Has the recent global financial crisis and creeping inflation started you thinking about ways to strengthen your retirement accounts? When faced with uncertainty and volatile markets, many people work to diversify their holdings but aren't sure how to go about it.
One of the more effective ways of achieving diversification with an IRA is with silver. With a silver retirement account, also known as a self-directed IRA or SDIRA, you can put your financial assets to work more powerfully.
That's because your SDIRA can legally hold silver, gold, palladium, platinum, and other IRS-approved varieties of physical assets. After setting up a silver IRA, the best part is that you still get all the advantages of traditional IRAs, like tax-deferred growth.
How does a silver IRA (also called a "gold IRA," or "self-directed IRA") operate? First off, they're managed by you, not by anyone else. No bank, financial institution, or third party will decide what goes into the account or when. You, alone, are the one who makes all those crucial decisions.
But what if you don't feel as though you have the tax-related or financial skills to make those decisions? For some folks, it's a scary idea to decide which precious metals to put into an SDIRA and choose dollar amounts without professional guidance.
There's no need to worry because many respectable, trusted companies specialize in assisting people just like you set up silver IRAs. Not only do these companies take care of setup, but they also offer guidance about maintaining the accounts, storing the metals in secure vaults, and handling a small amount of paperwork.
How do silver IRA businesses earn a profit? Simply put, they sell silver to new account holders to produce income for their own companies. Our research team carefully examined the five primary companies in the silver IRA niche so you can learn all the pertinent details in one report, which follows.
Best Silver IRA Companies
With over a half-century of experience, Augusta Precious Metals is an industry leader, family-owned, and has experienced much growth in recent years. They specialize in setting up gold as well as silver IRAs.
You can also buy non-IRA metals from Augusta but keep in mind that you won't get any tax benefits on such buys. Every new customer gets their own representative to work directly with. This person will walk you through the whole account setup process and be your assistant as long as you are with Augusta.
The advantage of one rep per customer is an ideal situation for long-term investments like IRAs. You can either select your own custodian or let Augusta provide one for you. Always compare custodial prices, policies, and fees.
What do the reps do? They speak with custodians, deal with the IRS, communicate with the bank, and handle all the paperwork. Funding is usually by a direct rollover or via a bank transfer (by wire). Reps can help you select silver products as well.
All new customers get a price guarantee for seven days. Most companies do not offer this feature. If metal prices fall for the week after you buy-in, you can simply pay the lower price. There are bulk discounts for large metals purchases, and new clients automatically receive bonus silver for $2,000.
All storage facilities are in either Canada or the U.S., so you can choose any one of those that suit your needs. There's a one-time $50 fee for account creation and setup plus yearly custodian fees of approximately $180.
Goldco is our number-one choice for several reasons but primarily because they excel in most of the essential critical areas in the precious metals IRA industry.
Not only are their educational materials excellent, but they have top-rated customer service, a wide range of quality products, and fair prices. The company caters to new and experienced investors.
What you'll spend: $175 for annual storage on accounts under $100k. Above that, storage is $225. Additionally, there is an $80 yearly fee for account maintenance. Because the fees are not based on account size, except for the one threshold, they're relatively flat and highly competitive.
You'll need $25k to open an account, which can be a direct transfer from your existing IRA. And, new clients pay no annual fees for the initial year. The company runs a bonus program consisting of free silver coins when you first enroll. You can get up to $10,000 in free silver with a qualifying account.
All account holders have access to the company's market system that delivers relevant news about metals prices and economic trends. Goldco products are fully compliant with IRS guidelines, and the reps know precisely how to fill out all the paperwork for account setup.
Even though Goldco does not own storage vaults, they have teamed up with top providers who have IRS-sanctioned facilities for metals storage needs. Goldco also partners with crucial financial organizations that serve as IRA custodians.
The company's reviews are nearly perfect, and its reputation is excellent. Anytime there is a complaint, Goldco reps work hard and fast to resolve it. While the site does not show precise prices for metals, you can always get up-to-the-minute quotes from the representatives for whatever metals you're interested in.
