Observer Content Studio is a unit of Observer’s branded content department. Observer’s editorial staff is not involved in the creation of this content. Observer and/or sponsor may collect a portion of sales if you purchase products through these links.
As your retirement approaches, you may want to consider looking into the best gold IRA company you can find to invest your money and secure a nest egg for the future. With the inherent volatility of the stock market, investing in precious metals has started to increase in popularity, with more and more investors choosing this route via precious metals IRAs.
However, investing in a gold IRA isn’t like a traditional IRA account. It’s far more intricate, requiring you to locate an approved depository and a custodian to look after it. As such, you’ll need a well-established, reputable gold IRA company to help you navigate the process.
Unfortunately, not every company out there uses ethical business practices. So to help you weed through the bad eggs, we took the time to review the top gold IRA companies with which you can invest to grow your retirement fund with peace of mind and security.
The 5 Best Gold IRA Companies of 2022
- Goldco: Best gold IRA company overall
- Birch Gold Group: Best for gold IRA rollovers
- Augusta Precious Metals: Good selection of gold bars and coins
- Noble Gold: Best for transparent pricing
- Regal Assets: Best customer service
1) Goldco: Best Gold IRA Company Overall
As a long-time leader in the precious metals industry with a stellar reputation, Goldco earns our vote for the overall best gold IRA company on our list.
Since 2006, Goldco has offered investors a way to diversify and protect their investment portfolio by opening a precious metals IRA. Also, you can make direct purchases of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, or whichever combination of metals you want.
The company’s gold IRA setup process is relatively simple, with friendly and knowledgeable reps walking you through every step. After you sign an agreement to secure your purchase, you’ll need to fund your new self-directed IRA. You can do this with your savings or rolling over your existing retirement account assets, like those in a 403(b), 401(k), traditional IRA, or TSP. After you fund your account, you can decide which metals you want to include.
Goldco’s services include:
- Gold IRA investment
- Silver IRA investment
- 401(k) Rollover
- SEP IRA Planning
- Simple IRA Planning
- Traditional and Roth IRA Planning
We love that Goldco has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and tons of five-star customer reviews. While Goldco doesn’t offer any storage or custodian solutions for investors, the company can refer you to its extensive network of firms that can provide those services for you.
The Goldco website doesn’t list the fees that the company charges, so you’ll have to contact the company directly to find that information out with any certainty. However, we dug a bit deeper to discover that the minimum investment amount is $25,000, which is a fairly big chunk of change and might exclude many new investors. For more information about Goldco’s IRA services, head to the website and request your free demo kit.
Precious Metals It Offers
Even if you don’t have a gold or silver IRA account, you can still purchase these types of metals directly from Goldco:
You can choose to purchase your precious metals in the form of coins, bars, or bullion.
- Stellar A+ rating with the BBB
- 1,000+ 5-star reviews
- Option to buy gold and silver directly or rollover an existing retirement to gold IRA
- Free gold IRA guide + free shipping
- Experts in the gold IRA rollover process
Click Here to Learn More About Goldco or to Request A Free Information Kit
2) Birch Gold Group: Great Selection of Precious Metals
With a range of precious metals available and a large number of educational resources and materials, Birch Gold Group is the best Gold IRA company on this list for beginner investors.
Birch Gold Group has been around since 2003, offering precious metal IRAs in gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. The website is full of information about gold and precious metal IRAs, making it ideal for novice investors who aren’t familiar with the industry.
The company is another choice on our list with a strong reputation among customers on all the major review sites. Currently, Birch Gold Group maintains an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau and the highest possible rating (AAA) from the Business Consumer Alliance. Google and TrustPilot also show a 4.8-star rating and overwhelmingly positive reviews out of five.
If you want to use Birch Gold Group as your custodian, you’ll likely be working with the company’s preferred partner, Equity Trust. You’ll also need to choose where you want to hold your physical gold or other metals. Your three options include the Delaware Depository Service Company, Brinks, or International Depository Services. In general, you can expect your annual storage fee to range between $100 and $150.
