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As the days go by, more and more people are looking into precious metals. Gold and silver are parts of a typical investment portfolio. Many investors say that precious metals are an essential piece of both personal and retirement portfolios, due to their economic advantages.
Given the turbulent times over the past few years, many people have lost their faith in the core economy. They want to invest their money into something with lasting power. That's where gold comes into the mix.
If you are looking to get started investing in precious metals right away checkout our top companies list. We did hundreds of hours of research and testing to find the top companies for this year...
Benefits of Gold Investment
It's unwise to put all of your assets into gold. But if you allocate a small portion of your portfolio to gold, you could find yourself reaping benefits. Gold has benefits whether you're a young investor or approaching retirement.
For young investors, the most compelling advantage of gold is that it hedges against inflation. The value of the American dollar has been depreciating slowly over decades. We see new headlines every day about the rate of inflation, with the issue growing more serious in recent months.
Imagine saving a dollar in 1960. That same dollar is worth just a fraction of its initial value in 2022. But if you invested that dollar into gold, then it would retain its value, because the price of gold increases as inflation progresses. If you hold onto your gold for a decade or more, you have the chance to turn a profit.
For older investors, the biggest advantage is that gold hedges against market crashes. The stock market is one of the most important parts of the economy. Stocks make up a huge portion of most portfolios, since they pay dividends and allow for growth over time. But they're also very risky. When the economy crashes, the prices of stocks take a nose dive.
When the stock market is struggling, people turn toward gold and silver. The price of these commodities goes up. Ideally, an investor should have enough gold to wait out an economic downturn. You can liquidate it over time as you prepare for your assets to rebound. That could mean the difference between a comfortable retirement and needing to take a part time retail job.
Precious metals have some other unique advantages:
You can either invest in gold as part of your personal portfolio, or you can put some of your retirement assets into gold. Many people don't have enough savings for a cash purchase, but they do have spare retirement funds to allocate.
To buy gold with your retirement funds, you need a self-directed IRA. The process of opening one can be complicated, and finding the right products is more complicated still. That's why it's so important that you invest with a company that has your best interests at heart.
What to Look For in a Gold Investment Company
An ideal gold investment company will have IRA services. This is a must if you're using your retirement assets to make your purchase.
Some companies have better IRA services than others. You'll want one that gives you a dedicated specialist to help you with the process. This person will show you what paperwork needs to be done, explain the products and services available, and sometimes even talk to your custodian for you. They can explain how to do a rollover of your funds and coordinate the paperwork for that too.
Many companies that focus on IRAs also have partnered custodians and depositories. This helps take some of the hassle out of the process. You can decide which of their partnered custodians has the best fee and service setup for your needs. Then you can decide which licensed depository is best. You might choose based on tax advantages, proximity, or safe offshore storage.
After helping you set up your account, your representative will teach you about which gold products are eligible for an IRA. They'll answer your questions, learn about your needs, and provide guidance on which products best suit your goals. The best companies have teams that don't work on commission, so there's no ulterior motive behind the information.
You can look up a company's reputation online to find out whether they're a good fit or not. Some smaller companies might not have much feedback. You should take website testimonials with a grain of salt, as these can't be verified. They might be marketing copy rather than true reviews.
To find out what real customers have to say, you should go to a third party website. There are many sites and apps that gather information about different companies. If the company has a retail store, Yelp is often helpful. Google My Business has tons of reviews of online and retail stores. Consumer Affairs does as well.
Then there are websites like Trustpilot and Trustlink, where verified customers can leave detailed feedback. Some companies have hundreds or thousands of reviews on these sites alone. You can look at the negative feedback to see whether there are any patterns of issues, and you can read details about the positive feedback to see whether the company sounds like your kind of business.
There's also the analysis of third party organizations to keep in mind. The Better Business Bureau gives companies a rating based on their customer interactions and ethics. Legal action against a business lowers a rating, as does complaints without a response. When a company works to resolve negative feedback, the rating is higher, with the top possible one being A+.
The Business Consumer Alliance is another good resource. This organization uses a complicated algorithm to rate businesses. They take more factors into account than the BBB. If a business is given a top rating of AAA by the BCA, that means that they have ultimate standards of integrity and good service.
Expertise and Education
You'll want to keep the company's expertise in mind. What kind of background do the founders have? How long has the company been operating? Do they have dedicated in-house specialists for things like IRA paperwork?
You can also find out whether they're members of organizations like the Industry Council on Tangible Assets, the National Ethics Association, or the US Mint dealership list. All of these organizations add to a company's credibility.
The best gold dealerships will work to educate their customers. Ideally, you should learn enough to make whatever decision is best for you. So to this end, many companies have free databases of resources available. They have written articles, penned blog posts, recorded podcasts, made videos, and even put together eBooks with information.
If you're not a big fan of reading, the best companies will also be happy to answer your questions over the phone. You might need to get price quotes over the phone as well, particularly for the more exclusive investment companies. All three of our top choices require you to call for price quotes due to the fluctuation of the market.
