Last Updated on April 4, 2023 by George
Although gold IRA is relatively popular among investors, many people are still hesitating about whether or not this is the best option for them.
This investment can benefit your retirement portfolio, especially during inflation and recent economic threats.
You can start understanding more about how you can begin to invest in gold IRA by reading this article. Based on our observations, you will also find it helpful to see the country’s best precious metals IRA companies today.
#1 Augusta Precious Metals: Editor’s Choice – Great gold IRA Company Overall (4.9/5)
- Wide variety of precious metals IRA products
- An extensive list of collector’s coins
- They offer free shipping on all orders
- The company prioritizes investor education on gold IRA investments
- High minimum investment cost: $50,000
- Higher markup on premium coins
Why We Chose It
Augusta Precious Metals prioritizes investor education because they believe this is the best way to help their clients. Based on our first-hand experience, they have a simplified five-step process to get you started with your gold IRA.
Before opening an account with this company, you can contact their agent first. This way, they can focus on curating a personalized experience by understanding your needs and preferences.
Augusta Precious Metals has a minimum investment cost of $50,000. Our team discovered through using this product that some investors find this steep for an initial price, but rest assured that your money will be in good hands.
They maintained a stellar reputation in the precious metals IRA industry for years. Our research indicates that their investors trust their services, which is the main reason that made them perhaps the country’s most reputable gold IRA company.
#2 Goldco: Runner up – Great Buyback Program (4.8/5)
- They specialize in offering gold IRAs and silver IRAs
- Established reputation in the precious metals industry
- Excellent customer service
- The company has a strong buyback program
- High minimum investment cost: $25,000
- Limited options on precious metals IRA products
Why We Chose It
If there’s one thing you must know about Goldco, it is its commitment to providing stability in your retirement portfolio. Our analysis of this product revealed that they understand the importance of having a stable financial status, especially in these changing times.
Our investigation demonstrated that their website provides real-time historical data that shows the performance of gold prices in the market.
We have found from using this product that their focus on stability has limited their product offerings to gold and silver investments.
Their catalog includes over 15 coins minted from certified government mints globally and all approved precious metals. Goldco is a precious metals IRA company that you can trust. Based on our observations, you can contact them to learn more about their pricing structure and services.
#3 American Hartford Gold: Great Price (4.6/5)
- American Hartford Gold received excellent ratings from their verified clients.
- They provide special deals like free silver with no maintenance fees in the first three years when you reach a certain amount of investment.
- They provide a complete cost disclosure on all transactions.
- The company has a client-only buyback program.
- The company website does not provide a price list of the products
- International shipment is not available
Why We Chose It
Through our practical knowledge, American Hartford Gold has delivered over $1 billion of gold and silver assets since its launch. They have been recognized several times as a leading precious metals IRA company in the United States.
When we trialed this product, we saw that they have reasonable prices on their products, and they empower their investors to learn more about the performance of their assets. Our findings show they also hold excellent ratings across different review platforms, including the Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, Google reviews, and Business Consumer Alliance.
When it comes to their fee structure, it varies depending on the size of your account. You can also expect special deals like $1,500 worth of free silver upon reaching a certain amount of transfer to your account.
#4 Birch Gold Group: Great Staff overall (4.5/5)
- All fees are waived in the first year with transfers over $50,000
- They prioritize clear communication and investor education
- Offers all four precious metals
- Excellent reputation in the gold IRA industry
- Possible hidden fees on some orders
- Their site has no available information on upfront costs
Why We Chose It
When you open an account with Birch Gold Group, we discover that you can expect to get the best analysis in the business. After conducting experiments with it, we saw that they take pride in clearly communicating their analysis to their clients throughout their partnership with the company.
Upon visiting their website, you will see a clear view of how a gold IRA can benefit your retirement portfolio. They also offer all four precious metals, which is not always available in some of the best gold IRA companies. This includes gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
Birch Gold Group has access to two of the country’s most secured depositories, the Brinks and Delaware Depository. After trying out this product, all your purchased assets will be directly shipped to your chosen secured location.
