Top 10 Gold IRA Companies Reviews – “Protect Your Retirement Savings Today with Precious Metals”
Gold IRA (or Precious Metals IRA) is a self-directed Individual Retirement Account, which has become very popular in recent years, especially for those who are looking for diversity and stability in their investment portfolio.
This type of IRA allows the investor to own physical gold, silver, platinum and palladium, in the form of coins and bars to their tax-sheltered retirement accounts; instead of paper-based assets such as cash, stocks and bonds. But is this the right move for you? Make sure you learn more about it below before making any investment decision.
Why Gold IRA?
With the primary objective of long-term preservation of wealth, there are numerous reasons to have an IRA backed by precious metals. Here are some of the fundamental benefits:
- Protection through diversification – Having precious metals within a balanced investment portfolio can potentially reduce its overall risk, helping to protect against market shocks and financial crisis. It can also act as a good insurance in times of geo-political uncertainty, natural disasters and wars.In fact, gold has been proven to be resilient during turbulent times. Unlike a stock, where the underlying firm can go bankrupt, or a bond, where the issuer may default on a coupon or redemption payment, there’s no credit risk in gold.
- Growth potential – Gold is the most useful metal on earth, and the demand for it continues to outstrip supply. Jewelry and technology applications make up more than 50% of demand, and most gold is bought in the world’s fastest-growing emerging markets.China and India account for more than half of all gold purchases, annually. Newly-mined gold can only meet about two-thirds of current global demand. In addition, central banks are no longer net sellers of gold, so the rest of the demand is currently fulfilled with recycled gold. With demographic and economic trends predicting increasing wealth and expanded populations in the world’s two largest gold markets, gold demand has the potential to continue rising.Weakening of stocks and other paper investments due to the economic instability will drive even more demands towards precious metals. In many cases, these assets can provide a substantial return on investment in the long run.
- Hedge against inflation – The Fed is printing more money. Your cash or any of your paper-based investments is effected by inflation, while gold has the opposite effect on it and helps you maintain your purchasing power.A growing body of research has shown that having a portion of savings in gold can improve purchasing power over the long term, especially as the real value of most major currencies declines. Hence it would be a great way to preserve your wealth or retirement funds with precious metals.
- Tax benefits – There is no penalties and payable tax involved in any gold IRA transfer or rollover, because it falls under income investments category which is tax-differed. You are not required to pay for the normal collectible capital gain tax of your metals when they are liquidated. This tax rate can be as high as 28% on the gold kept outside an IRA. You will only have to pay for tax during withdrawal in the form of distributions.
- Safe tangible storage – Most of the reliable gold IRA firms can provide a safe, secured and insured storage for your precious metals, either in the states or offshore based on your liking.
- Scam – You need to be very cautious while choosing a gold IRA firm, as there is a chance you could get ripped off. There are still many scammers in this market, even though the financial authorities are taking massive actions to improve oversight of the market.You would not know whether your precious metals are indeed being held for you or not, as you do not physically hold them yourself. Some companies might not even have sufficient precious metals to fulfill their clients’ accounts. Download this free gold scam report to learn more, so that you know how to protect yourself against these scammers.
- Theft – Any physical commodity is subject to theft risk. Someone could break into the depository where your gold is being stored and steal it.However, to qualify for gold IRAs, depositories are required to be insured, which would protect your investment as long as your account doesn’t exceed the custodian’s stated value.
- Investment – All investments come with risks and rewards, gold IRAs included. But if you’re invested for the long run and having a balanced investment portfolio, gold IRA is still a safe, stable, and powerful vehicle for maintaining long-term asset growth and wealth preservation. Don’t forget many of these risks also exist for traditional IRAs, too.
Is Your Account Eligible?
Over dozen types of retirement account are provided in the United States. Learn if you can actually invest precious metals in your existing one(s) with the table below, before selecting any gold IRA firm:-
|Profit Sharing Plan||No||Maybe||No||No|
|Money Purchase Plan||No||Maybe||Maybe||No|
|Precious Metals IRA||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)||No||No||No||No|
*Maybe: Gold investment opportunities are solely on discretion of plan provider.
