Gold IRA Investment Guide: How Investing In Gold and Silver can protect your retirement?
A recent report in the Motley Fool investment site exposed that a number of billionaires including George Soros, Stanley Druckenmiller and others have recently made massive investments in gold bullion. These billionaires are betting against the US economy. This is an indication that the U.S. economy may be nearing a crisis.
Investing in today’s stock market can be a risky endeavor. This is especially the case as you inch your way closer to retirement. It can be difficult at best to ensure the safety of your hard earned savings, while at the same time still allowing those assets to grow in order to keep up with future inflation over time.
The right gold bullion investment can balance your risk and help insure that your hard earned retirement investment is secure when the next inevitable market crash happens.
This Gold gold and Silver investment guide has been prepared by to help guide you through the process of protecting your retirement income through precious metals investments so when the inevitable happens you can breath easy knowing your losses will be minimized.
The good news is that you do have other investment options that are available to you – one in particular that has actually been in existence for many centuries.
Gold and silver bullion investments can be a lucrative way to invest, and they can also provide you with a way to diversify your overall portfolio risk.
Prior to investing in gold and silver though – or any type of metals for your portfolio – it is important to know what you will be purchasing, as well as how you can use various gold and silver investment strategies for making the most of your money. This document is a beginners guide to buying precious metals. We recommend that you consult a professional investment advisor prior to making a final investment decision.
What is Gold & Silver Bullion?
Bullion refers to, silver or gold bars, and other bars & ingots of precious metal. The gold and silver bullion bars or ingots are certified least 99.5% pure metal. In order for gold bullion to be created, metals mining companies remove gold from the earth in the form of ore.
This is actually a combination of both gold and mineralized rock. Then, the gold must be extracted from the ore by using either extreme heat or chemicals.
Bullion coins are minted from precious metal. This metal is typically gold or silver. It can then be purchased by investors from banks and financial companies, as well as from coin and metals dealers.
The value of these coins is generally based upon the content of their gold or silver bullion. The price of a bullion coin can actually fluctuate daily, and it can also depend upon the price of gold and silver in the world metals markets.
Some of the most popular bullion coins include the:
- American Gold Eagle
- Canadian Maple Leaf
- South African Krugerrand
- Australian Gold Nugget
The United States Mint has produced a number of coins since 1986. These include gold, silver, and platinum bullion coins. The U.S. Mint will guarantee the precious metals content of all of these coins. The two primary types of bullion coins that are produced by the U.S. Mint include:
- Proof Bullion Coins – The proof bullion coins are minted specifically for coin collectors. These coins are typically sold directly from the United States Mint.
- Uncirculated Bullion Coins – Uncirculated bullion coins are minted primarily for the purpose of investment. These coins are usually sold to only a certain number of authorized purchasers.The cost of the coins is based upon the current market price – or the “spot” price – for the precious metal, in addition to a slight premium that is also charged by the U.S. Mint to the purchasers.
A silver bullion investment can also be a good choice particualrly since the demans for silver in elctronics and other industries continues to rise. Buying silver bullion continues to provide a popular investment opprtunity.
How Investing in Gold Bullion Works
When purchasing a gold bullion investment, companies, banks, and investors will generally do so in the form of bullion. This form of gold, however, can typically be quite costly to both store and to insure.
For individual investors, investing in gold bullion is primarily done on the over-the-counter (OTC) market, which is open 24 hours a day. The trading volume in this particular market is usually high. Most of the transactions that occur in the OTC market are done either by phone or electronically.
When trading in precious metals, the ask price is the selling price that a dealer will offer for a metal, while the bid price is the price that a dealer will pay for bullion or coins. The melt value is considered to be the basic intrinsic bullion value of a coin if it were to be melted down and then sold.
Gold and other types of coins can typically be purchased by coin dealers. These can be purchased either in person or online through a metal dealers’ website. When purchasing coins – or any type of precious metals – it is important not to become a victim of a gold bullion investment scam.
