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The Hard Assets Alliance Blog

How Safe Is the Gold in Your Retirement Account?

You know that gold can protect your retirement savings in ways traditional investments can’t. But are you buying the right type of gold for your IRA?

Not all gold investments are created equal—and if you sink your hard-earned savings into the wrong thing, you could wind up losing big.

The majority of investors adding gold to their IRA tend to purchase SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the world’s largest gold ETF. And while GLD can make gaining exposure to gold a lot simpler, it has some significant drawbacks.

The biggest is insurance—or lack thereof. All gold ETFs carry counterparty risk.

GLD does not buy and sell physical gold; it creates and redeems paper shares in the trust company based on market forces. The underlying assets are predominately gold futures contracts, in addition to a small percentage of gold bullion held in storage.

Management prowess, fund structure, chain of custody, operational integrity, regulatory oversight, and delivery protocols can all break down. When that happens, your investment can be compromised.

Think about the fact that gold held by HSBC (GLD’s custodian) is not insured, nor does HSBC bear any responsibility to investors if gold is lost, stolen, or damaged. This also extends to GLD’s sub-custodians who are able to hold gold on behalf of GLD as well.

Earlier this year it was reported in GLD’s 10-Q filing The Bank of England was employed as a sub-custodian for GLD. It supposedly held 29 metric tons of gold during the first quarter of 2016, further amplifying counter-party risk.

If you own shares of GLD, you not only have counterparty risk with HSBC—which, based on a 40% decline in its stock price the past two years, does not inspire confidence—you also have risk associated with sub-custodians holding uninsured gold as well. An adverse event with either HSBC or its many sub-custodians could permanently impair your investment.

Do you want to take that risk with your future?

The Best Gold for Your IRA

Fortunately, there’s an alternative investment to gold ETFs that can help secure your retirement: real, physical bullion.

Precious metals carry no counterparty risk, help hedge against inflation, and offer the same tax advantages as traditional investments (with the additional advantage of allowing you to shift the allocation and not trigger a taxable event).

Not only that, but when you consider how global financial instability can affect your paper assets, the benefit of having physical precious metals inside a retirement vehicle becomes even clearer.

The Challenge of a Precious Metals IRA

While it’s easy to see why you should own precious metals in an IRA, it’s not always easy to open one. Many precious metals IRA companies require you to set up a self-directed IRA custodial account, a storage account with a bank or depository, and then find a metals dealer to facilitate your investments.

The process involves three separate players— custodian, dealer, and storage facility—and can take up to 4–6 weeks. Plus, this process has to be repeated anytime you want to sell some quantity of your metal or buy another.

It’s hardly an efficient process.

A self-directed IRA also leaves you vulnerable to unforeseen tax liabilities. Internal Revenue Code guidelines stipulate what type of physical, precious metals can be purchased with IRA money and how the assets are to be stored. Violating the IRC guidelines can result in stiff penalties and possible forfeiture of tax advantages associated with IRAs.

The Hard Assets Alliance offers a precious metals IRA that makes investing as easy as trading ETFs—but with the peace of mind only physical bullion can provide.

Our fully integrated IRA program combines:

  • an online account management platform
  • access to our vast dealer network offering very competitive bullion prices
  • secure domestic and international storage options
  • an ultra-secure transaction system with superior liquidity, 24 hours per day
  • dedicated and knowledgeable customer support
  • low fees

With everything under one roof, you get the security of precious metals and the convenience of a user-friendly interface that enables you to manage your IRA online.

Best of all, all it takes to set up your precious metals IRA with the Hard Assets Alliance is one simple application that can be completed in minutes—and approval takes 48 hours or less.

IRA’s can be funded through annual contributions, transferring cash from an existing IRA, rolling over funds from a private retirement account, or even doing an in-kind transfer from a current precious metal IRA.

Our IRA offers a level of security and service that every serious bullion investor should demand:

Competitive prices  thanks to the vast dealer network on our SmartMetals purchasing platform
Ease of use  buy or sell quickly and easily right from your online account, 24 hours a day
IRS compliance  as required by the IRA, metal is stored in approved facilities with contributions and  distributions  being facilitated by The Entrust Group
Only allowed products offered  we ensure you see only products approved for inclusion in IRAs so there’s no chance you’ll  inadvertently incur a tax liability
You have total control  you choose the types of metals your IRA owns, and you can take delivery of your metal at  any time after age 59½ (it is possible to take delivery earlier, but it is considered a taxable  distribution)
Tax-free transactions  you can buy and sell metals in your precious metals IRA without tax consequences and  without having to report every transaction
Storage options  fully insured vaults in New York and Salt Lake City, with offshore storage available in Zurich
First-class
customer service
 access to personalized guidance from experienced staff


The ongoing ability of precious metals to preserve wealth is one of the reasons more and more investors are establishing a precious metals IRA. In these uncertain times, assets that offer greater stability to your portfolio than stocks, bonds, or ETFs are simply a non-negotiable.

Visit our online application to start adding precious metals to your retirement savings now!

If you’d like to learn more download our free precious metals IRA guide or call 877-727-7387 (877-7-assets)

 

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