This comparison chart will assist you in making the best-informed choice. To this effect, we have inputted the most current ratings for each firm from the best regarded review organizations like the Better Business Bureau, Business Consumer Alliance, and TrustLink. You can read the full company review by clicking on the “View Full Review” button under each firm in order to read the complete review. You can also print out this web page for use in the future.
Note: Our best advice is to contact several of these companies before you invest your retirement funds
#1. Best for Premium Bullion + Best for Ratings
- Non-Commissioned Sales Floor = Honest Advice.
- Separate Compliance Department (A First in the Industry)
- Harvard-Trained Economist On Staff Answers Your Questions
• Annual Fees: Variable
• Assets Offered: Gold, Silver
• Custodian: Equity Trust, Goldstar Trust, Kingdom Trust
• Storage Location: Several Global Options
#2. Top Company Overall + Best for Bullion & Fees
- Lowest Premiums Over Spot
- Sells Standard Bullion Only (No Premium Coins or Collectibles)
- 12 Years in Business
• Annual Fees: Up to $190
• Assets Offered: Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium
• Custodian: New Direction IRA
• Storage Location: Utah
#4. Best for Storage
#5. Advantage Gold
#6. American Hartford Gold
#7. American Bullion
#9. Birch Gold
What Is A Precious Metals IRA?
A Precious Metals IRA allows you to invest your retirement funds in tangible gold, platinum, silver, and palladium bullion. In so doing, it offers you a safeguard against unexpected financial crises and economic shocks by helping you maintain a well-diversified investment portfolio. It is a misnomer that you need to fund a new account like this with additional cash. The good news is that you can simply roll over an IRA account you already have or alternatively an employer-sponsored 401(k).
Why would you be interested in this level of truly additional portfolio diversification? Precious metals provide a retirement portfolio with two key advantages that stocks, bonds, and real estate simply can not match. These are as follows:
What Is Involved In Opening A Precious Metals IRA Account?
Some investors might be discouraged from opening up a Precious Metals IRA account for fear of the difficulties associated with them and the paperwork potentially involved. The reality is far different. There are three simple and easy-to-follow steps to setting up your own Gold or Silver IRA account.
Custodian Versus Storage
Your precious metals will not be sent to your custodian once you buy them. Instead, they will be securely shipped to your storage facility, a vault center that works with your custodian and segregates your precious metals on your behalf. Storage companies include famous vaults such as Brinks Worldwide and Delaware Depository in the U.S. and a selected number of IRS-approved international vaults such as HSBC in London.
Making A Comparison of the Top Precious Metal IRA Custodians
When you are confident in the decision to invest your retirement funds in a Precious Metals IRA for 2022 (either by a directly deposited check or by rolling over another retirement IRA, 401(k), or 403(b) into a Gold IRA or Silver IRA), then you will need to select the Precious Metals IRA firm with whom you will work. This is not a conclusion you should jump straight to as it is arguably the most important decision in the process. Not all Precious Metals IRA firms are created equal. Some of them boast a significantly better track record than do the others. A few of them have even suffered from allegations of fraud.
You should also be aware that some of these firms are more one-stop shops than the others. This means that they can oversee and arrange the whole process on your behalf, such as in making arrangements with your existing IRA custodian and offering you storage. Other firms will only sell you the gold, silver, platinum, or palladium bullion for your Precious Metals IRA, leaving you to coordinate the other custodian and storage companies.
What Can a Gold IRA Company Help You Achieve?
Here are the key reasons that you want to own real gold (versus paper gold) as a genuine hedge against the other types of investment classes in your retirement vehicles:
6 Things to Watch Out For When Selecting a Gold IRA Company
Our comparison chart above is intended to assist you in both comparing and contrasting the reviews and ratings from the best known Precious Metal IRA dealers. When choosing a company to work with, we strongly suggest that you consider the following six points:
#1. Ratings, Ratings & Ratings!
