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Best Gold IRA Companies

Profile picture of Barbara Friedberg
by Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance Contributing Editor

Starting in 1997 under the Tax Payer Relief Act passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by former President Bill Clinton. Investors were allowed to invest their IRA (Individual Retirement Account) dollars in gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

The ability to invest in a variety of precious metals instead of just mutual funds, stocks and bonds provided a larger variety of choice to investors. Those concerned with the volatility and lack of predictability of the stock market may want to look into gold IRAs to receive the same tax favorable benefits for their retirement savings as those investing traditional IRA’s in more traditional asset classes.

Compare Reviews for Top Gold IRA Companies

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Lear Capital
Read 937 Reviews

Gold and silver metal and IRA options with a 30-day price guarantee and no minimum investment. A $160 annual fee includes storage, insurance, financial statements and 24/7 access online. Storage by Delaware Depository.

The Hartford Gold Group
Read 216 Reviews

Gold, silver and platinum specialists with no minimum contribution. Fees vary based on amount and type of metals in depository. In some cases, storage is free. No setup or transfer fees. Stored with Brinks and Delaware Depository.

Noble Gold Investments
Read 46 Reviews

Secures gold, silver, platinum and palladium with a $2,000 minimum investment. Annual fees are $225 and include segregated storage, insurance and online access. International Depository Services provides storage and vault options.

Advantage Gold
Read 115 Reviews

Deals in all precious metal sales and IRAs with annual of fees of $75 on IRA accounts under $100,000 and $125 on ones over it. Setup fee is $50. Storage is $100 annually for commingled and $140 for segregated.

Patriot Gold
Read 136 Reviews

Procures gold, silver, platinum and palladium with a 24-hour account turnaround and no fees for life on qualifying IRAs. IRAs requires $15,000 min. investment. Gold and silver available as bullions or coins with free shipping.

Birch Gold Group
Read 72 Reviews

Offers several precious metal options and first-year fees paid on transfers over $50,000. Minimum purchase of $10,000 required. Initial setup fee is $90. Annual storage is $160 with Delaware Depository and Brinks Global Service.

Bitvest IRA
Read 16 Reviews

Bitvest IRA is a company dedicated to mining Bitcoins for use in an IRA. You buy Bitcoins at a discounted rate for deferred delivery. You can choose among several options for Bitcoin purchases.

Orion Metal Exchange
Read 26 Reviews

Full-service precious metals coin dealer and investment firm with annual fees waived up to 5 years on eligible IRAs. $5,000 minimum deposit. Free storage on gold and silver up to three years through Brinks or Delaware Depository.

APMEX
Read 31 Reviews

Large-scale precious metal provider with more than 400 IRA-approved products, including collectibles. Minimum $2,000 investment required. Annual fees are $75. Setup fee is $50. Delaware Depository storage starts at $100 a year.

Red Rock Secured
Read 12 Reviews

Brokers a range of options for buying gold and silver and for precious metals IRAs. Fees vary by state for home storage or range between $125 and $300 at depositories. Minimum purchase is $1,500. Metals ship free to home.

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What features matter when choosing a gold IRA?

Transparent transactions

As with any transaction that involves money changing hands, consumers should choose companies that complete such transactions in a trustworthy and transparent way. One way to gauge this is to request references from reputable brands and/or spend time reading online reviews from their customers.

  • Up-to-date values: The market value of gold, silver, metal and mining companies will fluctuate on a regular basis, which means that posted sales prices need to be updated frequently.
  • Detailed receipts: Detailed receipts are necessary to prove or disprove the true value of any precious metals that have been sold or purchased, especially at the date and time of purchase given the variable.

As-new stock

When stock changes hands it can become damaged and less valuable.

  • Physical condition: Non-reputable brokers will buy damaged metals and resell them at the price of pristine stock, so check the product before purchasing.
  • Exact weight: Bullion is valued on its weight, so scratched or damaged bars or coins are less valuable than they would be in as-new condition. Only accept the stock if it weighs what the manufacturer intended.
  • Purity of coins: Rare and collectible coins offer unique investment opportunities, but their worth and legitimacy must be checked. The IRS has specific requirements for what types of bullion are acceptable to be held in a GOLD IRA and a preference for rounds over bars.

Storage options

The IRS requires that all Gold IRA holders store their bullion with a custodian or trustee. Most brokerage companies have partnered with professional storage facilities and offer storage services to their clients.

  • Affiliate storage: Many precious metal brokers are affiliated with a trusted and professional storage company.
  • Storage included with account: Some companies provide free storage for a period of time when you open an account.

IRA rollover

An IRA rollover allows investors to move their retirement savings from a 401k or profit-sharing plan into one investment account. This is called an Individual Retirement Account.

