In this Gold IRA guide, review your investment options, discover trade secrets, and learn more about preparing for your future with a Gold IRA.
Investing in gold can be a daunting – but rewarding – task. With such an unsure economy, it’s only reasonable to be unsure how to best protect your wealth. An increasing number of Americans are turning to gold investments to provide extra padding to their retirement savings.
With so many options available for investing in precious metals, finding the right match for your goals and portfolio can be challenging. That’s why we review gold companies to provide you with up-to-date comparisons of the best gold investment companies on the market.
Here you’ll discover how a Gold IRA can help you prepare for your retirement, as well as investment tips and answers to all your burning questions about investing in gold.
American Hartford Gold
- BuyBack Commitment
- Physical delivery or IRS-certified storage
American Hartford Gold is a family-owned and operated company established in 2015 in Los Angeles. American Hartford Gold offers three investment options: physical assets, gold IRAs, and silver IRAs.
The minimum investment amount for a gold IRA is $10,000. There is an additional annual fee of $180 for account maintenance. Additionally, the physical assets can be stored with Brink’s Global Services in Utah and California or Delaware’s Depository Service.
As a bonus, their BuyBack Commitment encourages clients to go to American Hartford Gold first when they want to sell their metals.
Money Metals Exchange
- Large selection of popular metals
- High buyback prices
Founded in 2010, Money Metals Exchange is a reputable online bullion dealer due to its wide selection and competitive pricing. The company offers precious metal IRAs and the option to roll over a traditional IRA into a gold one.
Money Metals Exchange charges annual storage fees for their on-site depositories. These fees vary depending on the value that is being stored.
Moreover, investors can request Money Metals Exchange to store their gold bullion products in Delaware and Massachusetts in Class 3 vaults. Money Metals holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Dedicated portfolio manager
- Easy to roll over existing IRA
Goldco was founded in 2006 and is based in Woodland Hills, California. Goldco specializes in helping individuals roll over their existing retirement savings accounts, such as an IRA, 401(k), and 403(b), into a Precious Metals IRA.
The minimum investment amount for a gold IRA is $25,000. This account also comes with an annual fee of $175.
The company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a Triple-A rating from the Business Consumer Alliance (BCA). Moreover, Goldco was announced as the winner of the Gold Stevie Award as the company of the year in 2021 at the Annual American Business Awards.
Patriot Gold Group
- No fees for life on qualifying IRAs
- Secure vault or home safe
Patriot Gold Group is located in Los Angeles, CA, and has been in business for over three decades. The company allows investors to open new precious metal IRAs or roll over their existing traditional accounts.
With Patriot Gold Group, a one-time fee of $225 is paid for investments below $30,000. Conversely, A No Fee for Life IRA takes effect if the investment is more than $250,000. Investors are also charged $140 for insurance and storage. For gold IRAs, the minimum investment amount is $15,000.
- $0 rollover, storage, and admin fees for the first year
- Options for every investment level
Regal Assets is a California-based precious metals dealer offering is a California-based precious metals dealer offering. The company was founded in 2009. The company also has international offices in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; London, U.K.; and Toronto, Canada. Regal Assets was recently inducted into the Forbes Finance Council. Also, the company has been recognized and highly rated by Forbes, Smart Money, and The Huffington Post.
Regal Assets stands out from other precious metal dealers because the company doesn’t charge any fees for the first year. However, investors will be charged a yearly $250 flat fee afterward. This fee includes storage and administrative costs. Additionally, the company does not charge to set up, transfer, store, or maintain IRA accounts. However, precious metal IRA accounts require a minimum $10,000 investment.
Noble Gold Investments
- Transparent fees
- Unique gold survival packs
Noble Gold is a precious metal brokerage firm in Pasadena, California, established in 2017. The company offers consumers precious metals IRA investment accounts.
Noble Gold has differing annual administrative and storage fees depending on the account, type of precious metals you invest in, and depository location. There are three depositories located in New Castle, Delaware; Dallas, Texas; and Toronto, Canada.
Gold IRA accounts have a minimum investment of $2,000. Gold IRAs also have an $80 annual administration fee and a $150 annual storage fee that includes insurance.
Noble Gold’s storage fees are higher than other companies because they provide segregated storage rather than commingled storage. This means that each investor’s assets are stored separately. This ensures that precious metals from different customers aren’t mixed.
What is a Gold IRA?
A Gold IRA is a retirement savings account that lets you convert your nest egg to gold. Like other IRA accounts, investing in a Gold IRA has tax benefits, with the option for contributions to be tax-deferred or after-tax. However, unlike other IRA accounts, a Gold IRA allows you to purchase and store physical assets, such as precious metals.
