There are numerous ways to save retirement money. However, it’s no secret that the market is not always on the investor’s side — it takes a dire economic crisis to wipe out one’s entire retirement savings.
Nowadays, the most direct strategy an investor could make is setting up a precious metals IRA. After all, top gold IRA companies offer precious metals investments. But that does beg the question: how to set up one, and which company to do business with?
Read this article to see what to expect from the best gold investment companies today.
Top 4 Precious Metals IRA Companies of 2023 At a Glance
Augusta Precious Metals: Editors Choice - Best Prices and Fees overall
Goldco: Runner up - Best Selection on precious metals:
American Hartford Gold: Best Gold IRA Company and most trusted overall
Birch Gold Group: Excellent Customer Service
#1 Augusta Precious Metals: Editors Choice - Best Prices and Fees overall
Augusta Precious Metals is among the best gold IRA companies. The firm’s image does not hint at a flaw in the precious metals industry. In addition, they have been in the market for over 45 years providing various investment products, including gold IRA investments and precious metals IRAs.
Augusta Precious Metal’s selection is also strictly limited to silver bullion, silver coins, and gold bullion. If one wants to purchase precious metals like platinum and palladium, one must look elsewhere.
What is more interesting is that this company provides a breakdown of all expenses in the first meeting, helping individuals prepare the right amount before partnering with them. On top of this, Augusta clients are qualified for a one-on-one web panel to enhance their familiarity with acquiring physical precious metals.
Also, the company does not charge transaction fees, but physical gold & silver platinum is subject to a price spread or bid. According to the firm’s Transaction Agreement, spreads should be 5% for standard physical gold bullion products and 33% for premium products.
Augusta Precious Metals is known for having one of the highest gold investment minimums in the precious metals industry. However, this increased minimum investment should not stop you from dealing with the best gold IRA company within the market today.
For direct rare metals purchases, Augusta investors need to follow these steps:
1. Fund their individual retirement account.
2. Choose either gold or silver options or both.
3. Sign up for delivery at the preferred location.
They also let clients have their money back in case they need help finding Augusta Precious Metals’ services acceptable. Lastly, they offer a buyback option without liquidation fees for old and new gold IRA account withdrawals.
The section below tackles the advantages and disadvantages of partnering with Augusta as the investor’s preference for gold IRA investments.
Fair pricing as a premier gold IRA company
Transparency with fees, according to Gold IRA reviews
Strong focus on silver and gold investing compared to other gold IRA companies
A+ rating from authorities like the Better Business Bureau as the best gold IRA provider
Has no formal complaints for over ten years
Gold and silver, and other precious metals have a 99% purity level
Lack of options for palladium and platinum
#2 Goldco: Runner up - Best Selection on precious metals
Goldco Precious Metals is one of the leading gold IRA providers on the market. They are a gold IRA company offering a wide variety of precious metals investment accounts, including cryptocurrency and gold or silver IRA.
All gold or silver IRA investors should be fine with the company’s website interface. It is uncomplicated and easy to navigate, unlike other gold IRA companies. They also have a guide on how to set up one’s self-directed precious metals IRAs.
Goldco stands out primarily because of its extensive investor education program. When someone becomes an IRA holder, they will have access to the entire library of free scholarly content.
It includes articles, blog posts, videos, and webinars that cover gold IRA investment topics. Also, their website has tools like real-time market monitoring and other analytical features.
Goldco employs a “white-glove” level of customer service. Clients are assigned a specialist to assist with any transaction. However, the downside of this company is its non-disclosure gold IRA fees.
Additionally, they provide clients with a gold IRA rollover kit. They handle investment plans to a gold rollover IRA account, making investing with Goldco secure and seamless.
Clients still deciding whether to keep Goldco as their gold IRA custodian can ask for a free gold rollover IRA kit to learn more about the corporation. The kit contains an audio, video, and printed manual that responds to the following questions:
How to invest in precious metal commodities?
How to grow an individual retirement account?
How do rare metals offer more control over assets?
Sure, they provide a detailed breakdown of annual expenses, but clients still have to ask them first.