The reps are friendly and totally helpful. You won't have to worry about pressure sales tactics. Finally, the Goldco employees are always happy to explain anything to you when you ask.
Since 2003, Birch Gold Group has been handling thousands of accounts for silver IRA clients all around the U.S. The experts at Birch have long years of experience in the precious metals and financial industry, and some are members of the prestigious Forbes Financial Council.
While they sell metals directly to all buyers, their specialty is IRAs for silver, gold, and other precious metals. There's even a Birch department specifically for IRAs, and it includes high-level experts in taxation, accounting, financial counseling, and more.
The Birch professionals explain everything clearly and accurately so you can set up your silver IRA quickly and with zero hassles. Their website's educational resources are second to none. Signing up is a breeze because the Birch experts assist you with selecting a custodian.
They also with those custodians for you. If you have no one in mind, Birch usually works with a custodian called Equity Trust.
After a quick set of paperwork and funding the account, you select the metal to place into it. Don't worry, Birch advisors will explain exactly which metals are IRS approved. Then your metals are shipped to a storage facility for safekeeping.
You'll always receive timely communications from Birch about your account. And, if you ever want a financial report, the company will provide you with a specialist to answer all your concerns. New accounts with more than $50,000 deposited pay no fees for the initial year.
Regal is the only company on our list that offers cryptocurrency (like bitcoin) in addition to gold and silver for inclusion in IRAs. Not only does Regal Assets rank high among investor reviews, but it also has a respected reputation on objective listing sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and similar industry oversight organizations.
Many fans of the company enjoy the fact that they can fill out an online app to get started. You list the kinds of assets you're interested in, what your investing goals are, and your primary personal data. Then you send the form directly to the Regal experts.
This technique saves a lot of time because when the rep calls you, all you need to do to set up the account is verify your identity, fund the new account, and choose your metallic assets.
The company offers four essential portfolios. Each of the four comes with its own stated goals and minimum opening balance. Note that the lowest opening balance is $25k.
Regal Assets also offers non-IRA investments called "survival" packs. The first includes $5k of precious metals, and the other contains twice that amount. Pricing of all Regal's products is fair and industry-competitive. Some customers say that the company's maintenance and storage costs are lower than usual.
Finally, for investors who want to combine the stability of precious metals with the volatility of crypto, Regal is an excellent choice.
The main selling point of Noble Gold is the ease with which new investors can set up accounts. The company has taken all the hard work and hassles rolling over a standard IRA into a self-directed one. Plus, Noble makes it simple to sell any or all of your metal assets when and if you need quick cash.
When account holders want specialized advice, Noble can help them connect with one of the many financial consulting companies they work with. And, unlike most of their competitors, Noble Gold lists detailed prices on the main page of their corporate website.
Likewise, Noble never holds back information about fees. For instance, their website lists the $80 yearly account maintenance fee and the annual $150 for vault storage and insurance. There's never any guessing for new account holders.
Noble uses segregated storage for all metals owned by account holders. In other words, there's no mixing of customer assets. There's a chance you might incur an additional custodial fee if you select a custodian who charges one.
However, opening an account with Noble is as easy as placing a call to one of their reps, who will discuss the pros and cons of opening a silver IRA based on your particular financial situation and goals.
After researching the five top silver IRA companies, our primary recommendation is August Precious Metals. Within the industry as a whole, particularly the SDIRA niche, they are the most competent and trusted player, have the most five-star customer reviews, and provide a 1 on 1 web conference with Harvard educated financial analyst, something no other company has to offer.
When Augusta's clients speak with one of the company's customer service experts, they get all their queries answered in full and with the latest, most accurate information.
In addition, Augusta prides itself on the fact that every account holder has their customer service rep from beginning to end or from the time the account is opened until the account holder withdraws funds many years later.
If there is one other organization in the silver IRA sector that can directly challenge Augusta, at least in terms of client satisfaction and service, it is Goldco.
