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Published: Apr 26, 2024 28 min read

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Best Gold IRA Companies Takeaways

Our top picks, listed alphabetically, include Advantage Gold, American Hartford Gold, Augusta Precious Metals, Birch Gold Group, Goldco, Noble Gold Investments, Orion Metal Exchange and Oxford Gold Group.

  • Self-directed gold IRAs allow you to diversify your retirement plan.
  • The best companies operating in this space facilitate insurance and secure storage, as required by the IRS.
  • Precious metals held in these accounts must be minimum purity standards.
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For investors interested in diversifying their retirement savings plan, gold individual retirement accounts (IRAs) offer a way to gain exposure to the precious metals market while providing the same tax benefits as a typical IRA. Gold, silver, platinum and palladium are considered safe-haven assets and act as hedges against inflation, economic uncertainty and stock market volatility. Investing with the best gold IRA companies allows you to diversify and protect your portfolio with those metals.

Companies operating in this space offer educational resources, responsive customer service, competitive pricing and easy account set up. But like any company offering investment opportunities, some are better than others.

We analyzed over a dozen gold IRA companies, scrutinized them against their competitors and have created this guide to highlight the best options for various precious metals investing needs. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned investor, our guide to the best gold IRAs companies can help you make the right decision.

Why Trust Us?

Our editors and writers independently evaluate gold IRA companies ensuring that our content is precise and guided by editorial integrity. Read the full methodology to learn more.

  • Over a dozen gold IRA providers reviewed.
  • Seven categories used to determine best companies.
  • Multiple authoritative sources consulted.

Our Top Picks for Best Gold IRA Companies of 2024

Our top picks are listed in alphabetical order.

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Best Gold IRA Company Reviews


Pros
  • Over 1,600 reviews on TrustPilot
  • Multiple options for custodian and depository
Cons
  • Limited account fee information online
  • Some educational materials are outdated
  • Not accredited by the BBB
HIGHLIGHTS
Metals Available
Gold, silver, platinum, palladium
BBB Grade
A+
BCA Grade
AAA
TrustPilot Review Grade
4.9
Minimum Purchase Order
Not provided

Why We Chose It: Founded in 2014, Advantage Gold boasts top-notch reviews, including more than 1,600 reviews on TrustPilot alone. Nearly all — 98% of them — are five-star ratings.

Advantage sells gold, silver, platinum and palladium. It uses STRATA Trust Company and Equity Trust Company as gold IRA account custodians, and Brink’s Depository and Delaware Depository vaults.


Pros
  • Company charges no setup fee
  • Relatively low minimum order threshold
  • Frequent promotions for storage fee waivers
  • Multiple choices for custodian, storage providers
Cons
  • Need to provide email address to access full customer education resources
HIGHLIGHTS
Metals Available
Gold, silver, platinum, palladium
BBB Grade
A+
BCA Grade
AAA
TrustPilot Review Grade
4.8
Minimum Purchase Order
$10,000 for IRAs, $5,000 for non-IRA precious metals

Why We Chose It: American Hartford Gold doesn’t charge its gold IRA customers outlandish fees.

The company, founded in 2015, charges no fees for setups or transfers, and it runs frequent promotions during which customers can get storage fees waived for two or three years. You do have to pay a $50 fee for the account custodian to establish your precious metal IRA, and the company charges an annual IRA fee of $75 for accounts valued at $100,000 or less and $125 for accounts at $100,001 or more. In addition to its annual fee, the company charges a $100 annual storage fee in most cases.

American Hartford offers a no-fee buyback program — but keep in mind that buyback prices are lower than purchase prices. A company representative says American Hartford works primarily with custodian Equity Trust Company, and when you set up your account, you have the choice to keep your precious metals in either segregated or unsegregated storage.

The company has a relatively low minimum threshold of $10,000 for establishing an IRA, or $5,000 if you plan to buy precious metals for home storage (gold IRA investments can’t be stored at home as per IRS rules).


Pros
  • Site has informative videos and educational content
  • Supports investing diversity
  • Potential for fee waivers of up to 10 years
Cons
  • High minimum purchase order of $50,000
  • Hard to find fee information online
HIGHLIGHTS
Metals Available
Gold, silver
BBB Grade
A+
BCA Grade
AAA
TrustPilot Review Grade
4.7
Minimum Purchase Order
$50,000

Why We Chose It: Founded in 2012, Augusta Precious Metals offers precious metals investment options and offers customers free gold and silver educational resources.

