Can You Invest in Gold in an IRA?

Add precious metals to your retirement account isn’t always easy, and if you encounter high-pressure sales tactics or unsatisfactory returns it might be wiser to explore other avenues.

Physical precious metal investments offer diversification benefits and protection from inflation, yet incur fees like storage and custodian costs.


Before investing, it is crucial that you understand the taxes associated with gold IRA investments. The IRS has strict rules governing which investments qualify as tax deductible and their effects on profit or loss in an IRA gold account.

Investment of physical gold through an IRA typically requires using a custodian company that will purchase metal on your behalf and store it at an IRS-approved depository. Such companies charge annual management fees as well as storage fees on any physical bullion you own.

Gold can also be purchased non-physically through an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), such as investing in gold-focused mutual funds and ETFs that hold bullion or gold mining stocks. When withdrawing your investments from an IRA, however, taxes and penalties could apply depending on its type and your age – it is wise to consult a financial advisor prior to making decisions regarding your IRA investments.


A gold IRA allows you to hold physical precious metals such as silver and platinum as alternative investments that could increase in value over time, but may also fluctuate with market fluctuations and potentially lose value over time.

Physical gold IRAs usually incur various fees, including annual custodian fees, storage and insurance fees and shipping charges for precious metal purchases and transfers. Furthermore, some buyback programs charge a spread – the difference between what they paid to purchase your precious metals from you and their subsequent selling back prices for you to reclaim them back from them.

An alternative form of gold IRA investing, one that utilizes financial instruments related to gold such as mutual funds, ETFs or mining companies may be less costly; however, many investors seek its protection during uncertain economic conditions and its return may be lower compared with that of a traditional or Roth IRA.


Gold and other precious metals can provide retirement portfolios with valuable diversification benefits, but it’s important to remember that these assets may not always perform as well in the long term compared to stocks or bonds. They also carry higher fees than traditional IRAs and require more storage costs.

Investors need a custodian in order to purchase precious metals and have them stored safely. Custodians generally charge annual storage fees that vary, in accordance with IRS regulations on how IRA-eligible precious metals should be stored safely within an institution.

Investors should keep in mind that precious metal IRAs are less liquid than traditional IRAs, meaning if funds need to be accessed prior to meeting RMDs they could incur substantial penalty fees. Therefore, it’s crucial for them to consult a knowledgeable financial professional during this process and stay abreast of changes to tax laws and IRA regulations regularly.


The IRS mandates that precious metals held in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) be stored with an approved depository to avoid stashing the metal at home in safe deposit boxes, closets or other storage locations. According to Brett Gottlieb of Comprehensive Advisor in Carlsbad, California, this requirement makes it more challenging for investors who wish to use their IRA funds to acquire physical gold through investments held within an IRA.

He notes that an IRA custodian will charge storage and insurance fees to house and insure physical precious metals, which can add up over time, especially if kept offsite in an offsite facility. These costs are generally comparable with what’s charged by custodians for other investments such as stocks or mutual funds.

Additionally, an establishment fee may apply when creating an IRA account with precious metals. This cost varies by institution: some offer combined storage facilities while others may offer segregated and allocated spaces.

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