Now that you've decided to invest in precious metals and know that you want to either create a new IRA account or rollover your existing account, it's time to start looking for a company to help you with that process. While about one in ten Americans own gold of some sort, relatively few of them know how to keep that gold safe, so finding the right company to work with is a must.
If you want to ensure that you are prepared for retirement, you'll need to ensure that you're working with the right company. Rather than just finding the company that pops up first on an internet search, you'll need to do a little research to find a precious metals IRA custodian that meets your needs.
The best place to start, at least for most consumers, its with this list of IRA custodian reviews. If you choose to go it alone, you might find yourself paying too much for your account or investing in products that don't provide the kind of return on investment that you need.
Investing can be tricky, even with the right mindset. Many investors overlook fees and monthly charges, cutting down on their profit margins. If you're not careful, you can find your potential retirement savings chipped away a few dollars at a time.
Working with the right IRA custodian is something about which every precious metals investor needs to think. Good custodians work with various other professionals to help you make the best investments possible. They even have relationships with some of these professionals that can cut down on the cost of having one of these IRAs.
4 Things To Consider Before Choosing
1. Examine Setup charges and annual fees
As we've discussed, you will want to start by looking at the fees charged by your IRA custodian. Whether flat rate or sliding scale, these fees will play a role in the profitability of your account. You'll also want to look at things like setup fees, storage fees, and administration fees.
If you take a look above, you'll be able to see the annual fee charges for the top ten IRA custodians. This list will give you an idea of what it's going to cost you to maintain your account and, ultimately, what kind of costs will be a necessity when dealing with this kind of IRA.
2. Compare overall reputation and industry presence
Fees aren't everything. That's why we also go out of our way to highlight the reputations of the companies we review. We do this by looking at scores from the Better Business Bureau, Trustlink, and the Business Consumer Alliance.
Remember, these custodians don't generally work directly with consumers. Instead, they work with a variety of other professionals. If you open an account with one company, for example, that company won't necessarily be the company that operates as your custodian. As such, you won't be having many interactions as a consumer with your custodian.
The best way to figure out whether a custodian has a good reputation is to look at their ratings and how long they have been in the business. If the company has managed to stand the test of time and still seems to have a healthy client base, there's a good chance that they're doing things correctly.
3. Consider presentation, support, and site design
It's also a good idea to check out the website of any custodian with whom you might want to work. If you cannot navigate the company's website on your own, there's an excellent chance that the company itself won't be one with which it is easy to work.
Companies that put the time into creating a good user experience generally care about educating their customers and ensuring that consumers have the tools they need to invest correctly.
4. Find the Most Cost Effective Route
Money matters. Good custodians tend to partner with various professionals who can help you keep your costs down when you invest. Being able to get custodial fees waived by a broker, for example, might be the best way for you to be able to invest cost-effectively.
Some companies are more than happy to waive things like setup or storage fees for clients of specific custodians. Others might be happy to let you set up your account for free if you plan to invest a specific amount. One of the best choices you can make when investing is to ensure that you're removing as many fees as possible from your account while still getting the kind of service and protection you need.
Which IRA Firms Partner With the Best Custodians?
Goldco is a company that has managed to do it all. It has excellent ratings from organizations like the Better Business Bureau and the Business Consumer Alliance, and it has outstanding reviews on all of the major consumer review sites. Indeed, Goldco's online presence paints a picture of a company where people genuinely like working.
As you might expect from the name, Goldco is a company that specializes in setting up Gold IRAs. The company is experienced with helping customers invest and assisting them in investing in ways that align with the rules set up by the IRS. Goldco does this by working directly with their clients to ensure that all paperwork is done correctly and that all relevant regulations are followed through every step of the funding and transportation process.
Goldco is also great for those looking to rollover their current investment accounts into gold IRAs. The company can quickly and simply transfer old accounts without having to put the burden of doing the transfer work on their clients.
If you choose to work with Goldco, you'll work with a company that takes precious metals seriously. The company offers a vast selection of metallic items that meet IRS guidelines, including bullion and coins that are made to meet the purity standards required for IRA deposits.
Another great thing about working with Goldco won't happen until you reach the age at which you have permission to make withdrawals from your account. Once you hit that stage in your life, Goldco will give you the option of cashing out your account or having your metals sent to your home. If you choose the latter option, Goldco will take responsibility for insuring and shipping your metals.
