When it comes to investments, people want a company that they can trust. So they'll often turn to large global powerhouses like Vanguard to look for what they want. But there are some drawbacks to having one company handle your entire portfolio.
A gold IRA is a self-directed IRA that holds precious metals. These precious metals are maintained by a custodian and kept secure in a vault. Each vault in these licensed depositories has a full insurance policy and is regularly audited by third parties. It's an extremely safe way of securing your retirement holdings.
Vanguard is one of the most successful financial platforms in history. The company operates uniquely because it is completely owned by its investors. Every investment goes directly back into the investors' pockets. There is no investment that does not have direct benefits for the investors, regardless of how well the company performs.
Because Vanguard shows such consistent results and growth, many people consider it a go-to for major financial investments. So you might be wondering: Does Vanguard offer gold IRA services?
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Does Vanguard Offer a Gold IRA?
Sadly, Vanguard does not offer a gold IRA. They don't even have precious metals available to purchase with cash, which is somewhat unusual for a company of this size.
The reason for this is that precious metals are considered alternative investments. Vanguard does not traffic in alternative investments because they consider these too risky. They also believe that there is too much red tape surrounding precious metals, and there's not enough room for growth.
There is one mutual fund that you can invest in with Vanguard, which puts a portion of its funds into the mining industry. By investing in mining companies, you are able to reap the benefits of the gold and silver industry without worrying about owning physical gold and silver.
There are some advantages to this. For example, you won't end up paying ongoing storage fees. In addition, a mutual fund tends to have returns in the form of dividends, whereas precious metals themselves don't.
But there are also disadvantages. If you want to own precious metals specifically because they are alternative assets, then you're out of luck. Similarly, if you want to own physical metals to hedge against inflation or market issues, you're also out of luck.
Vanguard will not give you the services necessary to create a gold IRA. They will not help you with the self-directed IRA paperwork or connect you to a depository and custodian. All of our alternative suggestions will, though.
In the meantime, let's take a look at more of what Vanguard offers.
Vanguard is an investment platform with a whole host of different services and features. You can purchase a wide variety of different items and create a diverse portfolio using their network. Every company has been vetted, and every investment is purely owned by Vanguard's investors.
One of the key advantages of Vanguard is that it can act as a one-stop shop when it comes to traditional assets. They don't sell alternative assets like gold, Bitcoin, or real estate. But they have a ton of available options when it comes to exchange traded funds, mutual funds, and other options.
There are also official financial services available. The right services for you will depend on your situation. Some people can make use of high net worth services, while others might need to have the books managed for their nonprofit or business institution.
Let's see a few of the things that Vanguard offers.
❑ Foreign Equity Securities
You can invest in securities in the United States and abroad at the same time. If you're looking for precious metals, the best way to do this is through the VGPMX fund. That's the aforementioned mutual fund that invests in the precious metals industry.
The other purpose of the fund is to put capital into industries where capital is declining. They predict the best times to invest based on the cyclical nature of certain industries. Precious metals are just one of them.
So you can invest in foreign equity through this mutual fund. You can also invest in United States equity and securities.
❑ Mutual Funds
Vanguard might be best known for its mutual funds, since it has one of the biggest mutual funds selections in the industry. The company focuses almost exclusively on mutual funds and exchange traded funds. There are over 3,300 of these funds available to invest in.
You need to meet the minimum investment requirements to get started. But once you do, you can sit back and relax. Your portfolio will reap the gains from the investments without you needing to manage it or actively do anything.
Vanguard also makes it more affordable to invest in mutual funds by lowering the commissions and fees. They have some of the lowest fees in the industry, no matter whether you're looking at exchange traded funds, mutual funds, or index funds.
Vanguard dedicates a lot of time and energy to client education. As mentioned, they don't involve themselves in precious metals. So there's not a lot of education available about the gold and silver industry. But there is information about the economy, mutual funds, general investing, and other vital aspects of your financial health.
On top of the DIY educational resources, Vanguard can connect people to financial advisors. These are licensed professionals who have taken a course and become certified in financial advice. They'll evaluate your financial situation and help you create a road map for your life milestones and eventual retirement.
A financial advisor is a huge help if you're trying to manage any kind of wealth. It's also a huge help if you're trying to create a viable plan to turn your small amount of savings into something bigger.
Even experienced investors can benefit from the educational resources on Vanguard's website. There's information for everyone from the total beginner to the seasoned expert. In addition, the materials are formatted for a variety of different learning styles. You can peruse blogs, articles, podcasts, videos, and eBooks.
