Finding a Gold IRA company that would be perfect for you is never easy. There is so much information about these companies that it can take several months to go through it all and make a decision. While you are doing so, the stock market keeps fluctuating and this leaves your money vulnerable. The worst part is that should an economic downturn happen while looking for the right company, it might be too late for you to avoid losses.

To help you find the best Gold IRA companies, we have narrowed the choices down, asked advisors about these companies, and are left with three companies that we would recommend to you. 

An Overview of the Top Three Gold IRA Companies

GoldCo:  Best Overall

GoldCo is approved by Chuck Norris, has the best bonuses at 10% silver coins back, and has some of the best advisors in the industry. Their advisors only answer the questions you ask, without pushing you to make a choice and always doing what is in your best interests.

Birch Gold Group: Best for Those Who Want a Royalty Experience

Birch Gold Group treats its customers the best and also gives a bonus of a maximum of $10,000 in coins if you have a qualifying account. Their accounts do not come with maintenance fees.

Augusta Precious Metals: The Best IRA For Those Looking for Storage

Augusta Precious Metals has a ton of learning materials that you can access by attending one of their webinars. Their sign-up process is also straightforward enough. It only has a few steps and you will need to sign a few papers and have your account ready for you.

Birch Gold Group

Birch Gold Group is among the best gold IR A companies and its main focus is on helping its customers get a safe and secure retirement. All the accounts the company uses are backed by precious metals which makes them different from traditional IRAs and normal retirement accounts. These accounts are also a lot less volatile than those that are not backed by precious metals.

The main advantage of starting an IRA account with Birch Gold is that, because the accounts are backed by precious metals, the risk of losing all of your retirement savings during a market downturn is very low. This is very attractive for anyone who is looking for a safe investment and retirement option.

Birch Gold Group also educates its customers so they are aware of where their money is going and why that is their best option. To help make educating their customers easier, the company has a content library that can be accessed easily on their website. Additionally, the company is available on social media and retains very active social media accounts. Birch Gold Group also puts out podcasts that help its customers and the public understands growth cycles, market instability, and other topics.

The company’s dedication to helping their customers understand why investing in gold is a great option has been received very well, and this is evidenced by the numerous positive reviews posted on the Birch Gold websites and elsewhere online.

The team helping people roll over their retirement accounts into gold and other precious metal IRA accounts includes commodity brokers, wealth managers, and financial advisors.

Fee and Prices

The fees for all precious metal IRAs worth over $50,000 have been waived. Customers have to pay $80 in management fees, $100 in insurance and set-up fees, and one-time custodian fees. The custodians help with rolling over retirement accounts, setting up the IRAs, as well as handling storage and insurance charges.

The Delaware Depository and Brink’s Global service are tasked with handling storage.

Customers can make purchases of at least $10,000 outside the IRA and the same amount for gold and silver inside the IRA.

Products and Services

  • Account rollovers - Birch Gold handles rolling over ROTH IRAs, traditional IRAs, Simple IRAs, and SEP-IRAs to gold IRA accounts

  • Precious metal IRAs - Precious metal IRAs hold gold and other approved precious metals. They work like traditional IRAs but instead hold bars and coins

  • Account set-up - Customers can choose from the various choices for setting up their IRA

  • Birch Gold also lets individuals buy precious metals directly to keep in their possession

   P R O S

  • Lots of educational materials
  • Relatively low minimum amounts
  • Reasonable annual fees
  • Stellar customer support

   C O N S

  • $10,000 minimum Investment

Augusta Precious Metals

Since 2012, Augusta Precious Metals has been educating people and empowering them to protect their retirement funds using precious metals as diversification investment options. It is an award-winning gold IRA company that commits to staying with its customers and holding their hands as long as they have precious metals in their portfolios.

Augusta Precious Metals is trusted in this field due to its unwavering commitment to transparency and simplicity. The company offers great customer services, going as far as establishing different departments that cater to different needs of their clients to ensure a smooth gold IRA process.

Because the company is very efficient, it can pass some of its savings to its customers. By partnering with the Royal Canadian Mint, Augusta Precious Metals has purer coins and lower prices than many of its competitors. The company has also made the process easier with regard to buying approved precious metal IRAs for holders of physical precious metals.

Augusta Precious Metals is also able to differentiate itself because of its team. The team is highly trained, focused on helping its customers, is genuine, and all members have a lot of knowledge and experience in this field.

Even though the company specializes in helping its customers open precious metal IRA accounts, it also helps them buy silver and gold without an IRA account,

Fee and Prices

Augusta Precious Metals does charge a 5% markup on precious metal bullion with no commissions added to the final price of the precious metal you buy. The company charges $100 per year for storage fees and $80 annually for custodian fees.

The good news is that the company will pay for and handle all shipping and insurance liability until you take possession of the precious metals.