Augusta Precious Metals uses Delaware Depository — a popular choice among gold IRA providers — to hold customer assets such as gold coins and gold bars.
The company features an online library offering investor resources. One of Augusta’s attributes that placed it atop our picks is its video-blog series focused on the reasons why not to own gold. Many gold IRA companies use scare tactics or play on investors’ fear of a (highly unlikely) meltdown of the entire financial system and a wholesale collapse of U.S. currency, so seeing this sort of transparency from Augusta Precious Metals demonstrated the company’s transparency.


Pros
  • Fee information is clear and easy to find online
  • Customer can choose their custodian and depository facility
  • Flat-rate fee structure benefits investors with large balances
Cons
  • Asset transfers for account set-up can take up to a month
  • Flat fee structure less cost-effective for small investors
  • Lower TrustPilot score than some of our other picks
HIGHLIGHTS
Metals Available
Gold, silver, platinum, palladium
BBB Grade
A+
BCA Grade
AAA
TrustPilot Review Grade
4.3
Minimum Purchase Order
$10,000

Why We Chose It: Birch Gold Group, in business since 2003, is one of the few gold IRA companies we came across that includes transparent fees on its site.

Many precious metals IRA companies don’t have transparent pricing information on their websites. We found Birch Gold Group had the most detail about both one-time and recurring annual fees. It also has an A+ rating from the BBB and a AAA rating from the BCA.

Birch Gold Group charges a flat-rate annual fee rather than a percentage of the account value, which could benefit high-balance gold IRA investors. You can choose between Equity Trust Company and STRATA Trust Company as the account custodian, and Delaware Depository or Brink’s Global Services for your precious metals storage.


Pros
  • Excellent customer service
  • Supports diversity in investing
  • 4.7 TrustPilot rating
Cons
  • Preferred minimum purchase order of $25,000
HIGHLIGHTS
Metals Available
Gold, silver, platinum, palladium
BBB Grade
A+
BCA Grade
AAA
TrustPilot Review Grade
4.7
Minimum Purchase Order
$25,000

Why We Chose It: Founded in 2006, Goldco has an A+ grade from the BBB, an AAA rating from the BCA and a tremendous number of glowing reviews exhibiting customer satisfaction on the BBB and TrustPilot websites.

Many of those reviews reference the company’s exceptional customer service, contributing to why Money named it the best gold IRA company for that category.

Goldco coordinates with Brink’s Global Services and Delaware Depository for its preferred precious metals storage providers. For non-IRA precious metals, you also have the option of using Goldco’s own storage facility if you don’t want to keep your products at home. (Gold IRA home storage runs afoul of IRS rules.)

A Goldco representative said the company doesn’t charge any fees of its own, but the gold IRA custodian that the company recommends customers use charges customers a $50 setup fee and $80 for annual maintenance. Storage fees are $100 per year for unsegregated storage, or $150 per year for segregated storage.


Pros
  • Fee information easy to find online
  • Unique Texas-based depository option
Cons
  • AA BCA grade (top category is AAA)
HIGHLIGHTS
Metals Available
Gold, silver, platinum, palladium
BBB Grade
A+
BCA Grade
AA
TrustPilot Review Grade
4.8
Minimum Purchase Order
$20,000

Why We Chose It: Noble Gold Investments, founded in 2016, offers customers a diverse range of precious metals storage options.

The company’s website includes an accessible blog along with a comprehensive catalog of coins, like the American Eagle, and bars you can buy for precious metals investments.

Real-time account information is available through the gold IRA custodian. Customers pay two annual fees: an $80 account fee and a $150 fee for insurance and segregated storage, in which customers’ holdings are stored individually rather than pooled together.

In addition to Delaware Depository and Brink’s Global Services, two well-known precious metals depositories, Noble Gold also has its own depository in the state of Texas, giving customers an additional choice for storing the precious metals they purchase.


