Convert IRA to Gold: What you NEED to know!

If you have an Individual Retirement Account, or IRA, you may be looking into how to transfer IRA to gold. When you convert your IRA to gold, you reach another level of diversification. Diversifying your retirement portfolio can protect you against losses due to market swings.

If you want to transfer IRA to gold, there are a few things you should know beforehand. The process to convert IRA to physical gold is a relatively simple one, providing you have the right knowledge.

Why Should I Convert My IRA to Gold?

There are a few reasons why you should transfer your 401K to a Gold IRA. These include diversification, a hedge against inflation, and the value of gold in relation to the stock market.

  1. Diversification – Gold and other precious metals can help diversify your retirement accounts. Since the discovery of gold, it has been held as a long-standing value of wealth. The price of gold is more stable than those of stocks or bonds.
  2. Hedge Against Inflation – As more currency floods the market, the price of goods and services increase, which we call inflation. Because of the stability of gold, it’s value does not change as quickly as regular money does, making it a great inflation hedge.
  3. Intrinsic/Physical Appeal – As a hard asset, the value of gold is going to change very little, and it’s certainly not going to become worthless. Any physical holdings remain safer and more secure than stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and an Exchange-Traded Fund.
  4. History of Gold Prices – Historically, the price of gold moves in the opposite direction of the stock market. This makes gold investments a terrific way to diversify your portfolio, ensuring the relative value of your retirement savings in comparison to the stock market.

According to Edmund Moy, the former director of the US Mint, “Strong interest in Gold IRAs has continued because of the potential inflationary impact of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus programs and a sharp increase in geopolitical risk.”

In times of economic uncertainty, physical assets such as gold provide a stable investment strategy when compared to stocks and paper currencies. In light of recent events, this may be the perfect time to ask yourself, can I convert my IRA to gold?

How to Convert an IRA to Gold

The first thing you’ll need to convert an IRA to a gold IRA is a Self-Directed IRA. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to open one. This is a fairly straightforward process that requires filing a few forms. This type of IRA, sometimes referred to as a Gold IRA or Precious Metal IRAs, allows for holding alternatives to stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds.

Once you’ve opened a Self-Directed IRA (which can either be a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA), there are two ways that you can move funds into it. Those two ways are called transfer or rollover

With a transfer, you move funds between the same types of accounts, like from one traditional IRA to another traditional IRA.

A rollover allows you to transfer funds from one type of account into a different type of account, say like from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. 

Finding a Custodian

Due to Internal Revenue Service rules, every type of IRA must be managed by a custodian. If you already have a custodian, ask if they are licensed to move precious metal. If not, you will need to find another custodian to handle the transfer of your Individual Retirement Arrangements to a Precious Metals IRA.

The Internal Revenue Service does not allow ordinary citizens to hold or move gold or other precious metals, so an approved custodian is a necessary part of owning a Gold IRA. A bank, credit union, trust company, or other licensed entity can be a custodian.

Custodians face heavy regulations and must follow IRS requirements to move or hold assets belonging to their clients. This is a critical step to keeping any IRAs tax-free or tax-deferred status.

There are also Self-Directed IRA promoters and administrators, which sometimes are mistaken for custodians. Promoters and administrators are responsible for marketing, selling, data entry, and supplying basic reports and statements. They can not, legally, hold or distribute IRA funds or assets. Only an approved custodian can do that.

When searching for a legal custodian for your precious metals investments, you should prioritize the following three factors:

  1. Experience – Be sure to check how long the custodian has been in business. Check their track record to determine how well they do their job. These are the people that are going to be handling all the details of your precious metal assets, so you’ll want someone who has a record of success.
  2. Knowledge – While custodians don’t offer financial advice, all employees of a custodial company should be knowledgeable about Self-Directed IRAs, precious metal assets, and most, if not all, of the aspects of ownership of gold. Be wary of custodians who can’t answer detailed, well-researched questions on the process.
  3. Customer Service – As with any commercial business, customer service is one of the highest priorities a custodian should have. All employees should be friendly, professional, knowledgeable, and efficient. The custodian is there to serve you, and if you, as the customer, are not satisfied with the service you’ve been provided, you may want to find a different custodian to handle your precious metal assets.