  • Tax-free: Brokers that facilitate rollovers can do it so that your initial investments remain tax-free.
  • No fees: Most brokers offer no-fee rollovers, so ask if you aren't sure of their rules.
  • Ease of use: Investment professionals can make rollovers very simple, quick and easy.

Range of stock

Not every investor wants to purchase the same stock or invest in the same companies, which is why it is important to find the range that speaks to your interests.

  • Full range of precious metals: The full range includes gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
  • Rare and collectible coins: The IRS has limitations on what types of mintage (who produces the rounds or bars) an IRA investor may hold in their Gold IRA. There is an overall preference for rounds over bars due to the lower probability of forgery in rounds compared with bars.
  • Rare and collectible coins: Antique coins are valuable not only for their material but their antiquity. Newer coins are valued in weight as well as their potential historical value.
  • Company investment options: You may wish to invest in mining operations instead of bullion or coins, but not every brokerage company features these.

Personalized investment advice

If an investor is looking to have a Gold IRA, it is often advisable, especially for new investors, to seek out a professional investment advisor and/or an accountant.

  • Assigned advisor: An assigned investment advisor will familiarize him or herself with your existing portfolio or finances to provide personal advice.
  • Dedicated advice line: Telephone lines or email accounts dedicated to advising account holders make it easier to contact a professional any time of the day or week.
  • Personal account: A personalized account with your brokerage company means that your information is all in one place, updated regularly and available for advisors to help you with questions or decision-making.
  • Remain Focused: Many financial advisors and accountants are against gold and precious metal investing as they do not understand it or appreciate its relative historical value in human society throughout time. Be wary of financial advisors or accountants who are not knowledgeable about gold investing or seem exceedingly negative on this investment. If these advisors are losing fees due to your IRA rollover or new account creation in a Gold IRA account, be especially wary of their advice against doing so if it is the direction you would like to go.

What types of precious metals do brokers focus on?

Gold

Gold is the most popular investment when it comes to precious metals. For this reason, some brokers focus only on gold stock.

Gold and silver

Gold- and silver-focused brokers are concerned only with the two metals, most likely to attract new investors. Gold and silver are tangible, plentiful resources that people feel good about investing in.

Bullion Stock

Bullion brokers may deal in a range of precious metals, but they do so only in bullion form. Bullion metals are crafted into pure bars or coins with specific weight.

Collectible Coins

Collectible coins are a specific and popular form of bullion because they are beautiful, sometimes rare and may even rise in value over time more than raw bars of gold, silver or other precious metals. Investing in numismatic coins can result in higher entry costs and questionable long term value. Be wary of these risks and do your research before investing in these.

What types of investors choose a gold IRA?

Savers

People, either employed or not, in a position to save money. These could be stay-at-home parents or young people still living at home, as well as the fiscally conservative.

Savers plus income generators

Employed people with disposable income to put into a savings account. These people either have investments started already, or are looking to begin investing.

Retirees

People that are no longer working for their income. They will have a pension, retirement fund and possibly an IRA.

Seasoned Investors

People that already possess a successful investment portfolio and are looking for another way to diversify.

Skeptics

People that are highly skeptical of the mutual fund, stock and bond markets or are concerned about central banking or political policies and actions that can affect their wealth.

Expert reviews for gold IRAs

Noble Gold Investments

Noble Gold Investments is a gold and precious metal brokerage firm based in California that specializes in purchases of gold, silver, platinum and paladium as well as rollover IRA accounts. They can facilitate your purchase of precious metals, and they also maintain and administer Gold IRA accounts.

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Red Rock Secured

Red Rock Secured is a brokerage firm specializing in precious metals. The company is headquartered in Marina Del Rey, California and was founded in 2009.

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United Gold Direct

Based in Westlake Village, California, United Gold Direct is a team of expert precious metal asset managers and gold dealers. Specialists at this company deal with various retirement investments and precious metal options. Managers at this company have 25 years of experience in the industry.

  • Competitive and transparent pricing: At United Gold Direct, all shipping and insurance fees are included at the beginning of the investment purchase with no hidden expenses. The company is also dedicated to providing the best quality service and products for an affordable price.
  • Reliable shipping: Physical orders are shipped via a registered and insured service by the U.S. Post Office. Packages will be tracked and signed for at every step of the journey, including point of delivery.
  • Coins for purchase: Special gold and silver coins are available through United Gold Direct, which can add value to the bullion over time.
  • Fully-vetted precious metals: Every precious metal that is purchased or sold through UGD has been thoroughly inspected by knowledgeable, experienced staff to ensure its value.
  • Storage options: Purchasers can choose to have their gold and silver delivered to their door or have it shipped to affiliated company Delaware Depository for safekeeping.
  • Best for: Good for savers because the focus of the company is to provide high-value products plus storage, making the transaction quick and easy for those unused to investing.
Capital Gold Group

Capital Gold Group launch in 2005 and has since completed over one billion dollars of transactions. It’s a precious metals IRA company that offers investors gold, silver and other precious metals. The company is headquartered in California and serves customers across the United States.

