The Definition and Benefits of a Self Directed 401k

Most people are at least somewhat familiar with what a 401k plan is and how it works. These employer sponsored retirement savings accounts allow individuals to save money for the future, typically using pre-tax deposits and tax-deferred gains.

Yet, one of the biggest drawbacks to investing in a 401k plan is the limited options that are available for investment. For example, in most cases, participants are only able to put their funds into a pre-selected group of mutual funds and certain other equities – oftentimes inclusive of the employer’s stock (if applicable). But when it comes to more tangible assets such as real estate or gold, most 401k enrollees are out of luck.

What is a Self Directed 401k?

While physical types of investments are not allowed to be held in a regular 401k plan, what many investors don’t realize is that there is a way to include such items in an account known as a self directed 401k.

Technically, a self directed 401k plan is not really much different than any other type of 401k in terms the account structure. However, the big difference is that the investor is allowed to direct the investments in the plan. This means that many of the more “non-traditional” financial vehicles may be included in the investor’s account. These assets can include:

  • Real Estate – Both residential and commercial
  • Gold
  • Mortgages and trust deeds
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
  • Receivables
  • Currency
  • Options
  • Futures

In addition, the other traditional financial vehicles such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds can also be included in the self directed 401k plan account.

Benefits of Self Directed Accounts

There are a number of benefits to investing using self directed accounts – starting with the vast array of investment choices that are available. In addition, just as with other types of 401k accounts, investors can reap the benefits of tax-deferred growth of the assets that are inside of the account. This means that taxes are not due until the assets are actually withdrawn at retirement.

Another nice benefit to self directed 401k accounts is that investors may be able to roll assets over from other 401k plans. This can help to boost the overall value of the account, while holding all qualifying investments in one convenient place.

Also, by directly rolling over the assets from one 401k plan to another, the investor will not be liable for any taxes or penalties that would otherwise be imposed if they took actual receipt of their funds.

Where to Obtain Additional Information

Unfortunately, many who are in the traditional investment community do not realize that these types of accounts exist – and those who do, typically cannot offer self directed 401k accounts. This is why there is so little information available about such accounts today.

Therefore, in order to obtain good solid information about how self directed 401k plans work, as well as the necessary details on how to open an account, it is best to go to an expert in this particular financial arena.

Having a self directed 401k can allow investors to create wealth for the future while at the same time using their knowledge of investing in assets other than just basic stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. By having such control, investors can potentially create a great deal more in asset value, without having to be subjected to the constant ups and downs of the stock market.

A Brief Introduction into Gold IRA Accounts

In today’s still-struggling economy, many investors are searching for financial options that can help them to obtain growth, while at the same time reducing their exposure to market related risk. One financial vehicle that has proven to produce long-term growth, along with a nice hedge against inflation, is gold.

While investing in gold and other precious metals can offer some nice perks, it can be even more beneficial when combined with the tax related benefits of IRA (Individual Retirement Account) investing. Unfortunately, however, not just any IRA account is allowed to possess physical gold.

What is a Self Directed IRA?

A self directed IRA account is one in which the investor has much more control over which investments will be placed into the account. Unlike more traditional types of IRAs where participants can typically only use financial vehicles like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, a self directed IRA option opens the door to a substantial variety of many types of investments – including gold and other qualifying precious metals.

What Types of Investments Can Be Placed In a Gold IRA Account?

Although not all types and forms of gold are allowed, there are still several options to choose from when it comes to what may be invested inside of a precious metals or gold IRA account. These include specific gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion that has been approved by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). There are also specific types of gold and silver coins allowed. In addition, in order to qualify for inclusion, bullion and coins must also reach a certain level of certifiable purity.

It is important that investors understand that investments held inside of a gold IRA – or any self directed IRA account – are not allowed to be employed for personal use. This means that investors who purchase gold are required to have those assets stored in a qualifying storage facility. This can also be beneficial in that storing such items of value can be better protected from potential theft or damage.

How to Open a Gold IRA Account

Opening a self directed IRA account in which an investor may place gold and other similar investments is fairly easy. Most of the online gold and precious metals dealers in this market will make available the necessary application paperwork directly on their websites. This can get the process going.

