How To Open a Precious Metals IRA

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Precious metals IRAs are becoming more and more popular. But there are several concerns around them.

How do you open one? What investments are available?

In this post, we'll answer all your questions and help you get started with your precious metals IRA. 

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What Is the Definition of Precious Metals IRA?

IRAs for valuable metals are a type of individual retirement plan that enables you to purchase actual metals such as platinum, gold, silver, and palladium for investment. You can choose to invest in one metal or a combination of metals. 

There are four types of valuable metals IRAs, each with its own rules and regulations. They include:

  • Gold IRA

A gold IRA permits you to invest in physical gold coins or bars. The gold must be at least 99.5% pure and stored in an approved depository.

  • Silver IRA

You may invest in actual silver coins or bars with a silver IRA. Silver must be kept in a designated depository and be at least 99.9% pure.

  • Platinum IRA

Investing in actual platinum coins or bars is possible with a platinum IRA. Platinum must be kept in a repository that has received approval and must be at least 99.95% pure.

  • Palladium IRA

A palladium IRA enables you to invest in physical palladium coins or bars. The palladium must be at least 99.95% pure and stored in an approved depository.

How To Open an IRA for Physical Precious Metals

The following is a step-by-step process for opening valuable metals IRA:

  • Identify a Certified Precious Metals IRA Custodian

Find a trustworthy custodian that provides valuable metals investments and self-directed IRAs. Conducting your study is crucial because not all custodians offer this choice. Lear Capital, American Hartford Gold, and Oxford Gold Group are a few potential companies to look into for this.

  • Open a Self-Directed IRA Account

You will open a self-directed Individual Retirement Account with the custodian you've chosen. This account functions similarly to a regular IRA, but with one significant difference: you're in charge of making investment decisions.

A self directed IRA can Invest in a wider array of securities, including valuable metals.

  • Transfer Funds to Your New Account

You will then need to fund your new account. You can do this by rolling over funds from an existing retirement plan such as a 401(k) or IRA. You can also add money to your account through a direct transfer from your checking or savings account.

  • Choose Your Precious Metals

Once your account is funded, it's time to choose the metals you want to invest in. You can purchase gold, silver, platinum, or palladium coins or bars from a dealer or broker.

Make sure to buy from a reputable source to ensure the purity of your metals.

  • Have Your Metals Shipped to an Approved Depository

Once you've purchased your metals, you'll need to have them shipped to an approved depository for safekeeping. If you are working with a reputable precious metals IRA company like Goldco, they will handle this for you.  

Your custodian will provide you with a list of approved depositories.

Guidelines to Know Before You Open Precious Metals IRA

Before you invest in valuable metals IRAs, it's important to understand the rules and regulations regarding metals IRAs. Here are some key things to keep in mind: 

Maximum Account Top-Up Limit 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) only allows you to contribute a maximum of $6,000 per year to your IRA if you are under 50. Anyone above the age of contributes up to $7,000 per year.

This contribution limit applies to all IRAs, including valuable metals IRAs. 

Eligible Precious Metals 

Not all metals are eligible to be held in an IRA. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are the only metals allowed. The purity requirements for each metal are also different and must be met. 

Sources of Precious Metals 

Your IRA's metal contributions must originate from authorized sources. You cannot get them from your collection. You must buy them through a dealer or broker the IRS has approved. 

Home Storage 

Home storage is not an option for IRA-eligible metals. All metals in your IRA must be stored in an IRS-approved depository. No matter how secure you think your home is, you cannot keep them at home. 


You are allowed to make withdrawals from your valuable metals IRA at any time. But if you take money out before you're 59 1/2, there will be taxes and penalties. 


A 10% early withdrawal penalty will apply if you take money from your valuable metals IRA before turning 59 1/2. Taxes will also need to be paid on the amount you withdrew. 


You must pay taxes on any profits you make when you sell your metals. The IRS views valuable metals as collectibles subject to a 28% capital gains tax.

When Should You Open Precious Metals IRA?

The best time to open an IRA for metals is when you: 

Have a Stable Income 

If you have a stable income, you are in an excellent position to start investing in valuable metals. This will allow you to set aside money each month to invest. 

Have Savings 

It would be best if you also had some savings before investing in valuable metals. This will help you cover any unexpected costs that may come up. 

Need to Diversify Your Investments 

Your investment portfolio can benefit significantly from being diversified with valuable metals. This will help protect you if the stock market crashes. 

Are Looking for Long-Term Growth 

If you are looking for long-term growth, valuable metals can be a good option. They tend to hold their value over time and can appreciate it.

