Best Gold IRA Companies: Top 3 Precious Metals Custodian Reviews & Comparison

*The companies featured in this article may compensate us with a referral fee. This is not a financial advice article. Refer to a professional for financial advice.

A gold IRA can set you up for life. After all, this would allow you to invest in commodities whose market values have always been strong regardless of the strength of the American dollar.

That being said, you’d rather want to set your IRA up with the right company. The question is this: which one?

To help you answer that question, we would look at 3 of the best Gold IRA companiesoperating in the market right now. Each has their own set of strengths and features which might be the one that you are looking for.

Top 3 Gold IRA Companies at a Glance:

  1. Augusta Precious Metals: Best gold ira company
  2. Goldco: Runner up gold ira company
  3. American Hartford Gold: Amazing customer service and support

#1 Augusta Precious Metals: Best Gold IRA Company Overall

Augusta Precious Metals gets the top spot of this list for its impeccable customer service. Since opening in 2012, the company has received no complaints regarding its products and services. Furthermore, Augusta Precious Metals enjoys a strong rating of A+ from the BBB and an AA+ from the BCA.

What makes Augusta Precious Metals trusted is their commitment to simplifying the investment process. They understand that first-time investors might get intimidated by the act of setting up and maintaining an IRA. Thus, they aim to simplify the setup so the client can start investing on coins and bullion.

Also, the company aims for maximum transparency. This means that clients would know what they are getting themselves into before they start doing business with the company. From the current market prices and even the gold IRA fees, Augusta Precious Metals will inform their clients of everything they need to know before they make any investment decision.

Investor education is also a big deal with the company. Its educators are trained at Harvard and web conferences are being offered on a regular basis. Here, an investor will learn the basics of investing in precious metals as well as some advanced topics.

If there were any complaints about the company, it would generally revolve around the speed of their process. Because Augusta Precious Metals is thorough and transparent, processes here take a bit longer to complete when compared to other companies.

Also, the minimum investment here is the highest among the three best IRA companies. To start investing with Augusta, you have to have at least $50,000.00. Despite this, the general consensus about the investment experience is favorable.

Pros:

  • Consistently good customer service.
  • No known customer complaints since starting business.
  • High level of transparency in transactions.
  • Solid selection of gold and silver coins.

Cons:

  • High investment minimum of $50,000.00.
  • Limited bullion selection.
  • Comparatively slower transaction processing speeds.

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#2 Goldco: Runner-Up

Gold Precious Metals, or Goldco, is a Woodlands Hill based gold IRA Company that has been in the business since 2006. They have been regarded as a viable company to trade with for those that feel tired with the volatility of stocks and bonds.

However, it is important to know that Goldco does not have custodian services as they are a broker. Despite that, they still offer a strong selection of coins in both gold and silver.

What Goldco is quite known for is their extensive investor education. Every step of the investment process will be explained to you while resources and guides are given to those that have set up an IRA with the company.

As for their minimum, Goldco does require at least $25,000.00 to start buying precious metals with them. This might seem steep, especially if compared to other competitors who have their minimum at $5,000.00. Also, their selection of bullion is quite lacking when compared to what competitors have to offer.

In spite of these, Goldco maintains a strong rating from customer reviews. There might be some complaints here and there but such issues are quickly addressed by the company. Also, Goldco currently has an A+ rating from the BBB.

All in all, the user experience with Goldco remains favorable. Most of their transactions can be processed quickly and there are a number of options provided for clients when it comes to payment.

Pros:

  • Has a current rating of A+ from the BBB.
  • Extensive coin selection for both gold and silver.
  • Strong focus on investor education.
  • Prices are competitive and manageable.
  • High user ratings with minimal complaints.

Cons:

  • Limited Bullion Selection
  • High recommended investment minimum at $25,000.00.
  • Agents may not fully explain the reason for their service fees and charges being asked from their clients.

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#3 American Hartford Gold: Excellent Customer Service

The American Hartford Gold Group is a family-owned company that aims to help individuals protect and diversify their investments through several precious metal products. Established in 2015, the company aims to assist investors in making the best possible decision when it comes to buying, selling, and holding precious metals in the market.

Like any good gold company, American Hartford Gold offers a considerable selection of precious metals in both coin and bullion along with some nifty promotions like a Buyback assurance. However, AHG is quite known for having one of the better customer experiences when compared to the competition.