Ratings are a crucial and telling metric for how a company is doing according to its end-user customers like you. They are compiled from the firms’ existing base of clients. The more complimentary reviews that they have, the better this is. The best and most valuable ratings come from such trusted ratings organizations as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Business Consumer Alliance (BCA), and TrustLink. Other helpful indicators come from past customers who have responded to consumer information websites such as Complaint Board, YP, and Yelp. They provide you with an added dimension to the service quality and professionalism of the firm in question.
#2. Precious Metals IRA Costs and Fee Structure
Experts recommend that you consistently only consider a firm that offers a flat based assessment of yearly fees. Firms that offer scaled fees which will increase along side the size of your account are simply taking unfair advantage of your larger account. This becomes even more important for those investors who have medium sized to larger accounts (from $50,000 and up) as well as for those investors who have plans to increase the size of their own account consistently with time. It is surprising and scandalous that some of the firms that are reviewed here have been known to assess literally thousands of dollars each year in customer fees just for maintaining a bigger account balance with them.
#3. Time for Metals Delivery and Efficiency
You may not have considered how long precious metals delivery can realistically take. There are clients who have reported with great frustration that they had to wait even 60 full days for their new accounts to be established, funded, and for their new precious metals holdings to arrive and be inventoried. In the geopolitical and economically chaotic environment of today, there is no way this is an acceptable time delay to establish your financial protection and portfolio diversification.
#4. Safety of Storage
You should never forget the safety of your storage when selecting a Precious Metals IRA custodian. All custodians are not the same and do not all enjoy the same safety track record either. It is far better to select a firm that provides you with a range of storage locations from which you can choose. These should not only be domestically available ones either, but some international locations from which you can pick.
Segregated storage should also be an option for you. The term Segregated Storage refers to your own individual location within the overall vault. It means that your precious metals will not be stacked with someone else’s metals. It allows for optimal ease and convenience should you choose to liquidate your silver, gold, and other precious metals in the future. You want this to be both as easy and fast as possible. Be mindful of how much these firms charge for international or truly segregated storage as well.
#5. Unfriendly Customer Support and Unhelpful Sales Staff
Customer support should be an area in which your new Precious Metals IRA company excels, but unfortunately, our review comparison table shows that this is not always the case. There are a variety of ways that poor customer service can impact your ability to make the best choices for your Precious Metals IRA. For example, at some companies, their agents may opt to pressure you into purchasing numismatic coins or even commemorative and collectible coins for the simple reason that these always generate larger commissions for them personally and higher profits for their firms. This should set off alarm bells ringing in your head if and when you encounter these practices. We can not recommend strongly enough that you avoid such firms who engage in these kinds of detestable practices.
The reason is that commemorative and collectible gold and silver coins are never good recommendations for investors. Another key factor to consider is that these types of coins are not even allowed to be kept in your IRA by the IRS who makes the rules. A good idea in first contacting a potential Precious Metals IRA custodian is to pose as many good questions as possible. This will enable you to ascertain how helpful and knowledgeable their staff are on the phone. When they show impatience, rush you along in your decision making process, or attempt to press you along into numismatic or collectible coins, it is time to cross them off the list and call the next firm on your short list.
#6. Do They Offer Other Alternative Investment Options?
One great feature of your new Gold IRA or Silver IRA account is that it is fully able to hold other kinds of alternative investments for the future. This is because it is a type of Self-Directed IRA. The ability to do this also comes down to the capabilities of your custodian though. Will your firm contemplate allowing you to invest in other alternative assets and investment choices like cryptocurrencies or other kinds of possibly alternative investments that you may wish to include? This is a serious question that you do not need to neglect to ask upfront.
Precious Metals IRA FAQs
Gold IRAs are a type of tax-advantaged retirement investment account that includes gold. However, gold IRAs are not limited to gold assets or precious metals, as they can also contain stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and a variety of other assets like any other IRA. As a tax-advantaged investment vehicle, the holdings contained within a gold IRA accrue value on a tax-deferred or tax-free basis depending on one’s account type.
