When you think about your retirement fund, mainstream news and media almost exclusively tell you to look at stocks, bonds, real estate, or paper currency. However, there are millions of people who put a percentage of their portfolio towards precious metals, for a number of factors.
Having at least some of your retirement money in gold and silver is a very sharp strategy. These and other precious metals can see a rise in value when the dollar is suffering. Hedging against inflation while protecting your purchasing power. And now more than ever, in the era of unprecedented FED money printing and reckless government spending, it's never been a more important time to develop a plan for protecting your retirement savings.
Finding the right company to work with, however, is no small task. There are over a thousand companies out there, but not all are created equal. We've spent thousands of hours researching and reviewing a majority of these companies and have narrowed them down to only 3. This is a list of the top gold IRA companies.
- Quick Summary
- What is a Gold IRA Account?
- What Should I Consider First?
- Gold IRA Company Reviews
- What Do Customers Have To Say?
- Associated Fees
- Pros and Cons
- How To Get Started?
- Final Verdict: Does The Reward Outweigh The Risk?
#2. Great Customer Service
#3. Great Education
You have many options for investing. A lot of people overlook precious metals and gold IRAs in particular. If you’re preparing to retire, it’s worth it to consider as many kinds of IRAs as possible, and a gold IRA could be the best fit for you.
Retirement investing is about ensuring that you’re on solid financial ground once your working life is over. Some of these come from jobs, like pension plans, 401(k)s, and health savings accounts. There’s also a multitude of IRA options, such as Simple IRAs, Roth IRAs, and traditional IRAs.
You might’ve seen a gold IRA company promoting in television commercials. Despite this, this product still seems to be something of an outlier in the IRA community. It can seem like something that’s too good to be true.
These are some of the frequent questions that come up:
- Should retiring people invest in gold IRAs?
- Is there stability with precious metals?
- Will gold market investments end up depleting my retirement account?
There’s a lot to wonder about the gold market and gold IRAs. However, these don’t just have to be rhetorical questions.
We’re going to tell you about the pros and cons of investing in gold IRAs, including cons you should look out for and what you can do to get your account started.
What is a Gold IRA Account?
What Should I Consider First?
There are some big differences between gold IRAs and the previously mentioned kinds.
Gold IRAs are known as “self-directed IRAs.” The IRS has their own set of rules for these types of accounts.
Weighing Your Options
A primary responsibility of gold IRA investors is knowing what can be included in your IRA.
With a precious metal IRA, you’re not limited to gold. You can also bring in silver, platinum, and even palladium. These metals all have a list of physical forms that can be included in the IRA, such as coins and bars.
We’re going to concentrate on gold, and the IRS has some stringent rules for it. For a metal to qualify as gold, its purity grade must be at least 0.955.
The IRS also doesn’t allow for collectibles in precious metal IRAs. Collectibles are common in investing, but they don’t meet the IRS’ purity threshold and tend to have their value inflated.
The list of unapproved gold items is a lot larger than the list of approved ones.
You don’t have to be dealing with actual metal to invest in gold, however.
For example, you can have gold in exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
ETFs can come in many forms, such as:
Gold commodity ETFs
Gold mining company stock
Precious metal futures
Precious metal mutual funds
These can appeal more to investors interested in gold but wary about having actual bars and coins, even if they’re stored elsewhere. It’s also good to consider if you’re interested in diversifying your investment portfolio, which is always good to consider.
What Are The Regulations I Need To Know
The IRS determines what’s allowed with gold IRAs, the same as they do for other kinds of IRAs.
This is a basic summary of some of the main rules for investors.
HOW TO STORE
All precious metals need to be stored in IRS-approved locations.
If you’re holding the gold yourself, the IRS is going to call this a distribution. This means you have to accept the taxes and other financial penalties that can result from this.
You can contribute up to $6,000 a year. This goes up to $7,000 per year after you turn 50 years old.
You need to work with an administrator to get started. This is someone who has IRS approval and deals with precious metals.
They act as representatives of you. Examples of administrators include brokers and custodians.
When you make a distribution, where you physically hold your gold, you’re liable for income tax to be factored in.
An early distribution can have a 10 percent levy. The only exception is a predetermined exclusion. The capital gains tax can lead to more assessments.
We mentioned earlier that there are boundaries for which kinds of precious metals can be in your IRA.
Per IRS guidelines, gold purity can has to be 0.995 or at least 24 carats. This isn’t the case with many gold products.
While early withdrawal typically comes with a 10 percent penalty, there are some exceptions to note, such as:
- Disability or hospitalization where the owner can't cover medical expenses
- Death of owner and beneficiary needs funds access
- Loss of employment income
- Owner wants to buy their first property (maximum $10,000 allowed) or for the education of family member
Gold IRA Company Reviews
What Do Customers Have To Say?
You should also check to see what the general market consensus is. Firms will tell you they’re all that, but what about others, such as the Better Business Bureau? That also includes individuals talking about firms in investment groups on social media.
