With the growing level of stock market fluctuations and economic uncertainty, investors are finding it more prudent to protect their wealth by turning to precious metals. When you transfer your retirement funds to a Gold IRA, you get the best benefits that come from investing in precious metals, apart from the inherent financial advantages and security of a Traditional IRA.

However, in order to successfully make this transition, you will need to select a trustworthy and capable Gold IRA company with whom to associate. In this post, we will look at the top three Gold IRA providers that lead the market today. You can decide if you want to invest with any of them after taking account of your available funds, your risk profile, and your financial objectives.

Presented below are detailed reviews of the best Gold IRA companies - based on the highest consumer ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Business Consumer Alliance (BCA). We have screened these companies on the following parameters:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Customer support
  • Fees & prices
  • Transparency of information
  • Investment options
  • Compliance assistance
  • Educational opportunities

When you put your retirement or nest egg into the hands of a company about which you have little or no knowledge, it can be a cause for worry and uncertainty. However, the companies under discussion here are all reliable and will do their utmost to educate and assist you in protecting your investments.

Companies Providing The Best Gold Investment Services

Gold IRA companies usually have a number of distinctive qualities, but those being discussed here stand out in terms of trust, professionalism, transparency, and experience. Investment companies need to make the process comprehensive and uncomplicated, with responsive feedback and qualified support.

After in-depth research and analysis, we have found that the best Gold IRA companies are:

Augusta Precious Metals - Top Pick

Simply stated, Augusta Precious Metals is amongst the top providers of Gold IRAs. The company’s reputation is without a blemish in the industry, with absolutely no complaints against it registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Business Consumer Alliance (BCA). Moreover, it offers the most competitive pricing as well as lifetime support for your account. Besides, you will be invited to a one-to-one web conference in order to educate you before you can buy anything.

A Few Key Points To Note About Augusta Precious Metals

  1. Only gold IRA company with absolutely no BBB or BCA complaints since their inception in 2012
  2. Unique one-to-one web conference for investor education, the conference being led by a Harvard- trained economist on the payroll of the company
  3. Chosen by Joe Montana’s personal advisors anonymously after examining the top gold IRA companies
  4. Competitive and transparent pricing, including a maximum of 10 years’ fees waived
  5. No pressure tactics in sales, which implies no gimmicks or intimidations
  6. Purely focused on silver and gold IRAs, with lifetime support for account

   P R O S

  • No complaints filed with the BBB and BCA since inception
  • Incredible reputation and world-class service
  • Streamlined, transparent, and educational process with attractive pricing (with a maximum of 10 years’ worth of fees waived)
  • Unique no-pressure web conference offered on a one-to-one basis for free, the conference being designed by a Harvard-trained economist – an employee of the company

   C O N S

  • Absence of online setup
  • Minimum deposit of $50,000 required

With the pandemic creating mayhem, inflation rising, and jobs being lost, there is concern amongst many that their current retirement plans, usually of a conventional nature, may not be sufficient to provide a financially secure retired life in future. However, Augusta Precious Metals can be of assistance.

There is no doubt that Augusta can help any American investor, who wishes to secure his future life of retirement, understand the present state of the economy, and also why and how to diversify with physical silver and gold.

It is one of the most important reasons, along with incredible reputation and attractive pricing, to select Augusta over others. After all, it is not an easy proposition to find favor with a multi-millionaire’s personal advisors – the multi-millionaire being Joe Montana.

You can't lose with Augusta if you are thinking of opening a Gold IRA for your retirement portfolio.

Specialty Offerings from Augusta Precious Metals

Gold IRA:

This is a retirement investment option with tax benefits allowed by the IRS. In essence, it is a “self-directed” investment, allowing you to manage your own assets and take advantage of the many benefits that silver and gold investments offer. A Gold IRA has the same advantages and is subject to the same rules as any other IRA. It has to be administered by a custodian and its storage needs to be in a secure facility.

Augusta provides its client with the physical silver and gold for this kind of IRA. It also offers the services that help you to not only learn about and open your account, but also guide you on how to work with the custodian as well as storage facility.

Silver IRA:

This is similar to the Gold IRA, except that it contains silver.

