December 12

Best Gold IRA Companies reviews in 2021

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Are you thinking about adding a self-directed gold IRA to your financial holdings? If so, you're like millions of other people who are either approaching retirement age, already there, or doing some excellent advance-planning at a younger age.

No matter what your situation, if the idea of gold IRA investing has been popping into your head lately, it's time to find out all you can about the potential of how to invest in gold. That's because there's a lot of misinformation out there about this unique opportunity that not long ago was unavailable to investors.

Fortunately, the IRS allows you to work with gold investment companies so that you can begin investing in precious metals via your IRA. But, the first step is to find out the facts. That means knowing which companies are the best ones to work with if you want to open a precious metals IRA.

Note: Current laws require investors to use a self-directed IRA set up with one of the IRS-approved gold IRA companies.

Also remember that when people talk about "gold IRAs," that definition includes pretty much any IRS-approved arrangement that holds precious metals. In other words, a "gold IRA" can refer to a silver IRA, a gold IRA rollover, a gold 401k, an IRA consisting of palladium, a gold 401k rollover, or just about any retirement account that holds precious metal, or bullion, as its main asset.

Getting Started

Let's get started. If you want to know how to invest in gold and silver, and other precious metals, within your IRA, the priority is knowing which companies are reputable, and approved by the IRS for operating precious metals IRAs for investors. We'll review the top four companies below, the ones with the most experience, the best reputations, and that are fully IRS-approved for gold IRA investing.

Investing in precious metals can be tricky, and you've probably seen a few Goldco reviews, Birch Gold reviews, and other summaries of gold investment companies before. But, we're aiming to dig deeper here because we want you to know all the pertinent facts.

So, here's our strategy: We have years of experience reviewing and dealing with gold IRA companies, some of which are no longer around, and some of which are.

We know how to differentiate the good from the bad, the excellent from the "just OK," and the prudent from the imprudent. We've helped thousands of retirement investors learn how to invest in gold and silver, set up a precious metals IRA, do a gold IRA rollover, and much more.

A Decision-Making Strategy

Our specialty is in evaluating gold IRA companies that are approved for investing in gold and silver within IRAs.

First, we'll review the top four companies. Next, we'll explain the key pitfalls you need to avoid when choosing a firm that can help you set up a gold IRA, gold 401k, silver IRA, making a gold 401k rollover, or simply setting up a standard precious metals IRA of any kind.

Then, we'll explain the specific advantages of having a gold IRA, which is a prerequisite of knowing how to invest in gold. Finally, we'll answer all the most common questions we get about investing in gold and silver for retirement.

If you came here looking for Goldco, Birch Gold, Augusta Precious Metals reviews, Regal Assets reviews, and all the essential facts to get started, it's time to check out the four top service providers in this niche.

Reviews of Gold IRA Companies for 2021

Gold IRA companies must be approved by the IRS to buy and sell precious metals. You can't do the buying and selling, or storing, yourself. The following four companies are among the very best, most reputable, and most popular ones that investors turn to for setting up gold IRAs.

1. Goldco - Top Trusted Gold IRA Companies in the US

Known worldwide for their top-ranked customer service, competitive fees, and being the leading gold IRA company in the industry. Their minimum account for new customers is $25,000, and they are happy to store any of your non-IRA gold, silver, platinum, or palladium for no additional fees.

The fees are in the low range, from $175 to $225 annually. Goldco is a full service company that has been in business since 2006. Unlike many of its competitors, Goldco also sells precious metals directly to the public. The California-based firm has a sister entity, CoinIRA, that sells cryptocurrency IRAs if that is what you prefer.

Known worldwide for their top-ranked customer service, competitive fees, and being the leading gold IRA company in the industry. Their minimum account for new customers is $25,000, and they are happy to store any of your non-IRA gold, silver, platinum, or palladium for no additional fees.

Goldco offers both gold and silver precious metals IRAs at some of the lowest fees available. They use one of the world's most respected IRA custodians, Equity Trust Company. If you choose to purchase precious metals from Goldco, the company will be happy to deliver the assets to your home address or store them in their ultra-secure vault.

If you're looking to add physical bullion to your IRA or just want to purchase precious metals from one of the most trusted, reliable gold IRA companies in the industry, Goldco has something for you.

