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If you are concerned about the current stock market volatility, it is relatively easy to start a gold IRA or any precious metals IRA account to protect your retirement funds.  You can purchase, hold and sell precious metals using a tax-advantaged, self-directed precious metals IRA as well as withdraw bullion and take physical possession of it under normal IRA distribution rules.

  1. Apply and Fund Self-Directed Gold IRA.  Choose a trustee that has been approved by the company that you will be purchasing gold and silver from and vice versa. You can do that by going to one of the custodian websites below and find the approved gold dealers list.
  • New Direction Trust Company (NDTCO) has been approved by gold dealer Money Metal Exchange (my favorite gold dealer!).  They allow you to use the depository of your choice.  Their fees are highly competitive at $150/yr.  They have top-notch customer service as well as quick processing times.  You can download an application here.
  • Goldco.  Rated A+ by BBB.  Goldco has fantastic customer service, in my opinion, who will walk you through the process.  Very highly recommended.
  • Preferred Trust Company.  They have outstanding customer support (rated 4.9 out of 5 stars) however their admin fees start at $300/yr which is not affordable to most people.
  • Equity Institutional Group.  I do not recommend this company.  They have high pressure sales staff and are rated the lowest on this list.
  • Millennium Trust.  Millennium directs you to purchase precious metals from Gold Bullion International (GBI) who uses Brinks as their depository.  A storage fee will be automatically charged to your account.  After you open a GBI account, you will be directed back to Millennium to open a precious metals IRA.  Millennium’s fees are $100/yr. 
  • Mountain West IRA.  They allow you to choose the precious metals dealer as well as the depository but there is a lot of paperwork to fill out for both parties.  They also require $500 in your account at all times for fees. The way you get around this requirement is to keep a credit card on file.
  • Gold Star Trust Company.  Lots of bad reviews stating that they are more interested in assessing fees than providing customer service.
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2.  Designate the custodian of your choice as your IRA precious metals dealer.

3.  Purchase the precious metals bullion that fit your needs.  Your gold-backed IRA account may hold an assortment of coins, rounds and bars. There are advantages to holding gold coins instead of bars in an IRA related to liquidation.  Gold bars are more difficult to sell due to their higher price and ability to be counterfeited. They are also more difficult to deliver due to their weight and, if you own lots of gold bars, the amount of security required to deliver them to you can be costly.

4.  Receive payment confirmation.  You will be able to track your shipment all the way to the depository.

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You cannot deposit gold coins that you already own into a gold IRA account.

You can transfer precious metals from one custodian to another.

Slabbed coins are not permitted in IRA’s.

Some gold IRA companies may insist that you purchase a certain type of numismatic coin. They do this because numismatic coins pay them higher commissions, however bullion bars more directly reflect the spot price of the precious metal. Beware that many of those companies have been or are being investigated for misleading customers.

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There are 3 things that to beware of when choosing a gold IRA custodian.

  1. Bad Customer Service. Go to their online chat or contact us page and ask a question. Do you get a fairly prompt response or do you get a run around. Also call them and check out their phone system. Do you get entangled in a phone tree and give up when you can’t get to a human?
  2. Lack of Knowledge. Ask the customer service rep a question. Do you get a sense that they are knowledgeable about gold IRAs? Do they have to escalate your question to a manager? How many people are you transferred to before you get an answer to your question? How fast do you get a response?
  3. Fees. Make sure that you read the fine print and understand all of the fees. Fees can eat up your retirement account really quickly. Get someone on the phone and have them go over all of their fees and keep in mind that not only do the custodians charge a fee, but the gold dealer and depository also have fees. While some companies advertise low custodial fees, they will nickel and dime you on transfer and processing fees, even an application fee!

I suggest that you choose two companies and two approved dealers and make a list of their fees, then total them up to see who the winner is. Then, if you haven’t already, call their customer service number and go over the fees with someone and ask questions to evaluate their customer service staff’s ability to answer your questions. Find the right combo of gold and silver IRA custodian and the approved gold bullion dealer.

When your retirement is at stake, you want the best gold ira company so that your gold investment is preserved and protected. Take time to do your own research before choosing a gold ira custodian. Gold has proven to be the ultimate hedge against market volatility.

Check out Gold FAQs.

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