Buy Gold for Your IRA: Here's What You Need to Know

  • Gold has long been known as a safe harbor for wealth preservation.
  • Gold has gained in popularity because of its reputation as a safe haven asset.
  • Gold has retained its status as a global reserve and tangible asset.

Gold is investing in demand across the globe. The precious metal offers an inflation hedge and a way to preserve and grow wealth.
Investing in gold can diversify your portfolio, and owning gold in an IRA can add tax advantages that individual investors can't take advantage of.

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buying gold for ira

A Quick Review of Gold

Gold is a commodity that has been used for thousands of years as a medium of exchange and store of value. Gold has certain properties that make it attractive as a store of value. In its physical form, it can be transported and hidden easily.
The supply of gold is limited, and new supply comes from mining. The supply of gold is also non-renewable. Gold is also fungible, meaning that one troy ounce of 24 karat gold can be interchanged with another at close to the same price.

Gold IRAs

If you're thinking about buying gold for your IRA, you'll first need to set up an account with a qualified custodian or trustee. The custodian or trustee will hold the gold in your name and invest it according to your instructions.
Gold IRAs are different from standard IRAs in that they are exempt from the limitations on investments. Gold is allowed to be invested in an IRA, and there are several gold IRA custodians and trustees to choose from.

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Benefits of Gold

Gold is also an excellent investment-and why not, after all, it's been used to carry and store wealth for thousands of years. Aside from the fact that its value is highly stable, gold is also considered as a safe haven, especially during periods of market turmoil.

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If you invest in gold through your IRA, you don't have to worry about using an intermediary such as a broker. You keep all the profits and losses, and you don't have to pay the fees that brokers charge.
Gold is a fairly liquid investment. You can typically sell your gold at any time, and you might find a buyer easily.
Low Expense Ratios
The fees, commissions, and expenses associated with owning gold through funds or ETFs are generally very low.
Gold is a relatively safe asset, and historically, it has been viewed as a hedge against inflation. For investors, gold can provide diversification of investment portfolios, particularly in the financial, technology, and energy arenas.

If you are concerned about inflation, gold can complement your IRA investments. Gold also can be a great hedge against stock market risk.


Gold is, of course, the most popular non-paper asset that investors consider for diversification. Made up of 17.5% gold, 38.5% silver, and 42.5% copper, the gold market is less volatile than the stock market. Even during market crashes, the gold price tends to appreciate.
Gold's value as an alternative investment comes from its ability to perform well during bear markets and recessions. Investors can purchase gold when it is depressed or when the economic climate is depressed.
Inflation Protection
As inflation has historically increased the price of gold, investors with IRAs can take advantage of this historical trend.

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Gold's unique qualities make it the premier choice for IRAs. Here are some of its qualities.
First, it is tangible. Unlike stocks, bonds, or cryptocurrencies, gold doesn't involve a digital currency. Gold is tangible and can be physically held, transported, and traded.
Second, gold is portable. You can hold gold in physical form or in digital form. Gold can be held in many different ways, including in coins and bars, and in digital form.
Third, gold is finite. There's a limited supply of gold in the world, unlike stocks, fiat currencies, or commodities. The price of gold rises when demand increases, but it can't increase indefinitely as could be the case with stocks.
Fourth, gold resists inflation. In times of inflation, when currencies become weaker, gold tends to increase in price.
Fifth, gold is immune to political manipulation. Gold isn't subject to the whims of governments, unlike fiat currencies.

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The Bottom Line

Gold has outperformed stocks in 2012. Gold is historically considered to be a safe-haven asset and its price has risen in recent years as global economic uncertainty has increased.
While gold prices are unarguably low, owning gold in an IRA is still a risky proposition. However, precious metals, such as gold, can be a valuable addition to a diversified investment portfolio.