Can You Own Physical Gold in an IRA?

Investors may choose to invest in physical gold through an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Gold IRAs must be created with an IRS-approved custodian and stored at an approved depository.

Precious metals in an IRA can grow tax-deferred until you make qualifying withdrawals; however, there may be potential downsides that you should keep in mind.


Holding physical gold in an IRA is legal, but comes with its own set of hurdles to navigate. First, investors need to select a custodian who specializes in Gold IRAs and has received IRS approval, then there will be fees associated with purchasing and storing the metal.

Gold IRA companies usually buy metal from you and transport it directly to their depository for safekeeping, usually subject to a flat fee or percentage of value charge.

IRS rules mandate that gold IRAs only include coins and bars meeting specified purity standards, while collectibles are generally prohibited from their holding. Gold is an ideal long-term investment as a hedge against inflation while also increasing wealth and diversifying your portfolio – however it’s advisable to consult a financial advisor first when making investment decisions in order to select an IRA suitable to your retirement goals.


Gold and other precious metals offer distinct benefits for an IRA account, including inflation protection and wealth accumulation. Furthermore, they do not correlate with stock markets – helping reduce portfolio risk in turn.

To invest in physical gold, investors will require finding a reputable IRA provider with self-directed accounts that allow alternative investments like precious metals instead of only stocks and bonds in their traditional retirement accounts.

These companies will assist you with finding a dealer, purchasing metals from them and shipping them off to a depository, but also charge fees beyond what a regular IRA would entail, such as annual custodian fees and storage charges. When selecting a dealer, Mike Fuljenz of Universal Coin & Bullion suggests checking their longevity, BBB rating and membership of industry organizations before making your selection decision; any deals that seem too good to be true should usually be avoided as these may prove scammy in reality.


Gold can be an ideal addition to your retirement account, but its cost can be significant. One-time fees and annual custodian and storage fees must also be factored into your investment decisions. When choosing your custodian, customer feedback on platforms like YouTube, Google My Business, Trustpilot and Reddit may help make the best choice possible.

Your metals must also be securely stored. According to IRS rules, keeping an IRA-eligible precious metals trove in your home or safe deposit box could trigger steep penalties; instead, your IRA custodian will arrange to have them transported directly to an approved depository.

As part of closing an IRA that holds physical gold, you’ll need to sell the metals back at wholesale prices – this could cost more than expected if gold prices have increased significantly, so it is essential that these costs be considered prior to opening a gold IRA.


Gold IRAs offer investors an effective way to diversify their portfolio and protect themselves against inflation, but they do come at a cost. Investors should thoroughly research precious metal dealers, custodians and depository fees before investing in such an account; long term fees could add up quickly.

Gold IRAs are subject to the same annual contribution limits and early withdrawal penalties as traditional pretax IRAs, Roth IRAs and SEP-IRAs; early withdrawals incur an additional 10% penalty.

Investors should also be wary of sales tactics employed by Gold IRA companies. High pressure sales tactics or directives such as “You must take action now” should be seen as red flags. When selecting your dealer, do your homework and select an established dealer with an impeccable track record so that you can make an informed decision as to whether a Gold IRA suits your needs.

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