Pros
  • Investors pay no fees for setup and transfer
  • Lower minimum order threshold compared to competitors
  • Storage fees could be waived for up to three years
  • Options for choosing custodian and depository
  • Fee-free buyback policy
Cons
  • Site lacks info about custodial fees
  • Suggests investing up to 20% of assets in precious metals — far riskier than conventional investing advice
HIGHLIGHTS
Metals Available
Gold, silver, platinum, palladium
BBB Grade
A+
BCA Grade
Not a member of BCA
TrustPilot Review Grade
4.9
Minimum Purchase Order
$5,000

Why We Chose It: Orion Metal Exchange does not charge fees for setting up an account, annual maintenance or transferring funds.

Investing in precious metals doesn’t always require significant capital. Whereas some other gold IRA companies have minimums of $50,000, Orion offers a much lower barrier to entry. For its gold IRAs, there is an order minimum of just $5,000 (or $10,000 to qualify for promotions that, according to a company customer support representative, can offset its custodial fees).

The company, founded in 2017, runs limited-time promotions for free storage and touts no fees, although there is a $50 setup fee that you pay to the IRA custodian. If your precious metals IRA is worth $500,000 or less, your combined annual cost for custodial administration, storage and insurance is a flat $190, according to the company.

If you decide you want to sell your precious metals, Orion offers customers a fee-free buyback program. This ensures that if you purchase precious metals through the company, it will buy them back at market prices at the time of liquidation.


Pros
  • Site has resource library for investors
  • Information geared towards educating novice investors
  • Customers can access their account online
Cons
  • AA BCA grade (top category is AAA)
  • Lower Trustpilot score compared to companies on this list
HIGHLIGHTS
Metals Available
Gold, silver, platinum, palladium
BBB Grade
A+
BCA Grade
AA
TrustPilot Review Grade
3.5
Minimum Purchase Order
Not provided

Why We Chose It: Oxford Gold Group offers free silver and gold educational resources and tools for customers.

The company’s website says customers can set up their account quickly, often within 24 hours. The company works with Delaware Depository and Brink’s Global Services, and charges an annual fee of $180, according to its website.

Oxford Gold Group has considerable resources available for new precious metals investors, including an encyclopedia to explain terms about gold prices like “spot price,” and an A+ rating from the BBB.


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Other Gold IRA Companies We Considered


Lexi Capital

Why It Didn’t Make the List: Lexi Capital is not on our main list because its website says the company does not keep “regular” phone hours despite requiring customers’ exchanges or returns to be approved by phone within three days of purchase.

Additionally, Lexi Capital has very few customer reviews on the BBB.

  • Founded in 2010
  • A+ BBB grade — very few customer reviews or ratings
  • AAA BCA grade
  • Price quotes include 3% discount for cash payments

Patriot Gold Group

Why It Didn’t Make the List: Patriot Gold Group is not on our main list because it employs scare tactics to sell precious metals.

The company has limited customer reviews on TrustPilot and the BBB, and it receives an AA grade from the BCA, which is lower than most companies on our list.

  • Founded in 2016
  • AA BCA grade
  • Site says 24-hour account set-up

Red Rock Secured

Why It Didn’t Make the List: Red Rock Secured’s website doesn’t have enough information about costs and fees to make a comprehensive evaluation, and it recently lost its BBB accreditation.

Additionally, in May 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced charges against Red Rock Secured, its CEO Sean Kelly and two former employees, Anthony Spencer and Jeffrey Ward, in connection with a fraudulent scheme that included markups of 130% and $30 million of clients’ money misappropriated.

  • Offers gold, silver, platinum and palladium
  • Founded in 2009
  • 4.6 Trustpilot rating
  • AA BCA grade
  • Not BBB accredited

Silver Gold Bull

Why It Didn’t Make the List: Silver Gold Bull is not on our main list because its website has very little information investors need to know about IRS-approved precious metals investing.

  • Founded in 2006
  • A+ BBB grade, but not accredited by the BBB
  • 4.8 Trustpilot rating
  • Site says no order cancellations

How We Evaluated the Best Gold IRA Companies

We evaluated gold IRA companies’ websites, along with consumer advocacy organizations like the Better Business Bureau and Business Consumer Alliance, as well as consumer review sites such as TrustPilot. We considered each of the gold IRA companies’ reputation, transparency and whether or not they provide high-quality online education and resources.

