Why Invest in a Gold IRA? Pros and Cons

by Grant HEnson

*The owners of this website may be paid to recommend some precious metals companies. The content on this website, including any positive reviews of these companies and other reviews, may not be neutral or independent.

It's pretty common for people to stress about their financial condition after retirement. Generally, this worry leads them to invest in multiple assets to prepare for it beforehand. While there are endless investment options today, it's always a concern whether your chosen investment will benefit you when you reach your retirement age. 

After all, the never-ending economic uncertainty always poses a huge threat to most investment assets and their potential to maintain value in the coming years. This is where an IRA investment serves as a better and commonly opted option to ensure financial stability once you retire. This IRA or Individual Retirement investment account is your savings account that can only be accessed once you reach retirement age. 

Sounds like a decent investment plan, right? Well, there's more to what makes an IRA an ideal investment for all kinds of investors. You can even add precious metals like gold to your IRA account. The best part is that your assets are stored at a secure third-party depository until you are ready to seek their physical possession. 

So there's nothing you need to stress about! If you’re questioning why opt for a gold IRA over other choices, let’s thoroughly explore the aspects of a gold IRA investment to understand more.

Understanding Gold IRAs 

Firstly, what is a gold IRA? Is it similar to a simple IRA, also considered a retirement savings account? In some ways, yes. But, what sets a gold IRA apart from a simple IRA is that it allows you to store physical assets instead of funds. This includes precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, palladium, etc. 

By adding one or more precious metals into a gold IRA account, you can enjoy the benefits of owning physical assets once you reach retirement age. The only requirement to consider when adding gold or other precious metals to your gold IRA account is their purity. 

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the assets must meet a specific purity standard to be eligible for being held in a gold IRA. Besides this, it is also important to store these assets in a third-party IRS-approved depository. Remember that failure to comply with these rules can lead to tax penalties. 

Speaking of taxes, it's also important to understand which type of gold IRA account you want to invest in, considering your specific requirements. Notably, you can choose to open either a traditional gold IRA or a Roth gold IRA account. These types of accounts offer distinct tax advantages. We will discuss these advantages further in this article. 

Diversification Benefits 

Imagine putting all your savings into a company’s stocks or a real estate building, only to discover later that their value has dramatically declined. If your entire investment is concentrated in these specific assets, you could lose all your hard-earned money. Now, consider an alternate scenario where you’ve spread your funds across various investments, including gold.

In this situation, while the failure of the stock market and economic downturns will negatively impact all other asset classes, the only asset that will remain stable or double in value is gold. Hence, even if some of your investments fail, having a diversified portfolio will help balance your gains and losses. 

That's precisely why the best financial experts suggest never putting all your eggs in one basket. After all, gold is a real asset that doesn't immediately correspond with stock or bond markets, making it an excellent tool to diversify your portfolio and maintain financial stability. 

Hedge Against Inflation 

Historically, gold has been seen as a hedge against the harsh consequences of inflation on all other assets and currencies. In simpler terms, every time fiat currencies have lost their buying power owing to inflation, gold's value has risen consistently. That is precisely why gold is always considered to be a safe-haven asset

Hence, even in the current global economic uncertainty, it's only smart to secure the value of your savings by investing some funds in an asset like gold. This asset will maintain its value (if not increase) amidst economic downturns. As a result, you can secure the value of your savings even when fiat currency loses its value. 

Potential for Growth 

While it is evident that gold is known to hold its value, can it also be considered a growth asset? For most investors, yes! This is mainly because gold is a commodity, and commodities are nearly seen as growth investments. However, compared to defensive assets that yield regular income and have lower volatility than stock markets, gold is considered more of a protective asset. 

This is because physical gold is inherently secure, eliminating the risk of default associated with this investment. Due to this very reason, central banks hold about 35,000 tonnes of this precious metal as reserve assets. Interestingly, these central banks' gold holdings have increased for over a decade. 

This clearly shows how financial institutions still see gold as a valuable monetary asset. It also signifies how gold's demand is consistently growing, a major factor that has and will continue to add to gold's value growth. 

One recent example of this can be the surge in gold's price amidst the 2020 global pandemic. While gold's recorded value at the start of the year was above $1,500, investors eventually drove the asset price to record highs of $2,037 by August 5th, 2020. Since then, gold's price has witnessed multiple ups and downs around the $2,000 benchmark. This indicates gold's potential for significant growth in the long run. 

Tax Advantages 

Now, let's talk about the tax advantages of investing in traditional and Roth gold IRA accounts. A traditional gold IRA allows you to enjoy tax-deferred growth, where you can make tax-free contributions to your gold IRA account. 

However, withdrawals from these accounts are subject to taxes, whether they are early withdrawals or in the form of required minimum distributions (RMDs). Notably, you can start taking these RMDs once you reach 73. 

