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These days, more and more people find themselves concerned about their economic future. With global turbulence, international wars, political instability, and rapid inflation, many people seem braced for another economic downturn. And even if there isn't a major economic plunge, the value of gold cannot be understated.
Investors often recommend putting anywhere from five to fifteen percent of your assets into precious metals. Some people do this by using their retirement portfolios, while others use their personal cash savings. Some people do a combination of both. The average American lives paycheck to paycheck, but you may have 401(k) or IRA funds that you'd like to invest.
No matter how you invest in gold, you want to work with a reputable company. It's a good idea to buy pure bullion, rather than any collectibles or scrap metal. You want high quality products with a defined value that's easy to look up on the open market. The idea is to build a profile that can be easily liquidated for cash funds when you need them.
We've put together a list of the best gold investment companies in the industry. While each of these companies is slightly different, they do have certain things in common. All place a significant focus on client education. All offer both IRA services and cash purchase services. All have excellent reputations with rave reviews from past customers, the Better Business Bureau, and the Business Consumer Alliance.
We believe that any one of these companies is a good option for buying gold. Our top pick overall is Goldco because of their stellar customer service and streamlined IRA services. But the other companies also have their own appealing features.
Top 5: Best Gold Investment Companies
When you look up Goldco online, you'll find dozens of articles about how good the company is. There are review websites that have gathered thousands of verified reviews from past customers, who have excellent things to say. Goldco has one of the best reputations in the industry, not just among past customers but also among industry experts.
The company mainly focuses on gold IRAs, with an in-house IRA department dedicated to the subject. These employees are experts on the IRA process and can answer any questions to help make sure that you're compliant with the latest regulations. They will explain what paperwork needs to be signed, what information is needed, and how they will facilitate the process.
One of the biggest hassles of a gold IRA is the red tape. Not only do you need to do all the paperwork correctly, but you also need to roll over your funds within 60 days. Otherwise, you could face a tax penalty. After receiving your information and your signature, Goldco acts as a liaison during this process. So you never actually have to speak to anyone else about the funds.
With many of the so-called IRA companies in the industry, the customer service team isn't quite as helpful. They will connect you with a custodian, but they expect your custodian to handle the setup and funds transfer process. Since Goldco cuts out the middle man, it's much easier to get your account squared away.
Goldco also has a decent selection of gold and silver available for purchase. The vast majority is eligible to keep in an IRA. You can also make normal cash purchases for your personal portfolio. If you choose to do this, then you can talk to your representative about the safest way to take care of your items. Some people prefer home storage, while others use a licensed depository.
We wholeheartedly recommend working with Goldco no matter what type of gold investment you're making. They make it very easy to connect to gold and silver products. People often leave reviews that name their representative directly, talking about how nice it is to have one specific individual who cares about their account.
Augusta Precious Metals is known for having the strongest focus on education in the industry. They truly go above and beyond in terms of their company setup and the way that they connect clients to resources.
When you go to the Augusta website, you will find an entire library of resources available to you. These talk not only about gold investing, but also about how to identify and avoid scammers. There are videos, articles, and blog posts discussing recent economic and political events.
If you want to go even more in depth with the education, then you might consider attending one of the company's webinars. You can sign up on the company's mailing list to get information about when a webinar will be next available. Unlike many online classes, these webinars allow for a totally free one-on-one consultation with one of the company's leaders. He trained as a financial analyst at Harvard and uses his skills to help answer client questions about the future.
You don't even need to commit to a purchase to attend a webinar. They're available for anybody who'd like to sign up.
In fact, this approach is what hooked their celebrity client ambassador. You've probably heard of Joe Montana, the legendary NFL quarterback. After attending one of Augusta's webinars, he was so enamored with the company that he decided to continue working with them. He says that he trusts Augusta's expertise above all else, and he always recommends them to his family members and close friends.
Augusta is a large company, with hundreds of reviews available from all 50 states. But they also make client care their top priority. Clients report that working with them feels like working with a boutique firm.
In fact, Augusta has never had a complaint logged with the BBB. Most companies of their size will sometimes get negative feedback no matter what, but Augusta has a customer care line available to call. If you have any issues whatsoever, someone from the company will immediately help to clarify the situation and resolve them. That seems to have worked out well so far.
American Hartford Gold is another gold investment company offering a combination of retirement and personal investment services. Every other company on the list has a required minimum for you to use their retirement services. But with American Hartford Gold, you can invest as much or as little as you want. There isn't even a setup fee.
That has made AHG's services available to a vast swath of the population that wouldn't otherwise be able to streamline the IRA process. You're saving money right up front. You may have seen AHG's television commercials or seen ads for their services online.
It doesn't matter whether you're a young investor or approaching retirement. It doesn't matter how much prior experience you have in the precious metals industry. AHG specializes in working with people from all backgrounds and all walks of life.
Part of the way that the company makes its stock affordable is by selling bullion that was minted in years past. Many people want to buy the latest items only. But old bullion still has staying power, especially if you're going to keep it in your retirement account for multiple years.