Our Top Picks
We've made it our mission to find the best gold dealerships for your needs. After comparing dozens of options, these are our top three selections. All three specialize in gold IRAs, though they also allow cash purchases for personal portfolios. All three also meet all of our criteria for a good company with flying colors.
Goldco is our number one choice in the industry, especially if you're looking for a gold IRA. In fact, the majority of Goldco's business model is centered around IRAs. Every account representative is an expert in the paperwork and other needs regarding IRA investments. You'll be given a dedicated partner to walk you through everything and handle all of the third party communication on your behalf.
Goldco also has some of the most reasonable pricing in the industry. Their setup fee for an IRA is just $50, while annual fees for storage and custodianship cost $180 in total. If you invest enough, they may be willing to waive the entire first year of fees. You can talk to your representative about the requirements for this.
They do recommend that you have a minimum of $15,000 to $25,000 to get started. That's not the most expensive in the industry, but it might be out of some people's price ranges. The minimum investment for a cash purchase is lower than that of an IRA purchase.
Augusta Precious Metals is another excellent company that competes neck-and-neck with Goldco. Their customer service is just as good as Goldco's. Like with Goldco, you get one dedicated account representative. There are several different specialized departments within Augusta, so if you have complex questions, your rep can connect you to someone with the answers.
However, Augusta's entry pricing can be daunting. You need to have at least $50,000 ready to invest in gold. Like with Goldco, they may be willing to waive certain fees if you make a larger investment. Their setup fees also mirror Goldco's, at $50 for the paperwork and $180 for the annual maintenance.
One place that Augusta shines is in educational materials. Their website has an entire library full of articles, blog posts, videos, and other information. You can have a free starter kit emailed to you with an eBook about the precious metals industry. There are even one-on-one webinars available for free to potential clients. All you have to do is sign up for the emails and schedule one when you get an alert.
If you can afford Augusta's entry fee, you'll find reasonably priced products and great service. There have been zero complaints against the company with the BBB, and there are hundreds of positive online reviews. You will be entitled to a lifetime of customer service, which includes account updates, market updates, and important economic analysis emailed right to you.
American Hartford Gold is our third top pick for the precious metals industry. They operate a little differently from the majority of their competitors. You might even have seen their advertisements running on late night television.
Like the previous two companies, American Hartford Gold mainly specializes in gold IRAs. But their inventory also has multiple coins and bars that aren't eligible for an IRA. If you do want to invest your retirement assets with them, they don't have any setup fee or minimum requirement to invest.
This means that AHG's services are open to people on a much thinner budget. If you only have a few hundred dollars to invest, they can help you get started. They may guide you toward silver rather than gold, depending on the pricing and the amount that you want to invest.
In most cases, the lack of fees would be a red flag. But that's not the case with AHG. Their reputation is incredible, with positive reviews from all over the nation. The BBB and BCA both give them top marks. They acquire uncirculated coins in bulk, often from prior years and at a discount. This allows them to sell pure bullion at a lower markup than the competitors.
There are also certain policies that are unusual in the industry. Sometimes they run a promotion in which you can get back free silver with a qualifying purchase. Since the silver isn't part of your retirement account, you can liquefy it, hold onto it, keep it at home, or do anything else you want with it.
They also have a price match guarantee. As long as you can get the offer in writing, they will match any competitor's lower price for a coin or bar. It must be the exact same product, minted in the same year, and in the same condition. If the products are different, the price match guarantee won't apply.
The precious metals industry is filled with bad companies, from online scammers to cheap brick-and-mortar retailers. But it's possible to buy gold online without getting scammed. The key is to make sure that you're working with a reputable company, and that you know enough to double check your pricing.
Customer reputation is one of the most important aspects of any gold dealership. You can look up the experiences of past customers through third parties like Trustlink, Trustpilot, and Consumer Affairs. It's also vital to look at the analysis done by the Better Business Bureau and Business Consumer Alliance.
We've narrowed down our top three picks, each of which will work for a different type of customer. Our favorite overall is Goldco. As long as you have enough for the minimum investment, Goldco is an excellent company that's unlikely to steer you wrong. They've been around since 2006 and have the IRA setup process down to a science.
Augusta Precious Metals is another great pick if you have at least $50,000 to spend. Not only will they help you set up an IRA, but they'll also give you account updates and ongoing service. That includes financial analysis and economic warnings from an analyst who trained at Harvard. Augusta's dedicated customer service team takes care of every customer, performing so well that there are no complaints whatsoever with the BBB.
American Hartford Gold sometimes has a more limited inventory when it comes to IRAs. But they also have a good number of non-IRA investment coins available for cash purchase. They frequently run promotions like waived fees and free silver, and they have a price match guarantee. Since they have no minimum investment, we recommend them for anybody who can't meet Goldco's $25,000 minimum.