Anyone who sets up an account with this gold IRA Company can receive a free guide through their emails, which will cover the basics of investing in precious metals. The company also routinely provides analysis on current market trends and provides extensive information on every gold and silver product in the market.

As for addressing customer complaints, this company is quite notable for its quick response. Any issue or question will be attended to in minutes and they are known to provide unique solutions to customer complaints while still protecting the bottom line.

The representatives are also noted to be quite professional in approaching every customer complaint. They acknowledge the issue raised and then seek to clarify the problem. At the very least, the customer will gain a better understanding of how the company works. At best, they receive a solution that is quite unique and responsive to their predicament.

What is best is that their customer support services are offered on a 24/7 basis. This means that you would get the same quick and professional response regardless of what time zone you live in.

If there is a major gripe with their services, it would be that AHG does not provide a listing for prices up-front. All you will see in their online catalog is the type of products available and nothing more.

If you want to know how much a particular coin or bullion is going to cost, you will have to contact a company representative for such information.

Despite this, the overall consensus with AHG is that it is a rather trustworthy gold IRA company. The fees are also rather manageable with AHG requiring you a minimum investment amount of $10,000.00 and a $75.00 annual IRA fee.

Pros

  • Enjoys an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • Promises the option to buy back the gold and silver you brought from them with no additional liquidation fees.
  • Extensive selection of gold and silver in their catalogue.
  • 24/7 customer support.
  • Stellar customer service
  • Extensive investor education and planning.
  • Creative problem solving for customer complaints.
  • Investment minimum is at $10,000.

Cons

  • Prices are not listed in their online catalogue.
  • No shipping option for buyers outside of the United States.

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What Is Gold IRA?

To answer this question, we must first understand what a standard IRA is. In basic terms, an individual retirement account is one method where you can save money for the moment you reach retirement age. These accounts can hold a lot of valuable assets like cash, stocks, and bonds.

A gold IRA, then, is a method of securing your hard-earned savings by converting your cash to gold, silver, and palladium. You may not physically possess the gold, but rest assured that there is a pile of precious metals attached to your name.

How We Ranked Our Top Gold IRA Companies

How did we come up with the best recommendations for companies that you could do business with? Here are the factors that we took into consideration.

Reputation and Reviews

There is no other person that can tell you if a company is good than the customer who had first-hand experience with them. More often than not, customer reviews can tell you if a gold and silver company is good to do business with.

Are the agents concerned about making a quick buck or do they take the time to help you make an informed investment decision? Does the company provide an effective solution for problems or do they ignore concerns? Is the company mentioned in the news for good reason? Do celebrities and influential people do business with them, too?

A good mixture of community clout and strong customer impression will tell if that gold and silver company is any good.

Ease of Setup

What exactly are the hoops that you have to clear to start doing business with that company? A good gold and silver company must have a simplified setup process that can be completed within a few days and in no more than 5 steps.

Also, assistance must be provided in each step of the process. The easier it is for you to set up your IRA, the quicker it will be for you to start investing.

Cost and Fees

It cannot be avoided that a Gold IRA company will charge you for every transaction you make with them. In fact, you will have to deal with fees the moment that you register for an IRA.

However, the best Gold IRA companies do practice transparency in informing you of the different costs and fees. This way, you would know what you are exactly getting yourself into before you start the registration process.

Also, how this information is given to you will matter. If everything is presented upfront and you don’t have to prod the company representative further for hidden charges, then that company is transparent.

Commissions

Being charged for a commission is part of the experience when you invest in precious metals. It’s one way for the company to earn from assisting you in your investments.

However, a good gold IRA company would keep its commission rate down to a manageable level. As of now, that rate is at 5%.

Setup Fees

A one-time setup fee will be charged once you registered for an IRA. Again, keeping the rate down to a reasonable level is crucial here as the best gold and silver companies do not ask for more than $200.00.

Storage Fees

The amount for gold IRA fees on storage will depend on whether or not the company is also a custodian of precious metals. If they are a broker only, you will have to pay for storage fees as well as any other fees that the custodian company requires.

Either way, a good gold and silver company will not ask you for more than $300.00 just for storage alone every year.

Maintenance Fees

Account maintenance should not cost you more than $300.00 per year. Some gold IRA companies even offer more promotions like no storage and maintenance fees for first-time account holders.