They have gold and silver coins available from sovereign mints across the world. Many of their coins are special animal designs from the Royal Canadian Mint. There are also easily-liquidated items like American Eagles, American Buffalos, and proof American Eagles.
AHG is one of the newer companies on the list, but the management has extensive experience in the precious metals industry and in finance.
There are also potential promotions that new customers can look forward to. For example, you can sometimes receive free silver if you buy a large amount of certain items. If you use the IRA services, you might get your account fees waived for three years if you invest enough money at once.
AHG is the only company on the list that has a price match guarantee as well. If you're able to find one of their items being sold for a lower price, they will match the competitor. The item must be the same type and condition, and you must get the offer in writing. But once you do that, you shouldn't have any trouble taking advantage of this opportunity.
Birch Gold Group mainly focuses on gold IRAs, but they also offer products for cash purchase. They are best known for being Ben Shapiro's gold dealer of choice. He has endorsed them multiple times on his show, as well as had people from the company discuss the importance of gold as special guests.
Birch Gold Group also has a relatively large number of storage locations available for people who want to buy an IRA. You need to use a secure depository for your IRA funds, but Birch Gold has you covered. They have partnered with both Brinks Global Services and Delaware Depository.
The main Delaware Depository is located in Delaware, which has major tax advantages when buying precious metals. The company also operates a vault in California. Both of these are massive facilities that undergo frequent auditing and have full insurance policies.
Brinks Global Services technically has thousands of depositories located all over the world. But Birch Gold typically works with three specific ones. The locations are in Salt Lake City, New York City, and Los Angeles. Between all of these, there are depositories in most of the most populated regions in the US.
If you place an order for yourself, it will ship with a full insurance policy in a discreet package. You will be required to sign for it. For as long as it's in transit, the insurance company will cover any damage, loss, or theft. Once you sign for the package, the contents become your responsibility.
If you invest at least $50,000 in a retirement account, then Birch Gold will waive your first year of fees. That means that you won't have to pay any setup, wire transfer, maintenance, or storage costs for the entire first year. In the following years, you'll need to pay typical storage and maintenance costs to your custodian.
Birch Gold does have one of the largest inventories on our list, so they're a good company to work with if you're looking for something specific. You can ask your representative about whether there are specific items available, or whether the company would be able to secure them.
Noble Gold has retirement services available like the other options on our list. But they also have a service that no other company provides: Royal Survival Packs.
Noble Gold's founder originally worked in real estate. When the market crashed in 2008, he realized that it was important for his clients to put their wealth into a more reliable asset. So he turned to precious metals, and he's been working in the precious metals industry ever since.
Aside from American Hartford Gold, Noble Gold has the lowest minimum to use their retirement services. You only need to invest $5,000 in total. Investing more might make you eligible for perks like waived fees. You can ask whether there are any currently running promotions.
Noble Gold focuses on the importance of gold for protecting your wealth and your future. That's what the Royal Survival Packs are about. You can invest a certain amount of money, starting with $10,000, and the company will hand-select coins for you. The coins in this package are easy to liquidate and difficult to trace.
This means that if you're faced with an emergency, you have enough gold to carry you through. If you invest in the highest tier of $500,000, then you will also get a personal consultation with the company. They will ask you about your worries and plans in order to create a portfolio that's best for you.
While most Noble Gold customers are located in the US, they do have one service exclusively for international clients. When you buy the Noble Ambassador service, you will pay for gold. The company will then store that gold at a secure depository in the US. So if you need to come to the US for any reason, you'll have your wealth accessible.
This service is often used by people worried about political or economic instability in their countries. The gold is stored in private vaults that are far outside the banking system. As such, you don't need to worry about the wealth being seized by the US government or by your own government.
Gold investment is on many people's minds these days. Whether you're securing your retirement account or planning for the more immediate future, a reputable gold dealership can help connect you to the products that you want.
All of the companies on our list have great customer service. They never use high pressure sales tactics, and the employees will patiently answer whatever questions you have. Each company has also been endorsed by celebrities and by organizations like the BBB.
Our top pick is Goldco because of their streamlined approach. Purchasing IRA gold is just as easy as purchasing gold from your cash savings. They take you through all of the paperwork in less than ten minutes, and they do all of the communicating with third parties for you. So you don't have to worry about anything throughout the entire process.
We also appreciate that Goldco has a single person get to know you and develop an ongoing relationship. Augusta Precious Metals takes a similar approach, though their minimum investment is higher.
What exactly is a gold IRA?
A gold IRA is a special type of retirement account. There are a few different types of IRA available. IRA stands for "individual retirement account," and it is a retirement account that isn't associated with other employees the way a 401(k) is.
With a traditional IRA, an investment manager will invest your funds in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other traditional assets. But if you want to put precious metals like gold into your retirement account, then you'll need a self-directed IRA.
A self-directed IRA is managed by you alone. You are the only person who decides where your money goes. But you still need to comply with the regulations set up by the IRS.
Self-directed IRAs can hold alternative assets, whereas traditional IRAs can only hold traditional investment options. Some types of alternative asset are real estate purchases, cryptocurrency, and gold.