Some ways to help yourself avoid such scams include checking out a company’s reviews prior to investing with them, walking away from sales pitches that sound “too good to be true,” and being wary of purchasing bullion or bars that will not be delivered to you but rather to a third party facility that may or may not even exist.
It can also help to request either a certificate of authenticity or a guarantee for the bullion’s precious metal content when you purchase a metal.
Gold Bullion IRA Investing
In addition to just investing in gold bullion on its own, investors can also open a gold or precious metals IRA account.
These types of Individual Retirement Accounts are allowed to hold physical gold, as well as certain other approved precious metals for the benefit of the account owner.
A gold or precious metals IRA account will function in many ways just like a regular IRA account – other than the fact that it holds physical bullion bars and / or coins.
Just as with other IRA assets, the growth on the assets is allowed to occur with the tax-deferred. This means that no tax will be due on the growth until the time of withdrawal. This can allow the growth of these assets to compound exponentially over time.
Buying gold bullion in an IRA account must take place, however, in a self-directed IRA. This type of IRA account allows the account owner to make his or her own investment decisions, while adding a wide variety of additional asset options.
These include precious metals, real estate, and a whole host of other tangible asset classes that are not allowed to be included inside of a regular IRA account.
The funds that are currently inside of a regular IRA account, as well as those from an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, and certain other qualified retirement account plans may be rolled over into a new self-directed IRA account.
In addition, new annual contributions may also be made – up to the maximum calendar year limit. In 2016, this amount is $5,500 if you are age 49 or younger, and $6,500 if you are age 50 or older.
Is gold bullion a good investment
There are many reasons to consider purchasing investment grade gold bullion. These include:
- Protection against inflation
- Protection from deflation
- Hedging against financial uncertainties
- Portfolio diversification
Regardless of what occurs in the stock market – or even in the economy overall – by adding gold bullion to your portfolio, it can help in protecting an investor’s overall wealth.
Investing in precious metals pros and cons
While there are many advantages to investing in gold bullion, adding this asset may not be for everyone. The type of assets that are added to one’s portfolio, as well as the amount, will depend upon your specific financial goals, needs, and time horizon, as well as your particular tolerance for risk.
So, should you invest in gold bullion? Before moving forward, there are some factors to consider. First, you will need to determine both your short- and long-term financial goals.
This will include the approximate amount that you would ideally like to have saved by a certain time.
In doing so, you will also need to determine how and where to allocate certain assets within your overall portfolio. This will help you in coming up with an approximate percentage for the amount of gold bullion to purchase.
Then, just like with any other type of financial investing, when you invest in bullion, your strategy should be to purchase when gold or other metals prices are lower, and to sell when prices are high.
This can help you to make the best gold bullion investment or other metals purchase possible.
In doing so, you will want to ensure that you have a thorough knowledge of the different metals you have available to you, as well as the various metals investing strategies that can help you in reaching your goals.
Therefore, prior to moving forward, it is typically a good idea to do some research on these types of investments. There are a number of good gold investing books that can be helpful on this topic.
There are also various websites that will offer you more in-depth gold bullion investment advice and that can help to point you in the right direction. It is critical to understand precious metals investment risk and opportunities.
The Bottom Line on Gold Bullion Investing
Investing in gold bullion can help to provide stability, growth, and diversification to a portfolio. This can lessen volatility and uncertainty overall. It can also help in keeping your financial goals on track for both the short and long-term time horizon.
While many investors today may have a difficult time “beating the market,” investors who include gold, silver or even platinum as part of their overall investment strategy may find that their plans will remain on course.
Investors new to precious metals investing often ask “how much should i invest in precious metals“? In our opinion it depends on whether you are trying to balance you poortfolio to minimize risk or protect your entire investment. A typical minimum is 20% of your assets.
Gold IRA Investment
A popular way to Invest in Precious Metals
When choosing a company for your gold IRA account, it is important that you first determine whether the company will be right for you to invest your retirement funds with and that you are comfortable with them and that they meet your specific investment needs.
In doing so,you should start out by comparing the services, fees, and reputations of several companies.
