Can I Own Gold in My IRA?

Gold bullion and coins may be held within an IRA as long as they meet stringent IRS guidelines, though you cannot purchase and store these metals at home as this would constitute a distribution and incur 10% penalties.

In order to invest in precious metals with your IRA, it’s necessary to open an account with a custodian that specializes in this product and an approved depository for storage purposes.


IRS rules regarding precious metals in an IRA account are similar to other retirement investments, offering great tax-deferral opportunities when retiring in a lower tax bracket. Distributions prior to age 59 1/2 will incur an early distribution penalty of 10%.

Precious metals stored in an Individual Retirement Account must be stored at an IRS-approved depository, often incurring annual storage fees that add up over time. Your custodian should arrange this for you.

Some types of gold coins and bullion are prohibited from being included in an IRA by the IRS due to being classified as collectibles; however, if you invest in an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks precious metal prices this won’t be an issue.


Physical gold held within your IRA must adhere to the same liquidity rules that govern other assets, according to Moy. Your custodian should work with precious-metals dealers in purchasing it and then store it at an IRS-approved depository, according to Moy. Storing bullion or coins at home safe could violate IRS rules which mandate assets be in the custody of an IRA custodian.

Moy notes that any appreciation or losses from purchasing and selling physical gold within an IRA will be subject to taxes just like capital gains from traditional pretax IRAs; however, you could potentially circumvent them altogether by investing in bullion-backed ETFs instead of individual coins or bars.

Gold IRAs tend to cost more than traditional IRAs due to additional costs like storage and insurance costs, according to Moy. You will pay an establishment fee that varies by institution as well as ongoing costs such as maintenance and asset transaction costs.


Gold can provide an effective hedge against inflation and diversify your retirement savings portfolio, but before beginning to invest, it is vitally important that you understand how this investment works.

Investment in physical gold typically involves multiple parties–a precious metals dealer, an IRA custodian and depository–that all charge fees that add up over time. Furthermore, investors should account for shipping and insurance expenses when making their purchase decision.

Investors typically buy physical gold as an effective hedge against inflation and future financial challenges, or because it holds personal meaning to them – perhaps through collecting coins with cultural significance or due to personal connections to it. But investors should remember that investing in physical gold does not legally secure your retirement account.


Before investing in a gold IRA, investors should conduct due diligence by conducting extensive research on potential custodians and dealers as well as understanding that buying/selling physical metal requires time. Finally, it should be remembered that gold IRAs do not offer any advantages over traditional ones in terms of RMDs or other requirements.

As with other retirement accounts, gold IRAs can be established either pretax or Roth and subject to contribution limits and IRS rules on required minimum distributions (RMD) when an accountholder reaches age 73 for traditional pretax and Roth IRAs and 70.5 for simplified employee pension (SEP) IRAs respectively. Unfortunately precious metals do not produce dividends or interest and so require long-term holding to experience any price appreciation – they also don’t provide inflation hedge protection!

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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