Gold IRA, Bullion & Coins

Gold IRAAfter examining your 401K and deciding it will not see you through to a comfortable retirement, you know something has to be done, but what? That 401K was from another employer and you can’t cash it in yet. Besides, the outcome is out of your hands — or is it? Investment experts are full of ideas for releasing inadequate retirement savings from old programs that are not maturing quickly enough. Worse, some plans are losing money. One of the most popular strategies right now is investment in a Gold IRA.

Your Custodian’s Opinion

Unfortunately, you already have an IRA and your custodian is not interested in helping you with a non-traditional plan. What are you going to do? Investment gurus say you should sell some traditional investments to fund a Gold IRA and/or roll part of a dormant 401K into a Gold IRA using a custodian who will help with this plan. Some of your traditional shares and bonds should remain intact. There are several companies in the United States specializing in self-directed IRAs, professionals who can direct clients to products which they can legally own and store in tax-deferred IRA accounts. They will also assist you if you wish to release some of the funds from a traditional IRA by selling shares or funds and re-direct monies towards a non-traditional form of retirement saving. Reputable, knowledgeable professionals can even suggest a sensible amount to be invested.

What Kind of Gold

Only specific products are permissible in an IRA fund. They include items of gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. Within these categories are more specific items such as gold bullion (bars or coins) with a minimum purity (0.999% for bars, 0.995% for coins). A gold and silver dealer specializing in IRA-applicable products can give further guidance, indicating which items can and cannot be included in this fund. Customers will also find that certain countries’ gold is accepted and the rest will be rejected due to the relatively high level of impurities in their bars and coins.

Furthermore, most collectible coins are not pure enough to purchase for the purposes of opening a gold IRA. They are potential investments and also collectible for their cultural or historical significance, but the government will not allow such coins as tax-deferred investments. Consumers wishing to buy numismatic products (rare and collectible coins) will see their value following a different path from that of precious metals accepted by the IRS for retirement investments.

Storing Precious Metals for an IRA

The single biggest advantage of buying collectible coins which are not IRA-approved is that they can be stored anywhere the consumer wishes. He can hold them in a safe at home, at the bank, or any depository of his choice. Coins purchased as a long-term, approved retirement investment must be held in an IRS-regulated depository. The owner cannot touch them until he decides to cash in his retirement savings plan.

Companies to Work with and How to Choose

Since gold was first added to the list of products one could add to IRA investments, numerous companies have started offering their services across the United States. Many buy and sell precious metals. Several act as custodians for IRA customers. The two roles are seldom combined under one umbrella.

The first point of contact is usually a gold trader. This firm appoints an agent to handle a client’s accounts. When they discuss the purchase of a product, the topic of IRAs comes up and the agent tells his potential client which sorts of products are applicable in an IRA. He helps this new client understand the process of releasing funds from an existing plan or of starting a brand new one so long as this client is not already investing the maximum amount annually.

At this point, if the customer does not have an IRA and no custodian working for him, some names will be recommended. If he has a custodian who will not handle gold, then the precious metals trader can probably start the process of transferring all or some of his existing IRA plan from the custodianship of some other firm into the hands of another. If the client’s only retirement plan is a dormant 401K, the expert guides him through the rollover process. This is very simple with the help of a trained broker acting as go-between.

Most gold and precious metals dealers make arrangements with other professionals in this industry: depositories and custodians, to be precise. Not every gold dealership, however, is equally well-versed on the topic of buying metals for tax-deferred retirement savings. Some are simply traders, dealing with all kinds of coins and bullion and leaving it up to the client to decide what he is going to do with his investments.

Choosing Reputable Dealers

The internet can be a boon or a burden to the brand new investor in precious metals. He sees plenty of choices and information, but how does he know whom to trust with his retirement savings? Releasing money from a non-performing account to invest with shady operators is worse than doing nothing.

But there are also many tools one can use to determine the good from the bad. One of them is the Better Business Bureau site. They provide their unbiased opinion about traders and post reviews or complaints about companies if any have come their way. A business does not have to be accredited; consumers must only have sent the BBB some kind of review or complaint for this agency to open a file and publish it online.

Trustlink publishes good and bad reviews of companies if consumers send these to the online organization. Honest reviews outline the reasons customers liked or disliked the service they received and sometimes share a lot of detail. Watch the dates on these reviews to be sure you are only responding to current information.

The Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) also posts reviews and criticisms and gives companies a grade. These sites are only useful if clients are willing to share their experiences but do not help firms which the public has not been vocal about.

