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Gold IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) are investment options that help investors who want to diversify their investment portfolios to save for their retirement years. These investors use precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium to hedge their funds against stock market volatility and inflation. A gold IRA will allow you to hold these precious metals in your IRA. Precious metals IRAs will give you the same tax benefits as stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in your IRA.

Adding gold or other alternative assets to your portfolio will reduce the volatility risk through diversification. However, financial advisors advise investors to allocate at most 5% of their entire retirement portfolio to gold IRAs because gold's profits will only be substantial after a more extended holding period. We feel this approach is correct, although we do feel 5% is a little conservative and would suggest if you are creating an excellent diversified precious metals IRA, then you could push this figure up to about 15%

Silver iRA Review

The best gold IRA companies in the industry offer unbiased educational materials to inform their customers about the nitty-gritty of gold and gold IRA investments. In addition, they provide top-notch customer care services to their investors.

Hence, before you choose or decide to invest in a gold IRA through a gold IRA company, ensure that they are very transparent and that their customer feedback says positive things about them. In addition, ensure that they offer competitive pricing, and setting up their IRA accounts is easy.

Bear Lake Gold is an independent review company that evaluates precious metals organizations. We have, through the years, reviewed hundreds of gold IRA companies in the industry using our standard gold dealer review methodology to provide our readers with accurate and unbiased information about these companies.

We intend for our readers to use these details to compare companies and make the best investment decisions based on their investment needs and goals.

We extend our research to various key stakeholders in these companies and ask them interrogative questions. These stakeholders include owners, founders, management board members, staff, and clients who have bought or sold to these companies.

The results from our interactions with these stakeholders help us determine the more ethical, suitable, and competitive companies we suggest you do business with in the gold investment industry.

After interacting with and reviewing hundreds of companies, we carefully selected five companies we deem the best for gold IRA investors.

However, before we look at their reviews, let us see what a gold IRA company is and how you can choose the best one to work with.

Bidens attack on gold IRa TAx rules

What is a Gold IRA Company?

A gold IRA company is primarily a broker that sells gold and other precious metal coins and bars approved by the IRS. These metals are the ones you can put in your gold IRA. However, you can also purchase non-IRA-eligible precious metals, coins and bars, and collectibles from these companies.

The truth is that some gold IRA companies pose as advisory firms. Nevertheless, you should not forget that the sales and customer service reps speaking to you are not registered investment and expert financial advisors. Most of them assume this role for sales commissions. The more sales they make, the more their payments.

Since you are holding your precious metals in your pre-taxed dollars IRA, you will get taxed when you start taking distributions. If you do not have money to pay the taxes when taking your RMD (Required Minimum Distributions), you can sell part of your precious metals to pay the taxes. You may experience some losses if the prices of the metals have dropped.

How to Select a Gold IRA Company

Choosing a gold IRA company depends on a lot of factors. You might like to consider such things as what type of precious metals you wish to purchase, what ratings have the companies previously received, what storage offering the companies provide, and at what costs. Do the companies provide other alternative investment options? How good is their customer service offering? What is the physical location of the company, and what track record the management team has had previously?

We will look at these factors more in the next section. However, when you have listed the criteria that matter to you, make a shortlist of the companies that meet your selection criteria and request their free gold IRA investing guides. These guides will help you to broaden your understanding of these companies and their products.

If you are ready to request your free guide packs at this stage, click the link or links below, and you will get instant access.

Things to Look For in a Gold IRA Company before Investing

Before choosing the best gold IRA company to work with, you should contact two or three of the companies we will mention in the next section. While doing that, please download their free gold IRA guides and go through them. You will get more insight into them, including their costs and fees and details of the investment strategies and tools they offer.

As an investor, your first step is to select your preferred gold IRA company and contact them. We recommend you look for the following elements when discussing with various companies.

Trusted Third-Party Website Ratings

Companies that have positive reviews from their clients are the better companies. In addition, the company you choose must have ratings from authority bureaus, for instance, BCA (Business Consumer Alliance), BBB (Better Business Bureau), Trustpilot, and Trustlink.

Complaint Board and Yelp feedback also show the company's professionalism and service level. The truth is that reputable gold IRA providers have at least 4.5-star ratings on these various review sites.

You must work with a company that shows it cares about you through caring for your investments. Do not invest in gold through a company that is pushy about sales and uses dubious sales tactics. Remember that you are diversifying your portfolio to protect your retirement savings. Hence, you must do your due diligence in selecting the best firm to invest through. Please refrain from giving in to salespeople hungry for sales commissions who want to push investors into buying precious metal investments by all means.

The Premiums You are Paying for your Precious Metal Coins

Most investors are primarily interested in gold bullion because of its purity level. Other investors are interested in proof coins (rare or premium coins) because of their superior craftsmanship and rarity levels. Those who invest in bullion get popular coins like the Canadian Maple Leaf, the American Eagle, and other popular gold and silver coins. Generally, you will pay a lower premium over the gold spot price for these coins.

