- Authenticity guaranteed with a 10-day return policy
- Committed to keeping consumers educated on gold investments
The most interesting aspect about GoldSilver is how it brings on board over 250 years of combined experience in precious metals expertise.
Touting “collective experience” may not be the quality a company wants to hang its hat on.
Still, for a relative newcomer in their space, the collective experience could serve to exhibit a company’s width of experience alongside its depth of expertise.
GoldSilver’s highly experienced staff certainly takes the most credit for the company’s rapid growth in the precious metals landscape.
It was not surprising that GoldSilver was well regarded amongst its first-time gold investors not just for their exceptional service but for the wealth of knowledge the company’s precious metals investment experts imparted to their customers.
Indeed, GoldSilver maintains a needle-like focus on investor education.
The company has a very informative website with an extensive educational resources page that features a comprehensive “Getting Started” section for newcomers.
The company’s founder, Mike Maloney, runs a ‘FREE ebook promo for his 276-page best #1 seller that holds invaluable secrets and keynotes for prospective gold investors.
The ebook, “Guide to Investing in Gold & Silver,” has sold millions of copies worldwide and earned tons of positive reviews online.
But that’s another story for another day.
Instead, what would help this discussion is an evaluation of GoldSilver’s score with trusted third-party reviewers.
Typically, we’d prioritize companies that maintain the highest possible rating on two consumer advocacy sites, Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Business Consumer Alliance (BCA).
Unfortunately, GoldSilver only fairs well on BCA garnering a coveted ‘AAA’ rating but scores an average ‘C’ rating on BBB, with ‘A+’ being the highest score and ‘F’ the lowest.
However, if every cloud has a silver lining, then for GoldSilver, it would have to be its low level of complaints on the BBB website.
There were two complaints filed against GoldSilver, and we were happy to see that representatives from the company resolved both complaints to the customer’s satisfaction.
This is good news for first-time retirement savers who are looking to partner with the company.
Another thing that makes GoldSilver the best gold IRA company for new investors is its low minimum investment requirements, favorable gold ira fees, and competitive prices.
Gold silver also commits to a solid customer-only buy-back program which may be advantageous to first-time collectors and investors who may need to offload their precious metals investment.
Overall, GoldSilver has excellent potential for becoming the best of the best in the industry.
What we didn’t like
- Some popular IRA-approved precious metals are consistently understocked
- Does not offer other precious metals besides silver and gold
As an investor looking to entrust your hard-earned life’s savings to an investment firm, it is expected that you will be extra cautious when it comes to safeguarding your portfolio?
Building up a solid retirement portfolio may take years of hard work.
Never let even a cent go to waste on anybody’s account (pun intended?).
It is your primary duty to ensure that you safeguard your retirement money and invest it in the right places when the opportunity to grow presents itself.
That means finding the right people who understand this need.
If you are going to invest in gold, there are tons of considerations you will have to make.
The most important decisions will be based on your choice of a gold IRA company.
We researched but a few of the top considerations for choosing the best gold IRA company…
Some of the very best gold IRA companies will not have even a cent of your money if they are not on the same page with you.
Indeed, it takes a ‘gentleman of an investment firm’ to let an opportunity to do business pass, when the deal doesn’t appear to benefit the customer/ investor.
Unlike a traditional IRA, a self-directed IRA (SDIRA) can be very complex because it can hold a variety of unique IRS-qualified investment options, including real estate and precious metals, which regular IRAs don’t allow.
There are several IRS prohibitions involved. You must understand all the tax regulations for the specific assets you hold in your SDIRA.
Otherwise, you might run afoul and could face heavy tax penalties for the entire account.
The best gold IRA companies will make available sufficient educational resources with high-quality information to help you understand what you are getting into.
Alongside their educational material, the gold IRA company should be available to answer any questions you might have conserving gold investing, benefits and risks involved, fees and charges, and how to liquidate or take possession of the metals in your gold IRAs.
2) Fee Structures
Self-Directed IRAs based on gold and other precious metals usually have complex fee structures. Expect to pay the following with your gold IRA:
- Setup fee – Usually a one-time payment at the time of establishing the gold IRA retirement account
- Account maintenance fee – Includes the first-year administrative or custodial fee and a yearly renewal fee.
- Investment bill payments (storage, etc.) – charge for storage of the metals
- Miscellaneous fees
These charges may seem small relative to the investment, but they cut into your earnings significantly when added up.