PROS

  • Their management team has in excess of 100 years of relevant experience in the field
  • The company's BBB rating is the highest possible, A+
  • They've had zero BBB or BCA complaints in the past three years, a rarity in this business
  • Their TrustLink rating is 4.9 our of 5.0 based on more than 100 authenticated customer reviews
  • Their customer support is rated excellent all-around, giving them a client-friendly reputation in the industry
  • Their fees are very reasonable and fully transparent

cons

  • Their menu of available metal choices is relatively limited
  • Currently they do not offer cryptocurrency as an alternative to metals

2. Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals is one of the top PM IRA firms in the industry. Their minimum initial investment is $100,000, which is higher than most, but their annual fees are quite low at $180. However, the fees are waived for many accounts depending on how much you invest with them.

The company has been around since 2012 and positions itself as both a storage company as well as a dealer in precious metals. Their team is one of the most informed and well-educated in the industry and the management enforces a "customer-centered" attitude within the entire corporate culture.

They work hard to maintain highly competitive pricing for gold and silver, and their reps go the extra mile to help new customers get accounts set up without any hassles or delays. One of the main tasks of the Augusta reps is to do all your paperwork for you, and to assist anyone who needs help with a transfer from another IRA or 401k (rollovers), or help with making regular contributions to the account.

The Augusta team offers economic analytics so you always know how well your portfolio is doing, online chat and support, and order-desk assistance whenever you need help with anything related to your IRA.

PROS

  • Their BBB rating is A+, and their social media ratings are equally well-placed, with a 4.8 out of 5 on Facebook and a 5/5 on TrustLink, as well as a AAA rating on BCA, with zero complaints
  • The company offers a nice menu of silver and gold bullion products
  • Augusta is a comprehensive company, offering insured delivery, storage, purchases, and all paperwork needed to get started with an account
  • Your fees for the first year are waived as an incentive for new account holders
  • Customers have a choice between two of the most-respected storage companies, and offers locations in both the U.S. and Canada for bullion storage
  • Augusta has a buy-back program so you can offer your metals to them at fair prices if you want to downsize your holdings at any time

cons

  • The don't offer platinum or palladium to their customers at this time, only gold and silver
  • The company also sells collectible silver and gold coins, which are not eligible for IRA purposes

3. Birch Gold

BGG, Birch Gold Group, is completely online-based, operates out of California, and has been in the business since 2003, which is long for companies in this field. They offer customers the four main precious metals, namely "GSPP," or gold, silver, platinum, palladium.

Birch Gold Group

Additionally, the company sells precious metals to the public for gold IRAs as well as simple accumulation and acquisition. So, you don't need to put the metal in your IRA if you don't want to; you can just keep it for speculative purposes, but it won't enjoy the same tax benefits of an IRA if you do that.

According to the company's literature, their main emphasis is on helping customers learn about the precious metals markets, provide top-notch service for gold IRA clients, and protect account holders' from the ravages of inflation and market instability.

Because they are a full-service company, their reps are glad to have a discussion with you about what the best type of account is for your purposes, which kinds of metals are ideal for your investing goals, and to answer any questions you have about the process. They'll help you with IRA rollovers from other IRAs or from 401k plans.

PROS

  • Their BBB rating is A+
  • The company has been in business for more than 15 years, which is long in this industry
  • All-around, Birch Gold's fees are lower than the industry average
  • Customers as well as institutional buyers rate the company high in terms of customer service
  • They make recommendations to their customers concerning appropriate depositories and account custodians
  • Birch Gold's management team is wholly dedicated to educating customers about all the options in the precious metals investing niche

cons

  • There are no non-U.S. storage facilities
  • Although their fees are lower than average, a few of the setup charges are not spelled out in detail

4. Regal Assets

Regal is proud of the fact that they have kept an A+ BBB rating for five straight years. They're also one of the only gold IRA companies that offers cryptocurrency as well as a full menu of the metals. They have flat fees, low overall fees, and are on the prestigious "Inc. 500" list of excellent companies.

Regal Assets

Regal Assets also offers a full waiver of first-year fees as a promotion, has a $5,000 minimum account balance, and has been in business since 2009. They deal with the four main precious metals as well as any cryptocurrency you choose. The storage is both segregated (meaning your metal is not mixed with assets of other clients) and completely insured.