Once the account has been opened, the investor can fund it with assets that are rolled over from an existing IRA or 401k account, and/or with cash through which gold and other IRA assets may be purchased.

Similar to with other types of IRA accounts, there is an annual limit on the amount of money that may be deposited each year. With this in mind, it is important that investors be aware of these maximum annual contributions so that they do not incur IRS penalties for overfunding their account.

In most cases, metals dealers that offer gold and precious metals IRAs will generally have customer service representatives available to help in answering any questions or concerns an investor may have regarding getting an account set up, funding the account, rolling over an existing account, and what is and is not allowed in terms of qualifying gold and metals investments.

When doing any type of self directed IRA investing, it is always best to work with a company that is an expert in this particular field. Regal Assets, for example, is an Official Gold IRA Company. It has also received high accolades from TrustLink, the Better Business Bureau, and other reputable industry ratings agencies. This can help to ensure investors that they are dealing with a professional and ethical gold IRA investment partner.

Self Directed IRAs and Self Directed Gold Coins

One of the most popular vehicles through which to invest for retirement is the Individual Retirement Account, or IRA. Ever since IRAs became available back in the mid-1970s, many investors have faithfully contributed to their accounts year after year, with the thought that their funds were being invested in a well diversified manner in various different stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

Unfortunately, what many do not realize is that there is a way to also include other more tangible assets within an IRA account as well. These assets may include:

While such assets may not be included inside of a regular IRA account, those who possess a self directed IRA may invest in these options – and so many more.

How Self Directed IRAs Are Different

By definition, an IRA is a type of retirement account that is established by individuals who earn a salary, wage, or self-employment income. The traditional type of IRA account may be set up through a bank, an insurance company, or certain other brokerages and financial institutions.

The deposits that go into an IRA may be tax deductible, and the earnings inside of the account are allowed to grow on a tax-deferred basis. This means that the funds will not be liable for taxation until they are actually withdrawn. It also means that investors can generate a nice amount of return within an IRA account and not have that profit chipped away by taxes as the funds inside of the account grow.

While the majority of IRA administrators allow only approved investments such as stocks, mutual funds, and bonds inside of the IRA account, a different type of IRA known as a self directed IRA will allow the investor to greatly expand their choice of investment offerings.

How Gold Coins Fit Into the Self Directed IRA Picture

When investing through a self directed IRA account, one of the most popular financial vehicles that is placed inside of the account is gold – and in particular, gold coins. There is a good reason for this.

Overall, the value of gold has risen tremendously over the years. In addition, not only is this financial vehicle able to produce a nice amount of long-term growth, but it has also traditionally been used as a hedge against inflation – all without being exposed to the type of risk that investors are subject to in the stock market.

Having gold coins in a self directed IRA account can also be convenient, as these investments can now easily be purchased through the many online gold dealers that can be found on the Internet today.

It is important to note, however, that gold coins – or any other type of tangible asset that is held in self directed IRAs – is not allowed to be physically held by the investor. Rather, investors are required to store these assets in a qualified storage facility. Not only will this comply with IRS (Internal Revenue Service) rules regarding these types of IRA accounts, but it will also help in keeping the coins from potential damage or theft.

Contrary to what many people believe, the IRS does not place a great deal of restriction on the types of assets that may be included inside of IRA accounts. By working with a company such as Regal Assets that has expertise in the self directed IRA arena, investors can greatly expand their choice of IRA investments – as well as their potential for profit.

Best Self Directed Gold IRA Providers

Today, many investors have become somewhat leery about placing all of their retirement funds into traditional market vehicles such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. This is especially the case with IRA (Individual Retirement Account) and 401k assets, as it is these funds that investors are counting on to provide them with a secure retirement income down the road.

The biggest fear of today’s retirees, as well as those who are approaching retirement, is that of outliving their assets. Likewise, as many people will live for 20, 30, or even more years in retirement, it is essential that investors today have good solid options for growing and protecting their wealth over time.

Why Self Directed IRAs are Different

While many people faithfully invest in IRA accounts on a regular basis, typically these investors are stuck using traditional options such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Unfortunately, these financial vehicles do not often perform as expected – especially in times of extreme market volatility.

There is, however, a little-known way for IRA investors to place their funds into other “non-traditional” IRA investments such as real estate and precious metals – all while still obtaining the nice tax advantages that Individual Retirement Account investing can offer.