Non-IRA Silver And Gold Cash Accounts:

This allows investors to buy gold and silver coins and store them at any place of their choice. Over time, these coins appreciate in value, improving the wealth status of the investors.

Storage Services Related To Physical Silver And Gold

Although the company sells silver and gold coins, they work hand in hand with storage facilities that provide you with secure storage for these coins too. Augusta’s website features a map that shows where these storage facilities are situated and you can make your selection according to your convenience.

Custodian Services

A silver or gold IRA has the requirement that your account be administered by a custodian. Augusta has tie-ups with a number of custodians - which gives you confidence in the company's way of functioning. Augusta actually helps you, on completion, with 95% of the paperwork. Moreover, in contrast to some other gold IRA providers, it continues working with you so that you can communicate better with your custodian subsequent to your purchase of silver and gold.

Multi-Team Approach

Lastly, Augusta’s multi-team approach towards the customer deserves special mention. Every staff member of the company is ready to help you to understand silver and gold and get started with your account without difficulty. Also, they continue assisting you along the way as your investments build up. Possessing silver and gold is like a journey, and the company is ever ready to offer you that critical support whenever necessary - making it easy for you to diversify your retirement savings.

Gold IRA Fees That Augusta Requires

Nature Of Service: Precious Metal IRAs

Minimum Investment: $50,000

Annual Fee: $180 (custodial plus storage fees – no additional management fees chargeable)

Nature Of Service: Non-IRAs

Minimum Investment: $50,000

Annual Fee: $100 (no fees if you take care of your own storage)

Admittedly, Augusta’s high minimum of $50,000 to start, in comparison to competition, might seem prohibitive to some investors. However, this is the company's only drawback. Now, it is a fact that many retirement investors can comfortably come up with this minimum amount. Hence, it is not a problem for them to get started with Augusta.

Augusta is exceptionally transparent regarding fee structure. For precious metal IRAs, there is a modest $80 fee for custodial maintenance, and the rest, which is $100, is payment for depository storage.

Custodial setup fees are minimal and Augusta itself does not charge any management fees as you, to all intents and purposes, have the responsibility of managing your own account. The company also offers, up to a limit of 10 years, fee-free custodial services as well as storage.

Hence, it can be said that Augusta’s fee structure is very competitive. Further, the company’s compliance department makes sure that you are informed on precisely what products you are paying for and how much. The order desk has no issues with spending plenty of time with you to introduce you to the best choices for silver and gold and to assist you with putting together a precious metals portfolio.

GoldCo Precious Metals | Best Endorsed

Simply stated, Goldco can be considered as a leading provider of gold as well as other precious metal IRAs. Investing is a breeze with Goldco, with a customer service agent guiding you through each step of the way.

A Few Key Points To Note About Goldco

  • More than 15 years’ experience
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Client can buy physical products
  • Low fees
  • Great customer feedback

   P R O S

  • Low annual fees
  • Superlative customer service
  • Free storage availability for non-IRA investments in physical metals
  • Client feedback among the best in the industry
  • Special incentives for qualifying purchases

   C O N S

  • Signing up process only available through a specific link
  • Online setup not possible
  • Minimum investment of $25,000 required

The volatility of the stock market, rising inflation, and a declining dollar are all significant contributors to the depreciation of your retirement wealth. Precious metals like silver and gold have preserved their value for centuries and can be considered as real commodities. On the other hand, the American dollar is only a fiat currency – no longer backed by gold or anything else.

This implies that any investment that you make with the dollar, or the stock market, is subject to unacceptable risks if adverse events hit the financial market. Precious metals can be classed as standalone assets, not linked to the dollar and also the stock market. If, for example, the stock market crashes, these assets actually perform their best.

This is obviously a good enough reason to diversify your retirement funds by investing in precious metals and securing for yourself the financial immunity that these assets provide.

Services Offered By Goldco

Goldco provides its clients the following services:

  • Silver and gold IRA
  • Assistance with rollover for 401(k) accounts
  • Gold IRAs involving self storage
  • Sale of precious metals and collectables in the non-IRA category
  • Buyback of silver and gold bullion, bars, and coins purchased through the company

Goldco offers its clients competitive and transparent buyback rates. However, you are under no compulsion to sell your precious metal assets back to the company at the time of retirement.