The best gold IRA company is transparent about the fees charged so their customers can know what to expect.
Note that most companies charge a flat rate on their annual fees, which can be advantageous for significant investments, say $100,000 plus.
A few companies feature a scaled fee structure that grows with the size of investment in the account.
A scaled fee model is only advantageous with smaller investments, say anything below $50,000.
Fortunately, the IRS does not dictate any rollover fees or transfer charges on investments that shift from existing traditional IRAs to precious metals IRAs.
3) Commissions and Markups
Besides the management costs and administrative fees charged on the IRA account, the commissions and markups on coins are also important factors to consider when reviewing gold IRA companies.
Most gold IRA companies will not charge a commission on investors purchasing or selling their precious metals investment.
Still, they will include a “markup” to the metals’ spot price.
Essentially, the markup is your gold IRA provider’s take for facilitating the transaction.
The best gold IRA companies understand that your return on investment begins with getting the best deal from the start, and that includes offering competitive pricing for the metals you include in your gold IRA.
Look for gold IRA providers with direct pricing as they source their metals directly from the suppliers to eliminate middlemen and offer low markup.
Also, precious metals IRA companies that are transparent about their commission’s structure and markup percentages should rank top of your list.
4) Minimum Investment Requirements
A minimum investment requirement is the smallest funding size you should make towards a specific interest.
In this case, it is the least amount of money you should load in your gold ira account to facilitate purchasing of the metals to be included in your retirement savings account.
The IRS does not dictate a minimum for opening a precious metal IRA, but most gold investment companies will require investors to deposit a minimum amount or more into their IRAs.
Depending on your financial capacity, investment strategy, and liquidity demands, you will want to go for the provider with a minimum investment requirement you are able and willing to facilitate.
First-time investors will benefit from low account minimums, or $0 minimums.
Most gold ira companies run promotions, savings, bonuses, and similar enticing offers for higher account minimums, which may be beneficial for seasoned investors looking to invest significant amounts into their gold IRAs.
5) Credibility and Reputation
The best gold IRA provider should have stellar ratings and positive reviews from their former and existing client base.
As an investor, your sole duty is to check that your gold IRA provider’s business is founded on credibility.
This test will reveal the relationship between the investment firm and its customers.
It is a reliable indicator of the firm’s trustworthiness, professionalism, and quality of service.
Usually, clients who are dissatisfied with an investment firm they entrusted will air their grievances in a number of ways, including filing formal complaints with the authorities and discussing their experience on established customer advocacy websites.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) are perhaps the best authority bureaus for crosschecking an investment firm’s credibility.
These platforms also have the option of lodging complaints against the company under review, with the option for the firm to resolve any complaints against them.
TrustLink, TrustPilot, and Consumer Affairs are the best platforms for sourcing a firm’s feedback from former clients.
A gold IRA company with an extensive track record and combines competitive pricing with excellent customer service will feature superior ratings on the authority bureaus mentioned above.
Despite the common belief that gold and silver are very liquid metals, converting those metals into usable cash when you need it can be the trickiest aspect of gold IRA investing.
Gold IRA companies that have a dedicated buy-back program and department make the gold liquidation process easy.
Since you know that you have a potential buyer willing to offer competitive prices from the get-go, you don’t have to worry about selling when it’s time for you to take annual withdrawals when you receive the RMD (required minimum distributions) notification from your gold IRA custodian.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Gold IRA Investment
Is gold a safe or risky investment?
Gold is a safe investment as it is known to recover from economic downturns quicker than other investment products. Additionally, the value of gold has been observed to shift in the opposite direction to stock market swings, making it a solid hedge against stock market dives.
Still, as an investment, gold carries its unique set of risks. Like with all assets, the price of gold may swing up or down.
Gold IRA investors should be wary of claims that gold is entirely free of volatilities experienced with traditional investment products.
In truth, gold has performed well over a long time, but its past performance cannot guarantee future performances.
First-time gold investors should especially seek a clear understanding of the rewards and risks that are unique to investments involving gold.
What precious metal can be held in an IRA?
Four precious metals can be invested in an individual retirement account, provided they are held in the form of IRS-approved coins or metal bars.
Precious metal IRAs are limited to IRS-compliant gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coin and bar products.