Compared to a traditional gold IRA, a Roth gold IRA offers the benefit of after-tax contributions. This means that you can enjoy tax-free growth and qualified withdrawals five years after opening a gold IRA account or before the age of 59 ½. 

Essentially, you only pay taxes when funding your Roth Gold IRA account. Moreover, this type of account has no RMDs. So, you can choose when and how much you want to withdraw from a Roth gold IRA account. 

Considerations and Risks 

Like any other investment, even a gold IRA has its fair share of advantages and risks. Hence, now that we've discussed the benefits of investing in a gold IRA, it's time to understand the risks and considerations to make the most of this investment. Specifically, when opting for a gold IRA investment, we suggest you consider the following points beforehand: 

  • Volatility: Examine the economic environment driving gold prices. After all, market volatility can affect all types of assets, even gold. And so, evaluating where the market is headed in the next 5-10 years can help you determine whether a gold IRA investment will cater to your needs in the long run.
  • Liquidity: Assessing the liquidity of gold investments held in an IRA is important. Where and when can you sell these assets without experiencing substantial price changes? A clear answer will help you determine whether this investment goes according to your plans and requirements.
  • Gold IRA Custodian: Is your gold IRA custodian reliable? Do they focus on IRS guidelines, ensuring that you invest in a gold IRA the right way? This is important to avoid any fraud or legal complications later.
  • Storage and Security: Where will your physical gold be stored, and how secure is that depository? When considering a storage depository for your gold IRA, it's always better to opt for an IRS-approved depository with a solid track record of keeping others' assets secure.
  • Expenses and Costs: Besides security and reliability, affordability is a huge factor when picking a gold IRA investment partner. So make sure to consult with your preferred companies to learn all about their fees.
  • Balanced Investment: Just because gold offers plenty of investment benefits doesn't mean you should invest all your savings into it. Instead, carefully consider how much funds you want to invest in gold, mainly since these funds are inaccessible for some good years. For the rest of the savings, you can choose investment options that can be easily if and when you face financial issues.

How to Get Started with a Gold IRA?

While it hardly takes 15 minutes to open a gold IRA account and make an investment, it's important to be well-familiar with the entire process to avoid making any wrong investment decisions. Having said that, let's explore each step involved in opening a gold IRA account. 

Understand the Gold Investment Rules 

To ensure a smooth gold IRA investment without any issues, it's important to first get familiar with the IRS guidelines for this type of investment. Now, the IRS has certain rules for the type of gold eligible for being added to a gold IRA

Coins, for example, must be at least 99.5% pure, uncirculated, and from authorized government mints. On the other hand, gold bars must have the same purity standard and may only be obtained from certified producers. It's important to understand and remember these requirements to ensure you invest only in IRA-eligible gold. 

Pick the Right Gold IRA Investment Partner

The gold IRA investment company you choose will handle everything related to the investment for you. This includes helping you open an account, rolling over funds, moving the assets to secure depositories, and buying back the gold from you (if and when you want to sell it). 

Hence, it's important to pick the right investment partner in the first place. For that, we suggest you ask yourself the following questions when deciding on a gold IRA investment company: 

  • Do they have a good online and offline (if available) reputation? What do their older customers have to say about their services?
  • How many IRA-eligible gold assets do they allow you to choose from when investing?
  • How much are the one-time and yearly fees involved in opening a gold IRA account, setting it up, and maintaining it?
  • Is the company's customer support team easily accessible and responsive? Do they assist you with all your queries and help solve your issues?
  • Does the company's website feature educational materials to help you better navigate a gold IRA investment based on your familiarity with this industry? Or is their educational material focused on helping only beginner or expert investors?
  • How many storage facilities are they affiliated with? Are these depositories IRS-approved? Does the storage depository have a record of carefully handling investors' assets? And lastly, will the depository insure your assets while in their facility?

If you would like some guidance, you can take a look at my article on the best gold IRA companies, with my top suggestions being Goldco and Augusta Precious Metals.

Make the Investment

Once you ask yourself the above-mentioned questions when reviewing the companies you have listed, it'll be easier to find the right company for you. Following this, you can move forward with the awaited investment process. Start by funding your gold IRA account. You can do this in a lot of ways, for example: using money, funding from a 401k account or an already existing IRA. Talk with your partner beforehand and they’ll guide you throughout the process. 

Once your account is funded, collaborate with your executive to explore the available gold bars and coins. Based on your discussion, make an informed investment decision that suits your financial goals and preferences.


Gold IRAs are undoubtedly a smart retirement investment option today. Its unique features, including diversification benefits, acting as a hedge against inflation, and possessing growth potential, make it an attractive option for investors. Not to mention the tax advantages which further add to its appeal — providing flexibility and potential long-term gains. 

With that said, it’s equally — if not more — important to carefully assess market volatility, ensuring a reliable custodian, and understanding associated expenses, are crucial. 

By navigating these considerations thoughtfully and choosing a reputable investment partner, you can leverage the advantages of a gold IRA to secure your financial future.

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