Premium silver and gold coins are minted under high-quality standards, making them more visually attractive. However, you will pay a higher premium for investing in them because of their rarity (usually in limited editions) and superior craftsmanship (these coins have higher detail levels and are struck twice). Based on the company you contact, they will likely advise you to invest in any of these classes of coins. However, remember that the best gold IRA companies will not be pushy about sales.

Longevity of the Company

New gold IRA companies come and go in this industry. It is normal. Hence, you must consider how long the company has stayed on the scene before investing. We highly recommend considering a company's longevity because of buyback services. When you want to liquidate your precious metal investments, selling them to the gold IRA company you bought from originally is easier. You will likely buy them at better prices than other dealers in the industry. If you are buying limited edition and proof coins for your account, please take these considerations seriously.

A reputable gold IRA company will have exclusive precious metal products manufactured by national mints, including the Royal Canadian Mint and US Mints. It means that these companies have exclusive rights to sell specific proof gold and silver coins (including setting the price). Hence, if you have these coins and want to liquidate them later in life, the companies you bought initially from are more likely to repurchase them.

If the company no longer exists, you will have to look for other dealers to sell to, pawn them off, or sell them on eBay.

Gold IRA Fee Structure

We advise our readers to choose companies with flat annual fee structures. Selecting a company with a scaled fee model will not favor you if you have huge investments or a large account size. If your account fees are scaled, and your account grows very large, the costs will rise and affect your gains. Hence, we advise our readers to avoid companies that use the scaled fee model.

Do not do business with a company that uses a scaled fee model because you may pay thousands of dollars annually if your account size grows large. Scaled fee models will cause your gold IRA fees to grow with your account size, affecting your gains. Hence, stick to the companies with flat fee models.

Delivery Efficiency and Time

Setting up gold IRA accounts with some companies is very slow. Others also delay their precious metals delivery. One of the companies we evaluated had customers who complained that sometimes it took 90 days before they received their precious metals.

This practice is not ethical in the current gold investment world, considering the fast-paced economic landscape we have today. With the current technology and the internet today, setting up gold IRAs should not take more than 7 days.

tax compliant Gold IRA

We know that the materialization of gold and silver investments does not happen suddenly, but the best gold IRA companies should be able to set up your IRA account in less than 24 hours. After you finish your account setup, funding your account should take at most 7 business days. After this step, you can now begin buying or selling gold and other precious metals in your account whenever you want.

The best way to fund your account fast is to perform a gold IRA rollover. A gold IRA rollover means transferring funds from your retirement account (Traditional or Roth) or 401(k) into your newly set up IRA account. Typically, the representatives of the gold IRA company you choose to work with should be able to handle your IRA funds rollover. However, they will require some details from your end.

Gold iRA Pushy Salesman

Unfriendly Customer Service and Pushy Salesmen

Some of the gold IRA company agents will try to push or force you to invest in numismatic and collectible precious metal coins because, usually, these coins will yield more profits for them. Bear Lake Gold advises our readers to steer clear of the paths of these companies because of these dubious practices. As an expert review company in the gold IRA industry, we do NOT RECOMMEND that our readers invest in collectibles. In addition, they are not IRA-eligible precious metals because the IRS does not approve them as precious metals that you should add to your gold IRA account.

Please, ensure you ask as many questions as possible and get clear answers when speaking to any representative of these gold IRA companies. Their answers to your questions will help you ascertain how helpful and knowledgeable their sales teams are. If you feel they are rushing or pushing you to buy collectibles, please do not invest in precious metals through them.

The IRS only approves physical gold and silver bullion and some proof coins manufactured by the US Mint. These products are called IRA-eligible precious metals. The IRS does not allow the inclusion of any other product outside these recommended ones in your gold IRA.

Management and Staff Team Transparency

Always look out for gold IRA service providers who are transparent about their staff and management teams. You should not do business with a firm built around secrecy and not open about their locations, staff, or headquarters. We do not advise our readers to invest in a company whose founder or CEO's name is not mentioned on its website.

As a rule, if the founder is not named on the company's website, move along and find another service provider that is fearless in showing the face of their owner and management boards. We know that in this gold investment space, trust is an asset. When trust is mutual, then a financial partnership will work.

The main reason you need to know the faces of the company's leadership team is so you can evaluate the past track record of the team in this industry sector. To find out the company’s leadership team details, you can search for the company on LinkedIn and Crunchbase. If you did not find any detail about their leadership team, they may not be a reputable gold IRA company.

Do they have Other Alternative Options?

