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: 
Lear Capital:
Regal Assets:
Rosland Capital: 

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