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Precious metals are a lot more than just shiny rocks. These assets have been a staple of the global economy for centuries, and they aren't going anywhere. Today, precious metals are a vital hedge against inflation and stock market crashes. When the economy is in shambles, precious metals give you a cushion to ride it out.
It's becoming increasingly common for people to invest part of their retirement into gold. That way, you have a safety net once you actually live off of that income. There are companies that help people select approved products and open self-directed IRAs, but picking the right one can be tricky.
Birch Gold Group and Noble Gold are two of the most well-known gold IRA companies. They're endorsed by various celebrities and commentators, and they have good customer feedback. But what exactly do they offer? If you put them head to head, which comes out on top?
About Birch Gold Group
Birch Gold Group began operations in 2003, meaning that they have nearly 20 years of experience under their belt. Though their headquarters is in California, they will ship to any place within the US. They have been endorsed by the popular commentator Ben Shapiro.
Birch Gold is made up of a group of finance and precious metals experts who carefully work with each customer. It's important that every customer receive the information and education to make an informed decision. Even if clients choose not to purchase from Birch Gold, the educational tools are still there.
About Noble Gold
Noble Gold was founded by Collin Plume, whose background is in real estate. Following the 2008 crash, he realized that people needed the security of precious metals.
Noble Gold aims to connect clients to the right precious metals products for them. In addition to their IRA services, they also offer "survival packs." These are packs of bullion that are hand-crafted with items that can be liquidated during an emergency.
These are both companies that help customers to buy gold and silver with their retirement funds. They will set up the paperwork for you and make sure that your purchases are compliant with all of the federal regulations. While that is the main focus of each company, you can also make cash purchases as well.
Let's break down exactly what each company offers and how the services differ.
Birch Gold Group
Birch Gold Group's main focus is on helping you to roll over funds into an IRA so that you can purchase precious metals. They have an inventory that's filled with gold and silver products. Once you have created your account, you can use the funds to buy items from the inventory.
When you get started with Birch Gold, you will be assigned a single representative. This person will take you through your whole account. They will get to know you throughout the process, which will help them make suggestions for your investments. They'll also answer all of your questions.
In addition to silver and gold, Birch Gold Group sometimes has platinum and palladium options available for investment. While these are more limited than gold and silver, they are a good way to secure a lot of funds without taking up much space. Both metals cost much more than gold.
When you want to liquidate your holdings and cash out, you can sell your precious metals back to Birch Gold. This makes it much easier to liquidate your metals for a fair price. One of the biggest issues with precious metals investments is the liquidation process, so this can offer some peace of mind.
Like Birch Gold Group, Noble Gold can help customers to buy gold using their IRA funds. They will walk you through the process of opening the account and contacting your custodian. However, their approach isn't quite as streamlined. You will probably need to contact your custodian yourself, whereas Birch Gold Group might handle that for you.
Noble Gold's services work largely the same way. They help facilitate a rollover of your funds, and then they help you decide which precious metals to buy. Then they coordinate sending those metals to your chosen depository.
There is another service available that is unique to Noble Gold. Most companies just allow you to buy specific products. But with Noble Gold, you can invest in Royal Survival Packs instead. Rather than buying specific types of coins or bullion, you're buying security.
Every pack costs a predetermined amount. Each one is put together by hand with common, easily-liquidated precious metals that add up to that amount. The idea is that you'll have these metals on hand if anything goes wrong with your home life, like an issue with a disaster or the government or the central banking system.
With recent economic and global turbulence, many people are feeling nervous about the future. Not only do they want to make sure that their retirement is secure, but they also want to be sure that their families will be secure if anything pseudo-apocalyptic happens.
These are some types of fees that you can reasonably expect to see with most gold IRA companies:
Some companies also have bank transfer fees or general transaction fees. Noble Gold and Birch Gold Group both tend to be transparent about their fees, so you don't have to worry that you'll end up paying more than the stated price for your items.
Birch Gold Group
No matter whether you're making a purchase with IRA funds or with cash, you will need to meet Birch Gold's $10,000 minimum for investment. As far as minimum investments go, this is in the middle. Some companies require up to $100,000 as an initial investment, while others might only require $2,000.
As an added bonus, people who have $50,000 to invest will have their first year of fees waived. There will also be a waiving of the general fees to set up an account. The cost of storage and maintenance is $180 per year with Birch Gold, regardless of which depository and potential custodian you choose to use.
The fee to set up an IRA and handle all the paperwork is $50. On top of that, there's a $30 wire transfer fee that is charged just one time. So it's basically like the cost to set up the account is $80.
Since the company uses flat fees, you will never pay over $180 in annual expenses. Some other companies use percentage structures, which cause you to pay more as you accumulate more. You don't want to be punished for saving up more for your retirement. The flat fees are fairer, and they give you a better idea of what to expect.
Noble Gold is one of the most transparent IRA companies when it comes to fees. They actually list out all of the costs and expectations right on their website. While you still have to call to get a quote for product pricing, you won't be in the dark about the annual costs.
The storage fees do vary depending on which depository you use, and whether you choose non-segregated or segregated vaults. The segregated vaults are more expensive because they keep your items totally separate from everyone else's. Nobody is able to look at or touch the items except for your custodian and you.