There are going to be drawbacks to every firm, as illustrated by the cons we’ve listed. However, these cons shouldn’t be so massive that they negate entirely the pros.
When you approach a gold market firm, remember that the ball is in your court. They have to prove their worth your trust. Only talk to companies that you feel confident about, and leave once you’ve gotten a sense that something is amiss, even if it’s just a hunch.
Don’t let unfounded biases about gold IRAs turn you off from this. Sure, they’re not as common as other kinds of IRAs, but they’re still perfectly valid.
To guarantee that a firm is legitimate, ask them about all of their licenses, registration details, insurance, and bonds.
If any of this is missing, or they’re offering limp explanations for expired qualifications, it’s time to find a new firm.
You also need a firm that cares about you. They might not know what you need when you first come in, but they should be able to figure it out after a decently long conversation.
An excellent gold firm knows things about your investing needs that you hadn’t previously realized but make total sense when you hear them.
Another crucial choice is whether you buy from a local dealer or an online one.
You might initially be drawn to a local dealer since you’ll be able to see them in person and get your gold faster. You also won’t have to deal with shipping costs.
Nonetheless, buying gold locally can lead to some severe markup. It can also be hard to do a buyback if you’ve placed a significant order.
On the contrary, an online order can lead to some lowered risks. The cost is usually less, and it’s a lot easier to keep your account in check.
Online retailers are also better about satisfying big purchases. If you’ve got a large order to place, you should prioritize online gold purchases.
Most investors go for online orders. However, it’s not a foolproof process. You need to find a dealer you trust and treat you as someone to assist and help prosper rather than just another number on a spreadsheet.
Your retirement investment portfolio can get a lot of mileage out of a gold IRA. However, some fees don’t happen with more common kinds of IRAs.
When you’re looking at firms, you should consider all of these fees and if you’ll be able to afford them.
Setting Up My Account
Most kinds of IRAs have a fee for starting accounts. However, firms can charge more for gold IRAs due to their distinctiveness.
These aren’t reoccurring payments, and the amount can vary based on what kind of transaction it is. The cost can change if you’re buying coins, proofs, bars, or bullion.
Custodians / Brokers
These fees are also common. The cost can also increase when you have a gold IRA, given the precious metals’ value.
Closing My Account
If you decide to end your account, you have to deal with the close-out expenses, which can carry some pretty serious ramifications.
The big issue is that you may have to sell your gold at a lower rate than the market value. Consider focusing on firms, as they tend to offer fairer prices compared to dealers.
However, there’s a big chance that you’ll end up with a return that’s less than your investment. It’s another example of why you should never invest in anything unless you can deal with the potential fallout.
Pros and Cons
Now that we’ve established the main aspects of investing in a gold IRA, we need to talk about the pros and cons of starting one in general, regardless of which firm or dealer you work with.
Precious metals shouldn’t be the only part of your investment portfolio, but they add a level of diversification that protects your purchasing power by hedging against an inflationary economic environment. This alone is good reason.
Without any further ado, let’s look at the biggest pros and cons.
How To Get Started?
There’s a lot to keep in mind with establishing your gold IRA, but each step is pretty easy to understand.
To begin, you need to decide if you want to have your funds rolled over or transferred from another IRA.
You’ll need to do this within 60 days if it’s a transfer.
If you don’t, the IRS classifies it as a withdrawal. This comes with taxation and a 10 percent levy for the early withdrawal.
With a transfer, money goes right to your gold IRA. You can only have one of these per year, but transfers are unlimited.
Next, it’s time to choose your custodian. Be sure to research this shrewdly.
Be careful about how much of your portfolio you put towards a gold IRA. It shouldn’t be more than 15 percent.
You can also easily go lower. Make it no more than 10 percent of your portfolio if you just want to diversify.
If you really think gold is going to see a major surge in value, you can go to 15 percent or higher. However, beware of the risks of relying that much on one asset class.
Finally, you need to decide where you’re going to purchase. We recommend looking for online dealers since there’s less markup and better management.
Any dealer you contact needs to be IRS-certified and have strong reviews. Talk to other clients, past and present, to get a better idea.
About Our #1 Recommendation?
Out of all these companies, we’ve determined Augusta Precious is the absolute best. Their team is excellent, they prioritize customer service, they have thousands of 5 star reviews since 2012, and have endorsements from well known and respected people like Joe Montana.
On top of that, they do something that no other company does. They offer a very informative web conference with their Harvard Business School educated economic analyst and Director of Education, Devlyn Steele. He does a deep dive analysis on the benefits of Gold IRA's and educates customers thoroughly so they can feel as confident and comfortable as possible.
Final Verdict: Does The Reward Outweigh The Risk?
There’s nothing absolute about any investment. But it's a good financial strategy to allocate a portion of your total portfolio to precious metals.
Investing is for the mindful, patient, and persistent. But with a gold IRA, you can start to sleep better at night knowing you are invested in a historically proven store of value.