Best Gold IRA Companies
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As time goes on, more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of precious metals investment. Even during times of economic stability, precious metals can provide a vital ongoing hedge against inflation. They also skyrocket in price whenever the stock market is struggling.
Only one third of Americans make regular retirement contributions, and the vast majority of Americans don't have their own savings. If you do have a retirement account, it may be easier to invest in gold using these funds than trying to scrape together enough personal savings.
But gold IRAs come with their own challenges. You have to juggle paperwork, custodianship, storage options, and your choice of products themselves. That's why there are gold IRA companies to make things easier.
These companies will help with the application and rollover paperwork for your account. In exchange, you'll buy some of their IRA-approved gold products and have them stored in your retirement account. But not all of these companies are created equal. You want one with transparent policies, low fees, solid products, and a good community reputation.
We've made a list of our top five choices that tick all of these boxes. While Goldco is our top choice, all five companies on this list are excellent to work with.
Top 5: Best Gold IRA Companies
We've marked Goldco as our top choice because of the company's convenience and versatility. Their services are helpful to everyone from the newest investor to the most seasoned financial professionals. While you can make cash purchases, Goldco's main focus is on IRA services.
The company has been operating since 2006, though it didn't start as a consumer firm. Instead, it facilitated B2B purchases of precious metals. The shift to consumer-based care happened when the company was acquired by its current owner in 2011.
Goldco has received numerous accolades and seals of approval. The company has top marks with the Business Consumer Alliance and Better Business Bureau alike. They have also been named as one of the fastest-growing companies in the US. The American Business Awards gave Goldco their Company of the Year award in 2021.
If you decide to use their IRA services, the setup process is extremely simple. You'll call and connect to an agent, who will walk you through the application. They'll handle the rollover process for you, so you don't have to worry about accidentally failing to comply with government regulations.
Your representative will continue to work with you for the rest of your relationship with Goldco. Before you make your initial purchase, they will answer all of your questions and become familiar with your concerns. That will help them make product recommendations that really suit your specific needs.
Goldco's fees are simple and straightforward. You'll pay $50 for the setup, and then $180 in total each year to your storage partner and custodian. That's one of the lowest annual fees in the industry. With any gold IRA, you'll need to pay your custodian and storage partner.
When you finalize your purchase, your price will be locked in upon confirmation. The items will be packaged and sent to your depository, where your custodian will unload them. Goldco has one of the fastest turnaround times in the nation. They can often have your IRA set up within 48 hours, and the items can be placed in the depository within just a few weeks.
Goldco's preferred custodial partner is Equity Trust Company. This is one of the largest and most successful gold IRA custodians available. They have excellent online reviews and an ongoing commitment to transparency.
Augusta Precious Metals is another great company to work with, although they may be out of some people's budget range. If you want to use their services to open a self-directed IRA, then you need at least $50,000 to buy precious metals. That's the highest minimum on our list by far.
But for those who can afford it, the services are excellent. Augusta is a large company with thousands of customers. However, there's a boutique feel to their setup. They offer one-on-one webinars that are led by a financial expert and analyst. In addition, you'll have one dedicated representative who gets to know you, just like with Goldco.
Augusta also has a unique approach to financial expertise. There are five departments in the company, each of which focuses on a different aspect of the IRA purchase process. Since every employee works in one narrow field, they have a high level of expertise regarding even the most niche questions.
If you ask your representative a question, and they don't know the answer, they'll be able to put you in touch with a coworker who does know. This streamlining is great for the company's work culture. There's nothing quite like it anywhere else in the industry.
The NFL player Joe Montana serves as a celebrity ambassador for the company. He says that he was so impressed with the quality of service that he decided to tell everybody about Augusta. In addition to recommending the company to the public, he also recommends them to his close family members.
Augusta is also very willing to be flexible and to help customers secure their assets. You'll have an account with a dashboard that shows your holdings. Your representative will be available to answer questions for life. You'll receive market updates and insights about the global economy, particularly regarding how global events might affect your retirement assets.
It's very common to see American Hartford Gold advertising on television or online. In fact, many of the customer reviews say that these ad campaigns were how the customer got involved. Other customers say that they were referred by friends or family because of how happy they were with AHG's overall services.
American Hartford Gold is uniquely affordable in this sector. Unlike many of the top competitors, they don't have a fee to set up your account. They also don't require any minimum investment. If you don't have $5,000 or more to get started, then American Hartford Gold is the most accessible option on the list.