Additionally, the company offers multiple strategies and account types for all income levels, whether you're looking to have just metals or a mixture of precious metals and crypto in your portfolio. On TrustLink, Regal Assets has in excess of 1,300 reviews with an astounding 99.9 percent satisfaction rating.

Plus, if you ever want to take possession of some of your metals at any time, you'll get them in your hands within seven days, one of the fastest turn-around times in the industry.

PROS

  • Account set-up is super-fast, typically in less than seven days.
  • They do not scale their fees, regardless of the size of your account
  • They offer several different choices for storage, depending on your preferences
  • They have a massive number of verified, positive reviews from customers, which means they've got the customer-service thing totally right
  • They offer a large menu of other assets for investors who want to expand on their portfolio diversity
  • No fees for first year, which is a good incentive combined with their already reasonable fee structure

cons

  • Has a 4.2 out of five rating on Facebook, which could be a bit higher, but is still acceptable
  • Requires a $5,000 minimum starting deposit, an amount that is not all that high for an IRA but might price some people out of the market

A Quick Recap? Here we Compare the Best Rated Gold IRA Companies for you:

Header

Prize Award

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Runner Up

Runner Up

Our Score

93.8%

93.6%

91.8%

91.6%

88.6%

BBB Rating

A+

A+

N/R

A+

A-

Trustlink Rating

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

Trustpilot Rating

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

Information Pack

Physical Kit

PDF

PDF

PDF

PDF

IRA SetUp Fee

Free*

Free*

Free*

Free*

Free*

Annual Fees

$0-$80

$0-$80

$0-$125

$0

$80-$150

Storage Fees

$100

$100

$0-$100

$180-$280

$225-$250

Min. IRA Order

$25,000

$10,000

$1

$50,000

$10,000

Min. Non-IRA

$3,500

$5,000

$1

$10,000

$3,000

Other Assets

Crypto

Crypto

No

No

Crypto

Volume Bonus

10% (Max $10k)

10% (Max $10k)

N/A

5% (Max $5k)

Max $500 Silver

Cell

Avoid These Pitfalls When Picking a Gold IRA

Every modern form of investment comes with a few pitfalls, and precious metals IRAs are no different. It's important to understand that most of the pitfalls listed below, or warnings might be a better term, stem from the reason that most people aren't familiar with the ins and outs of gold IRAs.

They're relatively new, are based on some rather obscure IRS regulations, and don't get the major media coverage that "traditional" IRAs get. But, not to worry. We've listed below the key things to know, the main cautionary guidelines for anyone who wants to set up a precious metals IRA.

1. Fee "Vultures":

Unfortunately, the world has its share of financial predators, people we like to call "IRA fee vultures." They might have a legal entity for setting up gold IRAs, and operate within the letter of the law, but they are to be avoided. Why? Because they are unethical in the way they charge their clients for services.

There are numerous ways they do this, but the main one is called "scaling." That's when the gold IRA company bases its service fees on the size of your account. So, as your account grows in value, so do the fees.

When you speak with a company that interests you, be sure to ask about their fee structure and all the details about how much they charge for each service they provide. If they "scale" up your fees as your account balance increases, consider looking for another, more ethical company.

2. Slow Account Setup:

There are really several parts to this pitfall. You want to avoid companies that take a long time to get you through the relatively easy paperwork to set up your account, fund it, purchase the metals, and place those assets into the account. We've seen a few companies that make their clients wait as long as two months just to get up and running with a standard gold IRA.

That's far too long. Reputable, experienced gold IRA companies can usually get you through the simple registration process in a day or two, and then get the metals into your account within just a few business days after that. If you find yourself waiting longer than that, search for another service provider.

There are really several parts to this pitfall. You want to avoid companies that take a long time to get you through the relatively easy paperwork to set up your account, fund it, purchase the metals, and place those assets into the account. We've seen a few companies that make their clients wait as long as two months just to get up and running with a standard gold IRA.

3. Weak Customer Support and Aggressive Sales Personnel:

Here's one of the biggest warning signs of all. Poor customer service and/or sales agents who try to get you to sign on immediately, even after you tell them you're just in the fact-gathering phase. All your questions should be answered quickly and in a friendly way.

