Disclaimer: Many or all of the companies listed here may provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service for consumers. Compensation, along with hours of in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below.
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Since writing this review, Regal Assets has had a TON of negative feed. Over the second half of 2022 there have been many extremely negative and disturbing reviews about the Regal Assets company. We will be stripping ALL links to Regal Assets and we DO NOT recommend them at all. It's very obvious that something big changed with this company (the owner has disappeared). IGNORE all information about Regal Assets in this review until we are able to change it. Again, do NOT do business with Regal Assets.
Comparing precious metals dealers isn't always easy. There are many companies that offer gold IRA services, but not all of them are created equal. It's easy to fall prey to scams and bad policies if you don't know what to watch out for.
Both Regal Assets and Augusta Precious Metals are extremely popular choices for gold IRAs. They serve the whole country and have thousands of prior customers. But there are fundamental differences in their setups, histories, and services. Here's what you should know.
About Augusta Precious Metals
Augusta Precious Metals has been helping people secure retirement funds in precious metals since 2012. The company aims to create lifelong partnerships with each customer. Rather than selling you a heap of metal and moving on, they continue to update you and touch base on your account as you move forward.
Augusta is known for having industry-leading customer service teams. Not only are their representatives knowledgeable, but they have one of the most robust learning centers on the internet. There are even webinars available where you can work one on one with the analysts for free, learning about precious metals and the economy.
About Regal Assets
Regal Assets is another popular choice for gold IRAs, but there's an important caveat. Their other main focus is on cryptocurrency. In fact, there are 20 different cryptocurrencies that you can purchase through Regal. They have some of the lowest and most reasonable transaction fees for crypto in the industry.
Their IRA services combine gold, silver, and cryptocurrency into whatever combination the customer needs. You can ask questions and discuss what you want. Then they'll be able to suggest the distribution of assets that makes the most sense for your future growth and combined risk tolerance.
Both of these companies sell precious metals that you can store in an IRA. But the setup of their services is relatively different. Each company offers things that the other doesn't, so the right one for you will partially depend on what exactly you're looking for.
Precious metals are classified as alternative assets. Alternative assets can be held in a retirement account, but there are certain guidelines. Instead of being held in a traditional IRA, they must be held in a self-directed IRA. These accounts aren't managed by an investment manager. Instead, you have full control over all of the assets.
Other alternative assets that can be held in a self-directed IRA include real estate, cryptocurrency, and LLC corporations. But all of these assets are subject to strict rules and regulations. Companies like Regal Assets and Augusta Precious Metals were created to help people stick to the regulations as they explore their investment options.
Augusta Precious Metals
Augusta Precious Metals has a strict focus on gold and silver. Their robust inventory contains coins from sovereign mints all over the world. You can either open an IRA using their services, or you can invest in a personal portfolio with your non-retirement savings.
Many investment experts recommend keeping part of your assets in gold and silver. These assets perform inversely to the stock market, and their value also increases as inflation causes the dollar to depreciate. With the seemingly constant economic uncertainty that surrounds us today, many people are turning to these assets for a sense of security.
Any investment comes with risk, and there is never a guarantee of safety. But investors point to the historic performance of gold and silver in terms of why the metals are considered an ideal hedge.
There are dozens of other companies that also chiefly focus on precious metals IRAs. But Augusta consistently shows up on the lists of the top players in the industry. They have been the subject of thousands of pleased past reviews, plus they've been written up in various publications. Some people find the company through advertising campaigns, but many are referred by loved ones.
Augusta Precious Metals has two major aspects that make it outperform the competition: the customer service, and the ongoing support.
The company is set up in a unique way. With most precious metals dealers, every salesperson is meant to know everything about the entire industry. But Augusta has different departments that are dedicated to different topics. Each person within the department is an expert on one specific niche. So they all work together to have a much broader and more detailed understanding of the industry.
Customer support is available 24/7, both through an online chat portal and through the company phone number. If you have any questions, you can always get an answer, whether you're an existing customer or not. Once you have made a purchase, you can always find updates on your holdings through your Augusta account. You'll also be given ongoing insights from Harvard analysts.
Augusta Precious Metals even has dedicated webinars to help customers learn more about the industry. You can work with their experts one on one and ask whatever questions you have. These webinars help to give people a much better understanding of the economic factors at play with retirement and with the precious metals industry.
The most striking difference between Regal Assets and Augusta Precious Metals is that Regal Assets does not focus solely on precious metals. They have a large precious metals inventory, yes, but they also sell cryptocurrency for your IRA. There are multiple different crypto options to choose from.
Both precious metals and cryptocurrency are rolled into one service package, which is called the Regal IRA. You can invest as much or as little in each asset as you want. It's possible to talk to the representatives about the differences between crypto and precious metals. By discussing your risk tolerance and future goals for growth, the company representatives can give you insights about your best options.
The other main offering from Regal Assets is their pre-made investment portfolios. When you choose an investment tier, you will be given a hand-crafted portfolio made from a mix of cryptocurrency and precious metals. It will be designed with your specific needs in mind. The more you invest, the greater the future potential for growth, alongside the stability from precious metals.
Storage and Custodians
In order to be legally binding, a self-directed IRA needs to comply with IRS regulations. One of the main regulations is that you need to have a licensed IRA custodian in charge. The custodian must be authorized to maintain self-directed accounts, not just regular accounts. If you hold precious metals in an IRA, they need to be kept in a depository.
Typically, the custodians and depositories function separately from the precious metals dealer. But Augusta Precious Metals and Regal Assets have both partnered with a variety of custodian and depository options. Since each of these companies has different options available, it's important to understand what your choices are before you decide.
