Should You Hold Gold in an IRA?

When it comes to investing in gold, not all forms of gold can be held in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Generally, IRAs are not allowed to own collectibles, and precious metals are classified as such. However, there are exceptions for gold, silver, platinum and palladium that are held in certain forms. A gold IRA is a specialized, self-directed IRA designed to hold these precious metals.

Just like a traditional IRA, a gold IRA allows pre-tax contributions and investment gains can accrue tax-deferred. The contribution and income limits are the same as a traditional IRA. But unlike a traditional IRA, which typically contains paper assets such as stocks, bonds, funds, ETFs, and cash equivalents, a gold IRA is strictly established to hold physical gold or other approved metals. You don't keep the gold yourself; you must keep it in a secure deposit. Standard custodians such as Fidelity, Schwab, or TD Ameritrade will not handle physical gold in an IRA. Therefore, if you want to keep gold in your IRA, you must first set up a self-directed IRA and then find a custodian who specializes in self-directed gold IRAs.

A quick Google search for “Self-Directed Gold IRA” yields many results. American Bullion and APMEX have been around for years. Before setting up a Gold IRA, think twice. Including gold or other precious metals as a significant part of your IRA is often a long-term mistake due to high costs, relative volatility, and a mixed investment history. Thanks to Noble Gold's extensive network of partners and suppliers, customers get competitive prices on gold purchases.

Bullion bars and gold and silver rounds are also allowed in an IRA when they are 99.9% pure. Unlike withdrawing funds from a traditional retirement account, a gold-backed IRA allows you to leave with a powerful physical asset in hand with gold that you can hold, sell at a later time, use as currency at a time of crisis, or pass on to family members. Gold IRAs are usually defined as “alternative investments” meaning that they are not traded on a public exchange and require special experience to value them. Augusta's two major drawbacks are its limited choice of metals and its high minimum investment requirement to establish a gold IRA. Examples of accepted forms are the American Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf coins made of gold and silver, the Austrian Philharmonic coin, the PAMP Suisse gold bars and most platinum bars. Since the Great Recession there has been an increase in announcements encouraging retired savers to convert their savings into cash in precious metals within an Individual Retirement Account or Gold IRA. With its low minimum investment requirement and extensive educational resource, Noble Gold has quickly become the favorite as the best gold IRA company for new investors. If any of the IRA-eligible gold coins listed above have been qualified by a certification organization (such as the Professional Coin Classification Service), the IRS will normally define them as “collectibles” and are therefore not allowed in IRAs.

For a gold IRA, you need a broker to buy the gold and a custodian to create and manage the account. If you're considering setting up a Gold IRA, make sure you check the IRS rules and custodian's fees before you put any gold into your account.

Rochelle Paker
Rochelle Paker

Personal finance specialist. Areas of expertise Banking, business, real estate, consumer credit, retirement accounts.

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