As for storage, any precious metals bought using cash are stored wherever you wish. However, all silver and gold in precious metal IRAs is stored with the Delaware Depository or other highly secure and insured depositories.

The minimum purchase amount for precious metals IRA is $50,000 while the minimum for those outside an IRA is $25,000.

Products and Services

  • Availability of price chats and an online calculator
  • The company allows you to buy silver and gold for cash
  • Customers can also purchase bullion bars and coins that can be added to an IRA
  • Customers get lifetime support
  • Insurance and shipping are paid for
  • Customers have access to an analytics team so they can invest better

Complaints

There are no complaints posted about Augusta Precious Metals anywhere on the internet. It is also impressive that the Better Business Bureau has not received any complaints about Augusta Precious Metals. This can either mean that there have never been any complaints or the company was able to resolve them so fast that those who made them did not have time to post about them.

   P R O S

  • Lots of comprehensive educational material
  • Lifetime support for all customers
  • Simple, easy-to-understand, and streamlined services
  • East to get an account set up

   C O N S

  • The minimums are slightly high
  • There are no small lots for coins and bullion gold bars

GoldCo

GoldCo remains the best Gold IRA company for those who are looking for the best company for a nest egg. The company will help you protect all of your retirement savings and funds by transferring them to a gold or silver IRA. In addition to having a great reputation among customers and industry experts, GoldCo also makes Gold IRA experts available to its customers for whatever questions they may have. 

The company also has stellar customer service even for customers who have already completed the signing-up process. Many people report getting an answer a few minutes after sending a message to their agents through their online chat option. 

GoldCo provides all its services with the knowledge that saving or investing for retirement can be intimidating for some. There have been cases where people’s wealth has been completely wiped out even after doing everything like they were supposed to. To help minimize the risks that come with market crashes, the company backs all of its retirement plans with precious metals. Some of the reasons they do this include:

  • Enabling diversification - Investing in Gold IRA helps protect against the shocks that come with investing in currency and stocks, geographical risks, defaults, financial crises, and inflation
  • Tax advantages - All the gains accrued by gold are not subject to taxation
  • Ease of transfer - It is relatively easy to transfer your account from a regular retirement account to a gold IRA one
  • Financial stability - The amount of gold in the world increases only by small amounts so the risk of inflation is very low
  • Wealth appreciation - The price of gold keeps going up every year

Fee and Prices

There are no fees for first-year members who have $50,000 or more in their gold IRA. There is $180 charged as insurance and storage annually as well as $260 for first-year members to cater for setup, insurance, and storage.

All fees for the storage of non-IRA transactions that are not delivered to the house are waived. Those who prefer segregated storage in IDS Texas are charged $150 while those who prefer a non-segregated storage option have to pay $100.

The minimum purchase amount for the gold IRA is $25,000 while the minimum amount for purchases outside the IRA is $3500.

Products and Services

  • SEP IRA

  • 401(K) rollover

  • Silver IRAs

  • Gold IRAs - Holds physical gold as well as other precious metals that have been approved

  • Simple IRA - A traditional IRA that helps employees contribute to a normal IRA

   P R O S

  • All fees are waived for qualified orders of above $50,000 for the first year
  • All qualified orders (those over $50,000) receive 5% back as free metals
  • The company has various storage options for its clients
  • The company offers stellar customer support
  • They have a great reputation
  • GoldCo has a great buyback program

   C O N S

  • Their minimums are higher than those offered by other companies at $25,000

The Best Company

All three companies reviewed above fit the bill because they are helpful and trustworthy. While many reviews only look at the best things about companies, we wanted to have a deeper look so you would know everything that you need to. We compared different points within the industry to end up with these three companies. Most of the information you need to know is either hard to find or in the fine print so we looked for it for you.

The best overall company is GoldCo. GoldCo has everything you would need when thinking about investing in a Gold IRA. While the options it offers are limited, it does offer palladium, platinum, silver, and gold as options and these are the main precious metals most people invest in.

How to Choose a Gold IRA

  • Buy only IRAs that hold precious metals approved by the IRS

  • Always ensure the depository used by the gold IRA company is approved by the IRS

  • Understand how gold and other precious metal prices work

  • Find out how much each precious metal is selling for and what you pay above this price

  • To help with diversification, add a silver IRA to your portfolio

  • Read reviews extensively before choosing a company to open an account with

Choosing Gold IRA Companies to Review

The list of companies to review started as a list of 10, with information collected by looking at the best gold IRA companies. The list was further narrowed to a list of three. This was done by looking at websites, reviews, complaints, ratings, and marketing material.

This guide explains what a gold IRA is as well as how to add precious metals to it. The aim is to give you enough information to make the best decisions regarding gold IRA accounts to invest in.

Finding the Best Companies

1. Research

We started with a list of IRA companies that have been around for numerous years. After all, you should only trust companies that have some longevity with your retirement funds.

