The last few years have seen extreme volatility in some markets. House prices during the pandemic soared to record levels. 30-year fixed mortgage rates went from record lows in 2020 to over 7% by the end of 2022.
The stock market has shown wild swings in share values. And last year, the stock market was described as a rollercoaster. Planning for the future, and making investments is tricky when there is this much uncertainty.
However, one commodity has traditionally been able to cope with high inflation. Gold is often seen as a safe choice. And individual retirement accounts can hold gold if they are self-directed.
This brief article aims to look at five of the top gold IRA companies, and why precious metals might be the best choice for retirement funding.
Why is the economic outlook so uncertain?
Since the arrival of Covid, there has been financial uncertainty in all walks of life. Many businesses had to shut down during the pandemic, with many never recovering. Unemployment soared, and the economy suffered.
$4 trillion was allocated by the government to help bail companies out in 2020. Despite free-flowing loans and grants, the economy didn’t recover. Now, after several Fed rate hikes, inflation remains high and people are struggling to cope.
Factors affecting the economy include:
- World events including conflicts
- Trade conflicts
- High interest and mortgage rates
- Cost of living
- Unstable stock market
- Fed rate hikes
While high-interest rates and the cost of living are symptoms of deeper causes, there are three main reasons why there is economic uncertainty. As previously mentioned, the pandemic affected the whole world and caused untold financial damage.
Secondly, there have been tensions between the US and China with trade. And the invasion of Ukraine has also affected economic growth and caused instability. One McKinsey report cites geopolitical conflict as the biggest risk to economic recovery and growth.
Why choose gold for an IRA asset?
Precious metals are often able to resist other forces. If the dollar drops, gold becomes pricier as a result. Gold is a hedge against inflation. And gold is low-risk.
IRAs are designed to help people plan for retirement. Therefore, gold makes an excellent choice. Gold isn’t usually seen as a way to see a quick profit or return. Precious metals are generally better for long-term investments, such as IRAs.
While some investments suffer from volatility such as crypto and stocks, gold is more stable. Any drop in value will be recovered in the long-term usually, and the price tends to continue on an upward trend.
How do you choose the best gold IRA companies?
There are personal considerations when choosing the right gold IRA company. Selecting the right gold IRA company could mean a fruitful and long relationship. Selecting the wrong one might prove disheartening for a newcomer if the process isn’t clear.
Consider your requirements. If you are a beginner then look for good customer service and educational resources. Are you just testing the water? Then find a gold IRA company with no minimum initial investment.
The IMF predicts that the global economy will slow further. Gold should be able to withstand external forces, and may even rise in value – more on that below. However, you must choose the best IRA gold company for your purposes.
What five gold IRA companies stand out in 2023?
There are certain rules surrounding gold IRAs. The gold itself must meet set levels of fineness. To be eligible for an IRA, gold must be 99.5% pure. There are different standards for other precious metals.
Also, the gold must be stored in a depository. This secure storage facility must be approved by the IRS. And a custodian must be appointed to facilitate buying and storing the gold. Due to IRS rules, the holder of the IRA will not physically be in possession of the gold.
So, when choosing a gold IRA company, things to look out for are as follows:
You will be reliant on your custodian to advise with tax matters, purchases, and transferring the gold to a depository. They must understand IRS regulations and be trustworthy.
Right now, many people are wondering where to put money during inflation surges. Although there are plenty of other options, these five gold IRA companies (in no particular order) have different aspects to recommend.
1 American Hartford Gold
A family-owned company that lets investors purchase gold, silver, and platinum. There are no fees for setting up a self-directed IRA or for rolling over a retirement fund. For beginners, the process is made easy by representatives guiding them through the setup stage.
American Hartford requires a minimum deposit of $5,000 to start the account. But, compared to other gold IRA companies this is low. Prices quoted for gold run high compared to the market.
- Buyback commitment
- Multiple channels of communication
- Free shipping
- High gold spread
2 Birch Gold Group
Birch Gold has been around longer than most other precious metal IRA firms. Its customer service has been found to be helpful and informative. And its website has resources and educational material. A minimum deposit of $10,000 is required.
- Good customer service
- All precious metals available
- Low fees
- High gold spread
- No buyback guarantee
Goldco is a very popular choice for IRA holders. The company is A+ rated by BBB and offers the best buyback guarantee. There are also promotions on silver and a low start-up fee of $50. However, there is a minimum deposit of $25,000 which may put off beginners.
There are many positives to gold investment during economic uncertainty. A company highly rated by BBB and Trustpilot will be a good choice. But, the minimum deposit may deter some.
- Highest buyback guarantee
- Highly rated
- High minimum deposit
4 iTrust Capital
iTrust made the list due to a low minimum deposit, and the ability to invest crypto as well as precious metals. There is just a $1,000 minimum deposit and a 1% fee on trades. The platform is easy to use, and customer service has good reviews.
- Tax advantages on crypto
- Low minimum deposit
- Good customer service
- Small choice of crypto
- Fees for trades – although they are low
5 American Bullion
Perhaps the lowest gold spread, or price for gold available. There are zero charges for the first year for storage or custodian fees. There is no minimum deposit, and there is no minimum initial purchase price.
Although American Bullion is positioned at number 5, it might actually be the best choice for beginners and small investors.
- First years fees waived for storage and custodian services
- No minimum deposit
- No minimum initial purchase
- Few channels for communication
- Rated A on BBB (not A+)
What is the outlook for gold in 2023?
Gold has been moving mostly sideways in recent years. Some people will be urging caution: will the price of gold crash in 2023? Yet, this could be the year when gold sees quite a jump in value.
Many asset managers and market experts are looking at gold to break records this year. Some analysts are predicting gold to reach $2,500 to $4,000 per ounce. If a recession happens, then gold could soar in value. But, in the long-term, gold generally sees its value rise.
There are too many gold IRA companies to mention here. And some will have lower fees and better services than the ones listed here. But, often different gold IRAs appeal because of one particular point.
In the case of American Bullion, the company appeals to smaller investors who don’t want to pay huge minimum deposits. With iTrust Capital it is the ability to mix crypto and gold purchases.
Before investing in any IRA, financial advice should be sought out. In an uncertain economic climate, investment needs to be done wisely.