Consider this: if you are just shopping around for a gold IRA company, and you encounter rude customer service folks, imagine how they treat you after you sign on and they no longer "need" your business. It will only get worse if it starts out bad. Plus, any sales person that tries to push you into a decision is not a professional.

The best companies have excellent, responsive customer support and agents who never try to hard-sell you in any way.

4. No Flexibility:

It's a good idea to work with a company that offers you several options for your investments. For example, some companies allow you to invest in more than gold. They allow account holders to add silver, platinum, palladium, and even cryptocurrency to an account.

Right now, you might just be interested in gold, which is perfectly acceptable. But what if your investing goals change in a few years, and you decide you want to place cryptocurrency into the account? Ask companies what their policies are about assets other than gold. It's always wise to keep your options open.

5. Questionable Online Ratings and Presence:

When researching a gold IRA company, check out at least six areas, namely, their ratings by the Better Business Bureau, whether they have an active Facebook account, their ratings from TrustLink, whether they have an active Twitter account, their ratings from the Business Consumer Alliance, and their Instagram presence.

You can also check some of your own preferred ratings sites and see how each company is ranked. Things to watch out for include no social media presence, reviews that look fake, poor ratings from BBB, TrustLink, or BCA, or no interaction with clients on social media pages or blogs.

The best companies in this space have many clients, excellent ratings, a very active social media presence, and you can easily view conversations between company representatives and customers.

Advantages of Having a Gold IRA

Remember that one of the main reasons people seek out a gold IRA is because they want "real" precious metals in their retirement portfolios, not "paper" assets like gold certificates, mining stocks, gold futures, or other intangibles. With that in mind, here are some of the many reasons that folks choose to set up and regularly contribute to precious metals IRAs.

1. Diversification and Minimization of Risk:

You can take a look at some of the most volatile times in the history of the stock market and the global economy. In most cases, when stocks and the dollar began to tank, gold did well. It didn't happen every time, but enough for people to take notice.

Nearly every financial advisor you speak with, as well as leading economists you see on the weekend financial programs, advise against having a retirement portfolio that is "all cash," "all stocks," or "all metals." The idea is to balance your retirement nest egg by holding both cash and tangible assets, like gold and other precious metals.

So, the first advantage of having a gold IRA is that you can diversify your holdings and protect the inherent value of the cash or even stocks you have in other IRAs. The gold IRA is unique in that it allows you to hold tangible assets, namely precious metals.

2. Gold is a Finite Resource:

In other words, governments cannot "print" gold. It has to be mined. There are only so many mines and so much gold in the earth. That means, in economic terms, that gold is subject to the basis laws of demand and supply.

Because gold is so widely used in industry and in the massive global jewelry market, there's always demand for it, aside from the fact that millions of people like to hoard it for its potential long-term value. As long as gold has industrial and retail demand, its value will never go to zero, as can happen with stocks and currency, even the good old U.S. dollars.

3. A Counter-Weight to the Dollar:

As noted briefly above, the history of gold is an interesting one. For investors whose primary retirement savings is in dollars, gold can be an ideal counter-weight because it tends to rise in value when the U.S. dollar (and most other currencies, for that matter) go down in value.

If you hold a traditional IRA with, for example, $100,000 in it, all in dollars, a gold IRA can help protect you if the buying power of the dollar were to decline a little or a lot.

4. Crisis Insurance:

Gold shines in times of crisis, both financial and political varieties. For instance, both the 1990 and 2008 global market crises were times when the securities markets took a major dive, but gold did very well. More recently, during the early months of the COVID pandemic, the worldwide demand for gold went up, as did its value.

Throughout history, in fact, gold has served as what economists call a "safe haven" investment for retirees and just about everyone else.

5. As a Basic Store of Wealth

Investors don't purchase gold in order to become wealthy. In most every case, they buy it for long-term wealth protection. Unlike stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, and futures, gold has never been worthless.

Because there's only so much of it, and because it has key uses in industry and consumer goods, gold has held its value very well in modern times. Even before that, going back more than 1,000 years, the "yellow metal" has been used as a reliable medium of exchange in nearly every culture, nation, and civilization.

Gold IRA FAQs

We've heard every question about investing in gold for an IRA you can imagine. But when it comes to getting started and setting up your precious metals IRA for the very first time, most of the things people ask us fall into seven basic topic areas, represented by the following questions:

What is a gold IRA?