IRAs can accommodate some extra alternative investments in the future if need be because they are self-directed. Hence, you may want to look out for a company that allows additional alternative investment options like real estate and cryptocurrencies. You can find a gold IRA company that will enable you to expand your investment horizon and invest in other assets.

You can read our third-party reviews on our top five gold IRA companies to know the gold companies that suit your investment needs.

Best Gold IRA Companies Comparison Chart

Gold IRA Company
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5830 East 2nd Street, Casper, WY, US 82609
24025 Park Sorrento, Suite 210 Calabasas, CA 91302
11755 Wilshire Blvd. 11th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90025, United States
3500 W Olive Ave #730, Burbank, CA 91505, United States.
16830 Ventura Blvd Ste 326, Encino, CA 91436, USA
Bear Lake Gold Rating
BBB Rating
A+ (4.9 out of 5 stars) based on 111 reviews. Zero complaints
A+ (4.8 out of 5 stars) based on 441 reviews 21 total complaints in the last 3 years. 7 complaints closed in the last 12 months.
A+ (4.9 out of 5 stars) based on 361 reviews. 20 complaints in last 3 years.
A+ (4.8 out of 5 Stars) based on 72 reviews 8 complaints in last 3 years.
BBB: A+ (4.8 out of 5 Stars) based on 44 reviews. 3 complaints in last 3 years.
BCA Rating
AAA (5 out of 5 stars) based on 96 reviews, Zero Complaints
AAA (4.8 out of 5 stars) based on 1 review 1 complaint in last 3 years.
AA (4.5 out of 5 stars) based on 8 reviews 3 complaints.
AA (4.5 out of 5 stars) based on 8 reviews. 1 complaint
A (4.5 out of 5 stars) based on 4 reviews 1 complaint
Trustpilot Rating
Not rated
4.8 out of 5 stars based on 1,105 review
4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 1126 reviews
4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 126 reviews.
2.9 out of 5 stars based on 1 review
Facebook Rating
4.8 out of 5 stars based on 124 reviews
Not Rated
Not Rated
Not Rated
4.8 out of 5 stars based on 16 votes
Google Rating
4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 301 reviews
4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 1,394 reviews
4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 231 reviews.
4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 231 reviews.
4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 308 reviews.
Promotions Offered
FREE 1/10 oz. gold to learn about gold IRAs—(no purchase necessary). Get ZERO fees for up to 10 years—everyone qualifies
Free silver worth up to $10,000 when you open a gold IRA and qualify for a rollover
Free Silver worth up to $10,000 on qualifying purchases. 3 Years of IRA Fees Waived for $100 and above purchases. Waived IRA fees for the first year for $50,000 and above purchases
You will get waived first-year custodial fees when you make at least a $50,000 purchase
None Currently
Years In Business Update March 2023
11 years
17 years
8 years
20 years
7 years
Preferred Storage Depositories
Delaware Depository
Delaware Depository
Delaware Depository Brinks Depository International Depsoitory
Delaware Depository Brinks Depository International Depsoitory Texas Precious Metals Depositort
Delaware Depository International Depsoitory Texas Precious Metals Depositort
Preferred IRA Custodians
Equity Trust Company
Equity Trust Company
Equity Trust Company
Equity Trust STRATA Trust Company
Equity Trust
Accounts Setup Fees: $50 Storage Fees: $100 Shipping Fees: Free Custodian Fees: $250 for the first year and $100 afterward (But everyone qualifies for zero fees up to 10 years
Accounts Setup Fees: $50 Wire Transfer Fees: $30 Storage Fees:$100 (non-segregated storage) No storage fee for cash transaction above £25,000 $150 (segregated storage) Shipping Fees: Free
Account Setup Fees: $50 Storage Fees: Depends on your preferred or chosen custodian. Shipping Fees: Variable. You can ask for free shipping. Custodian Fees: $180
Accounts Setup Fees: $50 Wire Transfer Fees: $30 Storage Fees:$100 Custodian Fees: $80
Accounts Setup Fees: $50 Wire Transfer Fees: $30 Storage Fees:$150 Custodian Fees: $80
Minimum Investment
$10,000 (IRA investment purchase) $5,000 (Non-IRA investment purchase)
$20,000 (IRA investment purchase) $10,000 (Non-IRA investment purchase)
Types Of Gold IRA-Eligible Precious Metals Sold
Gold Silver
Gold Silver
Gold Silver Platinum Palladium
Gold Silver Platinum Palladium
Gold Silver
Do They Offer Non IRA Eliigble Precious Metals
Do They Offer a Buy Back Service
Yes but cant be guaranteed (by law)
Yes but cant be guaranteed (by law)
Yes but cant be guaranteed (by law)
Yes but cant be guaranteed (by law)
Yes but cant be guaranteed (by law)
Free Gold IRA Information Pack
Free Gold IRA Support & Guidance Including Rollover Help
Request More Information

Our #1 Gold Company Recommendation

augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals (Best Overall Performer)

Company Headquarters: Beverly Hills, California

Business Type: Private

Size of Employee: 10 – 50

Augusta Precious Metal is a gold IRA company that has been on the scene for over ten years. Throughout the years, the company has built a solid customer base, giving them an edge over its competitors through transparent pricing structures and rich educational resources. Augusta Precious Metals is the overall best in our list because of its high ratings from third-party customer rating sites like BBB (Better Business Bureau) and BCA (Business Consumer Alliance).

