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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.
Regal Assets and American Hartford Gold are two of the most commonly cited companies for people who want to invest retirement funds into precious metals. While both companies have great reputations and are run by experts, there are some major differences that you need to be aware of.
About Regal Assets
Regal Assets sells a combination of cryptocurrency and precious metals in a package called the Regal IRA. You can invest in 20 different cryptocurrencies and all four types of IRA-eligible precious metals. You have total control over how much of your investment goes toward any one asset.
The experts at Regal believe that precious metals provide stability, but cryptocurrency provides important room for growth. By combining these, you create a "safety net" while also having the potential to see significant returns from your crypto investments.
About American Hartford Gold
American Hartford Gold only focuses on gold and silver, rather than any other alternative assets. While most of their inventory is IRA-eligible, they do have some coins that can only be purchased with cash. These include collectible favorites like circulated and uncirculated half dollars.
Because American Hartford Gold doesn't use the same fee structure as most competitors in the industry, they're accessible to more investors. This is the company that people use when they want a reputable dealer that doesn't have a minimum investment.
If you're deciding whether to invest with a company, it helps to be familiar with their products. There are some major differences between the offerings from American Hartford Gold and Regal Assets. Most chiefly, Regal Assets offers cryptocurrency, while American Hartford Gold does not.
Regal Assets sells a combination of precious metals and cryptocurrency products. These items can be held in an IRA, but you can also make outside cash purchases. Their self-directed IRA can combine cryptocurrency and precious metals in a streamlined fashion that other companies struggle to compete with.
The company sells 20 different cryptocurrencies. They also sell gold, silver, palladium, and platinum.
In addition to standard Bitcoin and Ethereum investments, some of the available cryptocurrencies include:
This is a far more varied and robust selection of cryptocurrency than you find with most other companies. Though most people won't have interest in anything beyond the basic Bitcoin and Ethereum, some investors might be interested in the growth potential of the smaller coins. You can talk to the experts at Regal Assets about how the different currencies operate and how they've grown over time.
A large variety of pure bullion gold bars are available with sizes ranging from 1 to 50 grams, 1 to 10 ounces, and 1 kilogram. You can choose the weight based on whatever's best for your budget. The available gold coins include:
Silver bars are more limited, only available in sizes of 10 ounces and 100 ounces. So if you want to invest in smaller denominations of silver, this might not be your best bet.
Available silver coins include:
In platinum, you can get the American Eagle, Australian Koala, and Canadian Maple.
In palladium, you can get a 1 ounce or 10 ounce bar. The only coin available in palladium is a Canadian Maple.
All of these precious metals are eligible to hold in an IRA. Though the selections are somewhat limited, these sovereign coins are easy to liquidate and simple to obtain.
American Hartford Gold
American Hartford Gold has a slightly more limited selection of products, in that they don't offer cryptocurrency, platinum, or palladium. However, they do have a much more diverse range of gold and silver. In fact, many of their gold and silver products aren't even eligible to hold in an IRA. You have to purchase them with cash.
In addition, they have some older IRA products in their inventory. For example, they might have coins that were minted in 2018 rather than in 2022. It's unclear whether they simply haven't sold their entire 2018 stock or whether the 2018 coins were easier to acquire during the supply chain issues earlier this year.
Some of the gold IRA-eligible items listed on the website include:
Most of the Canadian coins are from years past. They have been issued by the sovereign mint in the country, but they aren't as commonly seen in IRAs. While they don't technically count as collectibles, they might not be as easy to liquidate as staples like the American Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf.
There are Valcambi silver bars available as well, alongside 10 ounce and 100 ounce silver bars from a variety of different mints. IRA-approved silver coins include:
As with the gold coins, many of the silver coin choices are uncommon. You don't normally see these in the inventory of precious metals IRA groups. There are also proof versions of both American Eagles available.
Now let's take a look at some of the products that aren't approved for an IRA. Since these don't meet the purity and regulation standards of the IRS, you can only purchase them using cash.
Many of these items, such as the circulated coins, are considered collectibles. Numismatic coins are not allowed to be placed in an IRA because the value is so speculative. Silver rounds are also not eligible for an IRA because the bullion must be in bar or coin form.
Both Regal Assets and American Hartford Gold have a main focus on providing IRA services. Products are available to purchase with cash as well, but the companies focus on IRAs.
Even though Regal Assets offers cryptocurrency in addition to precious metals, both companies have very similar approaches to their IRA services.
Self-directed IRAs are inherently complicated. They aren't managed by anyone except you. You have total freedom over what you buy and how you divide up your assets. But that can also be overwhelming, especially if you don't have a financial background. It's not easy to determine what the wisest layout of your investments is.