#5 Noble Gold Investments: Best Customer Support (4.2/5)
- Excellent gold IRA rollover and buyback services
- Noble Gold provides personalized customer care to their investors
- The company has precious metals IRA products that include platinum and palladium
- Offers one of the lowest minimum investment costs on gold IRAs
- No available online resource on coin prices
- Limited storage facility options
Why We Chose It
Noble Gold Investments received an excellent rating for having the largest selection of precious metals they offer for their precious metals IRA. They also don’t have any negative complaints filed against them by their customers.
You must know that this company offers one of the lowest minimum investment costs to set up an account. Unlike other precious metal companies, you only need $2,000 to open an account with Noble Gold Investments.
This company is also known for having quick and straightforward operations. After purchasing your precious metals from them, the assets will be delivered immediately to safe depositories.
What is A Gold IRA?
A gold or precious metals IRA is an individual retirement account approved by the Internal Revenue Service that functions as a regular IRA. The only difference is its ability to handle more than just the paper assets like bonds, mutual funds, and stocks. It also allows you to hold physical gold, other precious metals, and other available alternative investment assets.
The precious metals you can invest in your IRA account include gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. All four of them have intrinsic value, which helps them retain their value despite everything happening to the world’s economy.
Financial advisors recommend Gold IRA to hedge your funds against inflation. Although you should not invest all your retirement money in precious metals, you should allocate around 5 to 15% of your funds into this asset. In this way, you will always have a backup plan when one market crashes.
Remember that you can only invest in IRS-approved physical bullion, such as gold bars and other precious metal coins. They should meet the purity standard provided by the IRS and be minted in official offices worldwide.
Suppose you want to diversify your precious metals IRA further. In that case, you can also invest in stocks, mutual bonds, and gold ETFs (exchange-traded funds) from various gold mining companies that impact the performance of gold in the market. However, it’s best to do this with the mainstream IRA.
How Does A Gold IRA Work?
From an outsider’s view, the processes that come with a gold IRA may seem complex. Drawing from our experience, here’s how gold IRA works:
Find a Custodian
When you’re planning to open a gold IRA, the first thing that you must do is find a custodian. Most gold IRA custodians and brokers that handle traditional IRAs handling paper assets cannot operate self-directed IRAs, which include physical precious metals. That is why you will need a separate entity to manage this account.
Your chosen custodian will be the one to help you with the investments and transactions. Fortunately, many companies offer this service, including Birch Gold, Augusta Precious Metals, Oxford Gold Group, Patriot Gold Group, and more.
These companies can help you set up a gold IRA account. However, they still come with specific features and deals you should consider when choosing which company you want to work with. You’ll have to consider their pricing structure, customer support, company ratings, accountability, transparency, and track record.
Fund the Gold IRA
After finding a reputable gold IRA custodian and setting up your retirement account, the next step would be to fund the account. Precious metals IRA have a contribution limit that varies annually, usually around $6,000 ($6,500 for 2023) for investors younger than 50 and $7,000 ($7,500 for 2023) for those over 50.
Aside from regular contributions, investors can also make a fund gold IRA rollover from their existing retirement accounts to their new gold IRA account. These gold IRA rollovers follow the same rules from when you are doing a rollover to a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA.
The funds rolled into a Roth IRA account are pre-tax, meaning you must pay taxes before the conversion. On the other hand, those funds rolled to a traditional IRA will not be taxed until they are withdrawn.
Buy Approved Gold
When buying precious metals for your self-directed IRA, be informed that the Internal Revenue Service has strict rules on the type of physical bullion you can add to the account. They must be approved precious metals and have the proper minimum purity standard for all precious metals.
- Gold – 99.5% purity
- Silver – 99.9% purity
- Platinum – 99.95% purity
- Palladium – 99.95 purity
These qualifications help maintain the value of IRA-eligible gold and other precious metals. Aside from it, here are the additional eligibility conditions for precious metals:
- Producing particular precious metals should be a refiner, manufacturer, or assayer certified by COMEX, NYMEX, LME, LPPM, LBMA, TOCOM, NYSE/Liffe, ISO 9000, or a national government mint.