A self directed IRA account is a type of retirement savings vehicle where the individual investor has much more control over what assets are purchased and placed inside of the account. The choices are many, including:

  • Gold and certain other precious metals
  • Real estate – both commercial and residential
  • Receivables
  • Options
  • Futures
  • Mortgages and deeds
  • Currency
  • Commercial paper

In addition to these, investors are also still able to allocate their self directed IRA funds to the more traditional market related investments as well.

The Best Self Directed Providers for Gold Investors

As self directed IRA accounts are becoming somewhat more mainstream today, a number of companies are now available to assist investors with both setting up and funding their accounts.

One of the best self directed IRA providers in the marketplace is Regal Assets – especially if investors wish to focus on gold and other qualified precious metals. This metals dealer provides professional advice on how to set up a long-term tax-deferred retirement plan that is specifically suited to each individual investor that it works with.

The application and other necessary paperwork for initial establishment of a self directed IRA is included directly on the company’s website. This makes the process easy and convenient. The firm also has customer service representatives who are available via email, toll-free telephone line, and live online chat for those who need help with a question or concern.

When funding a self directed IRA account, investors have several choices. These include rolling over funds from an existing IRA or 401k account, or making a deposit of cash and then purchasing the desired investment vehicles.

Due in large part to its substantial metals inventory, as well as its top–notch customer service, Regal Assets has received excellent ratings from several of the business rating agencies. These include an A+ from the (BBB), and a 5-star customer satisfaction rating from .

The Bottom Line

When making a decision on where to invest long-term funds for retirement, it is essential to work with a company that is an expert in the field. For those investors who are seeking a better alternative to the stale bond and equity investments offered in most traditional types of IRAs, taking a look at a self directed option could provide the ideal answer to long-term growth appreciation, as well as many tax advantages.

Gold Bars For Sale

Today’s savvy investor is likely familiar with how – and how much – to invest in an Individual Retirement Account, or IRA. These tax-advantaged retirement savings vehicles have become quite popular over the years, and in some cases, they include the only money that an individual may have set aside for the future.

Typically, IRA investors will fund their account and then go about diversifying the assets within the account in order to meet their specific investment goals. The majority of individuals attempt to accomplish this through traditional equity related vehicles such as stocks and mutual funds. Unfortunately, these investment choices have oftentimes proven not to be enough.

More Asset Variety with a Self Directed IRA

A choice that most investors are not even aware that they have is that of a self directed IRA. Technically, a self directed Individual Retirement Account is set up in a very similar fashion to a regular IRA account – except for the fact that these types of accounts open the door to a substantially larger choice of investment options.

Just some of the assets that are allowed to be placed inside of a self directed IRA account include:

  • Residential real estate
  • Commercial real estate
  • Deeds and mortgages
  • Private notes
  • Receivables
  • Currency
  • Futures
  • Options
  • Commercial paper

One of the most popular investment choices, however, is gold and other precious metals. By including gold in an IRA account, investors will not only obtain benefits such as tax-deferred growth, but also the growth potential and inflation hedging power that investing in gold can offer.

 

IRA Allowable Gold Bars for Sale

Per IRS (Internal Revenue Service) rules, there are only certain types of allowable gold bars and coins that may be used for investment within a self directed IRA account. Therefore, it is important that investors work with a financial company that can walk them through the proper way to invest in order to avoid penalty.

Metals dealers such as Regal Assets can assist investors in completing all of the necessary paperwork and other requirements for setting up a self directed gold IRA account. Once the account is open, the investor can move forward with funding it.

One way to fund an account is to roll over funds from an existing Individual Retirement Account. Likewise, an investor may also opt to make a cash deposit into the account, and then choose the gold and other precious metals investments that will move them towards their financial goals.

When choosing various self directed IRA assets such as gold bars, the IRS requires that these items must meet a minimum amount of “fineness.” This requirement for the different types of precious metals is:

  • Gold – .995 or higher
  • Silver – .999 or higher
  • Platinum – .9995 or higher
  • Palladium – .9995 or higher

Likewise, the IRS also allows only certain types of gold coins to be included inside of a self directed IRA account as well. These include American Eagle coins, the Canadian Maple Leaf, the Austrian Philharmonic, the Australian Kangaroo / Nugget coins, and U.S. Buffalo uncirculated gold coins.