Goldco also offers its customers the chance to buy non-IRA precious metals for their own investments. These items are shipped directly to the consumer and can be chosen from Goldco's impressive catalog of metals.
Augusta Precious Metals has been in the precious metals IRA business for nearly a decade. Over that time, the company has fostered an excellent reputation among customers and its peers in the business.
Rated highly by both the BBB and BCA, Augusta Precious Metals stands out as a company that does mostly everything correctly and leaves its customers quite satisfied.
So, how does it manage to do this? Augusta Precious Metals relies on seven criteria to ensure clients walk away happy. These criteria are accessibility, commitment, coordination, knowledge, respect, transparency, and selection. The employees of Augusta keep all of these factors in mind as they help their clients roll over their old IRAs or set up new accounts.
The team at the company is excellent at helping customers set up their accounts with a minimum of fuss. Setting up or rolling over an IRA is easy when skilled professionals can walk customers through all the paperwork and help get accounts funded and filled.
Once you've made your purchases, Augusta will take over. The company ensures the metals for transit and then ships them off to the vault of your choice. Augusta offers its customers the choice of several different storage facilities, all of which are approved by the IRs and use excellent security features.
Augusta also offers gold and silver coins for non-IRA investments for those looking to hold on to precious metals themselves. Augusta still covers transportation and insurance costs for these metals, ensuring that they will arrive at your home safely.
Birch Gold Group has been active since 2003, and since then the company has done an excellent job of working with clients in a way that not only helps to maximize client earnings but also ensures that clients get the information they need to make educated choices. The company has excellent ratings from the BBB and BCA, and verified online reviewers almost universally love Birch Gold Group.
Setting up an account is a reasonably pleasant process with this company. The experts who work for Birch walk clients through every step of the set-up process, helping them to set up new accounts or even to roll over existing accounts into precious metal IRAs. During this process, employees are incredibly diligent about ensuring that all relevant tax laws are followed and that clients understand exactly what's going on with their accounts.
Birch Gold Group also stands out because of its clients' storage options. If you work with Birch, you'll be able to deposit your precious metals in either the Delaware Depository or Brink's Global Services facility. These are two of the best-rated storage facilities in the world, but clients won't have to worry too much about working with them. Instead, Birch does the heavy lifting of shipping and insuring all of the precious metals that are sent to these facilities.
Birch's metal selections are not just limited to those vetted for IRA usage. The company offers several metals for personal collections, freeing them to offer up some truly extensive options for investors. While they can't be stored in your IRA, they can be helpful for your investments.
Birch does an excellent job of explaining every option that investors have. The company's website has an information guide for investors, which details how precious metals IRAs work and why they're a good fit for some investors. This tool gives investors the best chance to determine if working with Birch makes sense for them.
Frequently Asked Questions
An IRA custodian is a company responsible for keeping your IRA safe. This company takes on the role of not only storing and guarding your investments but ensuring that your investments meet the rules set up by the IRS. In short, IRA custodians are the companies that ensure that your IRA works correctly and safeguards you from constantly interacting with the government.
IRA custodians have to be licensed and approved by the Internal Revenue Service. These companies are regulated as a particular class of private entities and must meet specific fiduciary rules to continue their operations. IRA custodians have to ensure that they only work on behalf of their clients and that they don't make any IRA decisions without the express permission of account holders.
There's a relatively wide range of fees in IRA custodial accounts. You should start by expecting to pay somewhere between two hundred and five hundred dollars annually, which may include costs like transaction fees or transfer fees.
The most popular type of self-directed IRA is a self-directed IRA with checkbook control. This type of IRA gives account holders the authority to buy, sell, and even access their accounts whenever they like. These accounts are a little riskier than accounts controlled by custodians and generally have higher fees than custodial accounts. Opening one of these accounts also requires establishing an LLC in your name.
IRA custodians are heavily regulated by the IRS, with all their various regulations set down in the Internal Revenue Code. These companies are held to stringent standards of care and have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients. IRA custodians must also follow precise security protocols, have specific capital requirements, and can be audited by the states where they are incorporated or reside.
It is increasingly common for investors to view and manage their accounts online. Almost all of the more reputable IRA custodians now allow you to check on your accounts and initiate account changes entirely from the comfort of your own home. With that said, what you can and cannot do online significantly varies from custodian to custodian.