- Bullion coins should not have any damage and should be in a well-kept uncirculated condition.
- Proof coins should be in excellent condition. They should also have a certificate of authenticity in their complete and original mint packaging.
- Small bullion bars (aside from the 100-ounce and 400-ounce physical gold bullion, 1000-ounce silver coins and bars, 50-ounce platinum bullion, and 100-ounce palladium bullion bars) must be produced with a specific weight specification.
Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service allows gold and silver coins like the American Gold Eagle, Australian Gold Nugget, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, and American Buffalo. As per our expertise, we discovered that they do not permit investment in British Sovereign gold coins, South African Krugerrand, and gold collectibles.
After choosing the precious metals you want to invest in, you can complete the required transactions through a broker or custodian.
Your custodian will not be responsible for the precious metals dealer you choose, but they can always make recommendations. It is still up to your choices on what happens to your account.
Use an Approved Depository
Now that you already have your funds set and precious metals bullion chosen, you will be prompted to select a depository where you will store your assets. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium must be stored securely to ensure their safety.
You are never allowed to store precious metals bullion in your home, even if you plan to put them in a home vault. If you do this, the IRS will consider it an early withdrawal, and you must pay the 10% penalty.
Some IRS-approved depositories include the HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Delaware Depository Service Company, and CNT Depository.
When it’s time to withdraw, you should know that it depends on whether the gold IRA is a Roth or traditional.
For a Roth Gold IRA:
- There will be no required minimum distributions (RMDs)
- Tax benefits: no taxation upon withdrawals
- Withdrawals made before the age of 59 and a half will have a 10% penalty
For a Traditional Gold IRA:
- There will be an RMD set in at the age of 72
- All early withdrawals, be they required or voluntary, will be taxed
- Withdrawals are made before the age of 59, and a half will have a 10% penalty
Benefits of A Gold IRA
It is known that investing in a gold IRA can provide you with many benefits, including giving a balance in your retirement account through diversification. It comes with tax advantages that can help you enjoy more funds.
Everyone wants to maximize their investments as much as possible without being too risky. After putting it to the test, these are the three primary reasons why many financial experts recommend adding precious metals IRA into your retirement savings portfolio:
It is not a new idea that you need to diversify your portfolio across markets to get the full potential of your investments. However, some assets are more volatile than others, which constantly puts your funds at risk in case of inflation and other economic drawbacks.
The good thing about precious metals is that they are stable. They do not rely on the dollar’s value, thus making them immune to economic downturns. If you invest in precious metals, you can expect to get at least the same value as your initial investment during retirement.
Precious metals can add balance to your retirement portfolio. Even a small portion of your money invested in this alternative asset can be valuable.
2. Hedge Against Inflation and Deflation
As mentioned, gold and other precious metals are less affected by the economy’s current situation. Its market and industrial demand still impact its value, but you can use this asset to protect your money against inflation and deflation.
Gold is a dollar denominator. As the dollar’s value decreases, the value of gold will increase. Putting your money on physical precious metals will allow you to retain the current value of your money until inflation cools off.
This is one of the top reasons many investors put their reserve money in this investment asset.
3. Profit Opportunity
You need to know about precious metals’ constant demand in different industries. Their supply is finite, making them even more valuable worldwide.
Historical performances of gold also show that they have excellent profit potential in the long term period. If you keep your asset untouched for a few decades, you can profit significantly from it.
Gold has long been a symbol of prosperity and wealth worldwide, and it continues to prove its importance in our economy. Historical data shows that gold and other precious metals make a balanced and well-protected retirement portfolio when economic times are tough.
Pros and Cons of Gold IRAs
Of course, gold IRAs are not perfect at all. It still comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of Gold IRAs
First off, these are the pros of investing in precious metals:
1. Hedge Against Inflation
This reason has been tackled thousands of times, but it’s true. Precious metals can be a good hedge against inflation, which is evident today.
Putting some of your retirement funds in this basket can help you secure them while profiting from other investments.
