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Birch Gold Group is a California-based brokerage firm that specializes in gold and other precious metals. The company also offers gold individual retirement accounts (IRAs), which customers can establish by converting existing retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), into precious metals IRAs or funding separately. Birch Gold Group also sells physical gold, silver, platinum and palladium in the form of coins, bars and rounds.
To learn more about the company and its offerings, read this guide to learn whether or not Birch Gold Group’s products are a good choice for retirement portfolio.
Best for fee transparency
The Birch Gold Group website lists all fees associated with opening and maintaining a precious metals IRA. Because of this, customers won’t encounter any surprise fees or charges during the rollover or new account funding process.
Birch Gold Group Gold IRA pros and cons
- Access to hard assets
- A precious metals specialist will assist with the rollover process
- No advertised IRA investment minimum
- You must contact a representative to make a purchase
- High non-IRA cash purchase minimum
Birch Gold Group pros explained
Gives you access to hard assets
Like the best gold IRAs, Birch Gold Group IRAs let you invest in physical assets, which can be more stable than mutual funds and the stock market. These include gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
Stable assets like physical precious metals offer a wide range of advantages for investment portfolios, including:
- Protection from economic uncertainty: Physical precious metals protect you from economic uncertainties like geopolitical instability and fluctuations in the U.S. dollar. Gold IRAs can also help diversify your retirement investments so that by retirement age, you’re able to weather market, economic and personal risk factors, such as stock market volatility and higher-than-expected medical expenses.
- Stability: Unlike currency, bonds and equities, precious metals tend to steadily hold their value during economic slowdowns and recessions, often acting as a hedge against losses for other asset classes. For example, when stock prices fall, the prices of gold and other precious metals are typically uncorrelated.
- Increased portfolio value: Gold and other precious metals can retain their values when the prices of other assets, such as bonds, equities or the U.S. dollar, go down. Diversifying a portfolio by investing part of it in precious metals can, over time, increase your portfolio’s value.
A precious metals specialist will assist with the rollover process
Opening a precious metals or gold IRA can be intimidating. Birch Gold Group will assign you a precious metals expert to guide you through the entire process, including:
- Deciding how to fund your precious metals IRA account: One of Birch’s experts can help you determine whether you need to roll over a 401(k) from a former employer or transfer an existing IRA.
- Choosing your precious metals: Your precious metals dealer will provide you with information and recommendations based on current precious metals pricing and your financial situation.
- Making your purchase: Your specialist will confirm your purchase and guide you through the required paperwork.
- Giving you options for storing your precious metals: Your specialist will help you select a depository for storing your investment. These may include the Delaware Depository, which maintains a $1 billion precious metals insurance policy, or Brink’s Global Service, the largest non-governmental, nonbank holder of precious metals worldwide.
- Keeping you updated: Your specialists can answer questions and help with buy-back quotes in the future.
Low investment minimum
Birch Gold Group does not disclose a strict minimum investment but recommends that you start with at least $10,000. While this may sound significant, this amount is lower than the minimums from other gold IRA providers.
Birch Gold Group cons explained
Must contact a representative to make a purchase
The only way to buy physical precious metals from Birch Gold Group is through a representative during Birch Gold Group’s operation hours. The company’s customer service team is only available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT, which may be difficult if you have time zone or work conflicts.
High non-IRA cash purchase minimum
Birch Gold Group requires a minimum amount of $10,000 for buying precious metals when not part of a gold IRA package. For the purchase of non-IRA precious metals, this is higher than most competitors.
Birch Gold Group gold IRA offerings
Birch Gold Group offers many choices for starting a gold IRA or buying precious metals for personal use. These are Birch’s main offerings:
Self-directed precious metals IRA
A precious metals IRA is a retirement account where you, the account holder, decide what kind of precious metals to invest in. According to the Internal Revenue Service, you can only hold the following precious metals in a precious metals IRA:
- Particular silver, gold or platinum coins
- Any coin issued by a U.S. state
- Gold, platinum, silver or palladium bullion that meets certain fineness criteria, but only if a bank or approved trustee holds the bullion in trust for the account holder
Gold coins and bars
Gold is the best-known precious metal for investment and has one of the highest-volume trading markets in the world. It’s a popular hedge during economic slowdowns compared to cash investments.
You can invest in gold by buying bars and coins for your precious metals IRA as long as they meet the IRS purity requirements. These must be stored in a third-party depository. You can also buy gold assets for physical possession and store them in your home or safe deposit box at a bank or other financial institution.