Taking the Next Step

When an investor is ready to take the next step towards having more control over the assets that are placed inside of their retirement account, a self directed IRA may very well be the answer.

Prior to choosing a financial company through which to open an account, it is important to research as much information as possible about the intended institution, as well as to find and read both industry and customer reviews. This will help in determining the professional and the ethical standards of the gold IRA investment company.

Buying Gold Coins and Bullion Online

Due to the extreme volatility of the stock market – especially over the past several years – many investors are seeking a better way to achieve safety of principal along with a way to still obtain a good return on investment. Turning to gold has proven to be quite profitable for numerous individuals.

Throughout the years, gold has always been used as a way to protect wealth, as well as to provide a hedge against inflation. In fact, during poor economic times is when gold typically performs the best.

One way that investors are going about finding and purchasing gold – and other precious metals investments – is through the many metals dealers that can now be found online. The massive growth of the Internet has helped to bring gold buyers and sellers together quickly and conveniently so that finding just the right investment or collectible can be done in a fraction of the time that it used to take.

Today, with buying gold coins and bullion online, it is important to ensure that the company offering these items is a reputable and ethical dealer. In order to help determine the quality of the products, as well as the professionalism of the dealer’s customer service, it is also wise to do an ample amount of research and to read any of the testimonials and reviews that can be found about these entities.

Determining the Value of Gold

In determining the value of gold, it is first important to understand the basics of economic supply and demand. In the case of gold, a metal is deemed to be “precious” if it is considered rare. Additionally, the status of a precious metal such as gold can also be determined if the metal has a high market value – or is in great demand.

With the ease of finding information on the Internet today, determining the value of gold can typically only take minutes. For example, if an individual is seeking out the value of a 10 gram gold bullion bar, he or she would simply need to type in this item name and the market price will be shown (provided that they do so during market trading hours).

Gold Bullion for Investment

Some of the top choices for investment in gold is in the form of bullion and coins. Precious metals that are offered in bulk form are referred to as bullion. Therefore, the defining attribute of a metal in this particular form is that it is valued by its purity and mass, as versus by a particular face value such as money.

Although not as volatile as the stock market, the value of gold does change on a regular basis. Therefore, 1 bullion gold oz or 1 gram gold bullion today will not likely be the exact same value tomorrow.

The beauty of investing in gold, however, is that this particular metal has proven its growth potential for many centuries. For this reason, investors can be assured that their purchase of gold in any form or weight will likely be a profitable endeavor as far as long-term return.

Types of Gold Coins

Bullion may be cast into other forms such as gold coins. There are numerous countries that mint bullion coins. This minting by national governments actually gives these coins what is known as a “numismatic” value. This is in addition to their bullion value, as well as their purity.

Gold coins can be found in a wide variety of sizes and denominations. When seeking specific dollar denominations, investors can typically find the 1 dollar gold coin, 2.50 gold coins, and 5 dollar gold coins just about anywhere – including on auction websites such as eBay. Larger denominations such as 20 dollar gold coins are also in high demand.

It is important to note, though, that a coin’s value can also be based on its age. For example, an 1886 five dollar gold coin will likely be worth much more than just $5 in its investment value. Some of the other popular historical coins that are sought by investors are the:

  • 1919 5 dollar gold coin – This particular gold coin has been minted since 1795. Only the last two designs of the $5 gold coin are commonly seen in public today. These include the Indian Head – minted between 1908 and 1929 – and the Liberty Head – made from 1839 to 1908.
  • 1911 gold coin – This particular coin can also be found in the Indian Head design. In addition, the 1911-D quarter eagle, half eagle, and eagle may also be found.
  • 1913 gold coins – There are a number of 1913 gold coins in the marketplace today. These may include the Saint Gaudens, the gold Indian Head, and the American Gold Buffalo.
  • 1915 gold coin – Likewise, 1915 gold coins can be found in the Indian Head, and the rare Austria gold coin. Additionally, the Liberty Head, the Corona gold coin, and the 1915 Hungarian gold coin are also popular collectible items.
  • 1933 gold coin – 1933 gold coins can include the Saint Gaudens, the American Gold Double Eagle, and the Indian Head. While 1933 coins are still popular, the value of pre-1933 gold coins derive their value from the amount of their actual gold content. (This is indicated by the changing market price of spot gold). Pre-1933 gold coins, however, can also derive an additional amount of value as coins as they survived President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1933 Executive Order that prohibited private ownership of gold. (At the time, ownership of gold was referred to as “gold hoarding.”)