2. Store of Value
One main reason precious metals are a good hedge against inflation and other economic downturns is their ability to store value.
As the dollar value weakens, so does the purchasing power of consumers. Converting your funds into their equivalent value on precious metals can help retain their value.
For example, the amount of your initial investment in precious metals is likely to remain within that range or even gain profit for a few years. Even if the other markets crash, they will not be as significantly affected as other assets.
Diversifying your portfolio is always recommended by financial experts because putting all of your funds in one asset can risk it further. Investing in precious metals can provide a significant balance and protection to your funds as you grow them with other paper assets.
Over time, gold has shown its ability to gain profit over long-term investments, making it an excellent alternative asset for retirement accounts.
Cons of Gold IRAs
On the other hand, these are the cons of gold IRAs:
1. High Fees
Self-directed IRAs, like gold ones, would require additional fees due to their different management system. Physical assets such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium must be stored in a secured depository to ensure safety. They would also require a custodian to oversee and handle all of the transactions made with the account.
Some fees come with opening a self-directed gold IRA, which is considerably higher than mainstream IRAs. Gold also tends to be more expensive depending on its size compared to real estate and cryptocurrency SDIRAs.
Some of the fees that you could expect in a gold IRA are the following:
- Set up fee
- Brokerage/custodian fees
- Storage fees
- Insurance fees
- Seller’s fees
- Annual account maintenance fees
These are separate from the amount you will use to buy physical gold.
For a traditional IRA, the account RMD is set at 72. However, selling off precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium may be a little more challenging.
Looking for potential buyers can be tedious and time-consuming, and you can be forced to sell them at a lower price to attract people. It would be advantageous if your chosen reputable gold IRA company had a buyback program, but not all companies offer them.
Keep in mind that failure to make RMDs can get you penalized.
In some cases, gold can be as volatile as stocks and mutual funds. That is why they are not recommended for short-term investments.
Usually, you will only see some significant profit gain with your precious metals investments over more extended periods.
4. Risk of Loss
Almost all assets are risky, including precious metals. That’s how an investment works — there are unforeseen circumstances that might affect your asset.
The thing about physical assets is that they can be damaged, stolen, or lost. Precious metals are generally well-guarded in secure depositories, but you will still have to pay the annual insurance fee if something happens to them.
That is why investors should always have insurance on their precious metals.
Diversify and Preserve Your Assets With A Gold IRA
Diversifying your retirement portfolio allows you to take control of your financial future. It is necessary to do it if you want to maximize your investment, so all you have left to do during your twilight years is to enjoy life.
You regain control of your finances by opening a self-directed gold IRA account. Making decisions to improve your financial status shouldn’t be complicated and inaccessible. You can even apply your preferences to the type of precious metals you’d want to invest in.
The good thing about tangible assets is that you can see them, and they carry more weight than paper assets. There are also many ways to fund this type of account, including a rollover from 401(k), contributions, and transfers.
It is good to think ahead of the future, and you should secure your funds with precious metals IRA.
Should You Invest In A Gold IRA?
People always have hesitations when it comes to investing in precious metals, and it’s just normal. You should always make considerations when it’s the money we’re talking about. However, if you can invest in precious metals, you should do it.
You won’t put much of your money in this asset, but merely 5% to 15%. This is enough to cushion in case your other investments don’t work out well. You just have to consider that most gold IRA companies require a minimum investment amount before you can open an account with them.
However, it is still up to you if you’d want to invest in precious metals. It would be best to discuss this matter with your trusted financial advisor if this asset benefits your case in the long run.
Final Thoughts – Invest in Gold IRA
We determined through our tests that Augusta Precious Metals is the best gold IRA company in the list above. As indicated by our tests, they genuinely understand the needs of their clients, and they go on their way to providing an honest and transparent service to their investors.
This company’s reputation is built on lasting relationships, so they have remained on top of its game in the last few years.
If you’re unsure about the company, you can always check out the others mentioned in this article. Through our trial and error, you should read the whole article to understand how to start with your precious metal IRA fully.