Goldco regularly and consistently receives highly positive feedback and ratings from current and former customers. They have many recent five-star reviews, which is different from total reviews.
Seasoned investors and those brand-new to the idea of setting up a silver IRA note that they are favorably impressed with the way Goldco operates. The company's top-notch client service, intelligent investment techniques, and convenient, fast way of setting up accounts is specifically mentioned by hundreds of verified customers.
Regal Assets can be an appropriate choice for people who desire to put their retirement assets into not only silver but also various forms of cryptocurrency.
However, while silver tends to demonstrate general price stability as an asset class, it's important to note that the same thing cannot be said for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others.
But, the ability to diversity a retirement portfolio with precious metals, like silver and crypto is what many investors like about Regal Assets.
If you listen to radio and TV financial programs, it's clear that many of the hosts and precious metals experts like Birch Gold Group, which typically waives the first year's account setup fees for investors who deposit $50,000 or more into their initial silver IRAs.
So, right from the start, Birch Gold Group customers can save several hundred dollars in fees.
All five of these silver IRA companies have in common that they have streamlined the setup of self-directed retirement accounts. In fact, within the industry, many companies are not on the up-and-up and seem to be in business for the sole purpose of earning high, unethical profits from investors.
Augusta Precious Metals is the number one choice, however, our team firmly believes that anyone looking to set up a silver IRA should consider one of the five companies listed above based on our extensive research. Should you choose to work with a company not listed among our top five, tread carefully and do plenty of research before investing your funds.
This Years Top 2: Quick Links
Frequently Asked Questions
Simply put, it's a special kind of IRA that holds physical silver as its main asset. For people who wish to set up a silver IRA, it's important and legally necessary to buy silver that meets the strict IRS standards for purity.
Another essential point to keep in mind is that you can't deposit silver that you already own, like bullion and coins in your home or stored in a safe deposit box when creating a silver IRA. You need to buy "fresh" silver when you make your new IRA.
As noted above, the name "silver IRA" is a bit of a misnomer. If you set up a self-directed IRA (SDIRA), you can deposit any four precious metals into it, including silver, gold, platinum, and palladium.
In fact, you can even mix-and-match the combination of metals in any self-directed account. That's because you, the investor, is in complete charge of managing the IRA.
Therefore it's up to you to select the assets that go into the account and decide when to take distributions of those assets. According to the law, you can even keep cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, in an SDIRA. Likewise, you can even hold real estate in these self-directed retirement accounts if you wish.
Traditional IRAs, or ones that are not self-directed, cannot hold physical assets like precious metals. Neither can they have real estate or crypto. Most standard, non-self-directed IRAs contain things like corporate stocks and cash. One of the unique benefits of a silver IRA is that investors can create exceptionally diversified portfolios.
People have purchased gold, silver, and other precious metals for many years as a hedge against uncertain economic conditions, particularly inflation. Another advantage of SDIRAs, in the view of many investors, is that they are treated the same, for tax purposes, as traditional retirement accounts.
The upshot of that point is that you don't become liable for tax on any of the money in the silver IRA, or any value growth until you decide to begin receiving distributions from the account.
The better choice for your portfolio depends on your needs and situation. For instance, silver and gold each have their benefits and drawbacks, but they come with a long list of pluses typical of the entire precious metals asset group. The common advantages of precious metals include the following:
- When a regular currency (money) decreases in value, the value of precious metals tends to rise, which means people who have gold and silver in their IRAs don't suffer from the usual destructive forces of inflation.
- When the stock markets go haywire and are highly volatile, their value usually remains stable, even in uncertain global economic conditions.
- Rather than being intangible assets, like shares of ownership in a corporation or digital currency (like bitcoin), metals are fully tangible, meaning you can touch them and secure them in a physical storage facility for easy access whenever you need to sell them for cash.
- They offer investors a greater range of diversification options than traditional IRA assets like cash and stocks.