Investor education services for improved knowledge about their precious metals IRA account
Short transaction waiting times for noble gold investments
White-glove-level customer service
One of the oldest and most trusted gold IRA companies
Has buyback programs with the highest fee on the market
With a wide selection of silver and gold coins available
Lack of complete transparency when it comes to charges
Limited bullion, platinum, and palladium choices
#3 American Hartford Gold: Best Gold IRA Company and most trusted overall
American Hartford Gold (AHG) offers numerous investment opportunities, not only physical precious metals but also gold IRAs. They also have a gold IRA rollover with only three steps to follow, making it uncomplicated for beginner AHG investors.
For starters, clients must inquire and speak with an AHG expert. The product specialist will help clients fill out all the necessary paperwork. Additionally, this is the perfect time for clients to ask questions regarding their investments.
Secondly, clients must fund the account. The client may choose which precious metals fit their investment portfolio. They can decide between gold and silver assets or a combination of both. It is totally up to the client and their budget.
After choosing, the AHG agent and client can start ordering the preferred precious metals. Take note that such metals are in one of the United States IRA-approved vaults for better protection.
For shipment and delivery, American Hartford Gold offers two options. It can be physically shipped door-to-door or placed in a retirement account like what other gold IRA companies do.
This firm is one of the best gold IRA companies with the best customer service experience. They have an always-available customer support line to have issues addressed swiftly and adequately.
American Hartford Gold also excels with its investor education program. With access to a content library, clients must have solid precious metal investment decisions.
To top things off, AHG uses a variable fee structure, meaning annual service fees are directly proportional to the amount a client uses in their gold or silver IRA for a particular period.
Customer support always available
Family-owned investment firm
No liquidation fees on its buyback program
Focus on investor education
Longer waiting times for transactions
No online price listing
No shipping option outside of the US
#4 Birch Gold Group: Excellent Customer Service
Birch Gold Group, simply Birch Group, is a gold IRA company that deals with investment alternatives in precious metals IRAs. Their low investment base requirement makes this company accessible to almost all individuals and families.
Birch Gold breaks down service expenses on one page on its website in an understandable format. The figures may change, but the company is known to update its fees months before implementing them.
With over 20 years of trading precious metals like gold and silver, this gold IRA company has already established a solid reputation in the industry and with its clients. Their financial team poses their skills to work by assisting retirement portfolio diversification.
Being accommodating and responsive to clients’ queries is integral to their job. Birch Group sets ethical standards for investment education, empathy, transparency, and efficiency. Whenever a client needs clarification, the Birch Group team answers punctually with sufficient information, making efficient decisions.
The company also implements a flat rate structure. Clients who buy frequently and in bulk can maximize the annual fees for storage, shipping, and other transaction-related costs.
Lastly, they are known for having the slowest transaction processing rates in the precious metals market. One must wait two weeks to a month before getting their orders cleared.
Multiple options for custodians and depository services
Transparent fee structure
Strong focus on palladium and platinum
A flat rate is ideal for frequent bulk buyers
Notoriously long transaction waiting times
No overseas depository options
A flat rate is not suitable for infrequent buyers
What is a Precious Metals IRA?
It is a separate entity for buying, storing, and owning assets on an investor’s behalf. While standard gold and silver IRAs focus on paper assets like stocks, bonds, and titles, IRAs need to store physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
Gold or precious metals individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are specialized retirement investments that allow individuals to acquire precious metals within their portfolios. Since they cannot store the rare metals at home, physical precious metals bought are stored in an authorized depository while a custodian manages them.
The complexity of how a precious metal like silver IRA is set up and managed would also mean that having one can be costly. Clients sometimes spend as much as $300 for their IRA annually, transaction-specific charges not included. This ensures that silver and gold investments are among the most-regulated retirement plans.
Advantages of a Precious Metals IRA
Gold IRA assets are a reasonable diversification strategy for a more balanced retirement portfolio mix. Wise investors understand that having a gold IRA in their portfolio gives them an edge in the precious metals market by selling high and buying cheap.
Unlike traditional paper assets, such as stocks and bonds, a gold IRA increases the chance of overcoming the challenges of economic crashes and volatile markets. There are many benefits to having a precious metals IRA. However, they all boil down to the following five distinct advantages.