Likewise, investors can also choose to shop for coins by weight such as the 1 oz gold coins or the 1 10 oz gold coin.

Proof Gold Coins

Many investors and collectors also seek out proof gold coins. These are coins that have specifically been struck for collectors, as well as for special occasions. Therefore, these coins are not meant to be in circulation as currency.

Proof is not actually a grade, but rather it is considered to be a designation for coins that have been struck. This typically occurs when such coins are created as a type of preproduction sample.

There are several different types of proof coins. For example, some of these coins are produced with a matte finish, while others possess more of a reverse proof finish. Here, the background is matte, and the raised design is polished.

When complete, these coins are generally packed into capsules, along with a nice display package. Typically, the package is also inclusive of information about the coins themselves. This can help collectors in determining exactly why – and when – the coin was created. This is especially important as proof coins are usually only produced in limited quantities – so some of these items can be quite rare.

Some of the more popular proof coins over time have included:

  • 1986 proof gold – Many collectors seek out the 1986 Gold American Eagle proof. These coins carry the “W” mint mark on them in order to denote their mintage at the West Point Mint.
  • 1995 gold proof  – The 1995 gold proof American Eagle coins are also popular with both collectors and investors. These coins mark the 10th anniversary of the 1986 version, and their rarity makes them quite valuable.

Foreign Gold Coins

In addition to the many U.S. coins that are available for investment, coins from foreign countries have also become quite popular. Some of the more common ones include the Canadian Maple Leaf and the Chinese 12 oz gold panda. In fact, the 1988 gold Panda coin sells quite well through a number of the online coin and metals dealers.

Other top foreign coins can include:

African Gold Coins

Investing in African coins has been profitable for many investors. The 1 oz gold Krugerrand has become a favorite among Africa coins. Another Africa gold coin that investors tend to seek out is the South Africa 2 Rand.

Mexican Gold Coins

Mexico produces a number of popular coins as well. This category typically includes the 50 pesos Mexican gold coin, the Mexico 20 peso gold coin, the Mexico 10 peso gold coin, and the 5 pesos gold coin.

Similar to with U.S. gold coins, investors may seek out specific historical foreign items such as the 1945 gold peso. One reason for this coin’s importance is because many years ago, Mexico was the only country in North America that issued legal tender gold coins.

Back in the 1880′s, these coins could essentially be worth hundreds of times their face value. Although today, these investable items are considered to be very affordable for collectors and investors alike. Another key feature that makes these particular coins so collectible – especially to U.S. investors – is the fact that Mexico was a wartime ally of the U.S. during World War ll.

Gold Coins Allowable in Self-Directed IRA Accounts

For those investors who own a self-directed IRA (Individual Retirement Account), the placement of gold bullion and cold coins inside of the account can offer not only the metals’ appreciation potential, but also nice tax benefits such as tax-deferred growth of the investments.

This deferral of taxes on the investments’ gain means that compounding of the gains can occur faster – essentially allowing the IRA’s portfolio value to increase exponentially over time. It is only at the time that funds are withdrawn from the IRA account that taxes will be due.

When placing gold and other precious metals inside of the Individual Retirement Account, however, investors should be aware that there are only certain types of gold and gold coins that are allowed. Per , allowable metals may include:

Gold

  • American Eagle coins
  • Australian Kangaroo Nugget coins
  • Austrian Philharmonic
  • Canadian Maple Leaf coins
  • Credit Suisse gold – PAMP Suisse gold Bars .999
  • U.S. Buffalo Gold Uncirculated coins
  • Certain other gold bars and rounds

Silver

  • American Eagle coins
  • Australian Kookaburra coins
  • Austrian Philharmonic coins
  • Canadian Maple Leaf coins
  • Mexican Libertad coins
  • Certain other silver bars and rounds

