Can You Buy Physical Gold in an IRA?

Can you buy physical gold in an IRA

Although physical gold is an attractive way to diversify an IRA portfolio, other strategies exist such as ETFs or mutual funds that specialize in gold. You could even purchase shares of gold mining companies.

An IRS-approved depository is required in order to open a Gold IRA, so custodian fees and storage costs will apply.

Buying Physical Gold

Gold IRAs are an increasingly popular retirement savings vehicle. Used as an inflation hedge and to accumulate wealth over time, many investors see these accounts as beneficial investment vehicles – however they may not suit all investors.

For physical gold to be invested in an IRA, you will require the services of a custodian who will purchase and store it according to IRS-approved protocols. Furthermore, additional storage fees may apply and many IRA providers make money through charging an “initial sales spread”. This gives them an edge when selling to customers before paying out upon distributions from your account.

However, you can avoid these costs by investing in a Self-Directed IRA which enables you to purchase and store physical metals directly without the need for custodianship. Unfortunately, however, the IRS is currently scrutinizing this type of account; thus it is wise to carefully consider all your options prior to investing this way as there may be counterparty risk associated with physical metal storage in an IRA account.

Self-Directed IRAs

If you want to purchase physical gold in an IRA, there are various strategies you can employ. One way is through setting up a self-directed individual retirement account (IRA), which gives you greater freedom over where and how you invest. While fees for such accounts may be higher than traditional ones, they provide more control of what investments may be placed into them.

An alternative option for investing in gold IRAs is using a specialist IRA custodian approved by the IRS to handle precious metal investments like coins and bullion. Such firms will ensure compliance with IRS regulations on how IRA assets should be stored.

Option 2 is investing in precious metals mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETF). While these don’t hold physical gold, they will track its price. These investments tend to be easier to liquidate but won’t provide tax benefits like physical gold IRAs would.


Gold can be an expensive asset to own and insure, with limited options for selling for an equal or greater return than what was paid for. When required minimum distributions need to be taken out of it’s not cost effective for investors to keep physical coins or bullion when an ETF can provide liquid liquidity with immediate liquidity for sale at any point in time.

Investors should carefully examine all gold IRA companies with regards to reputation, fees, investment options, storage facilities, customer support and compliance with IRS regulations. Investors must remember that traditional gold IRAs use pretax dollars while Roth gold IRAs use after-tax funds; any taxable withdrawals in retirement would then be taxed differently when investing through either of these options; in contrast with investing directly into gold-company stocks or ETFs which will still be subject to tax in accordance with standard retirement investing principles – this rule is known as wash sale rule.


Gold investments may be attractive options for some investors, but can incur additional expenses. This may include one-time account setup fees, ongoing account maintenance fees, seller’s markup charges, storage fees, insurance (when protecting precious metals at an IRS-approved depository), cash-out charges when closing accounts or cash-out fees when closing them out.

Additionally, unlike stocks and mutual funds, gold does not generate income or dividends – making it less desirable as an inflation hedge and increasing long-term wealth growth potential.

Investors must remember that IRA regulations are stringent, with potential penalties from the IRS for those who violate them – this especially holds true when investing in collectibles such as gold coins or bullion. Therefore, before making decisions about their retirement portfolio it is wise to consult a financial advisor or accountant who can explain all the unique benefits associated with investing in precious metals as well as provide recommendations that suit personal situations best.

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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