What comes to mind when thinking about saving for retirement? Some people only think about money in their savings account, while others think about putting that money to work.
For most, though, it comes down to investing in typical instruments like stocks and bonds. If you want to diversify, though, you might want to start thinking about investing in precious metals.
Why put your money into precious metals? In short, it's because these metals tend to rise in value even when the rest of the economy suffers. It's a great hedge against things going wrong with the dollar and an excellent way to protect your funds.
If you want to be a precious metal investor though, you'll need to work with a company specializing in doing so. We will look at some of the best gold IRA companies in the business today, which can guide you in figuring out your next steps with investing.
The great news is that you've got a lot of options when it comes to where you put your money. Many people choose to put their money into gold or silver IRAs, but it's always a good idea to stop and think about as many different kinds of investments products as you can. If you're willing to do the homework, though, you'll likely find that a gold IRA is still the right choice for a percentage of your whole portfolio.
Remember, investing for retirement isn't the same as investing to get rich. Instead, it's about investing to make sure that you can maintain a standard of living once you are done working. Your available funds will come from various sources, of course, but you do need to think about where and how IRAs could fit into this process.
In truth, gold IRAs can feel like they're a little too good to be true. They're certainly advertised as such on TV, and they aren't as common as you might think. It makes sense then that you'd probably want to ask yourself a few questions about these IRAs.
In this guide, we're here to help you learn the ins and outs of investing in gold IRAs. This means looking at how these investments are beneficial and letting you know the downsides you should watch out for. When you have the information you need, you can make an educated choice as to how you should invest.
What's a Gold IRA?
When you think about a gold IRA, you need to think about both parts - both the gold and the IRA.
Everyone knows what gold is, of course. It's a metal that almost everyone ascribes some inherent value. It's also an investment product in which many people put their money, working in much the same ways as a stock or a piece of property.
Gold tends to be a very popular investment for those who want to hedge against the dollar. These people note that the dollar gets hurt by inflation, while gold tends to keep its value. It's simple enough to see how this works if you track the price of gold over the last fifty years - gold has steadily risen in value, even as the buying power of the dollar has managed to drop in value significantly due to inflation.
With that said, gold isn't a sure thing by any stretch of the imagination. Gold is very much just another kind of investment product, and thus you should never depend on it to get you rich or to stay steady forever.
As we go through this article, we'll touch on the pros and cons of investing in precious metals. We'll also be frank about why you might not want to invest in gold at all. For now, though, we will switch our focus over to IRAs.
An IRA, or individual retirement account, is a reasonably basic investment instrument with a few different forms.
The traditional IRA is designed to house funds before they are taxed. They tend to go up in value but lose value due to taxation from capital gains or dividends taxes. With that said, they don't count towards your income tax until you choose to take money out.
The Roth IRA, on the other hand, uses post-tax funds. You can only use items like cash, stocks, and bonds in a Roth IRA.
The gold IRA is similar to a Roth IRA, but rather than working with stocks or bonds, you'll be explicitly dealing with certain types of precious metals. The thing to note is that the IRS heavily regulates, so you've still got the safety net of knowing that you're working within an established tax structure.
The major thing to keep at top of mind is the difference between how a gold IRA and traditional IRA works.
A gold IRA is specifically a type of self-directed IRA. As such, it has to follow some very specific rules that the IRS sets up.
Another important consideration about gold IRAs is how they require you to keep track of exactly what's going to be included in your IRA.
The good news is you are not limited to gold in these accounts. You can actually invest in silver, palladium, or even platinum. You can only invest in them in certain physical forms, of course, but there are still more options there than you might assume.
We're still going to concentrate on gold here, mainly because the IRS rules are stringent when it comes to gold. Not all gold is considered as gold by the IRS, after all - only metal that has a purity rating of .955 or better even qualifies. This disqualifies the vast majority of collectible gold out there, which makes sense - collectibles are valued on rarity, not purity.
Luckily for some investors, you don't actually have to buy real gold to invest in gold. You can always buy into a gold ETF, including anything from gold as a commodity to stock in gold mining companies.
These can be great picks for those investors who don't want to bother with issues like storage or dealing with gold purity and can be great even for those just looking to shake up their usual investing portfolio.
What Regulations Do IRAs Have?