You may contact your current plan provider or a trustworthy gold IRA firm to verify further on the eligibility for your existing account. If it’s eligible, then you can simply do a direct account transfer to your chosen gold IRA custodian.
However you may discover, after inquiry, that your present custodian or plan provider is not willing to offer you many opportunities to invest in gold with your current retirement plan. In that case, you will need to make a gold IRA rollover instead.
So what’s the difference between direct transfer and rollover?
- Direct transfer – It is a tax-free process. You can simply move your IRA funds from one custodian to another. The process time needed is usually shorter. Since it’s a tax-free process, you don’t have to report anything on your income tax and you are allowed to perform as many transfers as you like.
- Rollover process – It allows you to transfer whole or part of your retirement funds into a self-directed (gold) IRA. There are no tax penalties whatsoever, provided the process is completed within 60 days. And it can be repeated once in every 12 months.
Most of the gold IRA companies will gladly help you with them.
Finding a Reliable Gold IRA Company
Investors have many options for gold IRA company. Choosing which one to use is complicated, as it is a specialized task that major brokerage firms generally don’t offer. Here are a few important criteria and quick tips for you:-
- Transparency – Knowing all your costs up front to avoid any nasty surprises, such as hidden fees after you invest.
- Track record – Look for a company with an outstanding track record from objective third parties, such as the Better Business Bureau, the Business Consumer Alliance or the Trustlink Reviews. It may also be helpful to dig into what customers say about the company, especially the number of customer complaints filed against the company. Look for a company that was “educational and not pushing a hard sell.”
- Flexibility – Each investor’s needs and goals are different, so choose a company that will cater to your needs rather than having a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Qualifications – You should only deal with a company that has all the appropriate and required licenses, registrations, insurance and bonds to protect your investment. Ask for verification of those licenses and other information.
Here’s the Top 10 List
Now let’s take a look at the top 10 gold IRA companies of our in-depth researches, and what they have in store for potential investors:-
Way ahead of the competition with an A+ rating from BBB (Better Business Bureau), an “AAA” from BCA (Business Consumer Alliance), 5 stars from 900+ happy customer reviews on Trustlink, no clients’ complaints, and zero fraud lawsuit so far, RA tops the list of gold IRA investing firms.
New IRA accounts with this company are activated in just 24 hours, with the minimum investment amount being set at $10,000.00. RA is the only firm to offer segregated storage for a flat fee of $150 and an admin fee of $100, irrespective of the account value. And these fees are only charged from the second year of the IRA, with the first year annual fees completely waived.
A guaranteed 7-day delivery schedule, with delays compensated with a free 1 oz of Silver American Eagle; secured, segregated and fully insured storage with Brinks; wide collection of bullion coins and bars; and zero charges on rollovers, etc. are also part of the deal. Expert guidance, ‘not pushy’ and excellent customer service characterizes Regal Assets.
#2 Birch Gold Group
Birch Gold Group is almost on par with Regal Assets, only as far as the BBB, BCA and TrustLink ratings are concerned. It offers good customer services, access to advice from numismatics experts, and takes extra care to verify the authenticity of the rare and collectible coins it features. Customer reviews are, however, mixed. Besides this, there are complaints of misinformation and overpricing registered at RipOffReport.
#3 Goldco Direct
Goldco stands third on the list, with an “A” accreditation from BBB, 5 out of 5 from TrustLink, and an “AAA” from BCA. This company has been around for over a decade and enjoys the trust of loyal customers. Fee structures are definitely competitive, while product delivery and account creation may be time-consuming.
#4 United Gold Direct
Despite having years of experiences in the precious metals investing competition, United Gold Direct still needs a lot of work to draw the attention of the customers. The firm is well-known; houses an expert team of professionals; deals in all four precious metals, as well as gold IRA rollover. Rated “A+” by BBB and with a 5-star rating from TrustLink, the company has no recent complaints to its credit.
GoldSilver fares reasonably well, based on its offerings and experience in the precious metals industry. Specializing in precious metals trading and investments, they offer transparent dealings, competitive pricing and personalized guidance to its clients. Highly rated by BCA, GoldSilver also enjoys a 5-star rating at TrustLink. Recent complaints against the firm are, however, worth noting.