Birch Gold Group is in the middle of the group for minimum investment amounts, requiring $10,000 for a gold IRA or a minimum direct purchase of the other precious metals. So whether you want to open a gold IRA, buy gold bullion, or roll over your existing IRA, Birch Gold Group is a great choice, particularly for newbies who don’t know much about investing gold. In addition, the company features a comprehensive support team that’s available to answer questions whenever you may have them.
Precious Metals Offered
Birch gold Group offers a range of metals and coins, including these options:
- American Gold Eagle Bullion
- American Gold Eagle Proofs
- Canadian Gold Maple Leafs
- Gold Twin Maples
- Valcambi CombiBars
- Gold Gyrfalcons
- Gold bullion
- Silver bullion
- Gold coins
- Silver coins
- Gold bars and rounds
- Lots of educational resources and materials for beginner investors
- Moderate minimum investment requirement
- Incredible reputation and BBB rating
- Excellent customer service
- Wide range of metals to choose from for investment
Click Here to Learn More About Birch Gold Group or to Request a Free Information Kit
3) Augusta Precious Metals: Experts in New Gold IRA Account Setup
Augusta Precious Metals is the best gold IRA on our list for people who only want gold and silver investments.
Since 2012, Augusta Precious Metals has provided customers with a sound, secure way to make gold and silver investments. This family-owned company exclusively offers gold and silver IRAs, with the option to directly purchase non-IRA gold and silver, plus free secure shipping right to your door. Augusta doesn’t offer IRAs for other metals, like palladium or platinum—only silver and gold.
One of the primary reasons why Augusta Precious Metals is an excellent choice for investors is the company’s pristine reputation. The Better Business Bureau has given the company an A+ rating, and the Business Consumer Alliance also awarded its highest rating, AAA. In addition, reviews and ratings on Google and Facebook are overwhelmingly positive, with the company maintaining a near-perfect rating on both.
The key features that make Augusta Precious Metals stand out from the competition include lifetime customer support and a dedicated account manager for every investor. We also love that Augusta has a unique way of streamlining operations. Plus, its numerous business partnerships allow for excellent savings that it then passes on to the customer.
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: Augusta requires a hefty minimum purchase for its gold IRA services: $50,000. For direct purchases of gold or silver, you’ll have to get at least $25,000 worth. You can also expect the company to mark up precious metals by around 5%. Finally, while you won’t pay any commission fees, you can expect the standard application, storage, and custodian fees to apply.
Precious Metals It Offers
Augusta Precious Metals only offers silver and gold for IRAs or direct purchase. However, you can choose from a range of precious metal coins, premium coins, or bullion::
- Canadian Maple Leafs
- Australian Kangaroos and Nuggets
- American Eagles
- American Eagle Proofs
- Credit and Pamp Suisse Bars
- Vienna Philharmonics
- American Buffalos
- American Eagle
- American Eagle Proofs
- Canadian Maple Leafs
- Australian Koalas
- Lots of educational resources available for investors
- Dedicated account managers for every customer
- Lifetime customer support
- Excellent BBB rating
- Free shipping and insurance
4) Noble Gold: Best for Reasonable Gold Prices
Noble Gold is the best gold IRA company on our list for investors on a tight budget who need a low minimum investment amount.
Noble Gold is a full-service gold IRA and precious metal IRA investment firm with a range of available services, including the option to:
Open a Gold IRA: If you buy gold bullion or fund a gold IRA, Noble Gold will store your metals in a secure facility in either Delaware or Texas.
Open a Silver IRA: Just as with a gold IRA, your silver bullion, coins, or bars will remain in a secure facility in Delaware or Texas.
Initiate Gold IRA Rollovers: If you have an existing IRA account, you can roll over your funds into a gold IRA with Noble Gold.
Purchase Precious Metals Outright: Noble Gold offers Royal Survival Packs, which contain a hand-picked mix of metals, either gold, silver, platinum, or palladium. The best feature of these packs is the ability to liquidate them quickly in an emergency. Also, the packs contain non-IRA metals, so you have the option to store them at your home or wherever else you want.