American Bullion

American Bullion is dedicated to providing a diverse set of options when it comes to precious metal investment. Experts at this company specialize in gold and silver IRAs, including special collector's coins in each type of metal.

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My Private Bullion

My Private Bullion concentrates on educating savers about their options when it comes to precious metals. The company believes in a diversified investment portfolio that includes gold, silver, platinum, palladium, bullion and coins. Staff have over 20 years of experience in the industry.

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Fortress Gold Group

The Fortress Gold Group is a precious metal brokerage company that believes investors should be engaged with their investments. The company allows clients to invest their IRAs or buy gold, silver and platinum coins.

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Regal Assets

Transfer or convert your existing retirement account into gold. This company offers 7-day guaranteed shipping for direct purchases of physical precious metals and off-shore storage options to skirt taxes and penalties. They can also buy back gold on any business day, so you can have your cash back in your pocket within 24 hours.

  • Gold Bullion: Buy gold bars weighing from one gram to one kilo, including popular 10-ounce 99.99 percent pure gold bars from the Swiss National Bank with embossed finish.
  • Gold Coins: Gold American Eagle and American Buffalo coins, plus Canadian Maple Leaf coins, Austrian Philharmonic, Chinese Panda, South African Krugerrand and Gold Britannia coins are available.
  • Merchant Package: For the individual who wants to invest in precious metals, this $5,000 reserve of gold or silver can be liquidated at any time.
  • Knighthood Package: A package designed for an investor with a family, this $10,000 security of gold or silver can be liquidated to support a family of four for an average of three months.
  • Customer Education: Provides free resources to keep investors informed.
  • Storage: Local and overseas options.

Compare Reviews for Top Gold IRA Companies

Goldco Precious Metals
Read 142 Reviews

Silver and gold IRA brokers of precious metals with a minimum purchase of $25,000. Annual fees are $175, or $225 for accounts over $100,000. Storage facilitated with an IRS-approved depository, and first year’s costs reimbursed.

JM Bullion
Read 12 Reviews

Online bullion dealer with $100 minimum investment required. Annual fees of $75 for accounts under $100,000, and $125 for those over. Setup fee of $50. Storage preferred through A-M Global Logistics. Fees vary by amount and type.

American Bullion

Precious metal investment specialists requiring a $10,000 minimum purchase. There is a $25 online setup fee and $160 annual fee, which varies on investments over $100,000. Storage through Delaware Depository starts at $100 a year.

Fortress Gold Group
Read Reviews

Gold IRA directors offering Brink’s depository or home-based storage with a $10,000 minimum buy. Setup averages $275. First-year and storage fees waived for new clients. Home storage setup costs $599, with annual fees of $149.

Kitco
Read Reviews

Online precious metal retailer connecting investors with 10 gold IRA custodians. Discounts offered on investments over $100,000. Setup and other fees vary by custodian. Brink’s Global Services handles storage for $150 annually.

Monex Gold
Read 9 Reviews

Offers precious metal IRAs with gold and silver bullion in bars and coins and an 11-hour buy/sell market. Discounts are available through its Atlas account program. Affiliated custodians determine setup, storage and other fees.

My Private Bullion

Boutique firm providing diversified precious metal IRAs with $5,000 minimum purchase. Preferred custodian Entrust has no setup fee and a $150 flat annual fee. Delaware Depository provides storage with yearly fees starting at $95.

Capital Gold Group
Read 18 Reviews

Brokers home-storage and vault-stored gold IRAs handled by Kingdom Trust. Costs about $250 to open an account, including $25 setup and $100 storage fee. Minimum investment is $10,000. Home storage setup is $435 and $135 annually.

Regal Assets
Read Expert Review

Offers a selection of gold coins and bullion from 1 gram to 1 kilo. Direct purchases come with 7-day shipping and can be refunded within 24 hours. Prices for gold and other precious metals are current with changing market values.

United Gold Direct
Read Expert Review

Precious metal wholesaler arranging diversified IRAs with a minimum investment of $5,000. Setup fees are around $75. Annual administration fees are $95. Storage is through Delaware Depository with yearly fees starting at $100.

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Profile picture of Barbara Friedberg
Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance Contributing Editor

Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.