The storage costs are anywhere from $80 to $150. Typically, you will pay about $150 for storage and $80 for maintenance, making a total of $230. Storage might cost less if you opt for non-segregated instead of segregated storage. Since non-segregated storage is still fully insured and undergoes regular audits, it's not all that much riskier.
You will also need to meet a minimum investment threshold of $5,000 if you are using the IRA services. But if you're just making a cash purchase, you may not need to meet that minimum. You can call and talk to one of the company representatives about how much they recommend you invest in a cash purchase.
While neither company operates its own depository, both companies have partnered with certain depository companies. The depository options sometimes make or break a person's decision. If you need your items to be stored close to home, or you want to keep them in a certain tax shelter, you'll want to have the right depository available.
Birch Gold Group
Birch Gold Group can technically ship your package to any licensed and accredited depository in the world. However, they have close partnerships with Brinks Global Services and the Delaware Depository. The Delaware Depository has locations in Delaware and Nevada.
The majority of clients with Birch Gold Group use one of the three top Brinks locations. These are in California, Utah, and New York. But there are technically several hundred Brinks depositories located throughout the US, and thousands more scattered across the globe.
If you do use a Brinks depository, it's possible that your items will be transferred there using an armored truck. This service is available for customers whose packages are worth significant amounts of money. Even if the package is not sent with a Brinks truck, it will be fully insured.
If you aren't happy with any of those choices, Birch Gold Group also sometimes works with International Depository Services. They have a facility available in Texas, as well as a few other options. You can talk to your Birch Gold representative about which depository locations are open to you.
When Noble Gold first got started, they had just one storage option. They worked with the Delaware Depository in Delaware. While they still work with this company, they now offer storage in Texas through a partnership with International Depository Services.
Both Delaware and Texas have specific protections regarding precious metals. There's no sales tax applied to the sale or storage of precious metals in these regions. That means that having your items shipped there is often much more inexpensive than making a purchase in your home state.
The Texas depository exclusively offers segregated vault options. If you choose to use the Delaware option instead, you have a choice between segregated and non-segregated. It's up to you which you think is best for your needs.
Let's take a look at the steps to get started with both Birch Gold Group and Noble Gold. Both of the companies have been well reviewed, with customers praising the convenience of their setups. They do seem to make it easier to open and maintain a new self-directed IRA.
Birch Gold Group
Your initial step will be to make your self-directed IRA and move the funds into it. This will involve filling out an application for an account with a custodian. The Birch company representative can walk you through the custodian application. Once that paperwork is filed, your custodian will help with the process of transferring your funds over.
You don't have to worry about any penalties. If you open a new retirement account, you can move funds from your other retirement accounts for the first 60 days without any repercussions. Your custodian can help ensure that you complete everything in a timely manner.
The next step will be to decide on your precious metals. This is where your Birch Gold Group specialist will really take over. They will talk to you about your budget, your future goals, your concerns, and your overall tolerance for risk. Based on your feedback, they can give suggestions for the best products for you.
Any products in an IRA will need to comply with the IRS regulations regarding purity. There are also only certain kinds of coins that can be held in the account. All of the approved products can be easily liquidated, so it's just a matter of which specific ones perform the best for your wants.
During this process, the specialist will also be available to answer any questions that you might have.
As soon as you confirm your order, Birch Gold Group will take care of the rest. They'll communicate with your custodian to have the funds transferred. Then they will mail the package to your depository. The custodian will place the items in the vault and update your account.
After your metals arrive, you can keep working with Birch Gold Group. The specialist will be available to contact whenever you want information on your account. You can also ask questions about the industry, current economic events, or potential future purchases.
The steps to start with Noble Gold are similarly straightforward. With this company, you can actually get started before even talking to a company representative. You'll create a free online account and fill out the required information. Then someone from the company will call to discuss things within the next day or so.
You'll talk to the agent in order to finalize the account paperwork. Then you'll talk about your goals and concerns regarding retirement. The representative can help you develop a plan for your precious metals investments, from the initial investment to future purchases.
You'll fill out the paperwork to have funds transferred into your new account. Then you'll finalize your purchase order. The price quote will fluctuate as the markets change. You will choose a depository, and Noble Gold will mail the package to that depository. Your custodian will take care of everything from there.
Like Birch Gold Group, Noble Gold aims to keep working with customers for years. As such, you can stay in contact with the company representative to view your holdings and continue adding to your account in the future.
Birch Gold Group and Noble Gold are both very popular companies with excellent reputations. They have received hundreds of good reviews from their past clients, and they have been rated highly by organizations like the Business Consumer Alliance and Better Business Bureau. Both companies operate with sound policies and a high level of integrity and ethics.
The customer satisfaction with both companies seems to be high. No matter which you choose, you're likely to have a solid experience. Whether you are looking to move a 401k, setup a gold IRA or do any other type of option - both of these companies are trustworthy.
If we have to pick a winner, though, we'll choose Noble Gold. Their website has more straightforward information about what to expect from their IRA services and fees. They also have a huge range of different depository options available. In addition, the Royal Survival Packs are a good cash option to secure an uncertain future.
But Birch Gold Group does have excellent customer service. If you're trying to decide between the two, it's worth calling and talking to representatives from both companies. See which one you feel the most comfortable with and go from there.