Another area where this gold IRA company excels is with reputation and reviews. Noble Gold has an A+ BBB rating, and you can look at virtually any primary review site to read glowing reviews from former and current investors. In addition, customers love the company’s full-service support team, which is there round-the-clock to offer advice and answer questions.
We picked Noble Gold as the best gold IRA company for investors on a budget due to its low minimum investment amounts. If you have $2,000, you can open a gold IRA with Noble Gold, which is the lowest amount on our list. Then, if you want to purchase the company’s royal survival packs (essentially, purchase your precious metals outright), you’ll need a minimum of $5,000.
Precious Metals Offered
We were also impressed with the range of options that Noble Gold offers regarding the precious metals you can purchase. Noble has the four major categories covered: silver, gold, palladium, and platinum:
- Gold coins, bars, and bullion
- Silver rounds, bars, proof coins, and junk coins
- Platinum coins and bars
- Palladium bars and coins
- Rare coins, i.e., silver dollars
- Stellar BBB rating
- Low minimum investment amounts
- Excellent customer support
- Wide range of precious metals to purchase
- A reputable company that won’t hard-sell you
5) Regal Assets: Buy Precious Metals Such As Gold, Silver, and Platinum
Regal Assets is the best gold IRA company on our list for investors who want a range of investment options, including cryptocurrency.
Even though Regal Assets is undoubtedly among the top gold IRA companies on our list, it has many other great features besides investment versatility. The first of many that come to mind is the ability to choose between segregated or international storage.
The company is also well known for its transparent core values and ethical business practices. However, it maintains a Better Business Bureau rating of only a B-, with no accreditation.
Despite its mediocre BBB rating, you can expect security and peace of mind when working with Regal Assets, whether you choose to fund a gold IRA or purchase precious metals directly from the company. For investors with gold IRAs, you actually get to see a live video of your precious metals as they enter your secure storage facility.
Regal Assets offers many different services for investors, including cryptocurrency investments, and it’s the only company on our list to do so. Regal also specializes in transferring or rolling over other types of retirement accounts into either precious metal or crypto, including SEP, TSP, 403(b), Ira, and 401(k) accounts.
Regarding minimum investments, you can expect to meet the threshold of at least $5,000 for direct purchases or $10,000 for precious metals IRAs. Storage fees usually run around $250 annually.
Another feature that we liked about Regal Assets is the company’s buyback promise. Any time you need to liquidate your assets, a friendly and knowledgeable rep will be right there to help you start the process with no hassle or stress.
Precious Metals It Offers
In addition to precious metals, Regal Assets also offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies available for investment. Here is the complete list of what you can purchase from this top gold IRA company:
- Gold bullion, bars, and coins
- Silver bars and coins
- Platinum coins
- Palladium bars and coins
- Large selection of precious metals and crypto to invest with
- Friendly and knowledgeable customer support
- Reasonable investment minimums
- Excellent storage options
What Is a Gold IRA?
Have you been thinking more and more about investing in your retirement? Perhaps you already have retirement accounts, but you want to diversify your portfolio. Either way, gold IRAs (gold individual retirement accounts) are an excellent way to build a nest egg that will carry you through your golden years.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a gold IRA is a self-directed retirement account, which allows you to purchase gold as a form of investment rather than the usual assets like stocks or bonds. With this type of account, you can’t physically have the gold or metals in your possession. Instead, you store it in a depository or vault where it’s 100% safe and accessible whenever you want to distribute or liquidate.
If you choose to open a self-directed gold IRA, you’ll be subject to the same rules as a standard IRA concerning things like withdrawals or contribution thresholds. However, gold IRAs have a slightly more complex set of rules, including recordkeeping and tax reporting.
In addition, you won’t find gold IRAs at a conventional brokerage firm. Instead, you’ll need to work with a gold IRA company or custodian specializing in precious metal IRA accounts. The custodian you choose will navigate you through the process, including proper management of those additional reporting requirements.
The custodian will also handle storage logistics since IRS rules require you to store your precious metals in an approved bank, third-party trustee, or national depository.