Oftentimes, companies that lack these upfront fees also have hidden fees and markups. But that's not true of AHG. They operate using niche inventory that they receive at affordable prices, allowing them to pass those savings on to customers. Though you might not find the most recently-minted bullion there, you will find plenty of IRA-approved items that can be liquidated easily.
American Hartford Gold has a buyback program. They'll make you an offer when the time comes to take distributions or otherwise to liquidate your holdings. Though they legally cannot guarantee buybacks, there has never been a buyback request that they've refused.
The company also has a price matching guarantee. If you find bullion from the same year and the same model as their inventory, but you get a lower price in writing, then AHG will match that lower price. You just need to make sure that you have all of the appropriate documentation first.
AHG will frequently run promotions for new customers. Available promotions vary depending on the month and the currently-active advertising campaigns. One example is the free silver that you might receive as a bonus for buying a certain amount of gold coins. Another example is the waiving of your IRA fees for one, two, or three years, depending on exactly how much you invest.
Though there is a small handful of complaints online, the vast majority of issues seem to be simple misunderstandings. American Hartford Gold has reached out to each customer and explained their policies, then made an effort to solve the problem. Most customers report being extremely satisfied by the solutions and happy to continue doing business with AHG.
Birch Gold Group is a popular company in many conservative circles, especially for fans of Ben Shapiro. The talk show host has endorsed Birch Gold multiple times, stating that he trusts them implicitly with his retirement needs. He's also interviewed top experts at the company about precious metals and their thoughts on the economy.
Birch Gold has the longest history on our list, having been in the business since 2003. While they started small, they've spent the past two decades growing to serve thousands upon thousands of customers in every state in America.
Today, the staff at Birch Gold is made up of a combination of financial experts, wealth managers, investment advisors, and general trade brokers. All of these people bring their finance and precious metals expertise to the table, helping to make Birch Gold even more successful.
As with Goldco and Augusta, Birch Gold partners every client with a single IRA expert. This allows you to access personalized concierge service, while still getting the advantages of a large company with multiple networked partners.
The fees to work with Birch Gold are among the most reasonable in the industry. They match Goldco's exactly, with a $50 fee for setup followed by a $180 fee for your account maintenance. This latter fee is paid to your custodian and depository, rather than to Birch Gold itself.
Clients who invest at least $50,000 will have their first year of fees totally waived. There's a minimum suggestion of $10,000. While that's lower than many companies, it's also still a hefty sum for some people.
Noble Gold is a company that focuses on protecting your retirement assets by investing in gold. The company owner believes that gold is a vital investment because it is often untouched by economic events like the 2008 market crash. There are also emergency survival packs of bullion that you can purchase with your cash savings.
It's simple to get started with the company. You'll call and speak to a representative about your IRA needs. They'll take you through the paperwork. While the website is easy to navigate, you do still need to complete a phone conversation in order to finalize your purchases.
Not all of Noble Gold's inventory is available to keep in an IRA. They also have some collector's coins and numismatic rarities, some of which have historical value. The available options vary by the day.
Every coin in the company's inventory has gone through an independent certification and grading process using either the NGC or PCGS. These are the two most respected and official organizations when it comes to grading and authenticating coins in the US.
Noble Gold's inventory includes offerings in all four IRA-approved precious metals. However, the vast majority of options are gold and silver, with only a very few platinum and palladium options. You can ask your representative about whether it's better for you to purchase gold alone, or to diversify among several different metals.
Each company on this list is an industry leader with a great reputation. They have all received high marks from the BBB and the BCA. Review websites and consumer watchdogs like Consumer Affairs, Google Reviews, and Trustpilot all show consistently high ratings. The vast majority of customers are completely satisfied.
So the right company for you might just come down to personal preferences and needs.
Our top choice for the entire industry is Goldco. We believe that their services and products are versatile enough to meet the vast majority of customers' needs. They have great customer service and an unbeatable account setup process. When you look at reviews from past customers, many thank their representatives by name for making the process so simple.
Augusta Precious Metals has customer service that can rival Goldco's, but their minimum investment is much higher. Still, if you can afford the $50,000 investment, you'll be pleased by the educational resources and lifetime of continued support. If you want to get to know the company before investing, you can participate in a one-on-one webinar with a company leader.
American Hartford Gold has done away with many of the fees and expenses typically associated with gold IRAs. They have no setup cost and no investment minimum, so you can put as much as you want toward gold. This opens up new avenues for people who want to begin diversifying their retirement portfolios, but who don't have thousands of dollars in savings to drop.
