by | May 13, 2019 | Precious Metals

Last Updated: August 23, 2023

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If you are thinking of rolling over an existing IRA or 401k to a Precious Metal IRA, you need to understand the pros and cons involved with rollovers.

While gold has historically been seen as a reliable long-term investment, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a Gold IRA is the best vehicle for retirement funds. Proponents see gold as a hedge during economic uncertainty, inflation, or currency debasement. Others see drawbacks in the predictability of the price of gold.

Ultimately, it all boils down to the fact that there are both benefits and disadvantages to a Gold IRA. In this article, some industry experts weigh in on the pros and cons of a Gold IRA Rollover, providing valuable insight.

A Safe-Haven Asset, But Complicated

“There are two clear pros of rolling over a retirement account into a Gold IRA. Existing retirement funds can be used to invest in physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. More obviously, it’s a way for the account-holder to balance their investment portfolio with a tangible, safe-haven asset.

To be sure, there are also potential drawbacks. The rollover process and purchase arrangements for Gold IRAs are slightly more complicated and cumbersome to deal with. Investors are also restricted by which forms of precious metals are IRA-eligible (based on factors like purity and provenance) and how the metals must be stored.

Moreover, some bullion experts and fund managers have questioned whether a non-yield-bearing, inflation-resistant asset like gold is appropriate for either the Traditional or Roth tax structures (tax-deferred or tax-free at distribution, respectively) in the first place.”

Everett Millman, Precious Metals Specialist and Editor, Gainesville Coins 

A Cumbersome Process, But Technology Platforms Make It Simpler

“In most cases, the primary downside to gold IRA rollovers is the cumbersome process. While many financial professionals see the benefit of establishing a position in gold as a cornerstone of any portfolio, it can be a daunting task for many people.

That being said, technology platforms such as have been developed to streamline the gold IRA process. These types of platforms provide much simpler on-boarding and management of this core asset class. This enables you to participate in the diversification and protection that gold provides to an overall portfolio without the hassle that has plagued gold IRAs for decades.”

Josh McCleary, Co-Founder, and COO, OWNx


“Con: You must find a custodian who can hold the gold for you. You can’t store it in your own vault or at your bank.”

Holmes Osborne, CFA, Osborne Global Investors, Inc.

A Diversification Strategy, But Time Consuming

“Individuals with self-directed IRAs can include precious metals in their plans as one of the alternative assets these plans allow. Funds that are rolled over into a self-directed IRA may be used to purchase investment-grade gold coins and bars (as well as silver coins and bars), and gold bullion that meets applicable purity or fineness standards (the same applies to silver, platinum and palladium bullion). A new self-directed IRA may also be funded by a contribution or transfer.

For investors who already know and understand the precious metals market and
investing, including gold in a self-directed IRA is a great way to diversify
one’s retirement portfolio and provide a hedge against volatility in other
asset classes (assuming all IRA assets are not directed into physical gold).

However, in the case of a self-directed IRA holding gold, the IRA owner needs to be much more involved in evaluating the assets in the account and making all the buy/sell decisions. Due diligence on the part of the account owner is critical. Investing in gold also requires research to find a custodian who allows for this type of investment. Further, directing all assets in an IRA into gold would not be prudent if there are no other retirement assets.”

Jaime Raskulinecz, founder & CEO, Next Generation Trust Company

A Popular Strategy During Economic Stress, But a Mistake

“Investing in gold bullion as a hedge against periods of economic stress is quite a popular strategy, however, I believe that holding gold in your IRA is a mistake. Those that want to hold bullion are holding it for a reduction in volatility during normal market conditions. It’s often recommended to be purchased for wealth preservation, not to outperform. Investments in your IRA should be trying to achieve a positive return in excess of inflation, not keep pace with it.”

Ryan Inman, Financial Planner for Doctors, Financial Residency

Great Potential Returns, But Greater Risk of Losing Money

“One pro of the Gold IRA Rollover is that it can pay off if you are able to buy low. And if the market for gold is booming in your retirement, then it could prove to be a great return on your investment. Accompanying this pro is the risk associated with gold’s volatility in the market. It can take decades to ride out the highs and lows of gold prices. So, for those close to the age of retirement, it is not advisable to invest in a Gold IRA as there is a greater risk to lose money.

Another con with physical precious metals is the storage and holding fees accompanied with them since the gold must be stored with a custodian that is approved by both federal and state agencies.”

Jacob Dayan, CEO, Community Tax & Finance Pal

There are several components to factor in when considering a Gold IRA. Adding gold to your retirement account comes with both pros and cons. If you do consider converting part of your retirement account into gold, a rollover is a far safer, and tax-advantaged strategy for moving your retirement savings from an IRA to a Gold IRA. It is important to note that the IRS makes a clear distinction between transferring funds and a rollover. Regarding a transfer, IRA custodians deal with the funds. In essence, you never handle your money. Yet with a rollover, the money marked to be moved is paid to you directly, and you then deposit it into the other account. Bear in the mind the insight provided by these industry experts, and make your retirement years both enjoyable and profitable.

Sarah Bauder

Sarah Bauder is a financial writer with over a decade of experience at numerous online publications, writing about alternative investments, retirement, US politics, world economy and more.