❑ Portfolio Watch
The Portfolio Watch feature is one of the most unique features that Vanguard has. It is also one of the most popular aspects of the platform. This extremely useful automatic software will analyze your portfolio and determine whether it meets the right standards for a professional portfolio.
If your portfolio is weak, the tool will tell you. Then it will make specific suggestions for how to change your holdings. You might not have a diversified enough portfolio, or you might simply have too many high risk investments. The Portfolio Watch technology helps you make sure that your portfolio matches your goals and plans, without ever needing to talk to a financial advisor.
You will be told what strategy is best to implement if you want to diversify and optimize your holdings. The tool uses financial information and analytics from a huge range of different sources, including Global Custom Metals and Global BMI Metals.
The Purpose of Precious Metals IRAs
It makes sense that companies like Vanguard don't offer precious metals investments to their clients. Physical precious metals don't pay dividends, and their price is subject to market fluctuation. There isn't a real way to strategize for the growth of your metals, except to hold onto them for a long time.
However, precious metals IRAs do serve an important purpose. The physical metals are tangible assets. Since they are tangible, they will always retain some value. Comparatively, non-tangible investments like cryptocurrency and stocks can go up in smoke overnight.
Gold and silver have also had value in the global economy for centuries. They are the staple that people fall back on when the modern economy is struggling. Whether it's inflation or a stock market crash, gold helps people to feel secure.
It's not a good idea to place your entire life savings into gold. This will nullify your potential for continued growth. When you retire, you want to have a stream of passive income from your assets. But if that passive income suddenly disappears, you also want to be able to liquidate your gold to maintain your lifestyle.
Physical precious metals do come with some drawbacks. For example, you have to keep your retirement account in a special depository. This means that you'll need to pay quarterly or annual fees to maintain the account. But if you work with a good company, you can minimize these fees. Some companies will even waive the fees for the first year or so.
Gold IRA Requirements
If you want to invest in a gold IRA, you should be aware of the federal requirements for it. The IRS has strict rules regarding the paperwork for the account, the products that you can buy, and how you store those products.
First of all, you need to open a self-directed IRA. Many gold IRA companies have partnered custodians that they can connect you to. The account must be maintained by a custodian. Not every IRA custodian is eligible to maintain a self-directed IRA, so you need to make sure that your chosen option does this.
Once you've done that, then you need to fund the account. In most cases, you'll do that by rolling over funds from your other retirement accounts. The transfer needs to be completed within 60 days if you want to avoid tax penalties. So it's helpful to have a company representative who can handle the paperwork and the phone calls on your behalf.
Once the actual money is in the account, then it's time to purchase your products. There are regulations, though. You can only have bullion coins from a sovereign mint or bars from a certified refinery. Gold needs to be 99.5% pure at least. Silver needs to be 99.9% pure, and both palladium and platinum need to be 99.95% pure.
It can be difficult to determine which products are eligible for an IRA. That's why it's a good idea to work with a specialized company. They'll be able to tell you exactly which products you can buy with your retirement funds.
After you make the purchase, the company will ship the products to a secure depository. Each depository must meet the IRS standards for security. In addition, the vaults all have insurance policies and regular auditing measures. You have the option of choosing segregated storage, which keeps your items by themselves, or non-segregated storage, which comingles your items for a lower cost.
Your custodian will unwrap the package and update your online account with your holdings. Typically, you can reach out either to them or to your gold dealer if you have questions about your account.
Our Top Alternatives
Our favorite gold IRA company is Goldco. They make the IRA setup process so simple that it barely feels like any work at all. Not only do they help with the application paperwork, but they handle the phone calls and paperwork for the rollover as well.
We also like Augusta Precious Metals, which has a huge focus on education. Every client is given a wealth of resources to learn about the industry. You also get a lifetime of ongoing service, so you can ask whatever questions you have whenever you want.
The other best option is American Hartford Gold, which is ideal for those who are nervous about the fees. AHG has no setup fee or minimum required investment. In addition, if you invest enough in your IRA, they may be willing to waive your custodian and storage fees for a maximum of three full years.
Vanguard doesn't offer a gold IRA because the company does not sell alternative investments. They mostly focus on mutual funds and exchange traded funds. There is one mutual fund that invests in mining companies, but only 20% of the funds go to the precious metals industry.
If you want to open a gold IRA, we recommend using an alternative like Goldco instead. Goldco makes it super simple to set up the account and fund it. They also communicate with your custodian and depository for you. So all you have to do is sign the papers and make the final decisions on the products you invest in.
If you are looking to invest, don't forget to checkout our highest recommended companies!
Currently our #1 recommendation is offering up to $10,000 in free silver!
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