A gold IRA, more properly known as a precious metals IRA, is a very special kind of investment account for building retirement wealth. It's unlike standard IRAs in that a gold IRA can hold physical bullion, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

It's also a self-directed IRA, according to IRS guidelines, which means you, as the investor, make all the decisions about how much gold (or other metals) to put into it.

But, because this IRA contains something other than cash or stocks, but rather physical goods (the metals themselves), it requires a storage component. That's why every gold IRA must have a custodian to do the gold buying and a company to oversee the storage of the metal.

This is how the law is written. The IRS does not want you buying and selling the gold yourself or storing the gold yourself.

Why invest in a gold IRA?

There are plenty of reasons to invest in a gold IRA. As noted above in the section about the advantages of having one, the main reason people seek out this kind of investment arrangement is to protect their wealth from volatility of the marketplace.

If you ask anyone who already has a precious metals IRA why they set it up, you'll probably hear several reasons. First, gold tends to rise in value as the overall stock market declines and as the value of the dollar declines.

So, if you have a traditional IRA that consists of a cash account, or even some stocks (which are permitted in some instances), gold ownership can help protect you in turbulent economic times.

Can I put bullion I already own into a gold IRA?

The short answer to this question is no, you can't. It seems like a logical step for someone opening a new gold IRA to add some bullion they already own to the mix. But, the law is specific about this point, and you simply can't do it. But, as with most everything in life, there is a work-around.

Say you own 20 ounces of gold right now and want to open a new gold IRA. You could sell the gold you have and use the cash to fund your new IRA. Yes, you would lose a bit on the "spread" of the bid-ask price by selling and then immediately buying the metal. However, this is the only way to get the gold you currently own into your new precious metals IRA. In fact, people do it all the time.

Can I add precious metals to a regular IRA?

If you have a traditional IRA, either through your job or that you have set up for yourself, you cannot add physical goods to it. In the vast majority of cases, you can only add cash to a standard IRA. It is possible to set up an IRA that will allow you to add things like stocks, bonds, futures, ETFs (exchange-traded funds), options, mining stocks, and other "paper" assets into it.

But, the general rule is that traditional IRAs can not hold physical assets like metals, collectible items, art, antiques, etc. Think of it this way: for regular IRAs, you can only add intangible assets, not tangible, "touchable" things.

Can I place gold stocks, metals-backed ETFs, precious metals futures, and other bullion-backed assets into my gold IRA?

A precious metals IRA, also known as a gold IRA, can only hold specific types of bullion, namely gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. Additionally, there are strict IRS rules about which kinds of those metals you can place into a metal-based IRA.

For example, any precious metal you put in must be on an "approved" IRS list, which means you're safe putting in U.S. gold eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs, and nearly-pure bullion bars or rounds in most cases. But, no, you can't put intangible items like stocks, bonds, ETFs, futures, options, or "gold certificates" into a gold IRA. It's only for "physical" gold and other precious metals.

Why can't I store my IRA gold bullion in my home security safe or in a safe deposit box at my local bank?

Because the law says you can't. There are some work-arounds, but we don't recommend them because you are on shaky ground if you use your own storage (home safes or safe-deposit boxes) for metals in a gold IRA. There's a long legal explanation about it, but we'll give you the short, sweet version: You can't store gold IRA metals yourself.

How much of my total IRA money should be in the form of precious metals?

That's up to you. Many people choose to put somewhere between five percent and 20 percent of their total IRA savings into a gold IRA. That's mainly because they aim to use the gold IRA as a hedge against the deterioration of the value of the dollar, against inflation, and against stock market crises.

Speak with your own financial advisor, CPA, attorney, or just use your own best judgment about the percentage of your IRA money to hold in a precious metals IRA.

Taking Action for Your Financial Health and Wealth

After letting your mind absorb the information presented above, you'll be ready to take action, so some research of your own, and decide whether opening a self-directed gold IRA is right for you.

No matter how many Goldco reviews, Birch Gold reviews, Augusta Precious Metals reviews, and Regal Assets reviews you read, it's vitally important to do your own due diligence and choose carefully when the time comes to park your retirement funds.

Be aware of all the pitfalls as well as the advantages. That way, you'll be on the right track and have the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. Good luck.


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