Precious Metals IRAs Allow for the Diversification of Assets
Any financial adviser will advise clients that diversifying assets will always be the top priority. This means that investments should contain various sets of asset classes. With an IRA, anyone can acquire IRS-approved gold and silver coins, gold bullion, gold and silver bars, and other precious metals.
These precious metal products have their market value and other inherent qualities. Depending on the IRA Company, anyone can own products from different mints worldwide. Some modern gold IRA providers allow for storing digital assets like Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Beyond Diversity, A Precious Metal IRA Provides Opportunity
Gold individual retirement accounts are not only meant for precious metals. Investors can also get a hold of custodians to provide multiple investment opportunities from different asset classes.
For instance, one can invest in mining companies for precious metals by buying any stock they issue on the local exchange. Also, investors can trade a portion of gold for bonds from private companies or the government itself.
Being open to alternative investment opportunities is crucial as it introduces income generation to the portfolio. What makes it even better is that an IRA’s income is either tax-deferred or tax-exempt.
The former means one can pay tax obligations from them at a later date. The latter means not paying taxes for them. Tax privileges depend significantly on what the IRS thinks fits the situation.
Precious Metals IRAs Provide Safety
Recent global events have shown that nothing is guaranteed today, especially market performance. Due to the economic crises, even the strongest-performing markets before 2020 are struggling.
If the market goes down, spending power diminishes as well. This is where precious metals have an edge against paper assets as they maintain a high value due to their inherent quality and high multi-sector demand.
Precious Metals IRAs Offer a Level of Control Absent in Other Retirement Solutions
With a precious metals IRA, clients can access the gold IRA accounts. If clients want to use their IRA to store scarce gold and silver coins, nobody can stop them. Additionally, if they wish to withdraw some of the assets to sell, the company handling the IRA can assist them.
However, that does not mean gold IRA accounts are utterly free from interference. Investors must still obey the rules set by the IRS.
Taking Advantage of the Rising Price of Gold Investments
For centuries, the worth of gold has never depreciated. Or if it did, the value remained relatively high to the extent that precious metals investors have experienced a significant net loss.
Known for its high market demand in multiple industries and limited supply, anyone must expect that gold’s worth will continue to rise for generations. Its power to perform well under various economic conditions has made gold assets a practical hedge against inflation.
For individuals wondering which one is better between gold and silver assets, the answer is gold. Although silver has more applications in different industries, gold is more limited, which will result in more potential earnings.
Lastly, gold assets and paper asset prices have an inverse relationship. The cost of gold tends to increase when the financial market is down. Many currencies may be sensitive to fluctuations, but gold prices remain stable for a long time. In addition, ancient gold ornaments still have the same high price as the latest ones in the precious metals market.
Guide To Investing In Precious Metals
Silver, gold, and other precious metals are good investment opportunities if added to one’s retirement account. They are scarce and hold an intrinsic value. Including them in the portfolio can secure the investor’s wealth in case of global market flux.
Investing in precious metals can be challenging for beginners, but anyone can start from the basics. Check the guide below to learn more.
Seek expert advice
Before entering any investment venture, it would be beneficial to ask for professional advice. Retirement investors may speak with their financial planner or lawyer to know how to set up their investment portfolios legally.
Additionally, everyone must abide by the laws of specific regions. Lawyers and financial advisors have expertise and knowledge regarding these areas. They are also aware of the investment vehicles available in their client’s locations.
Financial experts can also help investors decide if precious metals investments can add to their retirement goals. They can choose gold coins, gold bullion, silver coins, and other rare metal investment options.
Get updated with current market news
Make it a habit to stay updated on daily news, especially on precious metals investments. Although the gold IRA company secures all clients’ precious metals, it would be helpful if clients were also aware of what is happening in the industry.
Fraud issues in the business and finance industry are not surprising anymore. This is why investors should be cautious when entering into new investments. For example, it could be a scam when someone offers to buy a commodity swiftly and for a much higher price.
Another advantage of getting updated with fraud news is that it can give investors and the gold IRA company an understanding of how to protect their investments. Simply reading and watching the news can significantly prevent fraudulent crimes from even escalating.
Find a gold IRA company to establish the gold IRA account
All gold IRA companies have products, services, promotions, and features. Only the investor’s gold IRA company can understand and determine how much they can take pleasure in their retirement accounts.