Gold IRA History in America
1929President Hoover famously said, “We have gold because we cannot trust governments.” In 1929, the stock market crash triggered one of the worst recessions the U.S. has ever seen, The Great Depression. It’s true what they say – history repeats itself.
In 2008, America experienced another major recession that took many years to recover from. Americans lost trillions of dollars worth of investments completely. Many Americans lost their jobs and the wealth they spent their life building up.
However, many Americans who invested in gold were able to weather the storm better than those who had placed all their trust in banks and stocks. Their wealth was protected because of their investments in physical precious metals.
Though gold prices did fall briefly in 2008, they quickly resumed the upward trend they’d been on since 2001. Gold was in the green every year between 2001 and 2007. In the past four years, gold prices have been on the rise again. From 2016 to 2019, gold prices were up by an impressive 44%.
2020Gold is currently on a steady climb toward the top of the chart. As of August 2020, the gold spot price is at $1,789 per ounce. The lowest we’ve seen gold in 2020 was $1,475 per ounce, but even the low has historically been a durable resistance level. Prior to June 2019, gold hadn’t surpassed $1,360 per ounce. Gold is still a volatile asset, but when we look at the historical charts, it’s clear that gold is on the upturn.
Why Invest in a Gold IRA?
There are many reasons why people choose to invest in a Gold IRA. Many investors are worried about an inevitable stock market crash – and with good reason. If stocks in a non-gold IRA fail, precious metals investors can remain confident that their Gold IRAs are protecting their wealth.
One of the most common reasons people open Gold IRAs is that they can hedge against inflation. In a way, an investment in gold is a bet against the stock market – as the value of the dollar falls, the value of gold rises. With the exception of those who don’t subscribe to the stock market game, many investors concentrate on gold or other precious metals as a way to diversify their investment portfolio.
Those concerned with economic collapse might choose to invest all of their money in gold as a safeguard. The reasons you choose to invest in gold may be one, or all, of the above, or it might be something entirely different. Precious metals are just one asset class people who want to build their nest egg can invest in.
As mentioned before, gold is on the upturn. Although it is impossible to precisely predict the future value of gold, historical charts show a promising rise.
Gold Investment Tips
- Don’t Sell or Withdraw Too Soon
The number one thing you should know about investing in gold is that this asset is meant to be held for long-term wealth preservation, not short-term profit. This is also one of its biggest pros and the reason it is so well-designed for an IRA. Like any IRA, though, making early withdrawals will net you some penalty fees, so try to avoid making withdrawals until you can do so penalty-free.
- Invest in Physical Precious Metals Like Bullion or Coins
Physical precious metals are more liquid than gold-based stock options. And in case of an economic collapse that puts us back on the gold standard, physical gold will have been the wisest precious metal investment.
- Don’t Store Your Gold at Home
You can’t just go prospecting for gold and putting any old gold you dig up in your IRA. Similarly, you shouldn’t expect to be able to store your Gold IRA in your home. If you store metals yourself, you run the risk of stocking up on assets that will not be valid in the eyes of the IRS. This leads us to the next point.
- Only Buy IRS-Approved Metals
It is extremely important that you only acquire IRS-certified precious metals. That means the metals must meet a purity standard and must be stored in the possession of an IRA custodian. Additionally, only gold, silver, palladium, and platinum are eligible to be included in a Gold IRA.
- Buy from a Reputable Storefront Dealer
You may have seen late-night infomercials or gotten the calls from telemarketers urging you to “buy gold now!” If you’re going to protect your wealth in gold, you need to buy from a dealer that has a physical storefront location and a proven track record. It is not recommended that you buy from an online-only dealer. Because your metals will also most likely be stored in the care of the dealer’s contracted custodian, it is essential that you feel you can trust the company with your golden nest egg.
Gold IRA Pros and Cons
- Wealth Protection
Your nest egg is your safeguard for the future. In such a volatile economy, many Americans are worried about losing their hard-earned wealth. That’s why financial advisors recommend allocating between 5% to 25% of your portfolio for liquid assets like precious metals. In an economic collapse, gold and other precious metals can be easily liquefiable, reducing the stress of wondering how your stocks will perform in a market crash. In a way, you can think of a Gold IRA as disaster insurance.
- Tax Benefits
Tax benefits are part of the reason why gold can protect your wealth so well. The same tax laws apply to Gold IRAs as regular IRAs. There are some lesser-known tax benefits as well, such as relief from inheritance tax and saver’s tax credit.
- Flexibility and Self-direction
You have many choices with what you want to do with your Gold IRA. Unlike regular IRAs, which are usually employer-directed, a Gold IRA lets you choose what you want to invest in – gold, silver, platinum, or palladium, and what type of investment you want to make. Not only can you choose what type of metal to invest in, but you also get to decide what form of metal you want. You can choose bullion, coins, or even ETFs.