Augusta has many educational materials on its website, including videos. These video educational materials are one of the reasons the company has risen to the limelight in the gold industry. One of the videos on the website is ‘why not to own gold.’ Customers have since loved the company because of that video. Most gold IRA companies use fear and scare tactics of likely financial meltdown and the total U. S. Dollar collapse to threaten investors into buying or investing in precious metals from them.

One of the company's clients told us she was fine opening a gold IRA account, purchasing precious metals, and storing them with Augusta. According to one of the company's representatives, Augusta Precious Metals has partnered with Delaware Depository for its secure storage solutions.

Setting up your gold IRA with Augusta is simple. All you need to do is follow the steps below.

How to Open a Gold IRA with Augusta Precious Metals

  • Contact the company and speak with one of its accounts managers about your intention to open a gold IRA through Augusta.
  • You must fill out the gold IRA account form and follow all the instructions to help you fund or rollover funds from your existing 401k to your gold IRA.
  • Once the account rollover process is complete, buy precious metals and add them to your IRA.

Features of Augusta Precious Metals

  • They offer coin grading services.
  • They sell a variety of gold bullion and gold coins.
  • They assign a customer care representative to help customers with gold IRA investment and retirement savings decisions.

Pros and Cons of Augusta Precious Metals


  • Their pricing structures are very transparent.
  • They have a high rating on BCA.
  • Augusta's account opening process is swift.
  • They offer world-class customer care service and rich investment educational materials.


  • Their minimum investment is very high ($50,000)

Augusta Precious Metals Fees

As we mentioned, Augusta’s minimum investment is $50,000, and it charges an annual management fee of $180 for its clients' gold IRA accounts.

om your 401k in to a Gold IRA

Our #2 Gold Company Recommendation

Goldco complaint

Goldco (Best Buyback Program)

Founder: Trevor Gerszt

Founded: 2011

Company Headquarters: Calabasas, California

Business Type: Private

Size of Employees: 51 – 200

The number one particular reason many people we spoke to love Goldco is the company's buyback program. This service and its solid customer support have put it ahead of others in the industry. Hence, we have ranked the company as the second best in the industry after Augusta Precious Metals.

Goldco also works with a team of professional IRA specialists that give interested clients investment opinions in the most organized and comprehensive manner. Goldco offers existing retirement accounts like 401(k) rollover services as part of their specialties. We highly recommend them for your self-directed precious metals IRA. 

The company assigns one of its professional staff to work with customers who want to open their gold IRA from the account setup procedure to when they want to buy physical gold and silver to add to their accounts.

Goldco also has various educational materials on precious metals IRA investing, including e-books, videos, and articles. These articles are intended to teach investors everything they need to know about how gold IRA works.

How to Open a Gold IRA with Goldco

  • Call the company to speak with a representative about opening a gold IRA through them.
  • After your account is set up, fund your account by rolling over funds from your existing 401(k) retirement account.
  • Use the money to add your desired IRA-eligible precious metals to your account.

Features of Goldco

  • They offer gold IRA services.
  • They help individuals manage their IRA accounts for wealth protection.
  • They help to ensure hitch-free gold IRA rollovers.

Pros and Cons of Goldco


  • Goldco's educational resources are among the best in the industry.
  • They have excellent customer support.
  • The company’s IRA account opening process is easy.
  • They have an A+ rating on BBB.


  • The primary precious metals they sell are silver and gold.

Goldco Fees

The minimum investment required to open a gold IRA with Goldco is $25,000. Then you will pay a $50 initial setup fee and an annual account management fee of $80.

Hartford American

American Hartford Gold (Best for Small Investors)

Founder: Sanford Mann

Founded: 2015

Company Headquarters: Los Angeles, California

Business Type: Private

Size of Employee: 50 – 200

American Hartford Gold is another precious metals company that has existed for a while. Since its inception, the company has been family-owned. It has become the choice of gold and silver investors in the US because of its wide selection of precious metals. Its comprehensive gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars make it a perfect company for small businesses retailing precious metals.

One of the clients we spoke to told us he stuck with doing business with American Hartford Gold because of the company’s customer service department. The company works with a team of highly-experienced precious metals IRA experts who have the experience and insight needed to lead customers through the IRA setup process.