Gold IRAs also have additional fees and expenses compared to a traditional account. Here are the standard fees you may see when you open a self-directed gold IRA account:
- Custodian fees
- One-time account setup fee
- Seller’s fee (markups)
- Cash-out fees
- Storage fees
One crucial fact is that gold is just as volatile as any other investment, as the price fluctuates frequently. In reality, no investment is entirely without risk, and none offers a surefire guarantee of return.
How We Ranked the Top Gold Investment Companies
When we reviewed and ranked these top five gold investment companies, we looked at five different factors, including reputation, ease of setup, fees, buyback availability, and precious metal selection.
We searched for every scrap of information we could find, including the companies’ websites and major review sites, like the Business Consumer Alliance and the Better Business Bureau. Then, we compiled all of that information to create a well-assessed and informative review for you of the five best gold IRA companies for 2022.
1) Reviews and Reputation
A company’s reputation and customer reviews are two of the most critical factors to consider before taking out your wallet and investing. Of course, since investing in a gold IRA takes a fair amount of money, you need to do more than just a cursory internet search. It’s worth the extra 15 or 20 minutes it will take you to dig deeper into a company’s background. Don’t worry, though—we already did all that work for you.
Four of the five companies on our list have a pristine BBB rating of A or A+. The only exception was Regal Assets, which has a B- rating and no accreditation. However, the company does have many positive gold IRA reviews from former and current customers who were completely satisfied with Regal’s gold investing services.
In general, most reputable gold IRA companies that use good business practices will have positive customer reviews and transparency regarding fees, services, and risks. Check to see if the company you’re considering offers a free investment guide you can download or get in the mail, as most do.
Although we recommend putting in some time and effort doing research, usually performing a quick Google search is enough to uncover the most heinous scams or phone companies. Never invest without doing your homework!
2) Ease of Setup
If you’re searching for a gold IRA provider and the one you choose is giving you a hard time during the setup process, it may be time to look elsewhere. Any reputable business will have an easy and informative setup process for its investors.
The best gold IRA companies will provide you with a dedicated account specialist who will give you personalized, one-on-one attention when it comes to navigating your account.
3) Costs and fees
A legitimate gold investment company will have complete transparency regarding its fee schedule, which should be relatively reasonably priced. After all, why should you pay high fees for the same service another company is offering with less expense? Don’t be misled, though. A gold IRA company offering services too cheap is also a red flag. Keep this old saying in mind: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
When you set up a gold IRA account, you’ll need an IRS-approved custodian to handle the logistics of storage, setup, etc. Between those fees and ongoing maintenance, gold IRAs can have hefty costs. Unfortunately, most of the gold IRA companies we reviewed didn’t have any information regarding fees on their website.
4) Selection of Gold and Silver Products
Another factor that we used to rank and review these five gold IRA providers in this blog was each one’s selection of precious metals. A high-quality gold investment company will have a large and diverse selection of precious metals for you to choose from, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, with a range of forms, like bullion, bars, coins, or rounds,
5) Buyback Potential
A buyback is when you liquidate your precious metal assets by selling them back to the company, which offers you a fair price based on current market values. Legitimate gold IRA providers offer investors honest and open buyback plans, arrange for secure shipment of your assets (before you have to pay), and don’t charge any liquidation fees.
Unfortunately, some of the poorer quality companies charge hidden fees for liquidation, which can end up costing you a chunk of change. Post-liquidation, you can typically decide between a wire transfer or a check in the mail to receive your distribution.
Finding a Broker or Custodian for Your Gold-Based IRA
If you want to open a gold IRA, you’ll need to choose a broker or company to buy the physical gold, plus a custodian. The custodian will manage your account creation, storage, and maintenance. What’s a custodian? Let’s find out.
Most gold IRA companies offer custodian services, but not all of them. Generally, a custodian can be a trust company, credit union, bank, brokerage firm, or any financial agency with federal or state approval to offer asset custody services to investors.
The custodian you choose helps with storage, but their services can be limited. Some may be able to help you find a precious metals dealer to purchase your assets from, but not all. Technically, that responsibility falls to you, the investor.