Oftentimes, asking certain questions can help to make these comparisons easier. Some of the best questions to ask include the following:
1) Do you have a minimum purchase amount?
Many gold and precious metals IRA companies will require that you make a minimum dollar amount of purchase.
Oftentimes this is in the $5,000 range, however, it does vary. In many cases, this may not be an issue for investors who transfer in large dollar amounts of IRA or other retirement funds.
In any case, however, it is important to know whether the IRA company requires any type of minimum purchase.
2) Do you recommend investing in bullion or collector coins?
While it may be fun to purchase collector coins, rarely do these items ever see a positive return on investment.
Companies that sell these items, however, will typically make a larger commission when selling them.
Therefore, their response to this question will help you to gauge whether or not they truly have your best interest at heart.
3) Are your handling fees scaled or flat?
As you research gold IRA companies, you will find that administrative and storage fees will vary – sometimes even a great deal – from one company to another.
This will often depend on the IRA custodian that the gold company is in partnership with.Many companies will have fees that are scaled for the administration of your IRA account, as well as for the storage of your gold and other precious metals.
If this is the case, it is important to make sure that you know exactly how these fees are charged – especially if you plan to purchase a large amount of metals.
It is also important to get the amount of these fees – as well as how they are calculated – in writing.Flat storage and administrative fees are much easier to track. In most cases, these will be more favorable.
However, you need to be careful here, as some companies may add in additional fees, contingent upon the amount of money you are investing.
Therefore, be sure that you read all of the fine print regarding fees prior to moving forward. You should also inquire as to whether a company’s flat fees will switch over to scaled fees based on a certain minimum or maximum account value.
4) How and where are metals stored?
You will also want to inquire about how and where your metals will be stored – along with how much will be charged for metals storage.
Some companies store metals on site, while others use a third party company like Brinks.In discussing storage, another key criteria is whether your metals will be kept segregated (separate) or commingled with other metals.
While keeping metals segregated can be advantageous because your metals won’t be exposed to other metals, this type of storage can be more expensive.Some companies may also provide “bait and switch” storage quotes, too.
For example, on their website, they may quote prices that are for commingled storage, leading investors to believe that the price is for the segregated option.
With this in mind, be sure that you know exactly what type of storage you will be getting.
Other precious metals IRA company considerations
- Before making your ultimate decision on the best gold IRA company for you to invest with for retirement it is also a good idea to check for any customer testimonials or complaints, as well as for the company ratings that have been provided by rating agencies such as the
By reading what actual customers have to say, you will get a much better idea of how the companies treat their customers, as well as what the bulk of any complaints are focused on, if applicable. Conversely, you may also find an abundance of positive customer reviews.
These can help to back up your decision on the gold IRA company that you ultimately choose to invest through.
TrustLink, a company that was spun off from the Better Business Bureau, provides numerous customer reviews about companies. It provides a ranking system where customers can rank a company with between one and five stars, with five being the highest.
Likewise, the Better Business Bureau, or BBB, also offers information about companies.
The BBB provides letter grades between A+ and F. Companies can also become accredited BBB members.
In addition, the BBB provides information regarding customer complaints that have been filed and closed over the past few years, as well as the nature of such complaints. The top rated gold IRA companies will have minimal complaints and should have a A+ rating.
Gold & Silver bullion Investment IRA F.A.Q.
What Are The Benefits of a Gold Backed IRA?
Today’s investors are seeking ways to increase retirement assets while also taking precautions for keeping their principal safe. Many who lost funds in the recent market downturn are leery about keeping – or adding to – market related portfolios and are looking for viable alternatives.
One way to take advantage of investment gains while also deferring tax – or avoiding it altogether – is to place funds inside of an Individual Retirement Account, or IRA.
Yet in doing so, many investors are still stuck with the same old “traditional” equity or bond investments for placement inside of these tax advantaged accounts. What many investors may not realize is that there is another IRA option that is available to them that allows the purchase of gold bullion inverstments. This option is the self-directed IRA account, a very popular way to invest retirement fundsor.
