How to invest in silver with an IRA or 401k & review of top 3 silver companies

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Silver is a vital element that is increasingly needed in various industries. For instance, it plays a vital role in the production of electric vehicles and the infrastructure that supports them. Given that governments and automakers are now heavily pushing EVs to the mass public, investing in silver using an IRA or 401k may be a smart way to diversify your portfolio with a hard asset that has intrinsic value and that has utility beyond money…

Top Silver IRA Companies in 2023

#1 - Noble Investments - Best Silver Company Overall

2 - Augusta Precious Metals - Best for Large Investors

  • Minimum Investment: $50,000

  • Roth and Traditional IRA Supported? Yes

  • 401k Accounts Supported? Yes

  • URL: http://augustapmira.com

#3 - Silver Gold Bull - Best for Silver Bars

Note: You can read more detailed reviews of these three silver IRA companies towards the end of this article.

Disclaimer: we would like to remind you that this content doesn’t constitute financial advice and shouldn’t be taken as such. Always speak to your financial advisor before making an investment decision. All investments carry a certain level of risk, including precious metals. Also, remember that past results cannot guarantee future returns. Do your due diligence and invest wisely.

What’s a Silver IRA?

A silver IRA is a type of self-directed retirement account (Roth or Traditional) that allows investors to hold physical silver, such as bullion or coins, as a long-term investment. This type of IRA is also called a precious metals IRA and is intended to help diversify an investor’s retirement portfolio against paper assets and market downturns.

To establish a silver IRA, investors must find a custodian that specializes in precious metal IRAs. The custodian will assist investors in opening a new IRA or rolling over an existing IRA or 401k into a Silver IRA. The custodian will also assist in purchasing physical silver and storing it in a secure and insured facility. The silver remains in the IRA until the investor reaches retirement age and begins taking distributions.

Investing in a silver IRA can provide a hedge against inflation and economic instability because silver has a tendency to hold its value over the long term. However, it’s important to remember that owning physical silver comes with costs, such as premiums for the coins and bars as well as storage, administration and insurance fees. It’s also important to remember that the value of silver can be volatile, just like with any other investment, and that past performance can never guarantee future returns. As a result, investors are encouraged to thoroughly consider the potential risks and benefits before investing in a silver IRA, and to speak to their financial advisors before making any investment decision.

5 Reasons Why Americans are Investing in Silver

Silver is one of those assets that have withstood the test of time. Just like gold, silver is mentioned in virtually every holy book, and has been used as currency by multiple civilizations for thousands of years. That speaks volumes about its longevity and usefulness.

In 2023, long-term protection and diversification against all types of macro risks is paramount. Physical silver is an excellent example of a hard asset that can help protect your nest egg against multiple factors, such as:

#1 - Inflation and Deflation Protection

As cash continues to depreciate, silver, like other precious metals, has historically shown that it can maintain its purchasing power regardless of the inflation rate. Silver has historically performed well during BOTH inflationary and deflationary times.

Also, silver may be an even better inflation hedge than gold. According to Morgan Stanley, “Historically, both gold and silver have made solid gains when US inflation is rising. Both metals are valued in US dollars, so when the dollar falls in value, gold and silver typically rise because they become less expensive to buy using other currencies.

Given greater industrial demand, silver tends to rise more than gold with rising inflation and a falling dollar.”

#2 - Widespread Demand and Usage

Russ Koesterich of BlackRock went further in the silver vs. gold debate. He noted that silver has more industrial uses than gold, namely with electronic devices, electrical systems, and solar panels.

Silver is by far the most conductive metal on earth, making it highly useful in almost all industries. As we mentioned earlier in this article, an EV space that could become a $46 trillion industry by 2050 also uses a great deal of silver. EVs rely on silver for “the electric engine, battery pack, and battery management system.”

(Iron Monk Solutions via goldsilver.com, sponsored) Estimated Silver Use in Autos Table.

Demand is only continuing to rise, too. Outside the evolution of technology and industry, silver serves critical purposes for banks, financial institutions, and governments.

#3 - Potential Long-Term Growth at a Discount

Kelli Click, president of the STRATA Trust Company, notes that people have an interest in precious metal IRAs because precious metals add long-term security, “including reducing your potential investment volatility and risk, serving as a hedge in the event of an economic downtown and providing a tax-efficient shelter for potential gains.”