Before you choose the first company/custodian you can find on Google, remember that it’s your hard-earned money at stake if something goes wrong. In light of that, you should always perform thorough research and compare all of your possibilities to see which company fits your needs best.
For example, these important criteria (many of them are the same ones we used in this review to compare companies) should be part of your research and comparison process when you’re looking for a custodian:
- Positive reviews and a high BBB rating
- Valid licensing and qualifications
- Competitive fees
- Transparent process
- Straightforward setup and rollovers
- FDIC insurance for your assets
- Secure storage options
- Clear, educational information for investors
Precious metal IRAs can be very complex, particularly for beginner investors. However, custodians are there to guide you through the entire process, offering expertise and knowledge to help you make the right decisions for your investment.
Plus, custodians manage all the most critical parts of your new gold IRA, like storage and ongoing maintenance obligations. Finding the right custodian to fit in with your specific needs can make the gold IRA process simple and straightforward, giving you peace of mind and confidence in your investment.
Types of Gold You Can Hold in a Precious Metals IRA 250
Are you curious about the different types of gold you can have in precious metals IRAs? As a self-directed IRA account holder, you can purchase a range of precious metals in various forms. In the past, an investor’s only option was to buy American Eagle gold and silver coins. However, times have changed.
Currently, you can fund a self-directed precious metals IRA with coins, bars, or bullion made of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium—as long as they’re IRS-approved, of course.
In addition, the precious metals that qualify also must meet stringent requirements for quality and fineness. For example, gold, platinum, and palladium should be no less than 99.95% pure, and silver should be no less than 99.9% pure.
Other coins that meet precious metal IRA requirements include PAMP Suisse bars, Australian Koala bullion coins, Canadian Maple Leaf Coins, and American Eagle gold coins. In addition, certain types of coins may require a certificate of authenticity. However, you can’t currently hold rare coins in a self-directed IRA.
Reasons Why You Should Invest in Gold for Retirement 300
Are you curious as to whether buying gold is a sound investment for your retirement fund? After the financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing Great Recession, more and more investors turned to gold IRAs as a way to invest and save for retirement as opposed to traditional methods, like paper assets (think stocks or bonds).
While a precious metal investment isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get a return, there are a few different reasons why you should consider this type of investment as a way to diversify your portfolio. While they can be more expensive and sometimes riskier than traditional IRAs, self-directed gold IRAs are an undeniably perfect way to round out an already-strong portfolio. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why:
Guard Against Inflation: The U.S. dollar has far less purchasing power than ever before, and inflation is running rampant across the economy. In 1933, one dollar had the same purchasing power as $26.14 in 2020. By leveraging gold IRA investments, you can have physical assets that will retain their value over time, as opposed to paper assets that, in reality, have no intrinsic value.
Diversify Your Portfolio: If you already have retirement accounts, a precious metals IRA can provide a great way to diversify and strengthen your investment portfolio. Plus, did we mention that any profits you earn from a gold IRA are tax-free? We’ll say that again, just because it sounds so lovely: tax-free profits!
Peace of Mind: When you choose gold investments as part of your portfolio, you can have peace of mind knowing that it can work as a form of insurance against your other, riskier investments.
Physical Wealth: Whether you have gold bullion, gold bars, gold coins, or another type of precious metal, it’s all a form of physical wealth. Unlike digital assets, gold is tangible and extremely easy to trade or sell anywhere in the world.
Gold Prices Are Rising: The supply and demand for gold in recent years has pushed the value up higher and higher. In fact, it’s not even just the last few years that has seen a steady rise in value, but the last century. Plus, gold prices also tend to rise during a crisis, making it an ideal investment for times when there’s political and economic change.
Understanding a Gold IRA Rollover
Did you know that there’s a difference between creating a new gold IRA and a rollover gold IRA? We’ll go through the specifics of a gold IRA rollover right now.
Let’s say that you already have a retirement account in the form of a 403(b) or a 401(k) from your employer. Under certain circumstances, you can take the money in your account and roll it over into another IRA, like a gold IRA. Remember, a gold IRA rollover has stricter rules and regulations that you must follow compared to a traditional IRA.