Minimum amounts for these type of IRA are typically range from $5000 – $500,000 or more depending on your investment goals and portfolio.
This is a type of IRA where the investments are directed by the client rather than the financial institution that holds the account. Because of this, the account is not limited to investing in just a small set of investment options.
For example, while investors are still able to purchase stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and all of the other options that are allowed in regular IRA accounts.
A self-directed gold bullion investment IRA will allow investors to broaden their investment choices to tangible assets as well, such as real estate and precious metals.
Because of this, investors are able to increase their opportunity for growth, diversification, and both short- and long-term gain.
This allows you to take advantage of either tax deferred or tax free growth inside of an IRA account.
The Gold IRA Advantage
There are numerous benefits to owning a gold backed self-directed IRA – starting with the fact that investors can obtain all of the benefits of investing in tangible gold and other precious metals, while at the same time getting all of the same tax advantages that IRA investing can offer.
This means that those who own a traditional gold IRA can participate in tax deferred growth inside their account, paying no taxes on the gain until the time of withdrawal.
And, those who own a Roth IRA can enjoy tax free growth and withdrawals – a substantial benefit those retirees who may be living on a fixed income in the future.Over many centuries, gold has proven to increase wealth.
This is especially evident in the past decade. While many investors lost large amounts of their savings during the market downturn of 2008 and 2009, those who invested in a gold bullion investment saw significant portfolio gains.
Gold IRA Growth Since 2001 (example):
As the example shows, an investor who purchased gold in 2001 for $33,000 could have sold that gold now for much, much more! Going back further, an investor who had purchased $33,000 worth of gold back in 1971, could today sell that gold for more than $1.1 million! (Source: Regal Assets)Gold bullion trades closest to the spot price of gold and is easy to monitor and trade by checking the current spot price. Since the year 1900, gold bullion investment has increased by approximately 4500% in value. Other benefits of investing in gold can include:
Principal Protection – Because gold typically moves in a counter direction to stocks and other equities, it can help to reduce the volatility of your overall retirement portfolio.
This helps to keep principal assets safe – even in poor market conditions – essentially allowing for increased returns, without the need to increase risk.
Inflation Hedge – For many years, gold has also been used by investors as a hedge against inflation. This is because when the cost of living increases, so does the price of gold.
Diversification – By adding physical gold to your IRA’s portfolio, you can also increase the diversification of your overall investments. One of the biggest keys to diversity in investing is finding various investments that are not too closely related to one another.
Because gold has traditionally been negatively correlated to stocks – and to many other types of financial and investment vehicles as well – it can be the ideal instrument with which to diversify. When adding gold into your IRA portfolio mix, you can substantially reduce your volatility and increase diversification.
Peace of Mind – Investing in a tangible investment that investors both know and understand can also provide a great deal of peace of mind and increased comfort level with your IRA portfolio.
Supply and Demand – Gold’s value is also based on basic supply and demand – and its demand continues to grow. For example, both China and India have recently been purchasing a great deal of gold.
These countries have recognized that the world’s economy is in a volatile state. Because of this, they are investing in physical assets for protection just in case the monetary system were to collapse.
Control – Having a precious metals IRA will also provide you with much more overall control of your investments.
Rather than being at the mercy of what your bank or financial institution has to offer in terms of investment products, you will now be able to open the door to a whole new world of gold bullion investment opportunities.
Should I invest in precious metals or stocks?
While some investors may feel that it is easier to just invest in the stocks of gold mining companies, the truth is that this is not at all the same as investing in actual pieces of gold or other metals.
Investing in stocks is investing in equities or companies.In doing so, you are betting that these companies will be well managed. You are also depending on overall market conditions – including the constant up and down volatility of the stock market.
Anyone who lived through the market downturn of 2008 and 2009 may not have fond memories of the stock market or its investment returns.
Is It Better to Invest in Metals Bullion or Coins?
When seeking a gold bullion investment for a gold IRA, many investors are unsure of whether it is best to invest in bullion or coins. In this case, bullion is a bulk quantity of precious metal – typically either silver or gold – that is assessed by weight and is usually cast either as ingots or bars.
