Can You Have Physical Gold in an IRA?

Precious metals like gold are often seen as an effective way for investors to hedge against inflation. But owning physical gold IRA can incur high storage and insurance fees.

To open a gold IRA, you need a custodian approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Preferably, they offer transparent pricing on purchases as well as excellent customer education and support services.


For investing in physical gold, a custodian that allows physical metal investments is required. Many traditional IRA custodians do not accept physical metal investments and so you will need a self-directed IRA custodian who provides an exclusive gold platform and the capabilities necessary to facilitate your investment.

These types of IRAs typically charge higher fees than traditional ones because they provide more specialized services. For instance, these accounts might charge extra fees for account setup, maintenance and storage as well as insurance costs; in addition, some may add a markup on sales prices of gold bullion, coins and proofs sold from these accounts.

If you’re looking to diversify your retirement portfolio with some gold, investing in an ETF could be the better way. By taking this route, you can reap all the diversification benefits without dealing with storage hassles or taxes by investing with pre-tax dollars instead of after-tax dollars.


Physical gold investments differ from stocks or coins in that they must be stored with an IRS-approved depository, typically charging storage fees. An investor cannot store his metals at home or in a safe deposit box as doing so constitutes withdrawal which could trigger taxes (if the gold was held in an traditional pre-tax IRA) and penalties ( if under age 59.5).

Moy explains that self-directed IRAs that invest in precious metals allow investors to move previously owned bullion into the account; however, they cannot purchase the metal themselves; their custodian must work with a precious-metals dealer and an approved depository to acquire and store the metals as required by their agreement.

Gold IRAs come with additional fees, including an account opening cost and transaction and custodian costs that accrue annually. Investors should also consider the risk that their gold may be stolen or misappropriated unless stored with an accredited depository that has proven its ability to secure client assets.


Though gold should form part of any retirement portfolio, experts advise limiting its contribution to 5-10% or so due to its inability to generate passive income streams like other securities do.

Some investors choose to invest in physical gold through an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). In order for an IRA to qualify as holding precious metals, certain IRS criteria must be fulfilled, including meeting purity standards for its gold holdings as well as being issued from a recognized government with a specific face value.

If you decide on a Gold IRA, make sure it offers reasonable transaction fees and transparent pricing. Furthermore, remember that storage can add extra costs – no matter if it be at home in a safe or at an approved depository – but a Gold IRA eliminates this expense by keeping assets stored safely for you in an approved depository.


Withdrawals from precious metal IRAs follow the same rules as withdrawals from any individual retirement account: either selling the assets or making a qualified in-kind distribution and being taxed at your marginal rate.

To open a gold IRA, it is essential that you find a metals dealer or company who can assist in purchasing metals as well as connecting you to an IRA custodian and depository institution that comply with IRS regulations, according to Money. Your custodian will purchase metals on your behalf before storing them at an institution that meets certain security standards outlined by Money.

While a gold IRA may provide additional diversification in your portfolio, it’s important to remember that it won’t produce returns comparable to stocks and bonds – as its metals aren’t liquid, you will rely on an “buy and hold” strategy which may limit returns over the long haul.

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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