#6 Rosland Capital
Rosland Capital is a recent entrant to the fray, trying to woo customers with an array of products and services. The firm showcases collectible coins from South Africa and Canada, along with the local coins. Fee structure details aren’t available at present, though expected to vary annually and/or based on the value of the IRA account. Rosland earns a “BBB” from BCA and a 3-star TrustLink rating, with two recent complaints against it in the last six months.
#7 Lexi Capital
Having earned a 5-star rating from TrustLink and an “A-” from BBB (a single complaint last year), Lexi offers an impressive combination of service and product offerings. BCA ratings, however, are not available. Investment experts at Lexi also offer advice on portfolio diversification based on the current market trends. Investors are recommended to shop around for more information and proceed only if they are comfortable with the features and pricing.
#8 Morgan Gold
Morgan Gold claims to have successfully delivered gold worth 1 billion to its clients. Rated “A” by BCA, “A-” by BBB and “5” by TrustLink, the company extends support to investors looking for expert opinion on financial planning. Given the volume of transactions at Morgan, the number and nature of complaints may cause concern to investors. It is worth investigating further before proceeding with any investment.
Rated A+ by BBB, Blanchard is a seasoned player in the precious metals industry, staffed with experienced and expert professionals across numismatics, rarities, market analysis and precious metals specialities offering exceptional services. The company, however, has quite a few negative comments, which may force investors to think twice before proceeding with their investments with the firm.
#10 Heritage Gold Group
Heritage Gold Group has a strong “AAA” and “A+” rating from BCA and BBB respectively where zero complaint is reported so far. It also scores a five stars from TrustLink too. HGG is a division of Goldco Direct. They mainly focus on converting their client’s 401(k) and IRAs plan into gold backed IRA.
The Right Questions for Gold IRA Firms
You are advised to speak with both your financial advisor and a preferred gold IRA firm before making any investment decision. Here are some top questions you should consider asking your selected firms:-
- IRA Setup Fees and Storage FeesThere could be a scaling administration and storage fee scheduled annually for most of the gold IRA custodians, which can become very costly as the account value grows.When ask about the storage fees, you should be extra cautious as they may tell you it’s a flat fee, yet in fact there could be a hidden storage limit. If there’s additional fund added or natural growth of value to your account which exceeds the limit, the fee could scale up greatly and cost you a fortune over the duration of your storage time with them.Our advice is to always go with the company with flat storage and admin fee, some will even waive your first year fees conditionally.
- Precious Metals and Storage FacilitiesEnsure that you purchase only the investment grade precious metals that are acceptable for IRA. You should also carefully choose a custodian that can provide you with the best secured storage facilities for their protection, instead of a ‘home storage’ option offer which is actually very risky. In fact, this ‘home/self-storage IRA’ arrangement has not been approved or recognized by the IRS due to its materials financial risk to the IRA’s owner.You can have both bullion bars or coins in your IRA, and they each have their own pros and cons. Be cautious though! You need to watch out for any gold IRA firm that pushes you for one specific type of precious metal. If your account rep tries to push or bait you into buying some particular ‘rare’, ‘special’ or ‘limited edition’ collectible coins especially, they probably make much higher profit margins on them due to the hugely marked up price(30-50% higher).You can download this free gold scam report to learn more about why ‘home storage’ is much more risky and how these gold dealers would try to ‘trick’ you into their scam.
- Buyback ProgramIs there a buy back program available with the company for the precious metals you purchase? What if you want to cash out when the price is right? Will you get a fair value for them? Not only you should get a fair price with the gold IRA firm during your purchase, but also during your assets liquidation too.
Trust your gut’s instinct and go with the company who’s looking out for your best interest rather than just turning a profit from your sale.
It can be a headache if you choose the wrong company as it can cost you additional money and time for the entire process. Or worse, get ripped off by some shady scammers that disguise as authoritative companies in the industry.
If you’ve decided to roll over to a gold IRA account, you should always consult a real trusted professional to help answer your remaining questions, your rollover process as well as any future tax issues.