Platinum

  • American Eagle Coins
  • Australian Koala coins
  • Canadian Maple Leaf coins
  • Isle of Man Noble coins
  • Certain other platinum bars and rounds

Palladium

  • Certain palladium bars and rounds

In addition to allowing only certain types of precious metals inside of a gold IRA account, the qualifying metals must also meet certain standards when it comes to purity of the particular metal. For example, the minimum amount of fineness for precious metals bars is:

  • Gold – .995 or higher
  • Silver – .999 or higher
  • Platinum – .9995 or higher
  • Palladium – .9995 or higher

Setting Up a Gold / Precious Metals IRA Account

Investors who wish to set up a gold or precious metals IRA account can easily do so online through one of the many online metals dealers that offer them. Regal Assets, for example, offers the ability to initiate the IRA account opening directly through the company’s website. Here, forms may be downloaded and completed, and then instantly submitted back to the dealer, where the retirement account department will continue the account opening process.

Once the account has been opened, it can then be funded with a cash deposit and/or assets from another IRA account. At that time, the investor may choose from a variety of different gold and other metals assets for inclusion in the account.

It is important to note that the investor may not take physical receipt of the metals when investing in this manner. According to the IRS, metals that are included in an IRA account must be held by the account trustee. Should the investor possess the metals, he or she could be liable for a penalty.

Taking the Next Step to Investing in Gold

Whether an investor is simply seeking 1 oz gold coins or large quantities of bullion, the only way to get stared in metals investing is to take the first step. By becoming familiar with the qualify and reputable metals dealers in the marketplace today, investors can not just purchase investable metals, but also learn a great deal about metals

IRA Rollover Rules

Upon leaving a place of employment, many individuals must make a choice as to what they will do with the funds that are inside of an employer-sponsored retirement account. Typically, there are three options that are available in this situation. These choices include:

  • Leaving the funds inside of the account with the former employer
  • Cashing out the account and taking actual receipt of the account funds
  • Rolling over the funds into a personal IRA (Individual Retirement Account)

In most instances, rolling the funds into a personal IRA account will offer the most amount of control to the investor as far as what types of investments may be made and from where such investments will be purchased.

There are, however, some very specific rules that must be followed in order to qualify for a tax-free and penalty-free movement of such funds into the new IRA account. If these rules are not followed, the account owner could subject himself or herself to potential forfeiture of a large portion of their funds through taxation, penalty, or both.

What is an IRA Rollover?

An IRA rollover is defined as being a tax-free distribution of cash or other types of assets from one retirement plan to another. Therefore, the funds that are going into the new retirement plan are considered to be the “rollover contribution.”

Internal Revenue Service Rollover Guidelines

According to the there are specific IRA rollover rules that must be followed so as not to incur immediate taxation and/or a 10% IRA early withdrawal penalty. For example, if an investor takes receipt of their funds from the employer-sponsored plan – even if they have the intention of placing such funds into an IRA account – then the rollover contribution into the IRA must be made by the 60th day after the day in which the investor receives the funds from the employer’s retirement plan.

Amounts that have not been rolled over within this timeframe will be treated as a taxable distribution of funds from the employer’s plan and as such, the funds will be taxed to the investor in the year that they are distributed.

In addition, if the investor is under the age of 59 1/2, then they will also be liable for an early withdrawal penalty from the IRS. The amount of this penalty is 10% of the amount of funds that were withdrawn.

Funds that are Eligible to Be Rolled Over

If an investor wishes to move funds into a traditional IRA, they may do so from the following types of accounts:

  • A qualified employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan
  • A tax-sheltered annuity plan, such as a Section 403 plan
  • A deferred compensation plan of a state or local government such as a 457 plan
  • Another traditional IRA account

Once the funds have settled into the new IRA account, the investor will have the opportunity to choose what type of investment vehicles in which to invest their funds. Typically, options will include stocks, bonds, CDs, mutual funds, and other types of traditional investments.

Rules Pertaining to Gold IRA Accounts

In addition to a regular IRA account, investors also have the option of rolling their retirement savings funds into a self-directed IRA. With this type of account, physical assets such as gold and other qualifying metals will also be allowed as investment options.

Gold IRAs allow many of the same types of tax advantages as regular IRA accounts, such as tax-deferred growth of investments. Companies such as Regal Assets can help walk investors through the process of opening a gold IRA account, as well as rolling funds over from an employer-sponsored retirement plan or other eligible type of account.