How Much Can You Put Into Your Gold IRA

Once you find a custodian that you approve of, you can begin transferring some or all of your retirement funds into your new Gold IRA. There are no maximum or minimum distributions; you can put as much as you want into gold holdings.

With that transferred or rolled-over money, the custodian will purchase gold or other eligible precious metals on your behalf. This can take the form of gold bullion or gold coins that are approved by the Internal Revenue Service. Silver bars, silver coins, or other physical metals such as platinum can also be purchased by your custodian for you.

Some Favorite Custodians for Your Gold IRA

Since having a good custodian is one of the most important aspects of funding your gold IRA, we’re going to share the top seven. Remember, this is not investment advice. You should always do your own research before committing to a custodian or dealer.

Rank Company BBB Rating Annual Fees Min. Investment
1 Advantage Gold A + Flat Fees $5,000
2 Regal Assets A + 1st Year Waived $10,000
3 JM Bullion A + $190 $100
4 Rosland Capital A + Based on Amt. $10,000
5 Capital Gold A + $75 $5,000
6 Birch Gold A + $160 $5,000
7 APMEX Gold A + Based on Amt. $5,000


Advantage Gold

Advantage Gold has long been ranked the number one custodian for a variety of reasons. They are a good mixture of value and experience that can be perfect for a beginner or a long-term investor.

  1. Reputation – Accredited by the Better Business Bureau, their high customer satisfaction derives from open and available communication, and a timely resolve of complaints. Their focus is on educating their customers, rather than pushing buys on them, and they encourage customer decisions based on knowledge of all the available options.
  2. History – Advantage Gold has over 7 years of experience, and it shows. Though they have the experience, they are also relatively new, which means they are open to adding accounts and always expanding their already solid base of customers.
  3. Safety – They use Brinks depositories, which provides full liability for all assets and boasts two of the most secure vaults in the world in New York and London. They also allow buybacks, at any time, and for fair market value.

Regal Assets

Founded in 2009, Regal Assets has over 10 years of experience and has become a worldwide precious metals custodian. They provide gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, as well as some crypto IRAs.

  1. Reputation – Having won awards from various financial publications, and with excellent customer reviews, Regal Assets has grown and solidified their reputation worldwide through an ever expanding list of IRAs and holdings. It consistently receives the highest ratings from all reviewers such as the Better Business Bureau and the Business Consumer Alliance.
  2. Segregated Storage – Unlike most custodial depositories, they provide segregated storage, making sure to hold your precious metals apart from all others so they remain yours and yours alone. Additionally, they provide overseas storage in Dubai and Singapore, the two places voted less likely to confiscate precious metals.
  3. Customer Service – A lightning fast response time, wealth of knowledge, and the patience and desire to truly put their customers first sets them apart from the rest of their field. They believe the customer is the most crucial part of their business, and it shows.

JM Bullion

JM Bullion is one of the fastest growing companies in the field. They have built themselves into an industry leader with over 30,000 orders processed per month.

  1. Reputation – With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and high customer reviews, JM Bullion has established itself as one of the top custodians in the business. With a minimum account of only $100 and yearly fee of only $190, they have signaled that they provide for all-sized accounts at any time.
  2. Customer Service – Another gold standard in customer service, JM Bullion has customer service available six days a week, Monday-Saturday. They have an average wait time of 20 seconds, making their customer service ratings among the absolute best.
  3. Online Security – Providing a maximum of online availability, they also provide one of the most secure online platforms around, with an SSL encryption that ensures both ease of purchase and ease of mind.

