~ 11 min read

Are Gold IRAs a Good Investment?

Why Gold IRAs are a good investment, with the Pros and Cons of holding a Gold IRA.

Are Gold IRAs a Good Investment?

There has been significant growth and some retracing in gold prices, ranging from $255 per ounce in September 1999 to $2,075 per ounce in August 2020.3 As of March 2023, GoldGold was selling for roughly $1,843 per ounce.

In contrast to the usual IRA assets, such as cash, stocks, and bonds, a gold IRA allows investors to own physical GoldGold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

In 1997, Congress created the possibility of using GoldGold and other materials as securities in an individual retirement account, says Edmund C. Moy, chief strategist for Fortress Gold, a former director of the United States Mint.

A growing trend in Gold IRAs

An investor who wants to diversify their retirement portfolio may be interested in gold IRAs. Moy says that Gold IRAs provide an insurance policy against inflation since gold prices generally move oppositely from paper assets. Retirement investing, like IRA investing, requires a balanced approach, which smooths out risk over time.

As director of the Mint, Moy says gold IRAs were in low demand since they involve a complicated transaction that only the most persistent investors were willing to take on. To open an IRA, you must find a trustee and a depository. Once you have bought the GoldGold or precious metal, you need to transfer it to the storage in a way that allows the warehouse to account for it.” Moy explains.

After the 2007-2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession, Gold IRAs have become increasingly popular. Gold IRAs have thrived due to record gold sales and a growing number of companies handling and simplifying the transactions, as a result: robust gold IRA growth.

There is also the impact of economic and world news. “Gold IRAs remain popular due to the inflationary impact of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus packages and an increase in geopolitical risks,” says Moy.

Golden Rules

In addition to traditional IRAs, Broad Financial, A New York-based financial services company that offers these accounts, also offers Roth IRAs. No matter what version you choose, you can only invest in gold coins or bullion in a gold IRA.4

It is essential to consider whether you wish to have a physical gold investment in your portfolio or a gold-company stock, mutual fund, or exchange-traded fund that tracks a gold index, according to Brett Gottlieb, founder of Comprehensive Advisor in Carlsbad, California.

If you opt for the actual metal, some requirements must be met for it to be held in an IRA. For the GoldGold to be stored in an IRS-approved depository, it must meet IRS fineness standards and be owned by the IRA trustee instead of the IRA owner.

IRA contributions, disbursements, and taxes apply to all bullion and specie stored in safe deposit boxes, home safes, and closets.

As Gold in a Gold IRA must be stored in a depository approved by the IRS, you cannot keep it in a safety deposit box, home safe, or under your mattress.

IRA funds must be put into self-directed IRAs to invest in GoldGold. The investor manages this type of IRA directly and can own a broader range of investment products than other IRAs.5 You will need a broker to purchase the GoldGold and a custodian to set up and administer the account for a gold IRA. Located in Canyon, Texas, GoldStar Trust’s president, John Johnson, says it will store or hold your actual bullion.

A custodian is usually a bank, trust company, credit union, brokerage firm, or savings and loan association approved by the federal or state government to offer asset custody services to investors and financial advisors. In their IRA accounts, they do not select metals dealers for their clients.

Metal dealers can also recommend IRA custodians. However, consumers can always search for them on their own.

It is complicated to choose which company to use since it is a specialized service that major brokerage firms don’t offer, explains Moy. “Several criteria were important to me,” he says.

You can avoid surprises, such as hidden fees, by knowing all your upfront costs.

An excellent track record from objective third parties, such as the Better Business Bureau or Business Consumer Alliance, is essential. The number of complaints filed by a company may also be helpful, Moy says. He looked for ” educational firms and did not push a hard sell.”

Moy recommends choosing a company that will cater to your needs rather than having a one-size-fits-all approach.

To protect your investment, ensure the company you are dealing with has the required licenses, registrations, insurance, and bonds. Ask for verification of those licenses.

Gold IRAs: Advantages and Disadvantages

The Pros

As with GoldGold itself, Gold IRAs have many of the same advantages. Gold is commonly used to hedge against inflation, allowing investors to bet against market uncertainty. Gold can never drop to zero in price, whereas a specific stock or bond can fall to zero.

Gold IRAs have similar tax advantages to typical IRAs, allowing interest to accumulate tax-free until the account holder is ready to retire.

The Cons

Physical GoldGold is more difficult to store

Retirement savings tax advantages


IRAs with higher fees

In the case of required distributions, illiquidity means lower selling prices.

Costs associated with special services

An investor who owns GoldGold in a Gold IRA will incur extraordinary expenses. These include:

“Gold has a going rate, but there are markups depending on whether you want bullion, coins, proofs, etc.,” says Sentell. “Aside from the markup, each form of gold has its requirements when an investor has to sell,” he says. The markups, which can also vary depending on the vendor, are a one-time fee.

Gold IRAs are unavailable from all financial services firms, so that the setup fee might be higher than usual.

These annual fees (along with any associated assets or transaction fees) may be higher for this kind of account, especially if you have to go to a different financial institution.

Gold must be stored at a qualified facility, which charges storage fees.

Gold IRA Cash-out: If you sell your GoldGold to a third-party dealer, he will want to pay less than it goes for on the open market. Unless prices have risen significantly, you could lose money.