To be IRA-eligible, the four IRS-approved precious metals must meet specific fineness minimum standards, as follows:
- Gold IRA coins and bars: Minimum of 99.5% pure
- Silver IRA coins and bars: Minimum of 99.9% pure
- Platinum IRA coins and bars: Minimum of 99.95% pure
- Palladium IRA coins and bars: Minimum of 99.95% pure
Some IRA-eligible precious metals include
- American Gold Eagles: Proof and Non-Proof
- American Gold Buffalo: Non-Proof Only
- Australian Nugget (Kangaroo): .9999 fine
- Austrian Philharmonic: .9999 fine
- Canadian Maple Leaf: .9999 fine
- American Silver Eagles: Proof and Non-Proof
- Austrian Philharmonic 999 fine
- Australian Kangaroo: 999 fine
- Canadian Maple Leaf:.9999 fine
- Mexican Libertad: .999 fine
- American Platinum Eagles: Proof and Non-Proof.
- Australian Koala: .9995 fine
- Canadian Maple Leaf: .9995 fine
- Canadian Maple Leaf: .9995 fine
- Isle of Man Noble: .9995 fine
We have only listed coins, but bullion coins and bars can also be included in a self-directed gold IRA.
The IRS makes an exception with Gold American Eagle bullion coins which have a fineness of .9167 but may be part of a self-directed gold IRA despite falling short of the minimum purity requirements.
Some coins you'll see on precious metal dealers and gold or silver ira provider websites do not meet the IRS minimum fineness requirements and are therefore not eligible for IRA investing.
These include among others:
- Austrian (Corona, Ducat, and Maria Theresa thaler)
- Belgian (Franc)
- British (Sovereign, and Britannia)
- French (Franc)
- German (Mark)
- Mexican (Peso and Ounza)
- South African (Krugerrand)
- Swiss (Franc)
Rare coins and collectibles (certified gold coins) cannot be held in gold IRAs.
Consult your gold ira provider if you are not sure about the fineness and IRA eligibility of any coin before proceeding with a purchase.
How is tax determined in gold IRAs?
Your self-directed gold ira is a tax-deferred retirement savings account that works similar to conventional retirement accounts. There are two primary types of Gold ira accounts distinguished by specific tax application rules (pre-tax and after-tax).
Traditionally, taxes on gains from IRA investments are calculated when the investor takes distributions (cashes out). With a Roth IRA, taxes are calculated from contributions and gains so that future withdrawals are tax-free.
The IRS uses the marginal tax rate to calculate taxes for ira investment gains, similar to the tax on ordinary income.
Besides the tax treatment mentioned above, Gold IRAs are subject to additional tax regulations, fees, and penalties.
Similar to a traditional IRA, the gold IRAs are typically tax-deferred retirement accounts, meaning that contributions and gains on investments are tax-deductible but attract taxes in the future when you take distributions or possession of the physical precious metals during retirement.
The Irs discourages liquidation of gold ira accounts before age 59 ½, with investors who cash out early being charged a 10% early withdrawal penalty.
The Irs restricts annual contributions to $5,500 for investors under 50 and $6500 for investors above age 50. A Roth gold ira is treated as an after-tax retirement investment account.
Since investors do not enjoy the benefit of upfront tax deductions on this type of gold ira account, they do not pay any taxes when they take distributions upon account maturity during retirement.
Gold ira companies usually have specific departments dedicated to precious metal retirement investments.
There should be a team of precious metals and ira experts ready to help you understand what it takes to invest gold in an ira, how to navigate IRS regulations, and how to avoid the common gold ira tax pitfalls.
How much of my IRA should include gold and silver?
Investment analysts advise investors looking to include gold and silver in their retirement portfolios to do so conservatively. The most common recommendation given by most precious metal experts is an investment of 10-20% in precious metals.
Some specifically recommend holding 5-10% of the retirement portfolio in physical gold and silver.
The low figure comes off as being counterintuitive given that the same experts tout gold and silver as solid investments.
More so, for hedging against market instability. Several reasons are given for recommending in favor of conservativeness when it comes to gold and silver investing.
First, an asset's promising prospect for growth notwithstanding, no self-respecting investment adviser would recommend investing everything in a single type of asset.
In other words, a well-defined portfolio should be diversified across a range of assets from different categories.
This has the advantage of protecting the portfolio against market instability in specific asset classes.
Therefore, allocating no more than 20% of the portfolio in precious metals allows for potential growth in other asset classes, including stocks and government bonds.
Lastly, even as gold and silver have historically performed well during stock market downturns, hence being regarded as "safe havens" from stock market instability, their value tends to fall when the market recovers.