Augusta Precious Metals
With Augusta Precious Metals, you get access to a huge range of different depositories. That's because Augusta works with Brinks and International Depository Services, two of the largest depository companies in the world. Combined, there are hundreds of global depositories that you can work with.
Augusta only partners with a few specific locations, though. There are 11 total depository options, 10 of which are in the United States. The international option is located in Ontario, Canada. So if you want your items to be stored far overseas, you might end up wanting to work with a different company.
The depositories are scattered throughout basically every region of the US. There are options in Idaho, Utah, California, Nevada, Ohio, North Dakota, Massachusetts, New York, and Delaware.
If you make a cash purchase of precious metals, they can also be stored in one of these locations. That's the most secure way to take care of your metals. But some people do prefer to have the package shipped to their home instead. Even though home storage is not advisable, it isn't illegal, as long as you're not using retirement funds.
Augusta Precious Metals also works with several different custodians. Since they have multiple partners, you can really narrow down whichever option is best for you. It's a good idea to look up the reviews and policies of each custodian before deciding. Three of the most common partners with the company are Kingdom Trust, GoldStar Trust Company, and Equity Trust.
Equity Trust is one of the most popular choices for precious metals IRA firms. They have an excellent reputation, a long history in the industry, and have been managing billions in assets for their clients since their inception.
When it comes to storage, Regal Assets has a more hands-on approach than most companies. Though they do not operate a depository of their own, they have their own specific storage services. No matter which depository you choose, you will have access to a segregated vault. You will also always pay the same flat fee.
The cost for storage through the Regal Assets program is $150 per year. It will not increase if you add more to your account. Many depositories have percentage-based plans that take more as you add more. By using the flat fee structure, Regal Assets effectively helps you to save money in the long run.
Since all of the vaults are segregated, you and your custodian will be the only ones who can ever access your items. The exact items that ship to the vault will be the same ones that you later remove from the vault. There will also be regular audits to make sure that the contents of your account remain unchanged.
As is industry standard, all of the vaults offered through Regal Assets are fully insured. Should there be any kind of issue with fraud, theft, or damage, you can recover the losses.
Regal Assets prefers to work with the custodian CNB Custody. That's not one of the most common options, but they do tend to have good reviews. If you have an alternative custodian that you would like to work with instead, you can do so without issue.
Both Regal Assets and Augusta Precious Metals charge flat fees for their services. You'll need to meet a minimum requirement to invest in the first place, and you'll need to pay account setup fees. Then there are the fees for the assets themselves.
Augusta Precious Metals
The cost to set up an IRA with Augusta is just $50. That's to cover the services like streamlining your paperwork and coordinating with your custodian for you. Once you make your investment, you will have access to a free ongoing lifetime of customer support.
The minimum cost to purchase an IRA through Augusta is $50,000. You must be willing to invest this much in precious metals in order to use their services. Most of this will need to come from existing retirement accounts, as there are caps on the amount you can contribute to a new account from your savings annually.
The fee for custodian maintenance may vary based on which custodian you pick. But Augusta does have flat fees. Most sources indicate that people can expect to pay about $80 for maintenance, while they'll pay $100 for their storage. You can ask your representative whether the fees change depending on the custodian.
Sometimes Augusta will have special offers for new customers. For example, they might offer to waive the setup and maintenance fees for your account for several years, particularly if you invest a large amount.
Regal Assets has straightforward information on their fees for storage. It costs $150 per year to use their storage options, though they don't say much about which depository companies they work with. The storage is more expensive because it is segregated rather than non-segregated and mixed.
There is another flat fee of $100 for custodian maintenance, regardless of which custodian you choose. So you'll be paying a total of $250 annually.
If you want to purchase cryptocurrency or precious metals from Regal Assets, there is a minimum cost of $5,000. That's significantly less than Augusta, so the company might be easier for those with less money to access. A crypto IRA costs 1% per transaction, and storage in the digital wallet has a 1% cost every year.
However, Regal Assets doesn't have any charges when you want to sell your holdings. Whether cryptocurrency or precious metals, you can liquidate the assets without being penalized.
Both of these companies have solid reputations. They are often placed on lists of the best gold IRA firms, thanks to their offerings and good customer service. But there are some major key differences between them.
For starters, Augusta Precious Metals doesn't have any official complaints filed with the BBB. They have received universally positive customer feedback, and if anything negative does occur, their customer service team resolves the issue before it needs to become public.
Some smaller companies have zero complaints because they simply don't have a huge customer base. But when a company grows to Augusta's size, they're almost guaranteed to attract some negative feedback, regardless of how good their policies are. So the positive online reputation shows that they're very proactive about taking care of their customers.
Regal Assets, on the other hand, has generated quite a few complaints over the past year. Prior to this year, their reputation was stellar. It seems like there have been some struggles with the management and the supply chain issues globally.
In addition, legal action was taken against Regal Assets by Minnesota. Minnesota is the only state that requires companies to obtain a license before selling bullion. Allegedly, Regal Assets did not do that. This is a common mistake with national IRA companies, but what's more concerning is that Regal Assets never responded to the allegations. They didn't show up to court, and so they were fined $15,000.
Both of the companies have hundreds of reviews online that state that they provide excellent service. But Augusta does seem to pull out ahead in this case.
When it comes to Regal Assets and Augusta Precious Metals, some of the question is what you're looking for. The companies offer different services in many ways.
But if you don't have any interest in cryptocurrency, then we definitely have to recommend Augusta Precious Metals. It has the following advantages over Regal Assets:
The main advantages of Regal Assets are that they only have a $5,000 minimum, and they offer cryptocurrency. If either of those is a necessity, then they're not a bad company to work with. But we do like Augusta Precious Metals better overall.