A gold IRA is a self-directed IRA whose funds have been used to purchase gold. The gold is then sent to an appropriate depository and kept secure. It is managed by a custodian, who gives you ongoing reports about the account. Eventually, you will be able to take distributions from the account, either by liquidating the gold or by having the gold itself shipped to you.
What items can be held in a precious metals IRA?
If you use your retirement funds to buy precious metals, you will need to remain in compliance with the rules. There are many strict rules regarding purity and quality.
You can buy gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion. It can be in the form of bars or coins, but it cannot be scrap metal or jewelry. The coins must be created by a sovereign mint and approved specifically by the IRS. There are multiple international coins that have been approved.
You are not permitted to store collectibles, historical coins, or numismatic rarities in your retirement account. The price of these is typically based on speculation, rather than melt value. This makes them a riskier investment than you'd want for your retirement.
The products typically must meet or exceed at least 99.95% purity. They may have documentation showing that they have been tested or that they can be traced back to a trusted sovereign mint. The US Mint is an example of one of these, or the Royal Mint of Canada.
Can I hold IRA gold in my home?
You are not permitted to store IRA gold at your house. There are a few reasons for this.
First of all, you are required to have a custodian for your account. This custodian is a trusted financial institution that's licensed to take care of self-directed IRAs. In order to manage your account, your custodian needs to be able to access the funds and the items being held in it.
Second of all, home storage is not safe. It's much safer to use a secure depository to hold your items. These depositories undergo frequent auditing to make sure that the items are secure. You will receive reports regarding your holdings and how their value changes over time.
When you use one of these depositories, your account is covered by a full insurance policy. So even if something goes wrong, you can be fully compensated for any damage or losses. Home storage often doesn't have such a comprehensive insurance policy, and even if it does, it's difficult to prove a theft to get an insurance payout.
Is it better to buy gold with cash savings or with retirement funds?
There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of gold purchase.
When you buy gold using your cash savings, there are no limitations. You can buy whatever products you want. But you need to be smart about your choices. It's best to look for investment grade coins and bullion that are priced appropriately.
However, many people don't have enough cash savings to invest in really good bullion. If you can't pay for the items straight-up, you might find yourself being encouraged to pay in installments or to join a mutual fund. These are risky ventures because there's no guarantee that you will still own the physical gold if the company or the other investors go under.
Sometimes your retirement funds are the only reliable source to use to invest in gold. But doing this means that you have to stick to the outlined regulations. You also can't take distributions from the account until you've reached retirement age, as this will incur a major tax penalty from the IRS.
But many investors do recommend investing part of your retirement savings into gold. Gold provides an important hedge against things like inflation and economic crashes.
What are the biggest advantages of investing in gold?
There are quite a few advantages to investing in gold, whether you use your own savings or your retirement funds. Gold is just a single piece of a well-balanced portfolio. People typically invest in it as a security measure.
While there is no guarantee that gold will protect your savings, you can look at the historical performance of gold to see its usefulness. This precious commodity has been traded across continents and cultures for thousands of years. Because it is a real asset with historical value, it typically rises in value when the stock market crashes. People buy gold when they're worried about their assets being safe in a central banking system.
Similarly, gold can protect people against inflation over time. If you invested a dollar in your retirement account in 1970, that dollar is worth just a fraction of its original value today. But if you invested in gold in 1970, then the value has continued to rise as the dollar depreciates. You can sell that gold today for much closer to its value in 1970.
For this reason, people also often turn to gold during periods of global upheaval and major inflation. You'll see this trend across many different countries, regardless of their specific economic systems or languages. If it's legal for people to own gold, then they will invest in gold.
Finally, gold is not attached to any central banking system. Depending on the type of investment, sometimes gold is untraceable. So people might invest in it if they're worried about political instability. If you think that you might need to flee your country or hide your savings from your government, an offshore gold investment is one way to do that. You can liquidate your holdings as needed in order to deal with the emergency.
Are there any disadvantages to investing in gold?
There are potential disadvantages to any investment. Before you buy gold, it's important to understand both the risks and benefits of your purchase. While gold serves an important purpose in a balanced portfolio, it is also just one piece of a well-tailored investment picture.
First, there is no guarantee that gold will protect your savings. When you look at historical data, the price of gold has soared every time there's economic or political turbulence in an area. But that isn't a 100% guarantee of the future. It's just a good jumping-off point.
Second, gold is not an investment that's good for getting rich quick. If you want to make your money back when you liquidate your holdings, you'll typically need to wait several years for the price to inflate. You won't earn dividends like you will with stock purchases. And if you invest retirement funds in gold, then you'll need to pay annual fees to store and maintain the account.
Most investment experts and reputable companies don't recommend putting all of your money into gold for this reason. Instead, they recommend that you invest a percentage, and use the rest of your funds for investments with more potential for growth. It doesn't matter whether you're a young person just starting to think about the future, or an older person who's getting ready to officially retire.
You can talk to your gold dealer about whether they have a buyback program, and what their buyback prices are like. Buyback prices are typically lower than sale prices, but the good companies have a small spread between purchase and sale prices. That means that you're less likely to lose a large percentage of your funds when the time comes to liquidate your holdings.