What is a “self-directed” IRA?

The term “self-directed” simply means that you, the individual, has complete control over selecting and directing your individual retirement account investments. You are empowered to make all of the decisions regarding your investments within the self-directed IRA.

Self-directed IRAs offer a multitude of alternative investments for retirement savings such as precious metals IRAs, real estate, horses, oil and gas LPs, private mortgages, private company stock, and intellectual property.

There are four parties involved with a precious metals IRA.  These four parties are you, the precious metals dealer, the IRA custodian/administrator and the precious metals depository.

What criteria is used for precious metals IRA products?

All products involved with precious metals IRAs must meet minimum fineness requirements as set by the IRS.  Please note that the Gold American Eagle is the only exception.

  • Gold: .995 fine
  • Silver: .999 fine
  • Platinum: .9995 fine
  • Palladium: .9995 fine

Any products falling outside of these ranges, excluding American Gold Eagles, are not approved for precious metals IRAs. A few examples of non-approved precious metals products include Krugerrands, 90% silver and any collectible, graded or certified coins.  Click here for a complete list of IRA approved precious metals.

Is there a minimum amount required to open a precious metals IRA?

We are one of the few national dealers that has no minimum requirement for our precious metals IRA.  That being said, we recommend that you allow us to help you assess the start-up costs and annual custodian fees in order to determine what minimum investment will profitably offset the custodian fee structure. We’ll make sure that you get the best precious metals IRA that meets your needs.

Can I add or contribute coins or bullion that I already own to my precious metals IRA?

No. Except in the case of transfers or rollovers all contributions must be made in cash.  The physical precious metals that you select for your precious metals IRA will be shipped directly to the depository and maintained there on behalf of your IRA account.

Can I transfer money from an existing IRA account to fund my Precious Metal IRA, and if I do so, will I incur any tax penalty?

Yes. If you have an existing IRA or 401(k), the simplest way to set up a new Precious Metal IRA is via a metal (i.e. gold IRA) transfer. You would simply transfer the amount you want to invest in the new IRA.  There will not be any tax penalties for a transfer.  The IRA custodian is an expert in transfers and will assist you in facilitating this process.

What types of IRAs are eligible to transfer or roll over?

All IRAs, including Traditional, Roth, SEP, SIMPLE and Solo are eligible for direct rollover.  Please inquire with your IRA custodian for specific plan details or any plan limitations.

Can I open a new IRA with a contribution?

Yes, you can open a new IRA with a contribution.  Your annual contribution limit will remain the same.

Who holds the precious metals?

You will select an IRS approved precious metals custodian that will manage your physical precious metals at a designated depository in Delaware, Canada or Grand Cayman.  You will also select which of the three approved depositories you would like your precious metals stored at.  At your direction, an IRS-approved precious metals custodian manages your physical precious metals.  The custodian will provide you with consistent reporting on your precious metals IRA and earnings.

Precious Metals ETFs vs. Precious Metals IRAs

A precious metals ETF is best suited for investors and traders that desire to move in and out of markets quickly.  ETFs are a paper instrument with counterparty risks, and do not allow you to take physical possession of your gold and silver.  On the other hand, owning physical precious metals is better suited to individuals that want to buy gold and silver and hold it longer term.  If you own the physical precious metals within your self-directed IRA,  you always have the option of taking physical possession of the actual gold and silver.