Can I Buy Physical Gold in a Self-Directed IRA?

Physical gold investments provide greater control of your portfolio while diversifying and protecting against inflation.

But investors in self-directed gold IRAs should be wary of fees associated with purchasing, storing and selling precious metals.

How to Buy Physical Gold

Self-directed IRAs (individual retirement accounts) enable investors to invest in alternative assets like physical gold or other precious metals. You can open one through an institution specializing in such investments or simply by adding your current retirement account as one of many self-directed gold IRAs.

Once your IRA funds are in place, you can use them to buy gold bullion or coins through a dealer approved by the IRS. Your custodian will arrange delivery of your precious metals to a depository that specializes in keeping these types of assets safely secure.

As with any IRA, self-directed gold IRAs incur fees associated with their setup and management. Common fees include one-time setup charges and custodian fees; in addition to storage fees – segregated or allocated storage may provide more convenience if you need access quickly to your precious metals.


While gold IRA companies can handle both investments and paperwork for you, you may prefer working with an experienced precious metals IRA specialist who will handle everything for you – saving both time, energy, and stress in the process. Their knowledge will ensure that you purchase physical assets based on IRS regulations and your parameters.

Tax considerations surrounding precious metal IRAs must be taken seriously; all distributions at retirement age and any withdrawals prior may incur ordinary income tax as well as potentially an early withdrawal penalty of 10%.

IRS-approved bullion coins and bars must meet certain purity standards; rare or collectible coins cannot be stored at home or stashed under your mattress as these metals must meet IRS guidelines for purchasing precious metals.


Gold has become an invaluable part of many retirement portfolios. It serves as an effective hedge against inflation while simultaneously increasing wealth and diversifying an account.

Some investors prefer physical precious metals over paper investments like IRA-eligible ETFs or gold mining stocks due to market fluctuations that could cause their value to fluctuate significantly. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that your investments could fluctuate due to market changes.

If you want to purchase physical gold with your self-directed IRA, make sure that you partner with a reliable metals dealer that offers eligible coins and bars that adhere to IRS purity regulations, while offering secure storage solutions for your investment.

A company should also be capable of helping you move from your current retirement account into an IRA with ease, by coordinating a direct institution-to-institution transfer that minimizes any chances of missing distribution deadlines and incurring 10% penalties. They should also verify whether metals meet IRS rules before providing you with a list of IRA-eligible coins and bars.


As a precious metals investor, you must decide how your metals are stored. Storage is an integral component of your investment; according to IRS rules, physical gold must be kept in an approved depository until retirement age.

Custodians purchase precious metals on your behalf and have them sent directly to an IRS-approved depository, where you’ll keep safe custody. When choosing a provider, select one with segregated storage protocols so your investments won’t become co-mingled with those of other investors.

While IRA-approved dealers have established relationships with many of the top gold IRA providers, you are encouraged to conduct your own research to find one that suits both your needs and budget. Some dealers may provide better prices or services such as free shipping; it is also wise to consider their track record as newcomers tend to come and go quickly in an industry.

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