2. Reading

The next step was looking at various materials to get as much information as possible about these companies. We also examined various pieces of information including the various services offered, storage options, and fees charged.

3. Looking at Reviews

Looking at the available data is not always the only way to gauge these companies. We also used various online review websites to learn what people are saying and thinking of these companies. Where there were specific complaints about the companies, they were not considered for this review.

4. Company Reputation

The last piece of the puzzle was checking these companies’ reputations. First, these companies have to be accredited and in good standing with the Better Business Bureau or the Business Consumer Alliance.

Gold IRAs: What are They?

There is little difference between a gold IRA and a traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account). While both types of retirement accounts come with various tax advantages, gold IRAs allow you to own physical pieces of precious metals. These accounts give you a lot of investment freedoms and do not limit your options to traditional assets like bonds, mutual funds, and stocks. Because they invest in gold, your primary focus should be on gold prices when you invest in them.

How Gold IRAs Work

If you are thinking of investing in gold, you are required to have a gold IRA. To open one, you need to get in touch with a company that will help you open one. Companies like GoldCo and the others reviewed above are great options. In addition to letting you buy and own various precious metals, GoldCo also provides excellent customer service and has lots of positive online reviews.

These companies then take the fund you would like to invest and use them to purchase gold and other precious metals that have been approved by the IRS. Since you will not be directly involved with the purchase or sale of gold and other precious metals, you do not cause yourself tax liabilities.

To purchase precious metals, you will need to follow the following steps:

1. Add Funds to the Account

You often have to adhere to the minimum amounts set by the particular gold IRA account you would like to invest in. These minimums make it profitable to open and operate these accounts, otherwise, their margins would be too small. The minimums are usually between $10,000 and $50,000. You can check out the information on the various minimum amounts on the reviews above. If you want to invest more or do not have enough funds, you can always roll your 401(K) into the account so you have more to invest.

2. Check Out the Fees

The company which you use to open the gold IRA account makes some commission on the precious metals it buys to add to your IRA. Most charge 3-5% on top of the price of the precious metal at the time of opening the account. Other fees include set-up fees, depository fees, and annual fees.

The set-up fee is only paid once, and it is charged for processing all the paperwork needed as well as setting up the account. The depository fee is charged for the storage of the precious metals. Remember that these metals have to be stored in secure depositories that are approved by the government. The annual fee is charged to ensure your account remains in good standing. These fees can be waived if your account meets certain thresholds. The amounts charged are $50-90, $100-300, and $300 respectively.

3. Making Withdrawals

You can start taking out money from the IRA once you reach the age of 72. This means you will have a minimum amount available to you every year.

Rules You Need to Follow

There are three main rules you need to follow to own a precious metal IRA:

1. Approved Metals

All the metals that you wish to include in your IRA must meet specific standards. These standards include purity and fineness standards acceptable by the IRA. Gold IRAS can contain other metals such as platinum, palladium, and silver. The required purity levels for gold are 0.995%, for silver are 0.999% while those for platinum and palladium are 0.9995%.

2. Precious Metal Storage

All the precious metals in your IRA are supposed to be stored in a depository held and controlled by a third party. The depositories are supposed to have insurance and are necessary because you are not allowed to have physical precious metals with you.

3. Taxation

IRAs that hold precious metals are subject to the tax laws that govern SEP, simple IRS, Roth, and other IRAs.

Getting a Gold IRA Going

Before you settle on a company that you would like to handle your gold IRA, it is best to look at what the Better Business Bureau is saying about the company.  Even though the process of starting a Gold IRA has become considerably easier, it is still a good idea to check again to ensure your IRA will be held by a company or custodian who is reputable.

Gold IRAs are one type of self-directed IRA. This means that although an employer might not allow you to allocate funds to this IRA, you can have a lot more control over the IRA once you retire or move out of the job. When you do, you will still have the tax-deferred status you enjoyed before.

Before investing in a self-directed gold IRA, it is always a good idea to talk to an expert first. They will guide you on what paperwork to fill as well as how to fill it. They will then talk to you about the various metals and depository options you have so you can choose the best ones for your situation.

If you already have a phone number, an email address, and a computer, you can have the process completed in as little as 30 minutes.

The complete process involves choosing a company, filling out the application for the silver or gold IRA, funding the account, and choosing the metals you would like to have.

Why Investing in a Gold IRA is a Good Idea

Investing in silver, gold or other precious metals is one of the best ways to preserve wealth. Gold, silver, and precious metal IRAs work really well for this purpose. When you choose the right company to invest with and have enough money to invest, you no longer have to worry about paper currencies. Even though the gold coins and bars you invest in have to be approved by the IRS, investing in gold remains a great idea for these reasons:

  • Gold is globally recognized and accepted and turning it into cash is relatively easy

  • Gold and silver are tangible and physical assets that the government cannot make more of, which hedges against inflation

  • Gold can help protect your investments from inflation as well as reduce your portfolio’s overall risk.