Oftentimes, you can also purchase bullion in coin form. These bullion coins are minted out of precious metal that is also typically either silver or gold, that can be purchased for investment through coin dealers, banks, brokerages, and precious metals dealers.
The value of these bullion coins is based on their silver or gold bullion content. The prices will fluctuate on a daily basis, depending upon the price of silver and gold in the world markets. Some of the more common bullion coins include the:
- American Gold Eagle
- eCanadian Maple Leaf
- Australian Gold Nugget
- South African Krugerrand
Since 1986, the United States Mint has been producing gold, silver, and platinum coins. The Mint guarantees the precious metal content of these coins. The two primary types of bullion coins that are produced by the U.S. Mint include the following:
- Proof Bullion Coins – Proof bullion coins are minted primarily for collectors.
These coins are typically sold by the U.S. Mint and are offered in protective display cases.
- Uncirculated Bullion Coins – Uncirculated bullion coins are minted for investment purposes. These coins are sold only to a select number of authorized purchasers, based upon the current market price. This is known as the spot price of the precious metal. Typically, there is also a small premium that is also added to the price by the U.S. Mint.In addition to the United States Mint, there are also many foreign governments that also mint coins. The value of the bullion of these foreign coins will primarily depend on the melt value of the coin, which consists of the bullion value of a coin if it were to be melted down and sold. Therefore, the condition of a coin, or its “grade,” really isn’t its most pertinent factor in the determination of its overall price.
How do I Set Up and Fund a Precious Metals IRA Account?
Setting up a precious metals IRA account is relatively easy. Oftentimes, the initial account forms can be found directly on the IRA company’s website – and in most cases, the representatives at the company will take care of arranging all of the additional administrative and fund transfer work.
Some of the best gold IRA companies can even have the account set up within 24 hours of completing the paperwork.
This way, funding and investing in the account can take place much sooner.In opening an IRA account, a “custodian” will be required. An IRA custodian is typically a financial institution such as a brokerage or a bank that has the responsibility of safeguarding the IRA assets. An IRA custodian is the entity that will actually execute the account transactions on your behalf. It will also keep all of the required account records, as well as file any reports, statements, tax notices, and other paperwork.
The gold IRA company that you choose to work with will either act as its own custodian, or it will have an established relationship with an IRA custodian that will work in facilitating the setup and funding of your IRA account.
Funding Your Precious Metals IRA AccountOnce the IRA account has been set up, there are three ways that a precious metals IRA account can be funded. These include:
- Cash Deposit – IRA account holders are allowed to make a cash deposit each year, up to a maximum annual amount. In 2014, investors who are age 49 and younger may deposit up to $5,500 and investors who are age 50 and over may deposit up to $6,500.
- IRA Transfer – If an investor already has an IRA account set up, funds from the existing IRA may be transferred into the new precious metals IRA account.
With a direct IRA transfer, the funds will flow directly from one IRA custodian to another. This means that the distribution check that you receive from your previous custodian must be made out to the name of the new IRA custodian or account trustee that will receive the funds.
There is no annual maximum on the amount of money that can be transferred in from an existing IRA account.Rollover – If an investor has funds that are in a retirement plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b), he or she can “roll” those funds into their precious metals IRA account.
A rollover occurs when you receive the distribution from your existing retirement account and then turn around and deposit the funds into another retirement plan custodial account. In this case, you need to re-deposit the funds into the new plan within 60 days.
Otherwise, you could be penalized. Although there is no maximum dollar limit on the amount that can be rolled over into a precious metals IRA account, you can only roll the same money over once every twelve months in order to preserve the tax deferred status of these funds.
Purchasing Precious Metals for Investment as soon as funds are available in the new precious metals IRA account, the investor will be able to begin investing in gold or other allowable precious metals. (Per Internal Revenue Service guidelines, there are only certain metals that can be placed into precious metals IRA accounts).