Rosland Capital

Founded in 2005, Rosland Capital provides one of the longest experiences in the business. They have gone from a relatively small holding company to one of the fastest online sellers of precious metals.

  1. Reputation – Receiving top marks from the Better Business Bureau and the Business Consumer Alliance, Rosland Capital has done a remarkable job reversing what was once a negative view of their company. Complaints about slow customer service and long wait times have been replaced with top ratings in both of these areas.
  2. User-Friendly Website – Having one of the most advanced and user-friendly websites in the business has made Rosland Capital a top dog in the field. They provide a wide array of products, up-to-date prices, history, and knowledge of each product. 
  3. Buyback Complaints – There have been some negatives associated with Rosland in the past, and while they have done much to correct any issues, one that still remains is in the buyback department. Both limited edition gold and silver have had trouble being sold back for profits, so be aware of that if using Rosland.

Capital Gold

One of the oldest groups on the list, founded in 2003, Capital Gold has made a name for itself in physical gold and silver, but does not focus as much on their gold IRA program.

  1. Reputation – The reputation of Capital Gold has taken some lumps over the years, but the company has worked to reverse that outlook. As with other older companies, they have been accused of false advertisement, a risk with any precious metals company.
  2. User-Friendly Website – One of the best things about Capital Gold is the ease of its website, which makes buying and selling with them a relatively simple process.
  3. Lack of Focus on IRAs – Focused more on individual buying and selling of metals, their provided strategy for IRAs is sorely lacking. This, and a questionable buyback program give pause about using them for your gold IRA.

Birch Gold

Also around since 2003, Birch Gold works to provide personal attention to each of their clients, focusing on education and a wide array of knowledge to help their customers make the best choice.

  1. Reputation – Birch Gold receives top marks from the Better Business Bureau and the Business Consumer Alliance. They have also remade their image by remedying complaints and establishing a trusted and efficient customer service department.
  2. User-Friendly Website – Their website is one of the best in the business, providing an ease of use and wealth of knowledge that can illuminate just what type of metal is doing well in what markets. Their commitment to educating customers can be easily seen on their website, which provides a number of key aspects about each type of metal they deal in.
  3. IRA Expertise – Birch Gold puts a focus on their IRA accounts, from start to finish. They provide up-to-date information on dealers and depositories, are transparent about any fees, and seek to work with any of their customers with their 24/7 customer service.


Founded in 1999, APMEX Gold provides the most amount of experience that can be found among the top 7. Offering competitive prices on their metals, they have done over $10 billion in transactions since they were founded.

  1. Reputation – Garnering one of the best reputations and top marks from the BBB and BCA, APMEX prides itself on efficient leadership and a team that is highly knowledgeable in all precious metals assets. A slow delivery system may be their biggest complaint, but that is to be expected when dealing with so many transactions.
  2. Wide Range of Assets – APMEX Gold provides a truly staggering range of assets, from gold to silver to palladium. They deal in coins, bullion, limited editions and rare metals, and makes and models from around the world of all years. 
  3. Ease of Purchase – APMEX simplified its purchasing procedures through their real-time online ordering system. Orders, payment processing, and shipping can all be tracked in real time, and all orders above $99 receive free shipping. They also provide one of the widest arrays of purchasing options, including Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.


Converting your current IRA to a Gold, or Precious Metals, IRA, is a relatively simple and straightforward process. It requires you to have or open a Self-Directed IRA that allows for the buying and storing of physical precious metals. Getting one requires simply filling out a few forms.

Once you have that, transferring funds from a retirement account into your new Self-Directed IRA for the purchase of physical gold, silver, or other metals is as easy as directing your custodian to do so. Your custodian will work with precious metals experts to buy, and most times, store your new purchases, where they will wait just for you.

If interested, your financial advisor should have all the details needed for you to begin converting your retirement funds into physical gold and silver. With the current economic prospects, there’s no better time to start this process than now.