- Diversify Portfolio
Your nest egg is your safeguard for the future, and you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. That’s why many financial advisors recommend investing in physical assets as a means to diversify your portfolio.
- No Interest, Dividends, or Yields
Most investors are obsessed with the dividends or interest payments that stocks and bonds, respectively, provide. A Gold IRA will not yield you either of these. When you invest in gold, you are crossing your fingers that gold will appreciate over time, making it a long-term investment rather than a short-term one.
- Fees and Expenses
Gold IRAs aren’t free. There are several expenses you will incur from setting up and maintaining a Gold IRA. You may be charged to set up the account initially. You will certainly be charged an annual custodial and storage fee.
- Gold is a Gamble
Overall, there is an ongoing debate about whether Gold IRAs are a safe investment. Many people reason that there is no inherent value to gold except for metals like silver or copper. Other people believe that an economic collapse will force America back to the gold standard, in which case, gold will be the most valuable asset. But, just like investing in stocks, you are taking a risk. Gold IRAs let you hedge your bets against the stock market.
We rate companies based on what’s offered, what fees they charge, and various trusted consumer websites and reviews. Our goal is to bring you up-to-date comparisons so you can make a measured, informed decision about where to invest your money.
Gold IRA FAQ
What Is a Gold IRA?
A Gold IRA is a retirement savings account specifically for holding gold and other precious metals, such as silver, platinum, and palladium. Gold IRAs are also referred to as Precious Metals IRAs. A Gold IRA is unique in that it allows account holders to invest in precious metals, whereas traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs do not. Like other IRA accounts, Gold IRAs have their own contribution limits and are subject to tax regulations. In addition, investors can use a Gold IRA to retain bullion, coins, and stocks in precious metals.
Which Type of Gold IRA Should I Choose?
Similar to the various types of non-Gold IRAs, there are several different Gold IRA accounts. Which one you choose will depend on your desired tax advantages. A traditional Gold IRA is tax-deferred, while a Roth IRA is after-tax. No matter which account you go with, you will have to purchase and store metals as physical assets.
Where Is a Gold IRA Stored?
Some people prefer to keep the contents of their Gold IRA in their possession. However, storing your Gold IRA at home is not legal. For this reason, many Gold IRA companies employ a custodian – usually a bank or brokerage firm – to store the account safely. If you prefer to manage your Gold IRA yourself, without the aid of a gold company, you will need to store the assets in a depository or bank of your choice.
What Metals Can Contribute to Your Gold IRA?
Gold IRAs can only contain four precious metals – gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. Furthermore, these metals must be IRS-certified. IRS certification is granted to gold that meets a certain purity, or fineness, standard. For gold coins or bullion to be IRA-eligible, they must have a class of at least .995. They also need to have been produced by a government mint or other accredited manufacturer. However, Gold American Eagle Bullion Coins are an exception to this rule – they only need to meet a .9167 fineness. Platinum and palladium must have a fineness of .9995. Silver must have a fineness of .999.
What Do I Need to Set Up a Gold IRA?
Although Gold IRAs are self-directed retirement savings accounts, you can’t set up a Gold IRA with just anyone. Gold IRAs are specialty accounts that can only be managed by companies that sell and maintain IRS-certified gold.
To set up a Gold IRA, you will first need to find a custodian. This can be done through the gold dealer you purchase from (who will often have a custodian on retainer), or you will need to coordinate with a bank or depository on your own.
Next, you need to select a precious metals dealer. Be sure to conduct plenty of research into a gold company before deciding to invest your money there. Each dealer has its own unique services and offerings. For example, some may only offer certain types of Gold IRAs or may require you to reach a minimum investment amount. For help finding a precious metals dealer, check out the review section of McGruff.com. We rate and review gold dealers to help you compare your options.
Once you have found your precious metals dealer, you will need to instruct your IRA custodian to send funds to the dealer. Through the dealer, you will be able to purchase IRA-eligible gold, platinum, palladium, or silver.
The next step is to decide which precious metals you’d like to invest in. There are four precious metals you can choose from: gold, platinum, silver, and palladium. For a precious metal to be eligible for a Gold IRA, it will need to be one of these four, be produced at a national mint, and meet a purity standard. Which metal (or combination of metals) you want to invest in is a purely personal decision. Gold and silver are the most popular precious metals for Gold IRAs. American Eagle Bullion Coins, which the U.S. Mint manufactures, are also a popular choice.
Next, all that’s left is to make your purchase and start building your golden nest egg.