Working with a company that has experience in this field can help to ensure investors that the IRA rollover procedure goes according to the IRS rules and regulations and will not incur any undue taxes or IRS penalties on the funds.

Introduction to a Gold IRA Rollover

Today’s volatile stock market has led many investors to seek investment alternatives other than stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. One option that has served investors well over time is gold. This precious metal can be purchased in a number of different ways, as well as via various types of accounts. One such account is a gold IRA.

How a Gold IRA Rollover Works

When gold is held in a gold IRA account, it is typically a physical product that is placed in a vault and managed by the IRA custodian’s company. This type of storage can help to keep the gold safe from damage or theft.

To initiate a gold IRA rollover, an investor should seek advice from a specialist company in this field that can offer information on converting some or all of one’s current IRA or 401(k) dollars into gold holdings.

Investors can open either a traditional or a Roth IRA account in which to hold the gold investments. In either case, however, the IRA must be termed as “self-directed.” Typically, the investment company that the investor is opening the account with will process all of the necessary paperwork, as well as conduct the rollover of the actual funds from the investor’s prior IRA custodian.

Once the funds have been rolled over into the new gold IRA account, the investor can begin to allocate monies into the gold and other precious metals that he or she wishes to invest in. When these metals purchases have been completed, the IRA account custodian will be responsible for holding the physical metals until the investor decides to sell or take possession of them.

How to Choose the Best Gold IRA Rollover Company

When choosing the best gold IRA rollover company, an investor should take several important steps prior to settling on the company through which they will make their investments. These steps should include:

  • Research Gold IRA Companies – Investors should ideally take part in researching several of the top companies in this particular marketplace prior to making their ultimate decision. This research should entail conducting an online search to get an idea of what types of products and other amenities each company offers. In addition, customer service offerings is also an important factor.
  • Read the Company Reviews – Reading the company reviews will also help an investor to get a good idea of how different gold IRA companies operate, as well as what their customers think about their service and product selection. It is essential to read all of the company reviews – both positive and negative – in order to get a truer feel for a company’s actual manner of operation.
  • Decide on the Ideal Company – Once the various companies have been researched and reviews have been read, it will be easy to pare down the short list of potential companies to go with. One gold IRA firm that should be at the top of investors’ lists is Regal Assets. This company has been serving investors in the gold IRA rollover marketplace quite well – and in turn has received high rankings from agencies such as and the . Such ratings should factor highly into an investor’s decision regarding whether to pass on a company or move forward with opening an IRA account and making profitable investments.

The completion of a gold IRA rollover can provide investors with the potential to grow their portfolio with physical metals assets that have the potential to offer a nice opportunity for appreciation, along with portfolio diversity. Such assets can also help in safeguarding the portfolio’s assets against inflation. This can help in protecting the investor’s financial assets in both the short- and long-term time horizons.

How to Select a Gold IRA

With today’s uncertain economy and still-volatile stock market, many investors have chosen to include alternative investments such as gold and other precious metals in their retirement savings accounts.

Yet, while this particular financial vehicle can offer nice growth opportunity, along with a hedge against inflation, it will be necessary to set up a special type of IRA account in order to hold these physical assets.

Research Potential Gold IRA Companies

Prior to setting up a gold IRA account, investors should thoroughly research several different companies in the marketplace. In doing so, it will likely become clear that some gold IRA companies may be a better fit than others in terms of products that are offered and the customer service aspect.

When conducting a search online, it is important to keep in mind that while there may be a large number of companies that offer gold IRA accounts, all of these companies are not set up to be IRA custodians.

This means that in some cases, the company in question may not have actual storage facilities for the physical gold and other metals assets. With this in mind, it may be best to go with a gold IRA company that also serves as an IRA custodian.

Study the Company Reviews

It is also a good idea to research and read all of the company reviews. By reading all of the customer testimonials – both good and bad – it will help to get a better feel for how the company treats its customers and invests its customers IRA funds.

As more companies enter into the gold IRA market, it may seem that there is an overwhelming amount of information to digest. Yet, by sticking with those firms that only have high ratings and primarily positive reviews, it will easier to pare down the list.