Rollovers can only happen under certain circumstances:
- Your employer (or sponsoring company) switches the custodian of its retirement plan
- You quit working for the company that holds your accounts
- Your company’s retirement plan undergoes significant changes
When it comes to gold IRA rollovers, the IRS allows three different methods:
60-Day Rollover: If you want a check, you can opt for one in the exact amount of your rollover. You won’t have any taxes withheld if you decide to invest in another type of retirement plan or IRA.
Direct Rollover: If you want to ensure that you won’t have any taxes taken out of your account, a direct rollover is the best choice. It allows you to issue a check directly to the new IRA where you are rolling your money over to, with your plan administrator handling all the red tape.
Trustee-to-Trustee Rollover: The trustee-to-trustee method is another way you can avoid having taxes withheld. In this method, your existing IRA trustee will roll over your money directly to the new account trustee.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the minimum investment for gold IRA accounts?
Technically, the IRS doesn’t require a minimum amount for gold IRA investors to open an account, whether they choose silver, platinum, palladium, or gold investments. However, most gold IRA companies have a minimum investment amount that you must meet to create an account, although the number varies significantly.
For example, Goldco has a $25,000 minimum, which is fairly high. However, you can find companies that don’t require any minimum investment amount. Ultimately, it’s your decision to make based on your personal preference and available funds.
Can I keep physical precious metals from a gold IRA at home?
Simply put, no, you cannot keep physical gold from your IRA at home. Although you may have seen or heard advertisements from companies offering “at-home gold IRA storage,” this advertising is false and misleading. For example, one common strategy is to make it seem like investors can form an LLC, invest in precious metals like gold or silver, then store them at home. However, that’s false. The IRS does not sanction storing your IRA gold in the shed or in coffee cans buried in your backyard.
Most likely, the IRS doesn’t want you to store your IRA gold at home because it would require self-management regarding retirement funds. It would be far too easy for investors to take advantage by spending or distributing funds without reporting it to the IRS. Instead, your gold and silver investments (or other precious metals, i.e., palladium coins) must be managed and held by a third party. Other assets, like stocks, cash, or real estate, also must have a third party for management.
Which IRS-approved coins can you hold in a gold IRA?
The IRS approves of a wide range of coins that you can hold in your gold IRA. In the past, the only option for investors was American Eagle coins. However, the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 changed that, allowing investors a more comprehensive range of metals and gold investments for their IRAs. Currently, investors can choose between gold, silver, platinum, and palladium for their precious metal IRAs.
Precious metals in bars, coins, or rounds are also subject to quality regulations if they’re part of an IRA. For one, the manufacturer, assayer, or refiner that produces the precious metals must have certification or accreditation by:
- ISO 9000
What fees are involved in opening a gold IRA account?
As with most other retirement accounts, you’ll be subject to fees when you open or rollover a gold IRA. However, gold IRA fees can range depending on the custodian or company you choose as your investment partner. Some of the most common fees you’ll be subject to in the gold IRA business include:
- Account setup fees
- Maintenance fees
- Storage fees
Where are the precious metals inside your gold IRA stored?
Your precious metals IRA account will always contain the metals you invested in, but you won’t be able to store them at home, in your safe, or in a safe deposit box. Instead, your physical gold and other precious metals must reside full-time in an IRS-approved storage facility. Don’t worry, though, because the facilities are state-of-the-art, with advanced security. Remember, all your precious-metal IRA accounts and associated storage are the responsibility of your gold IRA custodian to manage.
If you just finished reading our review of the best gold IRA companies for 2022, hopefully, you have the information you need to decide on your next investment. Precious metals IRAs are a solid investment, but not without the same amount of risk as any other investment, even the more traditional ones like the stock market or bonds.
However, if you have a full retirement portfolio that could use greater diversity and security, then a gold IRA could be the perfect choice to accomplish that goal. After all, gold IRA profits are tax-free—for most people, that’s enough of a reason right there to invest. While it’s ultimately your personal choice, be sure that you have backup funds or retirement accounts before you go putting all of your eggs in one gold IRA basket.