IRA companies may guarantee to buy back GoldGold from you at wholesale rates, but you could still lose money when you close the account, which only happens with regular IRAs.

Problems with Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)

Your required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your traditional Gold IRA start on April 1, the year after you turn:

After January 1, 2023, you will be 73 years old.

If you turn 72 between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2022

If you turned 7012 before December 31, 201962, you are eligible.

Metals typically are not liquid, meaning finding the cash for those distributions could be a problem, resulting in you having to sell some of your Gold, which may not be beneficial then. However, if you take your total RMDs from other traditional IRAs, you can alleviate this problem.

Gold IRA withdrawals

A GoldGold IRA is similar to other individual retirement accounts in that it can be either a Roth or a traditional IRA.

In the case of traditional gold IRAs

Pretax contributions are made.

Ordinary income is taxed on all distributions.

There is a 10% penalty on distributions made before age 5912.

When you reach the age of 73.768, you must begin taking RMDs

Roth IRAs with Gold

After-tax contributions are made.

Withdrawals are tax-free.

A 10% penalty applies to distributions made before the age of 5912.278

IRAs with a checkbook

It is possible to avoid the costs of having a custodian by opening what’s known as a “checkbook IRA,” a self-directed IRA that does not require custodial management. You must be a limited liability company (LLC) and have a business checking account to set up a checkbook IRA.

However, as Sentell points out, it does allow investors to purchase gold American Eagles, a U.S. Treasury-minted coin, for their retirement accounts and hold them personally, avoiding custodian and storage fees. This tax-code exception is not available for any other currency.10 The IRS is scrutinizing this type of IRA, so proceed cautiously.

Rolled Gold

The process for rolling over IRA or 401(k) funds into a gold IRA is similar to any other retirement fund. You can do so if you already have an IRA or 401(k), either regular or Roth. An account application (whether completed online or on paper) is typically completed and received within 24 to 48 hours of the application being received.11

The two custodians will communicate with each other to transfer funds to the new custodian and fund a new gold IRA once all parties receive the signed transfer request. Upon opening the new IRA account, a representative will show a consumer the current precious metal options. “You tell them exactly what you want to buy, and prices are locked in at that moment,” says Gottlieb.

Risks associated with GoldGold

It is essential to understand that all investments come with risks and rewards. “Gold IRAs have the same risks as any other investments,” says Moy. “Gold’s price can fluctuate, and no one can accurately predict its future.”

According to Moy, Gold has been a store of value for 5,000 years despite its risks. There are times when stocks go to zero [causing havoc to companies], when bonds default, as they did in Argentina, or when bonds get ripped off, as in Greece. Even if the dollar’s value continues to fall, Gold will not reach zero.”

Moy says your paper assets will likely do well simultaneously whenever the gold price dips. The gain, on the other side, will offset the loss on the gold side of your portfolio if your portfolio is balanced with both GoldGold and paper-based investments. In addition to these risks, traditional IRAs also have risks that Gold IRAs do not.

In addition, investing in physical GoldGold has some risks. Any physical asset can be stolen. Someone could break into the vault where your GoldGold is stored. To qualify for Gold IRAs, depositories must be insured to protect your investment as long as your account value does not exceed the custodian’s stated value on accounts,

“Untrustworthy custodians may also steal from their customers’ accounts or commit fraud by selling precious metals they do not own or intend to acquire,” says Moy. The risks can be mitigated by choosing a custodian that insures the financial transaction.

Is a Gold IRA a Good Investment?

A GoldGold IRA is an excellent way for investors to diversify their portfolio or buy the metal directly. Undoubtedly, GoldGold can be part of a well-diversified portfolio, but balancing the risks with the benefits is essential.

When saving for retirement, choosing assets that will provide a return over time is essential. GoldGold does not pay any dividend or yield to the owner, unlike stocks and bonds. Gold appreciation is the only way to make money. In an average year, the stock market typically rises about 7%, which means that a gold IRA is unlikely to outperform other retirement investments.

What is the best way to buy GoldGold in an IRA?

An IRA can be used to invest in GoldGold in two ways. Investing in physical GoldGold or silver with retirement funds is possible if you have a self-directed GoldGold IRA.5 Investing in an ETF or mutual fund that invests in precious metals is also possible, but this is different from owning physical bullion.

IRA Eligible Gold: What Is It?

Bullion coins are allowed in IRAs, provided they are legal tender and have a 99.5% or better fineness. Bullion bars and rounds are also permitted, provided they have a purity of 99.9% or more.1213

In a GoldGold IRA, who holds my GoldGold?

A GoldGold IRA must be held with an IRS-approved custodian14. If you attempt to take physical possession of the GoldGold, that will be considered a distribution and taxed accordingly.

Here’s the bottom line

Gold IRAs are generally categorized as alternative investments, which means they aren’t traded on a public exchange and require unique expertise to value. While GoldGold has the potential for a high return, it’s easy to be blinded by its glitter. When GoldGold rises, you must also decide if you’d be buying at—or close to—the top of the market if you invested at that time.

When investing in a GoldGold IRA, it is recommended that you speak with a financial expert to understand what role GoldGold would play in your overall portfolio. Experts suggest not having more than one-third of retirement funds placed into a Gold IRA to diversify your investments. Gottlieb further advises that at most 10-15 per cent of your total portfolio should be invested in GoldGold, either paper or physical holdings.