A precious metals IRA is a type of self-directed IRA that shares many similarities with a standard employer-provided IRA, but instead of holding paper assets like stocks and bonds, it holds tangible precious metals in the form of bars and coins. As it is self-directed, you have control over what is in it and how you use it, as long as you adhere to IRS regulations. This sets it apart from assets such as money market accounts, which are managed by account managers who charge management fees.

The IRS limits the types of precious metals you can hold in an IRA. Here are the four types of metals allowed and examples of items that meet IRS regulations.

Collectible or rare coins are not allowed by the IRS to be held in an IRA, and some popular currencies, such as the French 20 Franc and Mexican 50 Peso, do not meet government regulations.

It's also essential to note that precious metals can only be acquired through an IRA, and existing coins or metals can't be used to fund an IRA. Additionally, bars and rounds must be produced by an accredited or certified manufacturer or a national government mint.

Furthermore, after purchasing precious metals in an IRA, they must be kept at an approved depository. If they are stored in your home or personal storage, you will not be eligible for IRA tax benefits.

Precious metals can only be acquired through an IRA, and existing coins or metals can't be used to fund an IRA.

You enjoy the same tax-deferred status as a traditional IRA.

A precious metals IRA offers more than just holding gold and silver, as you have the flexibility to choose from a range of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars. This not only diversifies your retirement portfolio to safeguard against fluctuations in the stock market and the value of the US dollar but also provides diversity across various precious metals.

Self-directed IRA means that you have control over what qualified investments are in your account and are free to make changes within your account without being subject to taxes on the sale.

With a gold IRA, a custodian stores the precious metals in a depository for you, or you can choose to store them yourself, although it is a riskier option. However, if you go for an ETF, you'll receive a paper indicating your interest in gold. Operating expenses for ETFs are typically high, increasing the cost of ownership, even when the price of gold declines.

The real question here is, “Will your individual retirement account be safe without gold?” ‘Because gold prices generally move in the opposite direction of paper assets, adding a gold IRA to a retirement portfolio provides an insurance policy against inflation. This balanced approach smooths out risk, especially over the long term, which makes it a smart choice for retirement investments like IRAs,’ explains former U.S. Mint director Edmund C. Moy.

Yes, and annual contributions can be made up to the approved IRS limits. For 2023, total contributions to a precious metals IRA cannot be more than $6,500 ($7,500 if you’re age 50 or older.)

Most retirement plans can be converted into a precious metals IRA. Some employer offered retirement plans cannot be. A precious metals advisor can help you determine the eligibility of your account.

Converting your current retirement plan to a precious metals IRA is a quick and straightforward process. Your precious metals advisor and IRA liaison will provide the required paperwork and assist you at every stage of the process, typically taking between 1 and 3 weeks to complete.