See These Pages for Additional Company Reviews:
Bullion Direct: http://www.goldinsiders.org/company-reviews/bullion-direct/ 
Lear Capital: http://www.goldinsiders.org/company-reviews/lear-capital/
Regal Assets: http://www.goldinsiders.org/company-reviews/regal-assets/
Rosland Capital: http://www.goldinsiders.org/company-reviews/rosland-capital/ 

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Other Investment Options

11973786_sAlthough more and more investors are turning towards gold and other precious metals, there are still many opportunities available to those who want to save for their future. It is important that you understand the different options, how much you should be investing, which type of investor should consider these options, and what risks are involved with them as well. Taking some time to research and learn about different ways to invest, is a simple way to secure your future, to diversify your portfolio, and to create a portfolio that won’t fail or diminish in value, even though US markets and currencies have been volatile over the past several years.

If you do choose to invest in precious metals, it is still important to invest about 50 to 80% of your money elsewhere. These are a few of the many opportunities available to those who want to diversify, and create a portfolio that will continue to grow over the years.

Bonds

A bond is similar to an I.O.U; it is basically the investor lending money to the government, which will be repaired at a later date, with interest. In addition to the government, you can engage in bonds with municipalities and organizations, or other entities (known as the issuer). The issuer guarantees to pay a certain interest amount during the term of the debt period, and agrees to repay the face value of the bond, at the maturation date.

CDs

A CD (or certificate of deposit) is a time deposit, where you agree to placed your deposited funds with the bank, for a set period of time. Your CD will earn interest at a set rate, during the time it is held by the bank. Although interest isn’t that high, you will earn more with a CD than a traditional savings account, since you are agreeing to allow the bank to hold your money, and invest with it, for the designated CD period.

International Investing

One of the main reasons to invest internationally, is the volatility of the US market (since the 2009 crash), and the inconsistency of the US dollar. With international investing, you can diversify, you can earn higher interest rates, and the fact that you can trade different world currencies, allows investors to truly make a great return, if they make the right move. Another benefit is the fact that you can invest in nearly anything – mutual funds, hedge accounts, American Depository receipts, etc.

Mutual Funds

These are professionally managed investment schemes, pooling money from several investors, to purchase securities. These stock shares are generally open ended, meaning as an investor you can buy or sell at any time. The beauty is that you are investing with a large group, so you can invest in much higher amounts; in return, the money you will get back will be higher when you finally do pull out of it.

401 (K)

These investment options allow you to save towards retirement, with a company that you work for. It is funded through pre-tax payroll deductions, meaning as long as you contribute annually as an employee, you aren’t being taxed on this amount over the years. Additionally, you as the individual, and your company can contribute, meaning you will earn more over the years on this vehicle than you will with other individual opportunities.

Stocks

Purchasing stocks in a company is an opportunity many people make. With stocks, you won’t make much money unless you know when to buy, sell, and trade, and unless you know which stock companies are highly valued at the time. Stocks do not provide much stability, and are one of the riskier of these investment options, but when properly allocated in to the portfolio, they can make a great impact towards your retirement savings. Some people who are interested in gold will study the stock of the companies producing it as well.

Forex

The foreign exchange currency market (Forex), is a market that never sleeps. It is similar to the stock markets in the US and Canada in the fact that you will buy and sell currencies, but it differs in the fact that it is a world market. This means the market never sleeps, and is open 247. Physical currencies are purchased and sold rather than stocks, and if you understand world currencies, exchange rates, and other determining factors, you can really earn big on certain currencies, when you sell high, and buy low. But, in the market, you have to either work with a company that makes trades and sales, or you must use a robot or online program, to help in investing.

Variable annuity

This type of opportunity is one made between you (the investor) and the insurance company. The insurer agrees to make payments to you, either immediately, or upon an agreed upon date. You make either a single annuity purchase payment or several payments. The power of the investment options you choose to purchase, will determine how much you can make with these annuities. These annuities are generally in the form of mutual funds, money market instruments, and bonds; the better these categories perform, the more you can expect to be paid out with this investment mechanism.

Treasury Bill

These are short term securities that mature in one year, or less, from the purchase date. The benefit of these is that they are purchased at a price, below their face value, but at maturity, pay the full value. It is possible to buy a $10,000 bill for $9,500, for a 30 week period. At maturity, the investor would earn $500. The rates are variable, depend on purchase price, and interest rates, which will determine how much the investor will make with each.

These are a few of the many available opportunities that one can choose to engage in.

Of course if you engage in various investment options, and diversify your portfolio, you are more likely to avoid a major loss, and make higher returns on them. Although gold and precious metals aren’t prone to the market’s volatility, you should not place your entire portfolio in to precious metals.

By incorporating several of these mechanisms, not only do you stand a chance of earning more for your future and retirement, you also avoid the risk of losing all your money in one category.

Understanding the ways you can invest, what works best, how to diversify, and determining how much to invest in each category, is something best done with an adviser.

So, if you are planning in any of these accounts and retirement planning, these are some account types to discuss, and a few of the opportunities available for you to consider as an investor.

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