Goldco offers 2 types of services to its customers:

  • Precious metal IRAs (self-directed)
  • Direct purchases

Precious Metal IRA

Any person whose age is 70½ years or less is eligible to purchase what is known as a traditional precious metal IRA. These IRAs can accept investments in the form of silver, gold, or any combination of both. Goldco’s experts advise clients on the best way to approach their investments.

The company complies with all regulations and guidelines of the IRS. Goldco has tie-ups with third party custodians that provide sophisticated storage facilities for precious metal assets. These vaults are distributed throughout the country. Although Goldco partners with a number of custodial companies, they prefer Equity Trust Company.

Direct Purchases

These purchases are not subject to any restrictions. Any customer has the option to directly purchase silver, gold, or a combination of both from Goldco, which has a stock of collectable items in the form of these precious metals. A direct purchaser has the option of storing their precious metals in a secure storage facility or taking direct possession of them, whichever is preferable.

Cryptocurrency IRAs

Goldco itself does not provide cryptocurrency IRAs. However, there is a sister company called CoinIRA which offers these options for clients interested in these digital currencies.

Fees Charged By Goldco

According to Goldco, their fee structure is designed to be as customer friendly as possible. They directly compete with Augusta Precious Metals in terms of fees and quality of customer support.

Precious Metal IRA Fees Required By Goldco

Fees Payable One-Time:

$50 IRA setup fee

$20 wire fee

Fees Payable Annually:

$150 fee for segregated and $100 for non-segregated storage

Maintenance fee of $80

IRA customers availing non-segregated storage will need to pay only $260 for the first year and just $180 every year thereafter. IRA customers opting for segregated storage will be required to pay only $310 for the first year and just $230 every year thereafter.

Goldco charges no fees from its customer if the account is opened with $50,000 or a higher amount. On average, annual fees are hiked by $50 for accounts with $100,000 or higher amounts.

Minimum Investments

Precious metal IRAs require a minimum investment of $20,000 - $25,000

Non-IRA purchases require a minimum investment of $3,500

Birch Gold Group - 3rd Place

Simply stated, Birch Gold Group ranks amongst the top companies offering not only investment options in precious metals IRA, but also physical purchases. The low investment minimum required makes this company accessible to almost all investors.

A Few Key Points To Note About Birch Gold Group

  • More than 17 years of experience
  • Offers physical products
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Modest fees
  • Great customer feedback

   P R O S

  • Commitment to communication and education
  • Stellar customer service
  • Offers silver, gold, palladium, and platinum
  • Ongoing promotions

   C O N S

  • Signing up is only allowed through a specific link
  • Does not disclose certain fees up-front
  • No guarantee of buyback

Birch Gold Group is a precious metals IRA provider established in 2003. The company deals in silver, gold, palladium, and platinum. Birch focuses on helping clients roll over existing 401(k)s, IRAs, as well as other types of retirement accounts into, what is termed as, a self-directed precious metal IRA.

With Birch, you can invest in 4 types of metals in coins, bars, and rounds, which makes for a more diversified precious metals IRA compared to certain other competitors.

No investment is completely risk-free, and Birch wants investors to appreciate the pros and cons associated with the diversification of their retirement portfolios. Birch has received rave reviews from clients regarding customer service, educational resources, communication, and ease of use.

The company is highly rated with organizations that monitor businesses – like Business Consumer Alliance and Better Business Bureau.

IRA Custodian Fees 

The following fees are levied by the custodian that the company sets many of its clients up with:

$50 setup fees

$80 maintenance fees

$100 storage fees

Special Rates

For all clients buying gold for the first time, there are advertisements for ongoing special promotions. However, these promotions keep on changing from time to time. Currently, the following promotions are available:

Fees for the first year are waived for those investing in precious metal IRAs if the investment is $50,000 or higher

Free shipping offered for cash purchases worth $10,000 or higher

Qualifying purchases come with the incentive of a maximum of $10,000 offered in free metal

Minimum Investments

Precious metal IRAs require a minimum investment of $10,000

Cash purchases also require a minimum investment of $10,000

Products You Can Invest In

With Birch Gold Group, you can make IRA investments in silver, gold, palladium, and platinum. It might be interesting to note that gold has always preserved its intrinsic value over centuries. Although IRS approval is not available for all precious metal products with regard to IRAs, the products offered by Birch have the highest quality and conform to IRS standards.