Additionally, we compared the companies' respective fee structures and minimum balances, when available, as well as how easy it was to find this information from their websites. We also analyzed the user-friendliness and responsiveness of their customer service.

We regularly update our list of best gold IRA companies to ensure that our highlighted picks continue to meet these requirements.

Gold IRA Guide

A gold IRA is a niche investment product. This specialized IRA can help diversify a portfolio because precious metals, including gold, are often considered an investment to beat inflation. But it’s critical to research whether a precious metals IRA makes sense as part of your overall retirement savings plan.

In addition to gold, many precious metals IRA companies sell IRA-approved silver, platinum and palladium for inclusion in IRAs. A gold IRA is distinctive because you own the actual precious metals, as opposed to investing in equities that hold gold or are precious metals mining companies.

What is a gold IRA?

Like a traditional IRA in which you might hold stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds or mutual funds, a gold IRA is a tax-advantaged investment vehicle — and the only option for holding physical precious metals in an IRA. You might also come across the term “precious metals IRA” used instead of gold IRA.

Per the IRS, gold IRAs are self-directed IRAs, which means they can hold alternative investments such as precious metals. (In their tax treatment, a gold IRA is different from a Roth IRA, which is an after-tax savings vehicle. See Money's picks for best Roth IRA accounts.)

What is a gold IRA custodian?

In addition to the gold IRA company you choose, which is the precious metal dealer, you’ll also have to work with a gold IRA custodian. This company provides the essential administrative functions required by the IRS to keep your IRA compliant with the agency’s rules.

There are multiple companies that serve as gold IRA custodians. Two of the largest are Equity Trust Company and STRATA Trust Company. Some gold IRAs work with more than one custodian and will let you choose. Others will recommend or require that you work with a custodian of their choosing.

What is a gold IRA company?

Gold IRA companies are essentially brokers that sell IRS-approved precious metals coins and bars you can put in a gold IRA, along with non-IRA precious metals bought by collectors.

Although some gold IRA companies present themselves as advisory in nature — even the top gold IRA companies — it’s important to understand that the customer service and sales representatives you talk to are not registered investment professionals or financial advisors. Many are paid via sales commissions, so the more precious metals you purchase, the bigger their paychecks will be.

How does a gold IRA work?

To set up a gold IRA, you must first open an account and make your selection of gold or other precious metals from a reputable company like those featured in this guide. If you elect to fund the account with assets currently in another IRA, the gold IRA company will help you manage the rollover (more on that process below).

The gold IRA company also connects you with the account custodian, which handles administrative duties, as well as the depository institution where the precious metals you purchase are held. According to IRS rules, you are not allowed to store IRA precious metals at home.

Gold IRA companies differ in that some let you choose from multiple custodians and depositories, while others require you to use custodians and depositories of their choosing.

Gold IRA rollover

Many types of retirement accounts can be used to fund a gold IRA via a rollover. You can roll over money held in a 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), pension or Thrift Savings Plan, though there may be tax implications for doing so (e.g., a 401(k) to gold Roth IRA rollover). You can also transfer money from an existing IRA to a gold IRA.

No matter which route you take, if you’re rolling over funds into a gold IRA, you’ll want to thoroughly conduct your research in order to make an informed decision about whether or not this type of retirement investment is right for you. You can read about IRS rules regarding retirement account rollovers here.

Is a 401(k) to gold IRA rollover right for me?

A gold IRA is a product best suited for sophisticated investors with experience in precious metals investing. If you have questions, consult with a financial advisor who is a fiduciary to decide whether gold makes sense in the context of your existing retirement accounts. Gold IRA companies are not fiduciaries and should not be relied on for financial advice.

When determining your investment process, if you decide to roll over a 401(k) to a gold IRA — as in, sell all your positions (e.g., stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds) and move the entire balance to invest in gold — you’re making a very big change to your investment profile. Doing so should be extensively researched beforehand. If you're unsure, take some time to learn the difference between an IRA vs. 401(k).