Just like Augusta Precious Metals and Goldco, this company has a rich educational section on its website for precious metals investing and all you need to know about it.

Features of American Hartford Gold

  • They offer a large Gold Bullion and Silver Bullion catalog.
  • They provide gold IRA investment assistance for customers.
  • They offer rollover services.

Pros and Cons of American Hartford Gold


  • They have a good selection of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars and coins.
  • Their customers enjoy fantastic customer support services.
  • They have affordable IRA fees.
  • Their website has a section containing rich gold IRA investment materials for clients’ education.


  • The company’s transaction speed is slow.
  • They do not ship outside the United States.

American Hartford Gold Fees

The company’s minimum IRA investment is $5,000. After that, clients pay an annual IRA management fee of $180.

Birch gold reviews

Birch Gold Group (Best for Fee Transparency)

Founder: Laith Alsarraf

Founded: 2003

Company Headquarters: Burbank, California

Business Type: Private

Size of Employee: 51 – 200

Birch Gold Group is a precious metals industry that has been on the scene for 20 years. The company's longevity on the scene is one of the primary reasons many customers are convinced about its legitimacy. Birch Gold has a wide range of products in its precious metals catalog, including silver, palladium, platinum, gold bars, and coins.

You can either buy precious metals from them or open an IRA through them. According to one of the account managers, opening an IRA account through the company is straightforward. It has a team of experienced IRA experts that clients can work with to ensure a hassle-free process.

Birch Gold partners with STRATA Trust Company to provide IRA custodianship service for its customers. It partners with Delaware Depository and Brink’s Global service for storage services. Hence customers can decide to store their metals with any of these companies.

How to Open a Gold IRA with Birch Gold Group

  • First, submit your details by filling out a Birch Gold IRA form to open your account. You can request a professional in the company to guide you through the process.
  • Fund your account via a transfer or rollover of funds from your existing 401(k) into your gold IRA.
  • Select and purchase your desired IRA-eligible precious metal products.

Features of Birch Gold Group

  • They offer precious metals IRA services to interested customers.
  • Their team of gold IRA professionals makes IRA account opening easy.
  • Their experts help customers plan their retirement portfolios and manage their monies.

Pros and Cons of Birch Gold Group


  • They are suitable for large and constant precious metals purchases.
  • They have a wide range of precious metals products for interested investors.
  • Their fee structure is very transparent.
  • They work with more than one storage service company.


  • Birch Gold’s IRA processing time is longer than normal

Birch Gold Group Fees

The minimum investment you can make with Birch Gold is $10,000. Then, they charge an IRA initial setup fee of $50. Customers who want to fund their accounts via wire transfers will pay a $30 charge. However, customers who invest above $50,000 in their IRAs will not pay these fees because the company waves them.

Noble Gold Investments (Best for Diverse Storage Options and Security)

Founder: Collin Plume

Founded: 2016

Company Headquarters: Pasadena, California

Business Type: Private

Size of Employee: 10 – 50

The truth is that Noble Gold has not been around the scene for a long time, but it has, in the shortest time possible, made huge impacts on the gold IRA market. Since its inception, the company has captured customers' hearts via its vast educational resources gallery and low investment requirements. The company also has high ratings on third-party rating sites like BCA and Consumer Affairs.

According to the agent we spoke to, Noble Gold gives customers a committed account manager from the first day they decide to open a gold IRA account with it. The account managers will also give the customers all they need to know about how a gold IRA works and the setup process. In addition, they offer a smooth buyback process to their customers.

Noble Gold works with Delaware Depository and Brink's Global Services to provide storage services for its customers. In addition to these storage companies, Noble Gold owns its depository in Texas. Hence, customers can choose to store their metals in any of these three depositories. 

Features of Noble Gold

  • They offer Gold and Silver IRA services to interested investors.
  • They provide gold IRA investment assistance for their customers.
  • They offer precious metals home delivery services to interested customers.
  • They provide their customers with a Gold and Silver Guide.

Pros and Cons of Noble Gold


  • They have high ratings on more than one trusted customer rating site.
  • Their minimum initial investment is $2000.
  • They give their customers a free gold IRA guide.
  • They have their IRS-approved storage facility in Texas


  • Their Gold products come with a high premium.

Noble Gold Fees

Noble Gold customers can begin with a low initial investment of $2,000 and then pay an annual $80 account management fee.

How We Evaluated the Best Gold IRA Companies

Suppose you want to open a gold or other precious metals IRA. In that case, you should work with a trustworthy and reputable company to run the process. Working with a shady provider will be costly because gold investments are expensive.

When we chose the companies that make up the five best gold IRA companies on our list, we used some factors that show a company is knowledgeable, reliable, and reputable. Mainly, here are the top characteristics we considered before choosing these companies.