Things To Know About Gold IRA

Investing is not limited to only stocks and bonds. Retirement plans are not restricted to Pension Plans, SIMPLE IRA, SEP IRA, 401(k), Thrift Savings Plans, or such things. If you are considering Gold IRA to invest in for a financially assured life of retirement in future, then you are already ahead of most other people. As an investment option, gold is recognized by experts as a smart way to diversify your portfolio and also a protection against inflation.

Investors and retirees favor investing in assets like precious metals due to the attendant benefits.

Investment In A Gold IRA Can Offer Protection And Safety

An important reason for retirees and investors investing in gold is to assure the protection and safety of their wealth – especially from the depreciating dollar. Gold is unaffected by fluctuations in the value of the dollar. Furthermore, the gold market gets bullish when the stock market enters a bearish phase.

In addition to protecting you from a declining dollar, purchasing precious metals also allow variation and diversity in your investments. Putting all your eggs in one basket exposes you to the risk of losing everything. But opening a Gold IRA allows you to diversify your financial assets.

Creating A Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA) – The Initial Step For Opening A Gold IRA

Your investment journey with gold begins with the creation of a self-directed IRA (SDIRA). This opens the possibility for alternative investments meant to secure your retirement savings. SDIRAs usually come in the form of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. However, they can also be offered as tangible assets like silver, gold, palladium, and platinum – known as gold or precious metal IRA.

A precious metal IRA is viewed as “self-directed” as it permits a much wider range of alternative investments compared to a traditional IRA. After creating an SDIRA, you are allowed to select your assets. This is in contrast to most retirement accounts for which investment decisions are left to the account fund manager. Hence, a gold IRA allows you to independently diversify your retirement portfolio – with the potential of maximizing returns.

A Gold IRA Requires You To Have A Custodian

Anyone can opt for a Gold IRA. However, it is mandatory to have an official custodian. A Gold IRA, similar to any SDIRA, requires a custodian – as specified by the IRA. You, as an investor, still get to pick your investments. But the custodian will act as a guide during the entire process. The custodian, after acquiring your purchased assets on your behalf, makes arrangements for delivery to a secure storage facility in order to protect your precious metals.

Bear in mind that only IRS-approved custodians are permitted to administer a gold IRA account. Make sure that your custodian is above board and figures on the approved list. Aside from this, check if your custodian is sufficiently knowledgeable to be able to guide you in your investment journey with precious metals.

Proper Storage Is Key For Precious Metals

It is highly recommended that you not store your gold away in your residence – however secure you might personally feel with this arrangement. It should be appreciated that, with regard to investments, personal safety as well as security, insurance, and logistics come first. Hence, it makes much better sense to choose a company that views the security and safety of your precious metal assets with utmost seriousness.

Only Certain Precious Metals Are Accepted By The IRS

Prior to investing in precious metals, understand that there are only specific permissible precious metals, including silver, gold, palladium, and platinum. Further, an asset needs to meet certain requirements in order to be considered as IRA-allowable precious metal.

Proof coins must be enclosed in complete and original mint packaging. These coins must also carry a certificate of authenticity. Also, non-proof coins need to be in an excellent uncirculated condition.

Examples of gold products that the IRS accepts include:

  1. American Eagle bullion coins
  2. American Eagle proof coins
  3. Austrian Philharmonic bullion coins

Added Bonus

You are allowed to rollover (transfer) your 401(k) or any other existing retirement plan to a Gold IRA.

The Bottom Line

To sum up, you should remember that proper investment in Gold IRAs involves knowing the relevant facts and details about the Gold IRA service provider you choose. Some due diligence on your part will translate into better and more secure investment outcomes. The three companies we have evaluated comprehensively in this post – Augusta Precious Metals, Birch Gold Group, and Goldco – are all outstanding and meritorious Gold IRA companies in their own right. We recommend you to choose the one that suits your unique investment requirements most effectively.

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About the Author James Holland

James is a certified financial planner who helps retirees and pre-retirees make the most of their money. He has more than 10 years of experience in the field, and he knows how to help people plan for retirement on a budget. James also offers advice on estate planning, long-term care, and other aspects of retirement planning.

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