Silver is unique because of its limited supply and surging demand. It is also an asset whose value today is much higher than 100 years ago, let alone since roughly the year 2000. Its discounted price coupled with soaring demand could make for a mouth-watering entry point.

(Iron Monk Solutions via stockcharts.com, sponsored) Silver's discounted price coupled with soaring demand table.

Plus, according to Morgan Stanley, “Silver is much cheaper than gold, making it more accessible to small retail investors. For those who are just starting to build their portfolios, the cost of silver may make it a better investment choice.”

#4 - Portfolio Diversity

Diversification is critical in turbulent times. When one investment underperforms, another one can outperform. Look at January’s S&P performance, for example. Pandemic winning stocks like Netflix and Moderna tanked while energy stocks surged. The opposite happened throughout 2020.

(Iron Monk Solutions via goldiraguide.org, sponsored) How to diversify your portfolio.

According to Business Insider, “Since it’s impacted by different influences, silver can be a good way to diversify and counterbalance your portfolio vis-a-vis equities or other paper securities.”

#5 - Liquidity

Silver is highly revered and popular to add to IRA and 401k accounts because of its liquidity, ubiquity, and versatility in trading. Now, to ensure maximum liquidity, ensure you buy only well-known silver bullion coins such as the American Silver Eagle or Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, which are recognized worldwide. Less known silver coin may be difficult to sell and therefore less liquid.

What to look for in a silver IRA dealer

People are understandably worried about inflation, the geopolitical landscape, and interest rate hikes. Consequently, many investors are looking for alternatives to stock-heavy retirement accounts. Gold IRA and 401k accounts are reasonably well-known, but Silver IRAs could be an equally opportune place to turn to with potentially more upside. You might be asking yourself how you can start ASAP.

Here are five things you should know first.

1. Do your due diligence

Make sure you do your due diligence on the company, their prices and products. Understand what specific silver bullion assets your IRA is allowed to own.

The IRS does not play around and has some strict conditions.

  • US-accredited manufacturers must produce bars to given standards (ISO 9000, TOCOM, LPPM, LBMA, LME, NYSE, COMEX, NYMEX) or sovereign mints.

  • Small bullion bars must be produced to specific weights — apart from bars of 400-ounce gold, 1000-ounce silver, 50-ounce platinum, and 100-ounce palladium.

  • Bullion in bars must be of ' … a fineness equal to or exceeding the minimum fineness that a contract market (as described in section 5 of the Commodity Exchange Act, 7 U.S.C. 7) requires for metals which may be delivered in satisfaction of a regulated futures contract.’ (Section 408/M of the IRS code) Compared to gold, platinum, and palladium, silver must be the purest of them all.

Precious metal Minimum purity allowed by the IRS:

  • Gold 99.5%

  • Silver 99.5%

  • Platinum 99.95%

  • Palladium 99.95%

Do your homework on dealers, too. Dealers set the price for silver, and you want a good one that will get you a fair price. Make sure you see what other investors are saying or reviewing about a dealer, too.

Of course, many bad actors exist out there, and it would be a catastrophe if you entrusted retirement savings with a scammer.

“Before choosing a dealer and buying precious metals with your IRA funds, you’ll want to do your own research,” says Kelli Click, president of the STRATA Trust Company. “Look for a dealer that belongs to industry trade groups like American Numismatic Association (ANA), Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) or Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) to help with your search.”

2. Learn About Depositories, Storage, and Pricing

Good luck successfully adding silver to your IRA without first understanding the importance of depositories, storage, and pricing.

  • Depositories are essential when purchasing physical assets to hold in an IRA. They must fully comply with IRS regulations, or else, a non-bank trustee will hold your silver.

  • It is essential to understand storage before adding silver to your IRA. You want your assets protected, and any sketchy storage facility poses this risk. Once stolen, silver is gone. It’s untraceable. So make sure that your storage facility is adequately insured.

  • Depositories primarily consist of two types of storage facilities– commingled and segregated.

  • Commingled storage is a vault holding metals owned by numerous owners.

  • Segregated storage is a locker system used to segregate silver from other precious metals within the depository. The coins or bullions placed in segregated storage are also the exact ones removed from the depository.