The gold IRA custodian will question the client’s personal information, as well as their financial standing. This includes basic details, such as your name, address, and social security number. Also, they may ask for any assets they already have in custody to calculate how much they can put into their precious metals investments.
When you’re searching for the best gold IRA company, look for the simplicity of their setup processes. Beginner investors must see their setup procedure to be easy to navigate and understand. In addition, it would be a bonus if the gold IRA company agent was very hands-on with every transaction.
Client data must be accessible by unauthorized people and third-party individuals without their consent. As an investor, it would be beneficial to strive to look for gold IRA providers that provide service with integrity and transparency.
Establish and fund the gold IRAs
Most gold IRA providers tend to simplify their setup procedures. It would take a little time to complete the process if the client had all the necessary forms and requirements. They should be able to fund their precious metals accounts within a week or so.
Their IRA provider must offer aid if they encounter any trouble while setting up. The assistance includes securing the records and speaking with the depositary and the custodian.
Once the account setup is ready for funding, investors should understand the type of payment they can make. They can pay through lump sum or standard contributions. A regular contribution happens when the gold IRA company takes funds from any of the investor’s existing savings accounts, then moves it to their new IRA.
Investors must know the payment method to understand the basic IRS contribution regulations. It is crucial to stay within the yearly limit contribution to avoid penalties.
What Precious Metals Can You Invest in For Retirement?
A precious metals IRA is designed to store commodities, particularly gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Investors may use their gold IRAs to store precious metal coins, gold bars, and other gold and silver bullion forms.
Back then, the options were limited to only American sources, specifically US-made bars and coins like the American Eagle and the Gold Buffalo. It changed in 1997 when the IRS relaxed its restrictions on internationally-minted coins and bars.
Today, any IRA holder can own coins and bars from Canada, Germany, Australia, China, the UK, and Germany. The only caveat is that products must meet IRS standards.
IRS would look for purity, meaning that the gold and silver products must be composed mainly of the advertised metal. Gold should have a purity standard of 99.95%, while other metals should be 99.99%.
What Are The Top 4 Precious Metal Investments?
Investors can choose various rare metals to add to their individual retirement accounts. These rare metals have a high monetary value. They are beneficial because they are scarce, useful for several industrial processes, or have asset properties that make them a convenient store of value. This can vary from gold, silver, platinum, & palladium. Check the list below to learn about each of them.
It is the most famous and investable precious metal on the list. It is distinctive among others due to its shaping capability, durability, and ability to conduct electricity and heat. Additionally, gold is mainly used to make jewelry and as a currency. Aside from that, some industries like electronics and dentistry depend on gold.
Ever since people discovered gold, it has long been a valuable metal. Investors prefer purchasing gold assets to other financial securities, such as bonds and stocks. It has been the go-to investment in times of political or economic uncertainty and as a hedge against ascending inflation.
Individuals can invest in gold in various ways. For starters, they can buy actual gold coins, jewelry, and bars. Further, investors can purchase gold stocks or shares of royalty companies and shares of gold mining.
Each gold investment alternative has its advantages and disadvantages. Drawbacks may include the cost of keeping and insuring gold and the possible underperformance of gold stocks. On the other hand, the pros of gold assets may consist of the ability to track its price and the potential for surpassing gold stocks and ETFs.
After gold, silver is the runner-up for being the most-common rare metal commodity. Silver is an essential industrial metal in photography, electronics, and electrical industries. Due to its electrical properties, this specific precious metal is necessary for solar panels. In addition, silver is valuable in jewelry, coins, bars, and silverware making.
In most cases, silver’s worth can surpass gold prices in times of high investor and industrial demand. However, due to silver’s dual function as an industrial and precious metal, its price tends to be more volatile than gold.
Like silver, platinum is primarily present in the industrial market. Its properties are essential in the automotive industry. Platinum helps make catalytic converters, reducing emissions from automobile exhaust. In addition, the computer and petroleum industries use platinum as well.
Platinum is part of the six platinum-group metals (PGM), including palladium, iridium, rhodium, ruthenium, and osmium. They share the same properties and often occur in the same mineral deposits.