Reviews and Reputation

Gold IRA companies have negative and positive reviews and reputations for a reason. When searching for a gold IRA company to set up your account through, you must select the one with a positive reputation in the industry. You will know how your experience will be when you see other people’s overall positive experience.

We examined these companies through BBB's (Better Business Bureau) lens. BBB is an online platform where customers write complaints, reviews, and feedback on other online businesses. BBB also rates companies on an A+ to F scale, and its highest rating is A+.

The company that makes up our 5 top gold IRA companies had at least B ratings on BBB, and they have fewer negative reviews.

Setup Ease

Reputable companies in this industry will make their setup process easy and stress-free to attract new clients. These companies will set up your gold IRA accounts within 72 hours. They will also offer professional help from investment experts in the industry.

The top 5 gold IRA companies on our list have an easy gold IRA account setup process. These companies also allow investors to speak with these investment experts throughout the process of opening their accounts and ensuring they get the guidance they need quickly.

Fees and Cost

Gold IRA companies in the industry charge their customers for the services they offer. These fees will cover the cost of account opening, maintenance, and precious metals storage.

Refrain from being lured into investing through companies whose services are free. Most of the time, they will not offer professional services or put in the necessary expertise to set up a reliable gold IRA for you.

In addition, these companies will not give you the necessary investment assistance and the proper knowledge you will get from a company that charges you for these services.

On the other hand, do not also trust companies that charge extremely high fees. These companies sometimes focus more on making profits than giving customers the best services. Hence, when we selected our 5 best gold IRA companies, we picked only companies that charge clients reasonable fees.

Gold and Silver Products Selection

A primary reason people open gold IRAs is for investment portfolio diversification. It is only wise to work with a company with a vast catalog of silver, gold, and other precious metal products.

While some of the companies on our list focus on only gold and silver products, they provide customers with an array of these products. However, other companies on our list will allow you to choose between gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars.

Buyback Programs

Sometimes, you may need clarification about the type of precious metals to add to your IRA or feel hesitant about the entire process. Therefore, we always recommend that you work with a company that offers buyback services. These companies allow their clients to sell back to them without charging them extra sales fees.

We choose only companies that offer a hitch-free buyback service in our top 5 gold IRA list. Some companies providing buyback services can also decide to ship the products to their facility for free if you buy from them initially.

Some companies on our list, like Goldco, offer amazing buyback offers. They give you something to fall back on anytime you decide to liquidate your precious metals.

What is a Gold IRA?

Unlike regular IRAs that allow you to hold paper assets like stock, bonds, and ETFs, a gold IRA will enable you to hold physical precious metals. It is a tax-advantaged investment vehicle, and it is also called precious metals IRA.

According to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), a gold IRA is a self-directed IRA that can only hold precious metal investments. Regarding taxation, a gold IRA has different treatment from a Roth IRA. A gold IRA is an after-tax investment vehicle.

How Does a Gold IRA Work?

A gold IRA setup process involves more than one party. Here is what we mean by several parties; first, you will open your account through a chosen gold IRA custodian, then buy precious metals from the companies highlighted here. Indirectly, you can also deal with an IRA custodian through the precious metal companies mentioned in this article.

These gold IRA companies organize the involvement of account custodians and secure storage facilities for their customers. Hence, as a gold IRA investor, you cannot keep the physical metals in your account in your home.

All gold IRA companies are not the same. While some work with more than one custodian and depository allowing their customers to choose between options, others have just one, and all their customers have to open accounts with the custodian.

Investing in a Gold IRA

The physical precious metal assets in a gold IRA are coins and bars with different markups. While some are higher, others are lower. You can also choose to mix gold and silver coins and bars. If the gold IRA company you are investing with has platinum and palladium products, you can also decide to buy and add them to your IRA. When you want to start taking distributions at a legitimate time, you can either have your precious metals shipped to your home or liquidate them for cash. If you decide to ship them to your house, you may have to pay for the shipping.

Most of the gold IRA companies you bought from may buy back your gold or other precious metals if you decide to sell. However, buybacks are typically done at wholesale gold prices, usually cheaper than retail prices.

Pros and Cons of a Gold IRA

Like many investments in the financial industry, gold IRAs have pros and cons.


  • Tax Advantage: You will get similar special tax treatments for gold IRAs as for standard IRAs. Because gold IRAs are self-directed, you will get tax deductions and tax-free eligible withdrawals from Roth gold IRA accounts.
  • Long-Term Investments: The liquidity level of physical gold is not very high. Hence, gold is a long-term investment. You can buy and hold gold in your IRA for decades because it has proven to be a valuable investment.
  • More Control: Gold IRAs are self-directed IRAs. Therefore, you can manage your investments and make investment decisions yourself.