Customer service representatives at the IRA company will assist the investor in choosing the metals that will best serve them, based on the investor’s particular goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance.
When metals are decided upon, the prices are locked in and the metals are purchased. In most cases, clients are then able to track the progress of their invested metals in their account via the IRA company’s website. Depending on the company that you choose, the entire process can take as little as 10 days – or in some cases, even less.
Other companies may require between 30 and 90 days to complete the IRA opening and funding transaction.
What Types of Retirement Funds Can Be Transferred to a gold IRA?
There are several different types of funds that may be transferred into a gold and precious metals IRA account. These can include:
- Traditional IRA
- Roth IRA
- Thrift Savings Plan
It is important to note that if you are rolling over funds from certain types of retirement accounts such as a 401(k) or a 403(b) plan, it may require that you are only eligible due to a “distributable event” such as a separation from service from the employer.
Therefore, you may need to check with your company’s Human Resources Department if you intend to transfer these types of funds while you are still employed.
What is the step by step process of setting up a metals IRA?
One of the top Gold IRA Companies describes their process as follows:
“After a client has completely filled out the form typically within the same business day they will receive all the IRA paperwork required for them to sign via e-mail.
The IRA paperwork is completely filled out for the client and all they are required to do is sign where it is dated for them.All IRA paperwork is sent via e-mail and can be signed electronically so there is no need for the client to print or fax the signed paperwork. Within 24 hours of electronically signing the IRA paperwork a new IRA account will be setup for the client.
Once the new IRA account is setup for the client they will be notified of their new IRA account number via e-mail.Following the IRA account setup client will be sent transfer request paperwork via e-mail and again can all be done electronically.
Once the signed transfer request is received our IRA department goes to work for the client by getting in contact with the current custodian and moving the requested funds into the new IRA account for the client.
Every step of the transfer process the client is kept up to date with the process by daily calls or e-mails. We are the only precious metals company that keeps the client up to date on exactly every step of the process through calls and e-mails.
Once the funds are available in the new IRA account the client’s account executive will immediately get in contact and go over the clients options for precious metals they can purchase.
The client tells the account executive exactly what they want to purchase and prices are locked up right then and there. After the client locks up precious metal prices and funds their precious metal position everything will typically ship to Brinks within 7 business days.
We are the only precious metals company that ships retirement accounts within 7 business days of being funded. Once the precious metals arrive at Brinks the client is notified and they can see all their precious metals online and track the progress of their account 24 hours a day 7 days a week.”
Which Metals are Allowed In a Precious Metals IRA Account?
Per IRS (Internal Revenue Service) guidelines, there are only certain types of precious metals that are allowed to be placed inside of a precious metals IRA account. These include the following:
- American Eagle Gold Coins
- Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins
- Australian Kangaroo / Nugget Coins
- Austrian Philharmonic Coins
- Credit Suisse / PAMP Suisse Gold Bars
- Proof American Eagle Coins
- American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins
- Various Gold Bars and Rounds
- American Eagle Platinum Coins
- Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf Coins
- Australian Koala Coins
- Austrian Philharmonic Coins
- Various Bars and Rounds
*Note that all IRA approved precious metals must also meet a minimum fineness standard.
What if I choose the wrong Gold Bullion Investment Company?
It is essential to get all of your questions answered prior to moving forward with choosing a precious metals IRA company.
This is because going with the wrong company can end up costing you in the long run in terms of time, money, and frustration.Most companies in the precious metals IRA industry will take more than 30 days to deliver, while some can take as long as 90 days.
In any case, when moving funds into a gold IRA account, you should always consult with a professional who can assist you with the transfer process, as well as with other issues such as taxes and which type of metals investment is right for you.In doing so.
However, the opportunity for growth, diversification, and hedging against inflation within your IRA account can help your portfolio to achieve tremendous results – allowing you to attain and maintain your ultimate desired retirement lifestyle.
Take your time and do the proper research before schoosing a gold Investment company. There are a lot of companies out there eager to help you invest in precious metals. Be sure you choose the one that is right for your investing goals.