Palladium is also a rare and precious metal. However, most investors emphasize this metal as they do others, like gold and silver. This is why most gold IRA companies only have limited palladium choices in their catalog.
Palladium is involved in industrial products and the electronic market. Moreover, they are also present in groundwater treatment, medicine, jewelry, dentistry, and some chemical applications.
How Much of the IRA Must Include Precious Metals?
Although precious metals IRA was designed to store gold, silver, palladium coins, and platinum, experts recommend not using all of it for such assets. At best, IRA should comprise between 5% and 10% of precious metals.
The best assurance of financial security under any economic condition is asset diversification. For example, one should focus on more than gold IRA investments because the entire value of wealth will go down once the only investment fails.
One cannot earn passive income in an IRA. Precious metals maintain high intrinsic values but are downright terrible in income generation because the purpose of such a retirement account in the first place is to secure wealth.
Lastly, the notion that precious metals are failure-proof is nothing but a myth. No commodity is that invulnerable. It is just that precious metals have yet to suffer massive price drops.
How to Open a Precious Metals IRA
Compared to a traditional IRA, a precious metals IRA is seemingly in a class of its own as far as complexity is concerned. Each reputable gold IRA company has its distinct setup processes for investment success.
Step #1: Select a Self-Directed IRA Custodian
A gold IRA custodian is a company authorized to handle gold IRAs. They can be a bank, a trusted gold investment company, or a similar financial institution. They can do many things for clients, but most of their work revolves around investing funds in the IRA for all assets, including other precious metals.
The chosen IRA company has its preferences for custodians but can also work with whomever their clients desire. As for which they choose, the rule of thumb is to pick the one that meets the client’s needs and budget.
Step #2: Choose a Precious Metal Dealer
A dealer is a person who receives money from the gold IRA custodian to sell precious metals on the account. Always consider whether they are affiliated or partnered with industry associations. That would include groups like the Professional Numismatists Guild and the Industry Council for Tangible Assets.
The IRA company can recommend some dealers. Think of it this way: a reputable gold IRA company will always only do business with equally fair dealers and custodians.
Step #3: Decide What Products to Buy
This part is relatively straightforward. The dealer will provide a copy of a catalog of their available products. Then, investors may choose the precious metals that interest them.
For beginners, it would be best to pick something they are most familiar with, like Gold Eagles, Canadian Maple Leaf coins, and Gold Buffalos.
Once gold IRA investors get used to acquiring precious metals, they should branch out to riskier stuff like rare coins, platinum, or palladium bars. At the same time, it is best to consider what the dealer recommends as the most viable purchase.
Step #4: Choose a Depository
The custodian stores all the metals at an authorized depository facility. There are three depository services to choose from. This includes Brinks, the International Depository Service, and the Delaware Depository Service.
Step #5: Complete the Transaction
Depending on which company, all orders must be ready for shipping within a day to a week at best. Clients must monitor the value of their purchases constantly.
What To Look For In A Precious Metals IRA Company?
The question concerning which gold investment company is suitable for the customer solely depends on their preferences, needs, and budget. However, this article offers five things to consider when determining the best gold IRA companies to do business with.
Reviews and Ratings
The ratings acquired by a specific organization reveal the quality of their offered products and services. Fortunately, such information is readily accessible on the web, provided they know where to find them.
Two of the top collectors of business organization scores are Google Reviews and Better Business Bureau (BBB). Both are credible and reputable review information sources from customers with experience with different investment companies. Investors can extract a company’s information, including customer service, delivery, and complaints.
Moreover, a reputable gold IRA company in the precious metals industry must hold a rating of at least B to A+. No one wants their investments to get managed by a cheap company. This is why investors must find a company with a good rating and review.
Gold IRA Fee Structure
Understanding the IRA fee structures allow investors to see if they want to pursue opening a gold IRA account with a specific company or find another one that suits their preferences. After all, people must only pay what they can afford.
These IRA fees may include annual administration, storage, maintenance, and other related expenses. Before partnering with a gold IRA company, ensure to have them disclose all fees included as much as possible.
Investors should also take advantage of promotions and shipping discounts given by some gold IRA companies. This may consist of first-year waivers for first-time customers. While there are enterprises that provide fixed rates, others do not. Either way, a practical investor should select the one that matches their buying preferences and frequency more.
