How Do I Hold Physical Gold in My IRA?

How do I hold physical gold in my IRA

Physical gold investments can provide a valuable diversification strategy in your retirement portfolio, yet should be treated as highly volatile investments.

As part of opening a gold IRA, the initial step is identifying a dealer. Your custodian will send your funds directly to this dealer who will then purchase precious metals at market rates with an added markup that differs depending on which company it comes from.

Self-directed IRAs

Self-directed IRAs (SDIRAs) give investors the flexibility to explore investments not offered by mainstream brokerage firms, including real estate, precious metals and even foreign currency investments.

SDIRAs come with strict rules that must be observed. You cannot use your funds from an SDIRA to purchase personal property or lend them out, nor engage in prohibited transactions such as trying to buy or sell investments from disqualified people (known as disqualified persons).

If you violate any of these rules, the IRS could close down your entire account – leading to both tax penalties and potential retirement savings benefits being forfeit. It’s also essential to find a suitable custodian, such as trust companies that specialize in self-directed IRAs; although they may charge a nominal fee to process investments on behalf of their customers they will not provide financial advice or make recommendations.

Allocated storage

By opting for allocated storage, your dealer ships your metal directly to a professional storage facility (usually Brinks), maintaining an audit trail of custody. This method is preferred by most investors who would rather avoid physically handling precious metals themselves.

However, there can be disadvantages. For instance, your coins and bars won’t be treated as distinct assets by their custodian – they simply become claims on an indeterminate pool of ounces. So if you claim 10 ounces, he or she may return Gold Eagles or some other type of bullion without specifying exactly which fabricator produced it.

By allocating storage, you remain vulnerable to many of the same challenges associated with home and safe deposit box storage: should there be a natural disaster, bank collapse, mishandling by institution mismanaging assets of some kind, you could risk losing some or even all of them. With safe deposit boxes specifically, banks may even open your box to sell its contents as debt relief for themselves!


Rollovers allow you to transfer funds from an old retirement account into a new one, which is especially helpful when changing jobs and want to take your 401(k) funds with you. However, specific IRS rules must be observed in order to avoid incurring taxes and penalties on these transfers.

Direct or indirect rollover are both possible; with direct rollover, money goes from your old retirement account directly into your new IRA custodian; for indirect, assets are liquidated and given back as checks or deposits into bank or brokerage accounts with 60 days for you to deposit them back into your IRA or else they become taxable distributions subject to early withdrawal penalties.

To avoid tax penalties, direct rollover is often the safest way of moving funds as it prevents accidental taxable distributions from taking place.

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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