Precious metals

Retirement is something we all start to worry about sooner or later. Until not very long ago, stocks and bonds were the main investments people based their IRAs and 401k plans in order to secure their retirement. If you were smart or if you had a smart adviser, this was a profitable option, although there was a minor downside to it: the impossibility of controlling what you money was invested in.

The economical and financial crisis that struck the world in 2008 made people direct their investments towards buying gold, platinum, palladium or silver. This is how precious metals IRAs started to gain popularity. When you open a self directed IRA, the IRS allows you to choose the class of assets you want to put your money in. Placing precious metals in your IRA offers you the advantage of stability.

precious metals

Where to find precious metals

Setting up precious metals IRAs starts with setting up an account with an IRA trust company. In order to avoid getting scammed, look for precious metals companies that are members of the Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA). Members of this association actively fight to reduce fraud against senior persons.

After you opened your account with the trust company of your choice, you have the possibility to nominate an account representative to act as your IRA custodian. It may be a good idea to hire a specialist in precious metals IRAs, because they will know more tricks of the trade than you can possibly learn in a lifetime.

The next step is to find a precious metals dealer where to buy your gold or silver from. You’ll also need a depository where to store your assets. The custodian will take care of all these on your behalf. Most probably you’ll have to pay your IRA custodian a small fee, but that’s perfectly acceptable.

When you choose your IRA custodian, be extremely careful, because you are at risk of losing everything if they aren’t professional or trustworthy. This is why you should take your time and gather as much information as you can before you select your custodian. The main two criteria for selection should be the reputation and the experience on the market. Price is also important, but that shouldn’t come first by all means.

There are several rules for a precious metals IRA you should be aware of. First of all, you should know that you aren’t allowed to bring any precious metals you may own to the IRA and you can’t store the physical coins or bars you buy yourself. They must be stored in a depository. The reason is simple: the IRS owns all your assets until the day you retire. After that moment, you may cash out your coins and bars or you may take them home, if so you wish. This is entirely up to you, but you can’t do it before the term comes.

You should also be aware of what type of gold and silver coins are accepted and also what is the minimum metal purity for gold bars, in order for you to be able to make them part of your IRA. This information is widely available on the internet.

Wise investments will secure you a smooth retirement and an enjoyable senior life. It’s worth choosing carefully what to place your money in.


By Michael Brown

Retirement planning expert and rollover IRA to gold adviser.