Silver coins and bars
Silver is the second best-known precious metal for investment. It’s less expensive than gold and platinum, making it an affordable choice for investment beginners. As with gold, you can buy silver bars and coins for your precious metals IRA if they meet the IRS purity requirements. You also have the option to buy silver for physical possession.
Platinum coins and bars
Widely used in jewelry and catalytic converters, platinum is a rare grayish-white precious metal that is very dense yet malleable. Because of its rareness, platinum often has a higher price per troy ounce than gold. You can buy platinum coins and bars for your precious metals IRA or physical possession.
Palladium coins and bars
Birch Gold Group also offers palladium products. Often called platinum’s cousin, palladium is known for its use in catalytic converters and electronic and medical applications. Although palladium tends to positively correlate with gold, it behaves more like a commodity because it’s used more in industry. As such, it’s more sensitive to business cycles than the gold market.
Like the other precious metals sold by Birch Gold Group, you can buy palladium coins and bars for your precious metals IRA or physical possession.
Birch Gold Group gold IRA pricing
Birch Gold Group offers some of the most affordable fees in the precious metals IRA market. One-time fees include an account set-up fee of $50 and a wire transfer fee of $30, if a wire transfer is needed. Annual fees include $100 for storage and insurance and $100 for management of the account. Note that you’ll pay the same $200 in annual fees no matter how large your account is. But Birch Gold Group will pay your first year’s fees on transfers over $50,000.
While these fees seem reasonable for higher-value accounts, the same fees apply to lower-value accounts. In such cases, these fees may not appear as economical.
Birch Gold Group gold IRA accessibility
Birch Gold Group’s website is easy to read and navigate. The website header shows real-time information about the value of precious metals. The Birch Gold Group website also has comprehensive articles and interviews about the benefits of investing in precious metals.
Birch Gold Group services are available to everyone. However, you must be willing to spend at least $10,000 to buy precious metals for physical ownership. To open a precious metals IRA, you may be able to start with less, but Birch recommends you start with at least $10,000.
Birch Gold Group headquarters are in Burbank, California. You can email the company at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-355-2116. The company’s operational hours are 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PST Monday through Friday.
Birch Gold Group’s website is comprehensive and easy to navigate. Through the website, you can request a free information kit for more details about precious metals before speaking with a company specialist. The biggest downside is that, unlike some other gold dealers, you aren’t able to place an order for gold without speaking with a representative.
The Birch Gold Group website also has a comprehensive products page and an education center that explains why you might want to include precious metals in your investment portfolio.
Birch Gold Group gold IRA customer satisfaction
Users are generally impressed by Birch Gold Group’s low fees, transparency and professionalism. The Birch Gold Group has an average customer review rating of 4.58 stars out of a possible five from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) based on 139 reviews. The company has been accredited by the BBB since 2011, receiving an A+ rating.
Birch Gold Group also receives 4.7 out of 5 stars based on 267 Google reviews. Most of these customers were impressed by the patience, efficiency and knowledge of the customer service agents. They were also satisfied with how consistently available customer representatives were.
On Trustpilot, Birch Gold Group has a customer review rating of 4.1 stars out of 5 based on 146 reviews. Many users appreciated the low maintenance fees and the staff’s helpfulness and knowledge. Users who gave low ratings were frustrated with the high price of Birch Gold Group’s physical precious metals. Some users also disliked how hard it was to sell precious metals back to Birch Gold Group.
Birch Gold Group gold IRA FAQs
Is investing in a gold IRA (individual retirement account) better than holding physical gold?
Who is Birch Gold Group's gold IRA best for?
How do I open an IRA with Birch Gold Group?
How we evaluated Birch Gold Group gold IRA
We evaluated Birch Gold Group by examining the following criteria:
- Fee transparency
- User experience
- Customer ratings and reviews
Summary of Money’s Birch Gold Group gold IRA review
A precious metals IRA might be a smart money move if you want to save for retirement or protect yourself from economic uncertainties. Birch Gold Group stands out from competitors for having a lower investment minimum and boasting expedient and professional customer service as well as an accessible website.
However, the company has several drawbacks. For one, you must contact a Birch Gold Group representative directly to make a purchase or set up a gold IRA. Birch Gold Group also has a high non-IRA cash purchase minimum of $10,000, which is steep for many investors.
Birch Gold Group might work best if you’re later in your career and want to diversify your retirement investment portfolio.