The IRS has several rules set up for gold IRAs. As an investor, you're going to be responsible for knowing these rules. Below are a few things you'll need to know.
If you're investing in metals, you can't hold onto them yourself. This would be a distribution, which means that you'll have to pay taxes. Instead, the metals have to be held in a location that the IRS approves.
Anyone under fifty can contribute up to six thousand dollars a year to their IRA. Those over fifty can contribute seven thousand dollars per year.
You have to work with an IRS-approved administrator to set up your account. Both IRA custodians and brokers can be considered administrators.
If you take gold out of your account, you're going to have to pay taxes on that distribution. If you take it out early, you'll pay a ten percent fee.
Only certain types of metals can be added to your IRA. All gold that is added must be at least 24 carats or .995 purity.
Early Withdrawal Penalty
In most cases, you'll pay a ten percent penalty if you withdraw funds from your IRA early. There are exceptions, though, for those who experience hospitalization when the account owner dies, when you lose your job, or when you are looking to buy your first property.
Finding The Right Company
Given that there are hundreds of gold IRA companies, it's a good idea to stop and look at what makes them unique and different from one another. You need to make sure that you take the necessary time to compare as many of these companies as possible so that you can figure out which one is right for you. Below are a few criteria to keep in mind when making your choice.
It's always better to work with an established company. Doing so gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you aren't working with a fly-by-night operation and that you're not going to see your money disappear.
Looking at a company that's been around for a bit also gives you a chance to consider a company's reputation. Companies that have excellent ratings with the BBB or are accredited by the Consumer Affairs Association are often easier to trust than those that are still too new to have an established reputation.
Available Precious Metals
Not all gold IRA providers offer the same types of metals to their investors. Some might provide gold and silver products, while others might add palladium and/or platinum to the mix.
It's always wise to look at all of the coins and bars that a company has available before deciding to work with them. You should definitely make sure that you're working with a company with items that you want to add to your holdings.
It should also be noted that some gold companies are now also allowing their investors to invest in cryptocurrencies in addition to the traditional precious metals. If this is an essential factor for you, you'll want to identify which companies offer this crypto investing in addition to precious metals.
Fees are, unfortunately, part and parcel of having an IRA. The fees that you're charged will vary by company, though, so make sure that you understand what you're being charged and what it actually covers. The more information you have, the better you'll be able to decide if a company's fee structure is reasonable compared to that of other companies.
Unfortunately, there are only so many options for storing the precious metals in your IRA. You have to hold your gold or silver in a facility approved by the IRS, which means you have to stick with one of a handful of depositories located across the United States. Different companies work with various storage facilities, so you'll want to make sure that you know where they store your gold to feel safe with this step.
Customer support is more important than you might think in the world of investing. You're going to go through some processes that are going to be unusually complex, and those who have not navigated them before will have a tough time doing so. That's why you need to make sure that you are working with a company with the kind of employees who are actually willing and able to help you.
It's also a good idea to focus on customer service because you'll need help figuring out what you need in terms of pieces for your investment portfolio. Having the help of an experienced associate will help you figure out what pieces are the right price and which pieces make sense for your investing needs.
Gold IRA Company Reviews
Goldco Precious Metals is a company that has gold and silver IRAs available and sells metals directly to consumers. Established back in 2006, they've successfully served thousands of customers interested in the precious metals market.
Well known for having excellent customer care, the company also provides its customers with excellent learning tools so that they will be able to make the kind of choices that will help maximize their gold investments.
Goldco does a fantastic job of giving its customers options. They allow customers to set up their own IRAs and enable individuals to buy gold directly. With great customer service for all consumers, they also ensure that everyone who chooses a product from them understands exactly what they are getting.
Birch Gold Group is a company that seems designed from the ground up to ensure that its customers will understand how to invest in gold and that they'll be able to do so successfully.
The company does a solid job of educating all of its customers and providing the kind of guidance that's needed to help a new investor become a seasoned professional.
Founded in 2003, the company has many notable clients and has been rated very highly by a number of business organizations.
Birch Gold Group also stands out because they ensure that customers can always work with a specialist. These individuals don't just show you how to set up an account - they help you understand what's going on with the market to make informed choices.
This, in turn, gives you a much better chance to succeed when it comes to reaching your retirement goals.
Founded in 2012, Augusta Precious Metals is a company with a great reputation. It is well-known for having a very knowledgeable team and making sure that its customers always feel like they're being heard.
