Choosing the right Gold IRA company is just as important as choosing the right elements to include. An appropriate Gold IRA company will provide free printed material regarding a Gold IRA that can be examined and digested. They will also provide a representative that can answer questions you might have after having reviewed the requested materials. When considering Gold IRA companies, it is strongly suggested they:
- Have a verifiable track record of customer satisfaction, by way of third party reviews, but it is important to make sure that those offering an opinion are verifiable customers and not just paid shills. (Trust Pilot and Trust Link are examples of reputable third party industry reviewers).
- Are recognized as a listed dealer with the U.S. Mint, as well as an authorized dealer with Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS) and National Guaranty Corporation (NGC).
- Are a member in good standing with industry watchdogs like the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Industry Council of Tangible Assets (ICTA).
- Are members in good standing with general business reviewers/reporters like the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
An appropriate Gold IRA company will have been in business for a number of years and will have assembled a network that includes a custodian, who is responsible for reporting both to the account holder and the government, as well as a depository, capable of holding the physical metal products in a safe, secure, and insured facility. An appropriate Gold IRA company should be a one-stop shop, capable of making all of the necessary arrangements, in order to facilitate a quick, tax-free, and hassle-free account opening.
A Gold IRA can be created from scratch, by utilizing funds, up to the annual maximum contribution of $5,500 for investors under 50 years of age, or $6,500 for investors over the age of 50. Otherwise, it can be funded by transfer or rollover from a typical and qualified 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), traditional IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, TSP, Roth IRA, or any other qualified deferred compensation or pension plan. In addition, an appropriate Gold IRA company will be able to initiate transfers with more uncommon IRA’s, like Spousal and Beneficiary IRA’s.
The reason for creating a Gold IRA is three-fold. First of all, gold and other precious metals have a history of long-term appreciation. Secondly, gold and other precious metals are universally accepted “money” that has never become worthless, unlike every fiat currency throughout history. And finally, gold and other physical precious metals are the ultimate hedge against potential losses by other popular investments like stocks, bonds, and currencies, because historically speaking, when most other investment vehicles collapse or flounder, precious metals appreciate and excel.
Another tremendous advantage of a Gold IRA is the ability to convert principal and profit from investments on a tax-free basis. When a raging bull market runs out of gas and begins to sputter, precious metals increase in value, while equities and other investments falter. Investors have the opportunity to capture principal and profit from high priced equity investments and acquire precious metals at bargain prices. When a major correction occurs, investors have the inverse opportunity, to capture principal and profit from their precious metal investments and reacquire stocks, bonds, and currencies at bargain prices. And all of this occurs on a tax-free basis, until it is needed for retirement, when investors are in a lower income tax bracket.
Financial advisors typically recommend that 5% to 15% of a retirement portfolio be invested in physical precious metals, but an over-valued stock market, increasing global tensions, and Fed monetary policies that have taken the potential profit out of a variety of common and popular investments are good reasons to consider a higher than normal allocation to the precious metals portion.
An appropriate Gold IRA provider will not only have the network in place to facilitate the complete initiation, transportation, and operation required, but they will have the knowledge and experience necessary to do it in a timely, seamless, and simple fashion. Online applications and information should be readily available. It is typically a great benefit if the company you select specializes in Gold IRA’s rather than just provides (dabbles in) the service.
Gold IRA’s are not offered by brokerage firms, so frequently their brokers will try to convince investors that are interested in precious metals diversification, that Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) offer similar returns, but don’t require assistance by a self-directed IRA custodian, metals broker, or storage facility, so they’re a much better way to go. But the reality is that a precious metals ETF does not offer any of the true benefits of physical precious metals ownership. An ETF is a “paper” asset, it’s a “portion” of a pie, no different than a stock or mutual fund, such that when there’s a run on the market, the market closes and your ability to see the gains of physical precious metals closes with it. You essentially own a position that you trade into and out of based on extraneous factors, which may or may not have an effect on the underlying price. When it comes time to sell, take a number. Meanwhile, large hedge funds and the like are out of the market in nanoseconds and their effect on the market can be devastating. In addition, heaven forbid that circumstances get as grim as existed in the Weimar Republic during the 1930’s, but in times of economic turmoil precious metals are a universally accepted currency, whereas the dollar, or other paper assets may only be worth the paper their printed on.
An appropriate Gold IRA provider will have access to the full range of IRS-approved precious metal products for IRA inclusion. Gold, silver, palladium and platinum bars and rounds produced by a NYMEX or COMEX-approved refinery or national government mint, qualify as long as they meet minimum coin fineness requirements. IRA-approved coins include:
Gold (Minimum fineness: .995%)
- American Gold Eaglebullion coins
- American Gold Eagle proof coins
- American Gold Buffalouncirculated coins (proofs not allowed)
- Australian Kangaroo/Nuggetcoins
- Austrian Gold Philharmoniccoins
- Canadian Gold Maple Leafcoins
- Chinese Gold Pandacoins
Silver (Minimum fineness: .9999%)
- American Silver Eaglebullion coins
- American Silver Eagle proof coins
- Australian Silver Kookaburracoins
- Austrian Silver Philharmoniccoins
- Canadian Silver Maple Leafcoins
- Chinese Silver Pandacoins
- Mexican Silver Libertad coins
Platinum (Minimum fineness: .9995%)
- American Platinum Eaglebullion coins
- American Platinum Eagle proof coins
- Australian Platinum Koalacoins
- Canadian Platinum Maple Leafcoins
- Isle of Man Platinum Noble coins
Palladium (Minimum fineness: .9995%)
In summary, an appropriate Gold IRA company will be able to display proof of experience, knowledge, and high customer satisfaction. Representatives of the company should be willing to provide printed information, as well as answer any questions having to do with their network, IRA requirements, and their complete product line. However, due to the nature of the precious metals market, pricing will vary on a daily basis, due to changes in the spot price of metals, but commissions should not change.
And finally, be sure to verify the reputation of any Gold IRA company’s you may be considering, with third party testimonials and reviews, as well as through the Better Business Bureau and industry related watchdogs, like the American Numismatic Association and the Industry Council for Tangible Assets.