Companies such as Regal Assets, for example, have consistently come up with positive reviews from the various ratings agencies such as , as well as from the . In addition, the bulk of the customer feedback regarding Regal Assets is positive – which is also a very good sign.

Determine How Much You Will Invest

When making deposits into any type of IRA account, investors must abide by the maximum contribution limits that are set forth by the . Each year, the IRS stipulates how much new money may be contributed into IRA accounts – and, for investors who have more than one IRA, this maximum is a total amount, not an amount per IRA account.

In 2013, this maximum contribution limit is set at $5,500. However, for those who are age 50 and older, an additional $1,000 “catch up” contribution is also allowed, making the total for those investors $6,500.

There is also another way to fund a gold IRA. This is with money from either another IRA account, a former employer-sponsored retirement account such as a 401(k), or both. Therefore, if these monies are just sitting dormant – or, if an investor simply wants to move the funds over to a gold IRA – a rollover contribution can be made.

Taking the Next Step

When ready to move forward with opening a gold IRA account, the metals company should be contacted either via phone or online in order to obtain all of the necessary paperwork. Once all documents have been completed and returned, the metals company will process the information and the initial gold IRA contribution may be made.

If a contribution is being made via an IRA or 401(k) rollover, the plan administrator from the current account will be contacted and arrangements will be made to transfer or rollover the appropriate amount of funds.

Gold IRA Companies

For many centuries, gold has been deemed as a very worthwhile and profitable investment. This precious metal is well known for its growth potential, as well as for being a nice hedge against inflation.

Today, investors have a way to not only take advantage of gold’s many investment qualities, but also to receive the tax benefits of IRA investing by holding gold inside of an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) account.

Top Gold IRA Companies

While there are many companies in the market today that offer gold IRAs, it is essential that investors do a thorough amount of research in order to determine which company will serve them best with regard to their short- and long-term investment goals.

Some of the best gold IRA companies today include:

Regal Assets

Of all the gold IRA companies to choose from, Regal Assets should be at the top of any investor’s list. This company offers a wide variety of gold and precious metals products to choose from, as well as several different pre-set gold and metals portfolios.

Customer service reps are available through Regal Assets to help investors in setting up a gold IRA account, as well as to answer any type of question or concern they may have regarding metals investing in general.

In addition to its top-notch customer service, Regal Assets has also received extremely high ratings from several of the industry rating agencies. These include a 5-star rank from  and a triple A rating from the . TopCustomerReviews.com has also ranked Regal Assets with its coveted 5-star award.

Lexi Capital Company

Lexi Capital Company is a relatively new metals company. It was established in 2010, and since that time it has helped investors with the purchase and sale of proof gold American Eagles, as well as other similar metals.

This company offers a variety of gold IRA account types, including traditional, Roth, and checkbook control, and customer service reps are available to help investors with setting up their IRA rollovers.

American Bullion Company

American Bullion Company offers several types of metals products, including pre-1933 coins, and gold and silver bullion. The company also provides a gold IRA account option to its customers, with a specialized team of customer service representatives who are dedicated to assisting clients with account set up and funding.

Although American Bullion has received nice ratings from several of the industry rating agencies, it has also received some complaints with regard to over-charging customers. The company’s sales reps have also been accused of contacting clients and potential clients via telephone, even after such individuals have requested to be removed from the company’s call list.

IRA Rollover Considerations

Prior to moving any qualified retirement funds to an Individual Retirement Accont, investors should be aware of the guidelines as they pertain to IRA rollovers. These rules state that if the investor takes receipt of the funds from their employer-sponsored retirement account and does not subsequently place them into the new IRA account within 60 days, the funds will incur taxation.

In addition, if the investor is under the age of 59 1/2, he or she will also be subject to an IRS penalty of 10% of the amount of the funds withdrawn. When combined with the potential taxes, an investor could possibly lose roughly half of their funds by not abiding by these IRS guidelines.

Taking the Next Step

When considering investing in gold or other metals through a self-directed IRA, it is important to research several of the top gold IRA companies. This will help to ensure that an investor has ample information to make an informed decision with regard to what company will serve them best. It can also be beneficial to have expert assistance with making sure that all paperwork is completed correctly and funds are invested in an appropriate manner.