A conventional retirement account holding equities (e.g., stocks, ETFs, mutual funds) and debt-based fixed-income instruments (e.g., bonds and certificates of deposit) gives you the opportunity to diversify among a variety of assets and gain exposure to numerous sectors and industries. The potential benefits of doing so include the following:

  • Generating income via dividends (precious metals cannot generate income)
  • Establishing a diversified investment mix to mitigate the impacts of market volatility (over-allocating to precious metals minimizes diversification)
  • Using market liquidity to adjust your allocation to your investing goals

Some gold IRA companies refer to their offerings as "diverse" because you can hold more than one kind of precious metal in it (e.g., gold, silver, platinum and palladium). However, from an investing perspective, it’s important to understand that this does not equate to diversification. Precious metals — even different ones — are part of the same asset class and do not generate income like dividend-paying assets.

Some gold IRA companies also refer to stocks and bonds as “paper assets” and imply they are a single asset class. However, that isn’t the case. You can have a well-diversified portfolio with a mix of stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, CDs and bonds.

Be sure to factor in the costs of cashing out as well: When you reach the age of 73 and must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your retirement accounts, you need to have your gold coins and gold bullion sent to you. That entails paying for shipping and insurance, or liquidating some of your gold.

Most gold IRA companies will buy back precious metals you bought from them, but buybacks are generally at the wholesale price, which often is around 30% lower than current or spot price of gold.

Before opening a gold IRA, consider the context of your broader wealth-management strategy, and set realistic expectations about how much you anticipate your investments to grow and how long you should plan to hold those assets.

Also, it’s important to note that financial advisors recommend allocating no more than 5%–10% of your portfolio to precious metals in order to maintain properly balanced and diversified holdings. Be mindful that this is something gold IRA company representatives may contest.

How does a 401(k) to gold IRA rollover work?

If you’ve decided a gold IRA is the right option for you, you can contact your retirement plan administrator or have the gold IRA company do so on your behalf. An institution-to-institution transfer is recommended since it allows you to never take control of the funds yourself, thereby sparing you the potential risk of a tax penalty.

If you do choose to handle that distribution yourself, the IRS has a strict 60-day window from the date you receive the funds to roll that money over into another qualified retirement account, or the IRS will treat that distribution as a withdrawal and charge you taxes plus an early withdrawal penalty if you are younger than 59 ½ years old.

You can roll over just part of a retirement account balance to fund your gold IRA; however, keep in mind that some gold IRA companies have minimum investment requirements as high as $50,000, which might limit your ability to retain enough funds in your old account to maintain a portfolio allocation that will sustain you in retirement.

Should I roll over my 401(k) into a gold IRA?

Rolling over a 401(k) into a gold IRA is not a decision you should take lightly. Consult an independent financial advisor to discuss your investing timeline, goals and risk tolerance to determine whether a gold IRA investment or a silver IRA deserves a place in your retirement portfolio.

Keep in mind that you are buying your IRA gold with pre-tax dollars, so you are taxed when you take distributions, as you would be with 401(k)s and other tax-deferred retirement accounts. If you have to take RMDs and don't have the money to pay taxes owed at the time you take distributions, you could have to liquidate some of your precious metals in order to satisfy those taxes.

If the value of those metals has dropped, you could experience a loss when you sell. Also, consider that if you sell your gold back to the gold IRA company, you could make up to 30% less than the current price of gold thanks to the “spread” that even a reputable gold IRA company can charge.

Investing in a gold IRA

The precious metals in a gold IRA are generally coins and bars approved by the IRS for IRA investing. You can choose a mix of gold and silver, and some gold IRA companies also let you add platinum and palladium to your IRA. When you must begin taking RMDs, you can choose to liquidate the gold or have it shipped to you. In most cases, you will pay for shipping, so be sure to factor for that expense.

While many gold IRA companies will repurchase the gold and other precious metals they sold you, these buyback programs are typically conducted at the wholesale price, which can be as much as one-third cheaper than the current spot price for the metals. Prices for precious metals, like any asset, can experience fluctuations, so there is no guarantee that you’ll see a return on investment through these buyback programs.

How do you hold physical gold in an IRA?

Unlike investing in a gold ETF, which can track the performance of gold or hold gold-mining companies, a gold IRA lets you take ownership of physical precious metals, provided you keep them in an IRS-approved depository institution. If you want more flexibility with your precious metals or want to keep them at home, learn about how to buy gold outside an IRA. If you don't want the complications of investing in physical gold, you can research how to buy a gold ETF.