  • Pricing on a storage facility can vary from hundreds to thousands of dollars and be assessed quarterly or annually. Fees may also be fixed or adjusted based on the value of silver held.

3. Decide on Account Type

The only way to add silver to your retirement account is through a self-directed IRA monitored by an independent custodian. We will later go into more detail about custodians. Still, most traditional financial managers won’t even offer you the opportunity to open a self-directed IRA.

Self-directed IRAs have the same tax benefits and IRS guidelines as traditionally managed IRAs. The difference is you’re the one choosing what to invest in rather than what the broker presents.

Until the passing of The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, you could only invest in assets such as stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds in their IRA accounts. The Act stated: “Your IRA can invest in one, one-half, one-quarter, or one-tenth ounce U.S. gold coins, or one-ounce silver coins minted by the Treasury Department. Beginning in 1998, your IRA can invest in certain platinum coins and certain gold, silver, palladium, and platinum bullion.”

1. Traditional IRA

  • For individual taxpayers

  • Tax-deductible contributions

  • Money withdrawn is taxed at the ordinary income tax rate

  • Annual individual contributions cannot exceed $6,000

  • Contributions from those 50 or older can be up to $7,000 per year

2. Roth IRA

  • For individual taxpayers

  • Not tax-deductible

  • Qualified distributions are tax-free

  • Contributions with after-tax dollars are ok, and you do not have to pay any capital gains taxes

  • Can withdraw after retirement without incurring income taxes

  • No RMDs. If you don’t need the money, you don’t need to withdraw it

  • As long as you have eligible income, you can contribute to a Roth IRA. There are no age restrictions.


  • “Simplified employee pension”

  • For self-employed people like independent contractors, freelancers, and small-business owners

  • Same tax rules as traditional IRA

  • SEP IRA contributions in 2023 are limited to 25% of compensation or $66,000, whichever is less

4. Understand Fees and IRS Restrictions

Before setting up a Silver IRA, understand the fees and IRS restrictions.

The best things in life are not free, and Silver IRAs are no exception. Because Silver IRAs involve purchasing and storing precious physical assets, expect more fees than a standard retirement account.

Factor in the following:

  • One-time mandatory setup fee

  • Storage fees

  • Transaction fees

  • Premiums on coins (above spot)

  • Annual custodian fees

  • Cash-out fee if you liquidate

These fees are unavoidable because of the IRS. If you cut any corners, you risk crushing fees and penalties. Do not try storing your precious metals at home or skirting around the requirements of an approved Custodian and an approved Broker.

The IRS can be even stricter with contribution limits and withdrawals outside of these requirements and your silver’s purity.

1. Exceeding contribution limits

  • If you are aged under 59½, you can contribute $7,000 a year to your IRAs.

  • If you are aged over 59½, the contribution limit is $6,500.

  • A penalty of 6% may apply for exceeding your contribution limits.

2. Early withdrawal of distributions

  • ‘Distributions’ are what happens when you withdraw funds from your IRA.

  • If you withdraw distributions before reaching the age of 59 ½, you will incur a 10% penalty plus income tax.

5. Select A Reputable Custodian

Selecting a reputable custodian with an accredited depository that can act as a broker is the holy grail for setting up Silver IRA. But they are few and far between.

Custodians include banks, credit unions, trust companies, loans and savings associations, and brokerage companies.

You will frankly not succeed without a good one.

First and foremost, the IRS requires it. Even though your Silver IRA account is self-managed, an IRS-approved custodian must oversee it.

An ideal custodian understands the intricacies of precious metals on top of traditional finance. They should help you create and administer a Silver IRA account and track all IRS dates, fees, and rules.

Ensure you also check custodian fees, the minimum investment they require, and whether they offer any promotions.

Who Are the Top Silver IRA Companies?

There are many factors to consider when setting up a Silver IRA. You need a reputable dealer; you need an IRS-approved depository with secure storage; you must understand IRS regulations and potential fees.

These factors, of course, only scratch the surface.

It cannot be stressed enough that you want to do all you can to find a custodian who also acts as a broker with an IRS-approved depository. That way, you have it made with a one-stop shop that can streamline a complex process.

Correctly choosing what company you use to set up a Silver IRA is critical. It can be an arduous and complex process filled with scammers.