How Do I Convert a Non-gold IRA to a Gold IRA?
If you want to convert a non-gold IRA to a Gold or Precious Metals IRA, you will need to first roll over the funds from your regular IRA into a self-directed IRA. The IRS allows you to roll over your IRA funds once every 12 months. To avoid incurring a penalty or tax, make sure you transfer the money from your initial IRA account into your new Gold IRA account within 60 days.
Once you have money in your new IRA account, you can use it to purchase precious metals.
Note that you can only purchase approved precious metals that meet a purity standard produced by a national mint. To purchase the actual metals, you will need to locate both an IRA custodian and a reputable gold dealer.
Do I Need to Convert Everything in My IRA Into Gold When I Switch to a Gold IRA?
You are not required to convert your entire IRA into gold when you roll over your account. However, there are several considerations you need to take into account when deciding how much of your IRA to convert to gold or other precious metals.
Timing is one of them: the IRS allows account holders to roll over their IRAs into a new account once in 12 months. Additionally, if you do not distribute the funds from the rollover account into a new IRA within 60 days, you will incur penalties and be taxed. For this reason, it’s advisable to either roll over all of your funds into a Gold IRA or roll over the old IRA into two different accounts (one for precious metals and one for the rest of your IRA money).
How much of your IRA you choose to convert to precious metals is an entirely personal matter. Your reasons for choosing to invest your money in gold will steer you in the right direction. For example, investors concerned about the stock market crashing may think it wise to invest all of their money in gold. On the other hand, investors who are not ready to take the leap and only want to diversify their investment portfolio might only invest some of their money in gold.
Finally, you should know that your gold IRA does not need to be entirely composed of a certain precious metal. Instead, you can spend some of your IRA on one metal or a combination of several.
Do your own research or speak to a financial advisor before you fully or partially convert to gold to ensure that you understand any consequences of rolling over your IRA.
How Much Does It Cost to Open a Gold IRA?
There are several fees associated with opening a Gold IRA. To complete the initial setup process, you will typically need to pay a one-time account setup fee ranging from $50 to $150. Then, depending on how many physical metals you have, you will need to pay a storage fee ranging from $50 to $300 (billed annually). There is also usually a “markup” fee. This varies by dealer.
Then, there are transaction fees. These fees may differ depending on the type and amount of metal you purchase. For example, the same weight in gold bullion and gold coins may be priced differently.
How Much Money Do I Need to Invest in a Gold IRA?
Most Gold IRAs will have a minimum investment amount. The amount will vary from dealer to dealer, though. For example, some dealers may allow you to invest in a Gold IRA with as little as $100 (plus transaction, storage, and setup fees), while others may require a minimum investment of $50,000. The typical range for the initial minimum investment is $2,000 to $5,000.
How is a Gold IRA Taxed?
There are different types of Gold IRAs – how your account is taxed depends on which type of IRA you have. Gold IRAs are taxed the same way non-Gold IRAs are. Traditional Gold IRAs are tax-deferred, meaning you will pay taxes on the IRA upon withdrawal. Roth Gold IRAs are after-tax, meaning that gold is purchased with after-tax money, and there is no tax upon withdrawal. The same tax penalties for early withdrawal from non-Gold IRAs also apply to Gold-IRAs.
How and When Do I Withdraw Money From a Gold IRA?
You can withdraw from your Gold IRA in two ways: with in-kind distributions or depository purchases.
In-kind distributions are deducted from your account and shipped to you, at which point you take physical possession of your precious metals.
Depository purchases are when you sell your metals back to the depository in which they are being stored. This option gives you the dollar value of your investment.
No matter which option you choose, you will need to contact your IRA custodian to initiate a withdrawal. Remember that your withdrawals are subject to taxation rules. Taxation will depend on which kind of Gold IRA you set up. In addition, you will face penalties if you make a withdrawal before you turn 59 and a half(with some exceptions).
As with regular IRAs, you must start taking required minimum distributions when you turn 72. However, minimum withdrawal rules for Gold IRAs are more complicated than the rules for non-Gold IRAs because you must take withdrawals by the whole piece of metal you own. As a result, you cannot always decide how much money you want to withdraw because precious metals vary in cost and may have appreciated or depreciated by the time you withdraw. This makes estimating the dollar amount you must withdraw somewhat tricky.
McGruff.com rates and reviews select gold dealers to help you narrow down your options. The actual transaction will have to be conducted through the IRA custodian. Once the transaction is complete, the dealer will ship the metals to the custodian’s depository. Note that you cannot store your Gold IRA metals yourself; you will need to use a verifiable bank or depository. For your convenience, many gold dealers also supply their own Gold IRA custodians and secure storage facilities.