  • No Income with Tax Advantage: As a gold investor, you will not have dividends or interests in your gold bullion. Hence, a gold IRA will not leverage the tax-free growth part of IRA investing. After holding them for a long time, you would only profit from selling your precious metal investments.
  • High Costs and Fees: Owning a gold IRA means you will not store your gold in your house. Instead, you will seek the service of a secure storage depository. Then you will have to pay for annual storage services. In addition, you will pay custodial fees to your gold IRA custodian yearly. When you buy precious metals to add to your IRA, you will also pay for the insurance and shipping of your metals to the secure storage depository.
  • Other Restrictions: When you open a gold IRA account, you cannot move any precious metal you already own into your new account. Also, you can not buy precious metals directly from a dealer to add to your IRA. You must go through your gold IRA custodian. Primarily, you will inform your IRA custodian of the metals you want to buy and the company you want to buy from, and then they will help you purchase the metals using the funds in your gold IRA.

How Does a 401(k) to Gold IRA Rollover Work?

Suppose you have chosen that the right investment option for you is a gold IRA. In that case, reach your 401k retirement plan administrator to facilitate a rollover for you or tell your gold IRA company to facilitate the rollover from your 401k to your new gold IRA account. There are two types of rollover;

  • Indirect: Your admin gives you the check containing funds from your 401k, and you ought to deposit the funds in your gold IRA within 60 days, according to the IRS.
  • Direct: Your 401k administrator works with your gold IRA custodian to move funds from your 401k to your gold IRA.

We highly recommend the direct rollover because it is easier than the indirect and saves you the risk of a tax penalty.

If you choose the indirect rollover, you must deposit the funds in your new gold IRA within a 60-day transfer window starting from the date indicated on the check. If you miss the window, the IRS will consider your action as ineligible distribution, and you will incur tax penalties for withdrawing if you are below 59.5 years old.

You can roll over part of your 401k to your gold IRA. However, remember that you must know the minimum investment requirement of your chosen gold IRA firm to know the amount to transfer into your gold IRA from your 401k. If you do not have up to the minimum investment requirement amount of a gold IRA custodian in your 401K, you can look for another to accommodate your investment goals.

Types of Metals you can Hold in Your Gold IRA

The IRS only allows certain products to be added to your gold IRA. These metals are called IRA-eligible, and they must meet specific purity standards.


Gold IRA products must have 99.5% purity, and some of the products with such purity eligible for your IRA account are;

  • American Gold Eagle
  • Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
  • American Gold Buffalo
  • Canadian Gold Polar Bear & Cub
  • Canadian Gold Eagle
  • Australian Gold Kangaroo
  • Australian Gold Striped Marlin
  • Chinese Gold Panda
  • Austrian Gold Philharmonic


Silver IRA-eligible products must have a 99.9% purity level according to the IRS standard. Some of the products in this class are;

  • American Silver Eagles
  • Canadian Silver Maple Leaf.

Platinum and Palladium

IRA-eligible products must have a purity level of 99.95%. Some of the products in this category are;

  • Platinum and Palladium American Eagle.
  • Platinum and Palladium Canadian Maple Leaf.

How To Hold Physical Gold in an IRA

A gold IRA investment is not a paper asset. Hence, you have to store it somewhere. You cannot keep these investments in your home, so you must store them in a secure storage service depository approved by the IRS.

Is a 401(k) to Gold IRA Rollover Best for Me?

A gold IRA might be best for you if you are a sophisticated investor. We always recommend that our readers seek financial advice from a financial advisor to know if it is possible to make gold IRA investments using their existing retirement portfolio. In reality, gold IRA companies are not investment firms with the fiduciary duty to function in your best interest. Hence, we do not recommend relying on their sales representative for financial advice.

Remember that if you decide to roll over (sell all or part of the investment, i.e., bonds, stocks, and mutual funds) your 401(k) to a gold IRA, you significantly change your investment portfolio and profile. Hence, you need to DYOR (Do Your Research) extensively before making this move. If you are unsure, please take your time to read our article on rolling over 401k funds into a gold IRA and research the difference between 401(k) and a gold IRA.

Majorly, your traditional 401(K) or a conventional retirement account exposes you to various assets. This exposure, in turn, allows you to;

  • Gain income via dividends.
  • Build a diversified paper investment portfolio to reduce market risks.
  • Adjust your investment allocation goals using market liquidity.

Most precious metal IRA companies call their offerings 'diverse' because their investors can hold more than one type of precious metal. However, looking at things in the light of investing, the investment is not diverse because all precious metal types fall in a similar asset class. Gold investments will not generate dividends like paper assets will.

In addition, you must be aware that cashing out gold comes with costs too. When you reach the eligible distribution or withdrawal age and need your gold bullion and coins sent to you, you will have to pay for shipping and insurance. The only way to escape this fee is to liquidate your assets while in storage.

Most gold IRA firms would buy back your gold investments if they sold them to you initially. However, they will typically buy them at wholesale prices, generally 30% lower than the everyday retail prices.