Be sure to ask the following 12 questions when looking for a company to help you.

  1. How long have you been in business?

  2. Do you sell bullion or collectibles?

  3. Are you a member of an official body?

  4. Do you get positive reviews from associations like the BBB, Google Reviews, Trustlink, and the Business Consumer Alliance?

  5. Are you transparent about your management team or are you hiding the names of the people behind the company?

  6. Do you sell IRS-approved bullion/coins, or do I have to find them myself?

  7. Is IRS-approved storage part of the deal?

  8. Do you have experience in IRA and 401k rollovers?

  9. Are there hidden fees, or is there a flat annual fee covering everything?

  10. Can I phone you and speak to an expert whenever I want?

  11. Do you charge commissions when I sell my precious metals?

  12. Do you have a selection of silver portfolios that I can choose from to match my budget and risk appetite?

Consider this criterion as well:

  • Transparency: Understand all your costs upfront to avoid hidden fees.

  • Track record: Find a company with outstanding reviews from objective third parties. Look into what customers say or if there have been complaints filed.

  • Flexibility: Find an adaptable and flexible company that will cater to your needs.

  • Qualifications: Only go with a company with required licenses, registrations, insurance, and bonds to protect your investment. Double and triple-check this too.

Having said all that, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 companies that can help you start a Silver IRA.

The Top 5 Silver IRA Companies in 2023

Based on our reviews of over 100 silver companies in America that accept IRA and 401k rollovers, these are the 3 we recommend in 2023:

#1 Noble Investments - Best Silver IRA Company Overall

(Noble Gold | IronMonk Solutions, sponsored) Noble gold logo.

Why is Noble Our #1 Recommended Silver Investment Company? Because of the following factors:

  • Lowest Fees & Premiums on Silver Bullion Out of All Companies We Reviewed

  • Highest Ratings Across the Board (BBB, TrustLink, Google Reviews, etc)

  • CEO Collin Plume Puts a Lot of Focus on Education and Guidance

  • Transparent & Active Management Team

More Info About Noble Investments:

  • CEO: Collin Plume

  • BBB Rating: A+

  • Google Reviews: 5/5 stars

  • Minimum Investment: $5,000

  • Established: 2016

  • Website: www.NobleGoldInvestments.com

  • Phone Number: (877) 646-5347

  • Locations: Encino, CA.

  • Assets: Coins and Bars with IRA-Approved Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Palladium Bullion

  • Storage: Both segregated and non-segregated

  • Silver IRA Annual Fees: Flat $250 annual rate for segregated storage or $100 flat annual rate for non-segregated storage.

Thanks to companies like Noble Gold Investments, forming a Silver IRA has never been easier. Noble is our top overall Silver IRA company because it has some of the lowest fees combined with some of the greatest ratings. Also, Noble acts as a one-stop-shop for all things related to setting up and monitoring a precious metal IRA.

No longer are you fed to the wolves and digging for an IRS-approved broker, custodian, dealer, or storage and navigating strict IRS rules in the process. Noble Gold Investments handles it all under one roof and does the following:

  • Answer all your questions about silver investing

  • Set up your new silver IRA or rollover an existing 401k or IRA.

  • Handle all IRS paperwork and rollover/transfer procedures.

  • Provide a flat annual fee for all services

  • Provide IRA-approved silver bullion and coins

  • Act as IRS-approved custodian

  • Store bullion and coins in IRS-approved vaults nationwide (you choose the location)

  • Handle IRA and 401k rollovers free-of-charge

Furthermore, Noble is:

  • Rated A+ by the BBB. The highest rating.

  • Highly competitive when it comes to fees and premiums for their coins/bars

  • A provider of hundreds of millions in retirement account transfers

  • A company led by an experienced staff that will answer all questions and provide clarity without being pushy or aggressive

However, Noble’s sterling reputation among both investors and advisors is what truly sets them apart from the pack.

>> Visit Noble Investments

#2 Augusta Precious Metals - Best for Large Investors

(Augusta Precious Metals | IronMonk Solutions, sponsored) Augusta Precious Metals Logo.

Why Augusta Precious Metals?