When Should You Avoid a Precious Metals IRA

Sometimes, you may want to avoid investing in valuable metals IRA. These include when you: 

Are in Debt 

If you are in debt, you may want to avoid investing in valuable metals. You may need to use your investment money to pay off your debt. 

Need Immediate Cash 

If you need immediate cash, IRAs for metals are not a suitable investment. This is because it can take time to sell the metal and get the money you need. 

Lack Diversification 

You may want to avoid investing in valuable metals if you are not diversified. This is because they can be volatile and may lose value, especially on a short-term investment.

Advantages of Owning a Precious Metals IRA

There are many potential benefits of investing in valuable metals IRAs. Here are some key advantages to consider: 

Hedge Against Economic Uncertainty 

Since ancient times, valuable metals have been regarded as a protection against economic instability. When the market is volatile or inflation, they often keep their value well. 

Develop a Diversified Investment Portfolio 

Your investment portfolio can benefit from diversification with metals. Adding additional assets such as shares or bonds to your IRA can offset losses in other assets. 

Possibility for Growth 

Although there is no assurance, valuable metals have the potential to increase in value over time. Thus, these metals are a sensible long-term investment choice. 

Better Option to Having Cash 

Valuable metals are often a better investment than cash, which can rapidly lose value in times of inflation. Moreover, having money in your IRA is not an investment and will not grow over time.

Risks of a Precious Metals IRA

Investing in valuable metals IRA comes with some risks you should be aware of. Here are some key things to keep in mind: 

Precious Metals Prices can Fluctuate 

While valuable metals have held their value over time, their prices fluctuate in the short term. This indicates that there is a chance you might experience short-term financial loss if you have to sell at a lower price. 

You May Not Get the Full Value When You Sell 

When you sell your metals, you may not get the total value back depending on the purity of the metal and the current market conditions. 

You May Pay Taxes on Gains 

You may need to pay taxes on the gains if you profit from selling your metals. The IRS views valuable metals as collectibles and is subject to a 28% capital gains tax.  

Although if you work with a reputable precious metals IRA company, they will make sure you only have IRA-approved bullion in your account so you don't run into any "collectible" tax penalties.  

Distributions Options with an IRA for Precious Metals

There are two ways to make a withdrawal from a valuable metals IRA: cash or in-kind.

  • Cash Withdrawal

When a customer requests a cash withdrawal, the depository usually purchases the metals from the owner and pays the customer by wire transfer, check, or bank transfer. Processing time for this might take a few days, depending on your account size.

  • In-Kind Withdrawal

The depository will give you the actual gold or valuable metals if you request an in-kind withdrawal, which is another option. If your account is a regular IRA, in-kind transfers are nevertheless taxed.

If you pick this method of distribution, be sure you have a strategy for where you will keep the metals and whether you need to get additional insurance for them.

Tips to Avoid Scammers When Investing in Precious Metals

The valuable metals market is full of scammers looking to take advantage of investors. Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim: 

Research the Company Before Investing 

Before investing in any company, make sure you research them thoroughly. Check out reviews online and see if any complaints have been filed against them. 

Beware of High-Pressure Sales Tactics 

If a company is pressuring you to make an investment decision immediately, be wary. Legitimate companies will give you time to think things over before committing. 

Don't Pay Upfront Fees 

It would be best if you never had to pay upfront fees to invest in metals. If a company asks for this, it is likely a scam. Instead, you should only pay for the metals and any shipping or storage fees. 

Get Everything in Writing 

Make sure you get all the details of your investment in writing before committing to anything. This includes the metals prices, when you will receive them, and where they will be stored. 

Never Sign Incomplete Agreements 

If an agreement is missing essential information, such as the name of a financial institution or where the physical metal is located, do not sign it. This could be a sign that you are dealing with a scammer. 

Beware of Promises of High Returns 

There is no guarantee that you will make money by investing in valuable metals. Be wary of anyone who promises high returns with minimal risk. 

Use a Reputable Dealer 

When buying valuable metals, be sure to use a reputable dealer. You can check out to see if any complaints have been filed against a company. Only an IRA-certified dealer can facilitate the rollover of your retirement account into a valuable metals IRA. 

Be Sure Your Investment Is Insured 

When you invest in metals, be sure to insure your investment. This will protect you in case the physical metal is lost or stolen. 

Confirm the Validity of a Dealers License 

When you are ready to buy metals from a dealer, always confirm the validity of their license. You can check with the National Futures Association (NFA).


Valuable metals can be a great addition to your portfolio, but it is essential to do your research before investing. Use a reputable dealer to open your valuable metals IRA and never pay upfront fees.

Also, be sure to get everything in writing and insure your investment. These tips will help you avoid scammers and make the most of your investment.

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