Birch Gold Group Review
The mission of Birch Gold Group is to “help clients protect their portfolios with gold, silver, and other precious metals in order to shield their future from the current unstable economy and unfortunate events.” This mission is based in large part on protecting clients from the volatile stock market and uncertain economy of late.
Birch Gold Group began its operations in 2003, and the company today has three locations – all in the state of California – with physical offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. It sells its products primarily from its website.
Products Offered Through Birch Gold
Birch Gold offers a wide variety of products, including gold and silver bullion and coins. Some of the more popular items include the American Gold Eagle, the Morgan Silver Dollar, and the Liberty Head collection.
Based on IRS (Internal Revenue Service) guidelines, there are only certain types of gold and other precious metals that are approved for inclusion in a gold and precious metals IRA account. Birch Gold offers a variety of these products as well, including:
Gold American Eagle Coins – bullion and proof – with a .995 minimum fineness
Gold American Buffalo Uncirculated Coins
Gold Canadian Maple Leaf, Austrian Philharmonic, and Australian Nugget / Kangaroo Coins
Silver American Eagle – bullion and proof – with a .999 minimum fineness
Silver Canadian Maple Leaf, Austrian Vienna Philharmonic, Australian Kookaburra, and Mexican Libertad coins
Platinum American Eagle, Australian Koala, Austrian Philharmonic, and Canadian Maple Leaf coins with a .9995 fineness
Palladium Canadian Maple Leaf coins with a .9995 minimum fineness
Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars from approved mints and refiners
By filling out a form on the company’s website, visitors can opt to receive a free investment kit from Birch Gold that will educate them about the gold and precious market, as well as how to profit during various market conditions.
Precious Metals Storage and Delivery
There is an annual gold and precious metals storage fee of $160 that is charged by Birch Gold Group to precious metals IRA account holders. The third party approved storage company that is used by Birch Gold is the Delaware Depository.
Opening a Gold IRA Account Through Birch Gold
Birch Gold makes it easy for customers to open and fund a gold and precious metals IRA account. The company is known as a precious metals IRA specialist, and it is a leading dealer of IRA-approved gold and silver.
Customer service representatives at Birch Gold will walk clients through all of the necessary steps to getting a gold IRA account up and running, including:
The completion of all necessary applications and paperwork
Depositing, transferring, or rolling over funds from another IRA or qualified retirement account
Selecting the right precious metals for the new gold IRA account
Making additional IRA contributions each year
For those who already have another IRA account set up, it may be possible to transfer or roll funds over into a gold IRA at Birch Gold Group. Likewise, funds from a current or former employer’s qualified retirement account may also be rolled over. Funds from the following types of accounts will typically qualify:
Thrift Savings Plans
Traditional and Roth IRA accounts
A gold and precious metals IRA account can be set up as either a traditional or a Roth IRA. The type of account that is set up will be dependent upon the goals of the individual investor, as well as his or her income, tax bracket, and other pertinent factors.
In order to set up a gold IRA account, it is necessary for investors to contact the company via phone. Not accepting gold IRA account applications digitally could signal longer processing times with Birch Gold – although the company claims that it can complete a gold IRA account transfer in seven days. There is also an IRA set up charge of $90.
The minimum investment in a gold IRA account with Birch Gold is $10,000. For more seasoned investors who are transferring or rolling funds over, this is typically not an issue. For newer investors, however, this could be a problem – especially as the amount of one’s maximum annual deposit is less than this amount.
The customer service reps at Birch Gold can be contacted in several different ways. First, website visitors can complete a form and request to be contacted back. Customers can also contact the company via a toll-free phone line during business hours. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Pacific time.
Birch Gold Company Ratings
Birch Gold has been an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau since November 2011. The company has an A+ rating from the BBB, and since March 2013, it has had to close no complaints. Likewise, there are currently no known government actions that involve Birch Gold Group.
TrustLink has given Birch Gold Group a 5-star rating out of a possible 5 stars. This is based, however, on only a total of 29 reviews. Most of these are customer reviews that center on the company’s professionalism, courteous and expert customer service, and ease in transferring in IRA and 401(k) funds.
The Business Consumer Alliance has also given the company high marks and it rates Birch Gold as a AAA. Over the past three years, the BCA has received zero complaints regarding Birch Gold Group.
The Bottom Line
Although Birch Gold has excellent ratings with the Better Business Bureau, TrustLink, and the Business Consumer Alliance, the company is difficult to obtain very much detailed information about. For example, while their ratings scores are quite high, where they are lacking is in the actual number of reviews and testimonials that they’ve received.
In addition, while the company has a very nice website that is also easy to navigate, it is somewhat lacking in detailed information. For instance, it was difficult to locate information on how to actually purchase metals, as well as how to have them stored or shipped once they were bought.
Given this, even though Birch Gold appears to be a highly reputable company, gold IRA investors may be able to find more information – and a more securely backed IRA holder and precious metals dealer – by opting to go with other companies in this marketplace for their gold IRA investment needs.