Why Invest in a Gold IRA?

The reason why you need to invest at least the set minimum amount is that the company establishing the IRA needs to pay for the gold to be stored. Ensuring that the gold you buy through a gold IRA is stored in an approved depository is a legal requirement that you cannot avoid. Depositories are usually larger companies that have secure facilities that house, protect and secure the gold, silver, and other precious metals you invest in through an IRA.

By using a reputable repository, you know your physical gold is safe and you do not have to keep the gold with you.

Some of the reasons to consider a repository include:

  • Insurance options to protect your investment

  • Constant asset monitoring

  • Armed security

  • It is a legal requirement

  • The structures used are disaster-proof

Investing in gold is similar to holding money. The same way you do not keep your money at home is the same way you do not have to keep your gold and other precious metals at home. While the price of gold will fluctuate, this is still a great and stable option, especially for retirement accounts.

The Rarity of Gold

The total amount of gold that has been mined to date is around 91,000 tons in weight. That includes all the gold held by the government, the public and contained in things like art and jewelry.

Why Rolling Over into a Gold IRA is an Excellent Investment Option

While many investors think they understand the reasons for investing in one of the available gold IRA rollover options, most people do not have the cash to do this. Even when you have the money to buy the gold directly from a gold deal, the gold you can purchase is enough for the amount you are left with after considering taxes. The net capital remaining after considering taxes is the reason why a lot of people turn to gold IRAs. These IRAs have little to no annual fee and you pay a lot less for the gold.

People who have some money in other IRAs and their 401(K)s can also roll over into a gold IRA without being taxed. Investors can also choose to rollover palladium, silver, or platinum and include it in their portfolio. Doing this is a great option for beginners and those who have other retirement plans and accounts.

These accounts and plans previously let you invest in bonds, stocks, and other assets backed by paper, but they now allow gold and silver investments. Doing this gives you opportunities for portfolio diversification while saving on fees.

Questions You Need to Ask Gold IRA Companies

Here are some questions you should ask any gold IRA company.

Do You Focus Exclusively on Gold IRAs?

There are lots of companies that deal with bulk silver and gold quantities. IRAs only focus on a small part of the gold business and choosing companies that focus exclusively on gold IRAs ensures you get the best services.

What is the Premium Charge Over Prevailing Gold Prices?

Companies that offer gold IRAs will often charge a small commission or premium over the prevailing prices of gold. It is therefore a good idea to check gold prices. This is the best way to get a good deal. Also, ask whether the company can lock the price for you so you can get it later. 

Does the Company Have a Buyback Feature or Schedule?

When it comes time to liquidate or dispose of the gold, you need to be sure you can get a buyer and some money for it. Many companies will buy the gold back from you, and you only need to make the request and wait for a check.

What are the Associated Fees?

Many gold IRA companies charge a flat fee, while some have a scaling fee feature. The fixed cost is charged no matter how much gold you hold, while with scaling fees, you pay a percentage depending on how much gold the custodian holds for you.

What are the Sentiments of Past Clients?

You can find a lot of information about gold IRA companies online. By doing a bit of research you will find out how experienced, reputable, and trustworthy the company you are considering is. Do not forget to read reviews, testimonials, and complaints, too. Use as many online resources as you have access to so that you can develop an informed opinion about a company.

How Long Has the Company Existed?

Ideally, you want to work and invest with companies that have a lot of experience in the industry. So, do your research to find out how long the company has been in business as well as how long they have dealt with gold, silver, and precious metal IRAs.

How Long Until I Get Precious Metals?

You should receive the precious metals within seven business days. Longer than this is usually a bad sign.

How Long Does a 401(K) Rollover Take?

A rollover will usually take two to three business days. Opt for companies that make it easy to complete the process online. These companies will usually provide a faster turnaround than those where need you to visit an office and talk to someone.

Are Online Applications Possible?

Online applications are the better option because they allow for the process to be completed quickly. If you need to receive documents via mail and then mail them back, the process will take much longer. Online applications also show that the business is modern enough. Companies that have embraced these modern practices are often easier to deal with. Also, doing everything electronically provides you with a paper trail that is easy to follow.

For many people, dealing with retirement accounts, 401(K)s and IRAs can be confusing and complicated. Gold IRAs are a great option, and they give you the option to invest in gold, silver, and other precious metals. Once you find the right company, the process should be relatively easy. It is better to deal with companies that handle gold IRAs exclusively to get the best services. These companies also have experts who understand these accounts standing by to help you out. The companies we recommend are Augusta Precious Metals, Birch Gold Group, and GoldCo. Although they offer slightly different services, you cannot go wrong with any three of these. 

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