In 1974, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act first introduced IRAs to the American public as an alternative means of retirement security for those without pensions. Since their inception, these accounts have allowed millions of Americans to hold a diverse range of assets that are exempt from capital gains taxes (i.e., Roth IRA), or are untaxed until the eventual withdrawal date (i.e. Traditional IRA).
Most brokerage firms that offer IRAs do not sell gold IRAs. To open a gold IRA, prospective investors must open a self-directed IRA through a third-party custodian. These accounts let investors invest in gold bullion, gold ETFs, and other gold assets while enjoying the same tax benefits as a regular IRA.
Adding physical gold to a gold IRA is as easy as opening an account with a gold IRA provider, funding your account, and purchasing the assets through the custodian. The account custodian simplifies the process by procuring the gold on your behalf, and storing it in secure, IRS-approved vaults.
To get started with a gold IRA, contact a gold IRA company (or multiple gold IRA companies) and inquire about opening an account or initiating an account transfer or rollover. View our gold IRA reviews above to find a company suitable for you. From there, a company representative can walk you through the process of adding gold or other precious metals to your account.
Yes. Since there are no limits on the number of IRAs one can own, it’s possible to own several gold IRAs with various account providers. However, the annual account contribution limits (i.e., $7,000) still apply across all accounts. Therefore, an investor with seven (7) IRAs can only contribute up to $1,000 in each of them without incurring penalties.
A regular IRA can be converted into a precious metals IRA via one of two processes: a transfer, or a rollover. A gold IRA rollover can be initiated by contacting a gold IRA provider and inquiring about opening an account via a rollover.
IRA holders can rollover funds to a new account, containing gold or other precious metals, once per 365 day calendar year. Once the funds are distributed from the existing IRA into one’s bank account, the account holder has 60 days to deposit it into the new IRA.
By contrast, there are fewer rules that stipulate how often one can initiate a gold IRA transfer. Therefore, many investors find it easier to simply conduct a direct custodian-to-custodian account transfer to convert their stock IRA to a precious metals IRA.
To learn more about the differences between the two account initiation processes, read our comprehensive guide to gold IRA rollovers vs. gold IRA transfers.
Investors can hold almost any variety of high-purity gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion within a precious metals IRA. Many of the world’s top bullion types, such as PAMP Suisse bars or Canadian Maple Leafs coins, can be added to IRAs or 401(k)s.
Investors should note that certain types of precious metals coinage are not permitted in an IRA. Collectible assets, such as rare coins, for example, are not eligible for inclusion in a precious metals IRA.
There are a finite number of vaults and depositories that the IRS authorizes for holding precious metals. These are secure and fully insured facilities that exercise the utmost care and caution when protecting investors’ assets. Some of the more well-known depositories include Delaware Depository, Brinks Security, and HSBC Bank USA.
No. The IRS strictly prohibits any account holder from physically possessing their precious metals assets while enjoying the benefits of an IRA. If investors want to take possession of the assets, they must take a distribution from the account, which may incur early distribution penalties.
Yes. Gold and precious metals IRA holders cannot take a distribution before the age of 59.5 without triggering a 10% early withdrawal penalty.
Annual fees usually range between $150 and $300 annually. Therefore, on a $45,000 account balance, the fees amount to a fraction of one percent. In some cases, storage fees are even waived for the investor’s first year as a promotion offered by some gold IRA companies, such as Regal Assets.
Absolutely. There’s very little risk involved in opening a gold IRA. In fact, most investors open gold IRAs in order to minimize risk and manage their exposure to volatility. Although they’re not a get-rich-quick asset class, precious metals can provide incredible stability in one’s investment portfolio, which becomes invaluable the closer one gets to their retirement.
Top Precious Metals IRA Summary