Gold IRA cost

Gold IRAs typically charge higher fees than those charged for other asset classes you may find in an IRA, like index funds composed of stocks. If you have a gold IRA, you will incur costs to manage the account, as well as maintenance fees, and costs for secure storage and insuring your gold. Precious metals prices can also be volatile over time and aren’t guaranteed to increase in value.

IRA-eligible gold

There are a number of types and forms of precious metals the IRS has approved as IRA-eligible. Certain coins and bars manufactured by the U.S. Mint, the corresponding agency of certain other countries, or designated private minting companies, can be held in a gold IRA. Importantly, gold coins must have at least 99.5% purity with one exception: American Gold Eagle coins. Silver, platinum and palladium must have 99.9% purity to qualify for a gold IRA.

Is a precious metals IRA the same as a gold IRA?

The term “gold IRA” may be used interchangeably with the phrase “precious metals IRA.” Although the latter is technically accurate, “gold IRA” is often used as shorthand to refer to self-directed IRAs that hold a combination of gold, silver, platinum and/or palladium.

What are precious metals?

Precious metals — for purposes of IRS-approved gold IRA investing — include just four metals. The IRS has extremely detailed regulations that dictate which coins and bars can be held in a gold IRA. The aim of these precise requirements on size, weight, design and metal purity is to ensure that retirement savers are keeping investment-grade assets, rather than collectibles, in their accounts.

Precious metals list:

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Platinum
  • Palladium

How to invest in precious metals

There are a few ways to invest in precious metals outside of an IRA. If you want to hold physical gold and silver, like gold and silver coins, it's crucial to buy from a reputable source. Be aware that even legitimate gold dealers add markups to the prices of the precious metals they sell.

If the storage and security requirements of holding physical gold seem like a hassle, you can add gold to your investment portfolio in other ways. Gold ETFs, for instance. Alternatively, you can purchase shares of ETFs that own gold futures (although this type of commodities investment is less common today than it once was).

You can also gain exposure to gold by investing in the stocks of companies that mine the metal. For example — Barrick Gold Corporation (GOLD) and Newmont Corporation (NEM) — the two largest gold-mining companies in the world, are publicly traded and pay market-beating dividends.

Unlike holding physical gold, these options offer you the opportunity to earn dividends, but buying and selling should be conducted strategically according to your investing goals.

Gold IRA FAQs

Is copper a precious metal?

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Although copper is an important industrial commodity that is used to manufacture goods ranging from car exhaust systems to plumbing pipes, it is not a precious metal as defined by the IRS for gold IRA investing.

What is the best gold IRA?

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What qualifies a company as the "best" gold IRA is highly subjective and is ultimately decided by your personal financial situation and retirement saving goals. Gold IRAs are best for sophisticated investors with experience buying and selling precious metals. It's smart to avoid any gold investment company that uses high-pressure sales pitches or scare tactics as engaging with those companies could mean you could wind up with an investment that doesn't fit your goals or encountering scams. Make sure to diversify your portfolio and mitigate risk.

How do I open a gold IRA?

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Start by researching guides such as this one to find the best gold IRA company for your needs. Once you choose a company, they will help you establish and fund your new IRA, most likely via a rollover from another IRA. A direct transfer of funds will ensure that you don't have negative tax consequences.

What is a precious metals IRA?

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The term "gold IRA" tends to be the most popular, but a gold IRA — or a silver IRA, for that matter — is the same as a precious metals IRA. These are classified by the IRS as self-directed IRAs, which are a specific category of tax-deferred retirement accounts that let you invest in alternative assets such as physical precious metals, real estate or cryptocurrency.

How do I invest in precious metals?

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There are multiple ways to invest in precious metals. One option is to do so via gold IRA. You can also buy physical precious metals outside of an IRA, or you can invest in gold-backed assets — stocks, mutual funds or ETFs that hold physical gold or stocks of gold companies. There are also gold futures contracts and other derivatives that professional traders use to hedge their positions, but those aren't recommended for retail investors because of their complexity and the potential for outsized losses.

Summary of Money’s Best Gold IRA Companies

More from Money:

Should You Open a Gold IRA?

How to Start Investing in Gold for Beginners

Everything You Need to Know About Gold ETFs