The experts at Birch Gold Group have made multiple media appearances to talk about the gold industry and the economy. They are frequent guests on Ben Shapiro's show. He has wholeheartedly endorsed the company and uses them for his own gold retirement account. Birch Gold also has one of the largest and most robust inventories in the industry.
Noble Gold has a stronger focus on wealth protection and security than many other companies on the list. They believe that it's vital to put some of your retirement funds into gold, especially with segregated storage. People who are concerned about the placement of their gold will be glad to know that Noble Gold works with multiple different depositories in the US.
The IRS has created strict rules about what products can and can't be kept in an IRA. Precious metals can only be kept in a self-directed IRA. They must be platinum, palladium, gold, or silver. But there are further rules that continue beyond that.
Any gold bullion needs to be at least 99.5% purity. For silver, that jumps up to 99.9%. The purity standards are even stricter for platinum and palladium, with both of these being required to meet at least 99.95% purity.
If you enter any bars into your account, they must be produced by an accredited or certified refinery. That's in addition to meeting the minimum purity requirements. If you enter any coins into the account, they typically must be IRS-approved and created by a sovereign national mint. International coins are acceptable if they are created by their country's mint and meet all other requirements.
It is possible to invest in certain proof coins for your IRA, such as proof American Eagles. But if you place a proof coin in your account, it must be in its original and undamaged packaging. The coin must be in good condition, and it must come with a certificate of authenticity. Without these things, proof coins cannot be put in your retirement account.
If you have bullion coins instead of proof coins, they must be uncirculated and undamaged. They are required to be in mint condition. Circulated coins and worn coins have lost part of their value, making it more difficult to price and liquidate them later.
Even if you have IRA-approved coins and bars in your personal collection, you cannot enter these into your retirement account. You are required to transfer liquid cash funds into the account, then to use those funds to purchase gold. Your account custodian will work with your gold dealership to facilitate the transaction.
It is possible to liquidate your gold collection, make a direct retirement contribution with the funds, and then use those funds to buy retirement gold. But you're unlikely to get enough money from the liquidation process to replicate your entire gold collection. The products you buy will be marked up slightly past the spot price, since this is how companies make a profit.
You'll also need to be aware of contribution limits. You can only directly contribute a certain amount from your savings each year. Sometimes this amount does not meet the minimum investment threshold required by your gold dealer. So you still need to roll over funds from your current retirement account as well.
Some people want to keep their IRA gold in a home safe so that they have it close to them. But home is a risky place to put your valuables. You'll be vulnerable to break-ins, natural disasters, and other issues. It's also difficult to get an insurance policy that covers home storage.
The other issue is the need for a custodian. Your IRA needs to be managed by a licensed financial institution. This means that they have access to your account and all of your assets. In order to access your gold, they need to store the products in an accessible and secure vault.
The IRS says that gold can either be stored in a bank or a licensed non-banking vault. Many investors recommend using private storage companies because they are not connected to the central banking system. Your custodian is also an independent company, though they create reports that comply with IRS guidelines.
If you keep your IRA gold at home, that's the same as taking a distribution from your retirement account. For those who have yet to reach retirement age, this action comes with a hefty penalty plus a tax bill. You don't want to deal with all of that headache and hassle.
There are dozens of approved storage depositories not just in the US, but also abroad. Many gold dealers will partner with one or more vault locations. You can find out what vault options are available and whether there are different advantages, like a lack of sales tax or a close proximity to you.
You will be able to take penalty-free distributions from your retirement account once you are at least 59 and a half years old. Many gold dealerships have a buyback program. This means that you can ask them for a price quote and sell your gold back to them. Then you can take the distributions as liquid cash.
But you might be wondering whether you're required to liquidate the gold. The answer is no. You can take entire gold pieces out of your account and have them shipped to your house. From there, you can either sell them to someone else, use them in an emergency, or even pass them down to your children as part of their inheritance.
Buyback programs take the hassle out of liquidation, allowing you to get cash for your gold without even having the gold shipped to you. But there's no requirement for you to do this. That's one of the nice things about the flexibility of these accounts.
It is definitely possible to have several retirement accounts. In fact, many investors have multiple accounts because of how they've diversified their portfolios. Some assets are best left to an investment manager, like stocks and bonds. But some assets can only be kept in a self-directed IRA, like gold and cryptocurrency.