Before setting up a gold IRA, consider your wealth management in a broader context. Set expectations that you can meet about how much you want your investments to grow and how long you intend to hold your gold investment assets.

Why You Should Invest in Gold for Retirement

Below are some popular reasons to consider precious metal investments like gold and silver for retirement.

Portfolio Diversification

It is precarious to invest all your funds into one investment asset class. If your portfolio does not contain precious metals, a gold IRA could be an excellent retirement investment asset to diversify your portfolio correctly.

Inflation Protection

Your purchasing power of the USD drops with its value. Hence, gold investments can shield your funds from value loss because they have consistently outpaced the dollar value throughout history.

Economic Protection

If the stock market is going down and you have your money in gold, you will reduce your loss or not be affected. If you are nearing retirement age, consider this retirement option so you will reduce the risk of losing your retirement portfolio.

Investment Growth

If you are looking for an investment that will grow in years as you approach your retirement, then consider gold investments. Gold has had a positive price trend, from $35 in 1970 to almost $2,000 in 2023.

Gold IRA Reviews: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is IRA Gold?

The IRS has carefully spelled the bullion, bars, and coins you can hold in your gold IRA in its regulations. The body details their specific sizes, weights, purities, and designs to ensure investors keep only investment-graded precious metals rather than collectibles.

What is the Best Gold IRA Investment?

This question is highly subject to metrics. It is vital to conduct independent research and avoid gold IRA firms that pressure people to buy from them using scare tactics and dubious sales pitches. They often force you to make investments that are not right for you. Remember, the goal is to diversify your portfolio to reduce the risk of loss.

Is a Gold IRA Worth the Hype?

Some investors prefer holding physical gold bullion and silver bullion rather than buying precious metal stocks in gold mining firms or ETFs because they feel safer investing their money in real gold.

This narrative is correct, but it is not entirely right. While gold IRA companies might suggest investing all your money in physical precious metals via a gold IRA, Bear Lake Gold suggests that you diversify your portfolio using a gold IRA. To get the most out of your retirement portfolio, we advise you to spread your savings into various asset classes, including paper and physical asset types. The way to achieve this diversification is to own a gold IRA and another traditional retirement account that allows you access to different assets.

Why Should I Roll Over All my 401(k) Funds into a Gold IRA?

We cannot entirely say that gold investments are free from unexpected losses. Hence, we advise you to carefully roll over your 401(k) into a gold IRA. As stated, we advise our readers to roll over part of their 401(k) to their precious metal IRAs. However, if you need more clarification, we recommend the services of a third-party expert financial advisor. Ensure you discuss your investment timeline, risk tolerance, and goals with the advisor to determine if you should include a gold or silver IRA in your retirement investment portfolio.

What are the Fees Involved in Opening a Gold IRA?

From the companies we have reviewed at the start of this article, you can start your gold IRA with a minimum fee between $2,000 and $50,000. The average one-time setup fee is $100, and the annual management and storage fee is between $200 and $300.

Can You Store IRA Gold at Home?

The IRS rule is that you cannot store gold or other precious metal investments in your gold IRA in your home. According to the IRS, you must keep your assets in an approved secure depository like a credit union, bank, or other financial company. Please heed this regulation to avoid a 10% tax penalty on your investments. In addition, you will pay distribution income tax and, in the end, lower the total value you will get from your gold investments.

A worst-case scenario is that storing your gold IRA investments in your home could result in a tax audit and further attract more IRS penalties.

It does not mean you cannot buy and keep gold in your home. You can do that, but not with the gold you purchased through your precious metals IRA account. You can buy gold directly and store it in your home from any of the companies listed above. When you do, these companies will ship the products to your doorstep and insure them in transit. However, we do not recommend storing gold in your home because it is unsafe.


Based on the information in the article, we advise you to do your due diligence as you try to decide the best gold IRA custodian for you. The gold IRA industry has a lot of scams and scam companies. You may encounter losses significantly if you fall into any of these scams.

Most scam companies use pushy sales tactics or talk of collectible or rare coins not approved by the IRS to mislead investors into buying metals or investing in a gold IRA through them. Another class of scam companies is those who will open fake gold IRAs for investors and dupe them of their 401(k) funds by making them transfer them into an unknown bank account. Another set of scammers will pretend to sell gold and then channel monies sent by gold investors into their accounts.

There are hundreds of companies in this industry, and other review sites also rate some other companies apart from these here, for instance, Patriot Gold Group, Oxford Gold Group, and Orion Metals Exchange, as best in the industry. However, from our in-depth research as a professional review organization, we listed these five companies because we found them more credible than others. Hence, we strongly advise that you only do business with the five gold IRA firms mentioned here to protect your money because they are the industry's most legitimate, trusted, and credible companies.



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