The Efficiency of Delivery Time
Precious metals orders should only take as long as expected unless there is an unexpected incident. Most gold IRA companies only let their clients wait for their precious metals orders for up to three business days.
Additionally, gold IRA companies must allow quick and safe transfers of precious metals assets from one storage establishment to another. Added security, such as using armored automobiles and well-trained personnel, can protect all purchases from any criminalities.
The key takeaway is that gold IRA companies must include the efficiency of their delivery time. This minimizes delays and other unwanted scenarios.
Friendly and Accommodating Customer Support
Aloof sales associates can be uncomfortable and very irritating to engage with. No one would want to employ someone from an organization with that kind of negativity.
It is no secret that the precious metals market is highly competitive. However, there is no need to be invasive in getting clients. Let the firm’s reputation and credibility make the noise first.
Company representatives should respect the client’s desires. It is not a good practice to persuade customers to buy more than what they inquired about. Let clients feel the sales representatives’ willingness to help and not only because of the commissions they can get.
Investment Options They Offer
Note that there are numerous ways to diversify an individual retirement portfolio. Some gold IRA companies only concentrate on dealing with precious metals IRAs, while others offer physical gold bullion, gold coins, and other rare precious metals. These precious metals are of high value that will surely appreciate as years go by.
Nowadays, some precious metals companies also offer cryptocurrencies and stock mining. Clients need to talk with their financial advisers and company representatives. They can help choose which investment choices are suitable to add to their portfolio mix.
What Are The Risks Associated With Precious Metals Investments?
Like traditional investments, getting involved in precious metals assets bears some risk. Despite describing gold assets as “recession-proof” investments, they can still be volatile. This applies more to silver and other precious metals.
The significant risks of investing in precious metals are as follows:
Political instability in the mining areas of rare metals
Periods of increased volatility
The drop in industry demands
The decline in particular metal demands
New regulations for the environment
Investors can actively manage and reduce risks through accurate risk management measures.
Where Do Prices Of Gold Depend On?
Investors have long used the prices of precious rare metals to monitor the market and economic conditions. The prices of gold assets depend on five prominent factors.
Demand and supply
The higher the demand for gold assets, the higher their price. This is because gold and silver commodities are rare, giving them a valuable edge for long-term investors.
US dollar price
Precious metal trading is in the US dollar currency. This means that the weakness in the dollar currency can lead to an increased price of rare metals. Consequently, a strong dollar can affect the costs of any precious metal investments.
Monetary rates and interest rates
With the decline in interest rates and the looser monetary policies of prominent central banks worldwide, investors can expect a higher price for precious metals acquisitions. In addition, the higher costs of gold and silver metals can be due to lower yields on other traditional assets like bonds.
Healthy economic data can support riskier assets and weaken shelters. On the other hand, weak data on a global economy may increase the demand for metal commodities, such as gold. Respectively, it can lower the need for riskier metals that rely on economic growth, like palladium.
Political tension can affect the investor’s risk appetite, pushing other market participants to seek more security. Moreover, political uncertainty in the location of precious metal commodity mining could disrupt the supply chain. This can result in the decline of supply while increasing its prices accordingly.
How Do You Make a Withdrawal from Precious Metal IRAs?
There are two ways to make a withdrawal: In-kind withdrawals and buybacks.
In-kind withdrawals are somewhat simple. The custodian will take a portion of the gold requested for withdrawal from the precious metals IRA, then shipped to the preferred location.
On the other hand, buybacks happen when a depository facility offers to buy a portion of the client’s gold. The selling price is almost always closest to the current market value of the products.
Final Thoughts - Precious Metals IRA
There are many benefits acquired from most gold IRA companies. And transparent fees are a standard for any precious metals IRA company.
In that regard, the best possible option now would be American Hartford Gold. Their fair fees, reasonable prices, and assistance to gold IRA investors mean that the company is more than capable of helping them attain their investment goals. They take things further by ensuring that all information is ready for investors before making a call.
Most investors also favor having American Hartford Gold as their best bet for gold IRA companies. They have won many awards and have made a name in the investment industry for decades. Their clients can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that they have partnered with at least one of the best gold IRA companies within the industry!