The company's goal is always to help its customers meet their financial goals, and it does quite a bit of work to ensure that customers get the best chance possible to do so.
Highly rated by customers and various business organizations, Augusta Precious Metals is a well-known name in this industry. Excellent at helping customers roll over their existing IRAs and setting up new IRAs, the company helps to take a lot of uncertainty out of investing in gold.
One of the more interesting facts about the company is that it's partnered with a host of well-known gold and silver IRA custodians to ensure that their customers will be able to set up the perfect accounts for their retirement needs.
Once customers set up their accounts, they'll be able to pick out the perfect silver and gold pieces to add to their account - all of which meet the strict standards set by the IRS.
Other Key Factors When Choosing
What Are Customers Saying?
It's almost always a good idea to look at what other people say about a company. While companies will do a great job of representing their own image, you have to go to customers to see what a company is like in reality.
There's no such thing as a perfect company, as you can probably tell from all of the pros and cons we've amended to each of our company reviews. With that said, you want to work with a company where the pros outweigh the cons.
Remember, you have a choice as to what company you want to work with. You don't need to settle for second best, and you certainly don't need to be bullied into working with someone. A gut feeling is a good enough reason to walk away, so make sure to trust yourself when you investigate these companies.
With that said, don't get scared at the very idea of a gold IRA. These accounts may not be as standard as other IRAs, but that doesn't mean that they are not legitimate.
Your goal should be to look at the legitimacy of a company in general. Ask about licensure, get insurance information, and make sure that the company explains its business model to you. The more information that you can get and trust, the better off you will be.
You should also make sure that the company seems interested in working with you. You're not just a number - you have your own needs, so the company needs to be able to work with you. If a representative can't figure out what you need from a phone call, there's a good chance that isn't the right company for you.
You should also take a moment to consider the difference between working with an online company and one that's local. A local company might offer you the chance to see what you're investing in and get you your gold faster, but that doesn't mean you're getting the best price or service. Online dealers can sometimes be less risky for investors to work with and less costly, which will help you grow your wealth more rapidly.
What Fees Do The Company Have?
It's also a good idea to remember that while you're trying to maintain and grow your wealth with a gold IRA, you're going to have to pay specific fees to keep that account up and running. You need to understand what fees you're paying to determine if you can work with a company.
What Does Setting Up My Account Look Like?
The vast majority of companies with which you work will charge you something to start your account. Some charge more than others, though, and knowing how much these fees will hurt your bottom line will matter quite a bit. The more you are aware of these fees, the better you'll be able to determine if the cost of starting an account is worthwhile.
What Is The Process of Closing An Account?
Most companies also charge you something to close your accounts. Unfortunately, this might mean selling your gold at less than the market rate, which means you're going to lose money. If you work with a well-regarded firm, though, your losses should be much more minimal than if you work with a smaller company.
Overall Pros and Cons for Gold
We've talked about investing in gold IRAs in general, but now we need to look at the benefits and drawbacks of actually opening one of these accounts. These issues persist regardless of the company you work, so make sure to keep them in mind.
Frankly, you're going to need to put in work to make a gold IRA do what you need. It's only supposed to be one bit of your investment profile, but it's something that's going to matter quite a bit. You need to decide how much of a risk you're willing to take and what you want your gold IRA to do for you.
The #1 Recommendation
If you work with a gold IRA company, you owe it to yourself to work with the best. The highest-rated company is Goldco, not because the other companies we've reviewed aren't fantastic but because Goldco does everything they do well and more, plus has the most 5 star reviews online.
Goldco has everything that you'd want from a gold IRA company. They have excellent ratings from both the Better Business Bureau and the Business Consumer Alliance. The company is well-reviewed by its customers, and it is a known entity in the world of gold investing.
Goldco also does a great job of helping customers set up accounts, whether starting from scratch or rolling over an existing IRA. The company's employees will happily answer any questions you may have and can even guide you to make gold purchases.
Goldco also offers fantastic gold and silver bars and coins to its investors, all of which can help you to diversify your portfolio and set yourself up for a much less stressful retirement.
We stand by Goldco as our number one choice, and we think most consumers would agree with us. If you're ready to set up an IRA, make sure to visit the company's website or click here to request a free investing kit.