On top of that, there are tons of regulations, rules, and red tape. Once you fill out the paperwork to actually set up the account, you have to make sure that you're buying the correct assets. They must comply with specific IRS regulations regarding quality, type, and other reporting. They must be stored and notated correctly, and failure to do so can result in tax penalties.
The rules often seem too complicated to bother with. But there is no other account that can legally store cryptocurrency or precious metals. So if you want these assets as part of your retirement, you need that self-directed account.
Companies like Regal Assets and American Hartford Gold have become experts in all the little details and minutiae. They can demystify the entire process. There's an added bonus for them, too. Most Americans can't afford to invest much of their savings, but their retirement accounts are much larger. Retirement funds are one of the biggest things flowing into the precious metals industry.
To get started, you'll fill out an online form and get in contact with the company. Then you'll talk to a representative about what you want, and ask whatever questions you have. Together, you'll determine whether their self-directed IRA services are right for you.
Then the representative will help you with the account application paperwork. Your custodian will help you roll over funds into the new account. Then you'll go back to your representative and decide on a final purchase, whether it involves precious metals or cryptocurrency or both.
From there, the company will communicate with your custodian on your behalf. Your precious metals will be sent to a storage depository that you've chosen. If you purchase cryptocurrency, it will be stored in an encrypted digital wallet until you decide to either sell or use it.
If you make a purchase using cash, you can either place your items in a depository or have the package sent to your house. But if you make a purchase with your IRA funds, then you have to store the items inside a secure depository. Those are part of the IRS regulations.
Both Regal Assets and American Hartford Gold have partnered with certain companies to offer storage options.
Regal Assets mainly works with Brinks Global Services. Many other companies that work with Brinks only use two or three locations. But Regal Assets has depositories available all over the world. There are several scattered in different regions of the US as well, if you prefer to stay local.
Some of the countries that you can store your precious metals in through Regal Assets include:
As you can see, it's possible to store your items on every populated continent and then some. The Regal Assets website has some information about the unique benefits of storing items in Dubai in particular. That's because of Dubai's tax-free status and huge vaults, since the city is one of the biggest precious metals trading hubs on the entire planet.
Brinks has depositories located throughout the US in places like Utah, California, and New Jersey. Certain locations have more tax advantages than others. If you want to store your items in the US, you can talk about which locations have the best tax and privacy advantages. Some people might just want to choose the closest location to them, which would be fair.
American Hartford Gold
American Hartford Gold states that even if you make a cash purchase, they don't recommend storing it at home. Home storage is more susceptible to theft and damage. Plus, your home storage likely won't have the same thorough insurance policies that a depository will.
However, if you really want a cash purchase to be sent to your home, they can't stop you.
When it comes to IRAs, American Hartford Gold also works with Brinks. In addition, they work with Delaware Depository. Unlike Regal Assets, however, they have narrowed down the Brinks locations to just a few regional options.
The Delaware Depository can be found in Delaware. It is considered advantageous because Delaware doesn't have any taxes on precious metals, and they also have strict privacy laws. The two main Brinks locations that the company uses are in Utah and California.
No matter which company you use, you will need to pay custodian and storage fees for a gold IRA. The custodian and storage are both part of the IRS regulations. Even if you didn't use an external company to help with the paperwork, you'd need to pay these fees.
Sometimes companies will partner with different custodians and depositories to offer reduced or alternative fee structures.
If you want to open a Regal IRA, you have to invest at least $5,000. That can be spread across both cryptocurrency and precious metals. You can purchase a huge number of different products and allocate funds however you see fit.
There is a flat storage fee of $150, no matter which depository location you choose. On top of that, there's a flat custodian fee of $100. So you can expect to pay $250 per year for the ongoing maintenance of your account.
When you buy cryptocurrency, there will be a 1% fee added to the transaction. That's how Regal Assets turns a profit. But there aren't any fees to sell or use the cryptocurrency once the time comes to take distributions.
American Hartford Gold
American Hartford Gold has broken with the traditional model for gold IRA companies. They don't have any minimum investment, so you can open an IRA even if you only have a few hundred dollars to spend. Similarly, they don't have any cost to set up an account. This makes gold IRAs accessible to a huge number of people who couldn't use them before.
You can expect to pay $180 in total annual costs. About $80 of that goes to the custodian, while $100 goes toward storage. The storage is less expensive than Regal Assets because you'll likely be using a non-segregated vault, where your items are commingled with other people's. Your account will still be fully insured, and the holdings will still be frequently audited.
Both of these companies have good reputations. Both have their benefits and drawbacks. It's hard to say whether one is definitively better than the other.
American Hartford Gold is best if you:
Regal Assets is best if you:
Past customers have left good reviews of both companies, and they are both highly rated for their ethics and trustworthiness. Therefore, the choice is truly up to you.