  • White-Glove Service for Large Investors (min: $50,000)

  • Non-commissioned sales floor (rare in the industry)

  • High Ratings Across the Board (BBB, TrustLink, Google Reviews, etc)

  • Harvard-educated Economist on Staff

  • Dedicated Compliance Department

More Info About Augusta Precious Metals:

  • CEO: Isaac Nuriani

  • Location: Beverly Hills, CA.

  • BBB Rating: A+

  • Google Reviews: 5/5 stars

  • Minimum Investment: $50,000

  • Established: 2012

  • Website: http://augustapmira.com/

  • Phone Number: 844-615-4484

  • Locations: Beverly Hills, CA.

  • Assets: Coins and Bars with IRA-Approved Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Palladium Bullion

  • Storage: Both segregated and non-segregated

  • Silver IRA Annual Fees: Flat $250 annual rate for segregated storage or $100 flat annual rate for non-segregated storage.

>> Visit Augusta Precious Metals

#2 Silver Gold Bull - Best for Silver Bars

(Silver Gold Bull | Iron Monk Solutions, sponsored) Silver Gold Bull Logo.

Why Silver Gold Bull?

  • Longevity (One of the oldest companies in the space!)

  • Over 300,000 five-star reviews

  • Great Ratings Across the Board (BBB, TrustLink, Google Reviews, etc)

  • Over 3 billion dollars in bullion transactions

  • Awarded best online store by Newsweek

More Info About Advantage Gold LLC:

  • CEO: Bobby Belandis

  • BBB Rating: A+

  • Google Reviews: 5/5 stars

  • Minimum Investment: $20,000

  • Established: 2008

  • Website: http://silvergoldbullonline.com/

  • Phone Number: (877) 707-4707

  • Locations: Calgary (Alberta) and Las Vegas (Nevada).

  • Assets: IRA-Approved Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Palladium Bullion

  • Storage: Both segregated and non-segregated

  • Silver IRA Annual Fees: Flat $250 annual rate for segregated storage or $100 flat annual rate for non-segregated storage.

>> Visit Silver Gold Bull

Wrapping Up

Silver has been a valuable, tangible asset for thousands of years. Never, as much as today, have silver’s unique properties made it more attractive to add to an IRA or 401k account.

  • It can protect your nest egg from economic turmoil and inflation.

  • It has widespread industrial and technological uses and could see soaring demand by industries like EV and tech.

  • It has offered long-term growth historically and is currently trading at a discount.

  • It can diversify your holdings against paper assets.

  • It provides liquidity, ubiquity, and versatility when it comes to trading.

Generally speaking, adding silver to a retirement account is a great way to add long-term safety and security. Silver may also have more growth potential than other physical assets like gold because of its widespread usage in emerging technologies and finance, coupled with a relatively discounted price.

While it can be exhaustive researching the ins and outs of how to add silver to a retirement account, it’s well worth it.

Thanks to our top Silver IRA pick, Noble Gold Investments, it is easier than ever to add silver to your retirement account. Noble has great ratings and is a one-stop-shop that can help you acquire silver, set up the necessary paperwork, safely store your assets and more. It eliminates the complexities of juggling multiple intermediaries just to add a little bit of physical silver to your nest egg. While other strong choices exist, with Noble, the entire process is streamlined.

Talk about the right place at the right time.

NOTE: Silver and other precious metals aren’t for everybody. They don’t pay dividends or interests. They have been used traditionally as a hedge against market uncertainty and a way to preserve wealth for generations, but past performance can NEVER guarantee future returns. We recommend that you call a few Precious Metal IRA companies before making an investment decision. We also want to remind you that this content isn’t financial advice and cannot be taken as such. Do your due diligence and speak to your financial advisor before making an investment decision.

About the Author

Robert Samuels is a financial copywriter and business consultant who has worked with various clients in numerous industries and sectors. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and worked in music, sports, and entertainment for several years. Capped by a successful exit after selling a boxing website, Robert soon relocated overseas for a few years. After teaching himself stock market basics and financial fundamentals, he leveraged this newfound passion into a Master’s Degree from Harvard University’s ALM Finance extension program, where he received a 3.87 GPA and Dean’s List distinction.

Through this program, Robert also acquired a graduate certificate in Real Estate Investment and a graduate certificate in Corporate Finance. With a diverse professional background, both as an employee and entrepreneur, Robert is highly driven, passionate, and a great communicator who loves discussing finance.