About one in three people in the US saves money to a workplace-based retirement account. You can legally roll over funds from this account into a self-directed IRA. You just need to complete the paperwork and finish the transfer within 60 days of opening the new account. Otherwise there's a tax penalty.
Communicating with your new and old custodian about this can be frustrating. Sometimes companies with gold IRA services will handle the process for you. They'll have you fill out the paperwork and give them the relevant account information, and then they'll make the annoying phone calls and chase down your custodian if need be. That saves you tons of time and takes a lot of the hassle out of the situation.
Retirement accounts are built with maximum contribution limits. You can talk to a tax professional about your account limits and how to make legal contributions. They can help manage your portfolio to ensure that your actions are all compliant with the federal codes.
A gold IRA does come with some ongoing fees. These are typically billed on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis, depending on the company. You will need to pay these costs for as long as the account remains open.
Every company calculates their fees differently. The most common practice is to use a percentage of the holdings as a fee. So you might pay 1% of the value of your gold or 1.5% of the value of your silver.
Unfortunately, this kind of setup causes your fees to increase as you store more precious metals in your account. It's fairer to work with a company that charges flat fees. With these, you know exactly how much you'll pay every year. Flat fees for custodians are often anywhere from $80 to $300 per year, while flat fees for storage are often $100 to $200 per year.
Some gold IRA dealers have small setup fees to help you with your paperwork. But if you meet certain requirements, they may be willing to waive your setup fee. Sometimes they'll cover at least a year of your storage and custodian fees as well. You can ask about any promotional opportunities when you talk to your account representative.
The fees for a gold IRA tend to be very reasonable if you work with reputable companies. Unlike traditional stocks and bonds, you won't earn major dividends over time. But you will have an asset that provides added security against market upheaval.
Both of these are types of individual retirement accounts, meaning that they are managed on behalf of an individual rather than an entire group of employees. Some IRAs are accessed through your employer, while others are used by self-employed individuals.
A traditional IRA uses traditional investment assets such as stocks and bonds. It is managed by a finance professional who chooses how to allocate different assets. They will do their best to create a diverse portfolio that has both stability and the potential for growth. You don't have much input regarding the setup and allocation of your assets.
A self-directed IRA does not have an investment manager. Instead, you alone are in charge of making purchases with the funds. You can still buy all of the same traditional assets as with a standard IRA, but there are additional options as well. You can buy alternative assets like cryptocurrency, real estate, silver, and gold.
Your account custodian will maintain your assets and compile reports, as well as ensure that you're compliant with the federal legislation. But they don't choose the assets. They simply follow your direction with regards to purchases.
Because of this, self-directed IRAs have significantly more freedom than traditional IRAs. You can choose exactly what to buy and exactly how to distribute your assets. But if you don't have a strong investment background, that freedom can be daunting. That's why gold IRA companies exist, so they can help you fill out the paperwork and buy the items that you want.
A gold certificate is something that you can buy with retirement account assets, typically by investing in an exchange traded fund. The certificate is a paper that states that you have a stake in this fund, so you can later trade the paper for actual gold. But it's not the same thing as legitimate ownership. Because of this, there are additional risks.
With a gold IRA, you're buying physical gold products and storing them. The physical gold is fully owned by you. You don't need to worry about funds losing their value or companies going bankrupt. Even if both your custodian and storage partner go out of business, you're still the legal owner of your gold. Nobody can take it away from you.
Gold IRAs must be self-directed accounts instead of traditionally managed accounts. Gold certificates can often be held in any retirement account, depending on the setup.
Economic turbulence has become more and more frequent lately. It seems like there are constantly events that cause global market upheaval. The price of gold increased dramatically after the 2008 stock market crash, and it rose again during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some people have chosen to put their entire retirement into precious metals because they no longer trust the traditional markets. Typically, these people are retirees who are concerned about preserving their income stream. They have grown their accounts enough to subsist on the savings for decades.
But there are major disadvantages to placing your entire savings in gold. Notably, you won't have dividends or other income streams. Your only income will come from liquidating the gold, and the price can fluctuate significantly from day to day.
Most investors recommend only putting a small portion of your funds into gold. Then the rest of your portfolio can be structured for growth and stability. The amount of risk will vary depending on factors like your age, long term goals, and financial concerns. If you're using a self-directed account, then it's up to you to allocate these assets.
Many people choose to operate several retirement accounts at once. The self-directed account might exclusively hold precious metals. But then there's a traditional account with significantly more funds, which is diversified and managed by a professional.