Either way, the company should tell you what fees you will have to deal with if you have an account with them. If not, then you should do your business elsewhere.

Selection of Gold and Silver Products

A good gold and silver company should have a handful of precious metals in coin or bullion form to choose from. Some companies even source their products from outside the country to diversify their catalog even further.

Some companies choose to focus on either bullion or coins. Whatever the case, a good company will provide you with the education and references you need to make an informed investment decision. A company that pushes their representatives to make you hurry on your purchases is a telltale sign that they are not here to improve the value of your investments in the long term.

Potential Buybacks

Preferably, you should hold on to your investments until you reach retirement age. However, there might be instances where you will need access to funding.

This is where the buyback option comes into play where the company who sold you that gold will offer to purchase it back from you. A good gold IRA company will not only offer the buyback option but also make the process easy and inexpensive on your part.

Why Invest in Gold-Based IRA?

There are many reasons people invest in gold-based IRA, but they can be narrowed down to three. The first is image. Nothing can boost your confidence more than the ability to brag that there are pieces of gold coins and bullions attached to your name somewhere in a vault.

The next reason is taxes. By converting your retirement savings into gold, the IRS will allow a bit of leeway when it comes to your tax dues. At most, you can have $6,000.00 of your savings rolled over to your IRA with minimal to no tax penalties every year.

The final reason is Protection. The value of paper money can be affected by changes in the market. If all goes horribly wrong, then the value and buying power of the dollar falls. However, with gold, that value will maintain a strong trend even in adverse market conditions.

What Is a Gold IRA Rollover?

A rollover is where you transfer money from a traditional IRA to a gold-based one. When you set up an account with a gold IRA company, you are given the option to “sell” assets in your existing IRA to buy gold for your gold IRA.

Depending on your company of choice, the process of buying gold from the funds generated by the rollover will take a few weeks. When it is done, the custodian company will send a check to your gold and silver company.

What Is the Minimum Investment for a Gold IRA?

Technically speaking, there is no minimum starting amount as far as the IRS is concerned. However, some gold IRA companies do impose their own starting minimum investment amount.

This amount could range from $1,000.00 to $25,000.00. Whatever the case, the company you choose should inform you of their minimum right from the start.

Should You Invest in Coin or Bullion?

Both coin and bullion have their own strengths and weaknesses. Coins are easier to transport and will not require a lot of security to properly store. They could also be harder to counterfeit due to their intricate details.

Bullion, on the other hand, will reflect the most current values for precious metals in the market. In other words, their pricing is more competitive.

Some companies would focus on either gold or bullion due to their inherent strengths and weaknesses. As to which one you should focus on, that will depend on your preferences.

Where Are the Precious Metals Inside Your Gold IRA Stored?

Due to the high value of precious metals, they cannot be stored in your conventional vault. There are only a few IRS-approved facilities that can properly store gold and other precious metals. These include federal banks, custodian companies, and other specialized banks.

To be allowed to store precious metals, these facilities must comply with strict security standards. Also, they have to be insured by up to $1 billion as protection for worst-case scenarios.

Whatever the case, a good Gold IRA company will either have these compliances or partner with a custodian that does. This way, your possession of precious metals is not on paper only.

Which IRS-Approved Coins Can You Hold in Your IRA?

It used to be that the American Eagle can be stored only in an IRA in the United States. However, that list has considerably expanded in the 2000s.

As of now, you can store other coins approved by the IRS, which will include the Canadian Maple Leaf, the Australian Kangaroo, the US Buffalo, British Britannia coins dated 2013 and above, and Austrian bullion coins.

If you are not sure if a coin is IRS-approved, you can always ask the company representative. They are more than willing to provide you with the information you need to make the best possible investment decision.

Final Thoughts – Which Gold IRA Company Is Right for You?

Since investing in gold would be expensive, what you’d need from the best gold IRA companies is the ability to guide you through the entire investment process. This is where the Augusta Precious Metals excels with its customer service.

A quick response to any customer complaint or concern, as well as the willingness to come up with solutions that allow both company and investor to meet in the middle is noteworthy for any gold and silver company. After all, protecting one’s bottom line has always been the norm in any industry.

Thus, by providing good customer service, APM gives the impression that they do care for something more than just making a profit. If you want to do business with a company that goes above what is necessary to help you become a more informed precious metals investor, then Augusta Precious Metals might just be what you need.

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