- Numerous companies offer silver and gold. Some even have expertise in helping new investors set up SDIRAs that contain precious metals. The best way to begin is to speak with your chosen company's service rep and discuss your choices and explore the very best selections for your particular situation.
What is the best way for you to proceed? The answer depends on several factors, like your specific goals, the amount of risk you are comfortable with, how much you want to invest, and the amount of time you expect to hold the assets before retiring.
It's always possible that any precious metals could react to market conditions in several different ways. That's why it's important to speak with an expert and find out how all the future scenarios might impact your IRA holdings.
What are the respective advantages of gold and silver? Here's a brief list for each:
Advantages of silver include the following:
- It's simple to purchase large amounts of it because its price is far lower than gold.
-There's more room for price increases because it is widely used in the manufacturing sector.
- Shopping for low prices and bargains is more accessible because at any given time, there is much more silver up for sale
Advantages of gold include the following:
- The need for storage space is low because the metal is so valuable per ounce.
- Compared to silver, the long-term price is much less volatile.
- When the global or national economy goes through massive changes, it performs quite well.
Historically, both silver and gold have been cherished by investors for hundreds, even thousands of years. For most people who want to build a financially secure retirement, it's wise to purchase both gold and silver.
However, each metal that makes sense for a given person depends on many factors and varies from investor to investor.
No, of course not. The vast majority of people who set up SDIRAs have no experience with this kind of account.
And, even though you control the investment and decide what goes into your precious metals IRA, all you need to do is follow the simple IRS guidelines. There are no complex math formulas or equations involved at all.
Naturally, most people who want to set up silver IRAs consult with an expert at a silver IRA company who can guide you through the entire process. They know how to evaluate the market, give you the information you need about buying silver for your account and deal with the paperwork for you.
In short, they're available as you need them to answer questions about diversifying your portfolio and getting the best growth opportunities in a given economic climate.
What do silver IRA companies do for you? Their tax specialists, metals experts, and financial consultants help new customers shorten the setup process, which includes two basic steps: account setup and account funding.
The silver IRA company advisors are experts in precious metals and can assist you with building an account that fits your particular financial goals. Of course, it's essential to hire a respected company that has excellent reviews and a solid reputation in the industry.
Most new investors should research on their own as well. Fortunately, there are plenty of no-cost e-books, courses, and specialty articles that do a good job of offering straightforward explanations about precious metals, how to invest in silver and gold within an IRA, what the pros and cons are of setting up an SDIRA, and how to decide whether it makes sense for you to create such an account.
Most silver IRA companies have good-looking websites and generally do a decent job of making themselves sound like experts. Most of the sites include routine information like their corporate philosophy, how they're structured, what they provide in terms of services and products, and their fees.
However, appearances can be deceiving, so be ready to do some research of your own. It's not difficult to do so, but it's an essential part of the learning process for you. What should you look for? Here's a shortlist:
- Authentic reviews on sites like Ripoff Report, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), TrustPilot, and others.
- Reviews that are mostly positive.
- A high number of valid reviews for larger companies.
- Transparent, easy-to-understand fee structures and general product prices. Remember to check consumer reviews and note specific mentions about sales tactics or hidden costs and fees.
-Companies that have on-staff experts with a varied range of education and experience in the financial industry.
The better silver IRA companies tend to offer lots of educational materials, maintain an active online presence, and employ reps who appear to enjoy what they do for a living. Agents should answer any questions you toss at them, either in live chat, over the phone, or via email.
Avoid any company that attempts to up-sell services and products to you. Understand that you only need to keep a modest percentage of your entire retirement portfolio in silver, gold, or other metals. Beware of any rep that tries to encourage you to put more money into a silver IRA than you are comfortable with.
Finally, it's crucial to have a good rapport with the silver IRA dealer you select. Use your intuition and instinct to guide you on this point. Keep in mind that you will possibly have this account for many years, so it's essential to get along well with the people you deal directly with over the phone, by email, or via chat.