Can Gold Be Held in an IRA?

Gold is an asset with proven stability that can add diversity to a portfolio and be used as an inflation hedge.

Investors need a custodian that allows access to physical precious metals and works with dealers and depositories that meet IRS guidelines, like those who specialize in physical gold IRAs. Many companies that offer physical gold IRAs specialize in connecting investors with these custodians.


Addition of physical gold to an IRA requires working with a metals dealer, custodian and depository, which may make the process more complex than opening an account that holds traditional assets and may necessitate additional research on your part to decide the appropriate portion of your portfolio that should contain precious metals based on factors such as your investment goals, risk tolerance, retirement income needs and time horizon.

Additionally, Gold IRAs carry fees that could limit your potential returns, such as an initial setup cost and annual custodian fees.

As an indirect way of investing in gold, another method would be through mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Gains from such investments are taxed as long-term capital gains – similar to traditional and Roth pre-tax IRAs and simplified employee pension (SEP) accounts – subject to similar contribution limits, penalties for early withdrawals, and required minimum distributions when you reach age 73.


Physical gold held within an IRA must be stored safely to remain compliant with IRS regulations, usually via safe deposit boxes at banks or vaults at their own premises. Most IRA custodians offer various storage solutions as part of their services to IRA holders.

Custodians may offer pooled accounts, where your metal is combined with that of other investors and stored in one vault – this can reduce fees; however, you are exposed to creditors in the event that the company holding your metal goes bankrupt.

The IRS stipulates that precious metal IRAs can hold only bullion products that meet certain purity standards. Most popular gold IRAs purchase coins and bars from approved companies like PAMP Suisse to comply with IRS regulations and meet this standard. They can also be “unallocated”, meaning no coins or bars are assigned a particular account – this can help lower fees but you cannot sell physical gold for cash at any point in time.


Physical gold investing within an IRA provides diversification benefits and the ability to hedge against inflation, protecting investor privacy while helping preserve wealth over long periods.

Storage and insurance costs can add up over time, and if you withdraw the metal before reaching age 5912, any gains could be subject to tax.

When selecting a gold IRA provider, look for one with low storage fees and outstanding customer service. In addition, an upfront breakdown of costs associated with each investment option should help you evaluate which provider provides the best value for money. Alternatively, an ETF or stock in mining company could offer access to precious metals while sidestepping the expense associated with opening a new IRA account.


Gold and other precious metals are seen by many investors as an effective hedge against inflation and asset diversifier for retirement portfolios. Furthermore, many are drawn more towards gold during periods of economic instability.

However, when considering whether a gold IRA is suitable for you there are a few considerations you must keep in mind when deciding if one would suit. First off is that under IRS mandate it must be stored at an approved depository or vault rather than kept within your personal possession.

Additional expenses associated with physical gold storage can be incurred. These may include an IRA setup fee and annual custodian fees to cover costs related to keeping and insuring gold assets; for some buyers this could represent significant outlays of money.

Raymond Banks Administrator
Raymond Banks is a published author in the commodity world. He has written extensively about gold and silver investments, and his work has been featured in some of the most respected financial journals in the industry. Raymond\\\'s expertise in the commodities market is highly sought-after, and he regularly delivers presentations on behalf of various investment firms. He is also a regular guest on financial news programmes, where he offers his expert insights into the latest commodity trends.

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