Goldco is one of the most popular choices for people who want to open a gold IRA. But the most popular companies aren't always the best to work with. Does Goldco actually have the great customer service and low pricing that they claim to?
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Goldco has been operating since 2006. The company founder, Trevor Gerszt, wanted to help people diversify their retirement accounts with precious metals. The company's main purpose is to help people create and fund self-directed IRAs, and then to purchase precious metals with them.
Precious metals are considered an ideal investment as a hedge against inflation. It has been legal to add precious metals to a self-directed IRA since 1997. But the paperwork involved can be confusing and difficult to navigate. That's why companies like Goldco exist -- they help you with the administrative process.
Goldco has received top marks from the Business Consumer Alliance and the Better Business Bureau. They have also been reviews thousands of times online. Websites like Trustpilot give the company a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 800 reviews.
There are two main executives in charge of Goldco's management. The founder is Trevor Gerszt, and the CEO is Brenda Whitman.
Trevor Gerszt was born in South Africa, which is a nation that produces nearly the most gold in the world. It is surpassed only by China in terms of gold production. Gerszt's family was interested in gold collecting, so he became familiar with the precious metals market from a very young age.
Gerszt was interested in collecting numismatic gold coins. In 2006, he decided to open his own gold dealership. Goldco originally operated under the name Goldco Direct. Gerszt's passion for precious metals and for the financial security of his clients has shone through in his company.
Brenda Whitman became part of the Goldco team in May of 2015. At first, she was the Director of IRA Services for the company. She was then promoted to COO, and finally to CEO.
Whitman has been involved with the precious metals industry and IRAs for years. She worked with Capital Gold Group for more than a decade. During her tenure there, she served as Vice President of the company and was in charge of Capital Gold Group's National Affiliate Program.
When she was working to direct the affiliate program, she helped financial professionals to connect their clients with precious metals. She also helped further education about the importance of gold to a well-balanced investment portfolio.
Goldco's main specialty is precious metals IRAs. They will sell you investment grade gold and silver for your IRA, as well as help you to set up your IRA in the first place. But they also allow you to buy precious metals for your personal portfolio as well.
Precious Metals IRAs
You can open a gold or silver IRA, or you can purchase a combination of the two metals. Goldco recommends that you have at least $25,000 to invest before using their services. They streamline the entire IRA setup process so that you never even need to talk to your custodian.
Goldco's preferred custodian is Equity Trust Company. But they can work with a different custodian if you have one. Unlike many other precious metals companies, Goldco has a dedicated in-house IRA team. A professional account representative will walk you through all of the paperwork, making the process as quick as possible.
Not only does that include the application paperwork, but it also includes custodial paperwork. They'll help you roll over funds for your IRA, and then they'll help you select the metals that are right for you.
Goldco's precious metals experts are able to explain the history and growth potential of many different items. Gold and silver purchases must both adhere to strict IRS standards regarding the purity, weight, and type of item. Since Goldco specializes in IRA metals, their available offerings for IRAs are all compliant with IRS regulations.
Precious metals can also be bought for your personal portfolio without all the IRA paperwork. These won't be subject to the same tax advantages as IRA contributions, though.
You can work with a Goldco representative to choose gold and silver items that are ideal for your portfolio. The items can either be stored with one of Goldco's partnered depositories, or you can have them shipped securely to your house. All shipped packages are fully insured for the value of the metals.
Goldco does only sell precious metals to people within the United States. So if you want to have your items sent to an international address, you might be better off working with a different company.
If you're making a cash purchase, the minimum investment is just $3,500. While this is significantly higher than with many other dealerships, it's also much lower than the $25,000 minimum investment to open an IRA.
Cryptocurrency IRAs have become more and more popular in recent years. About a decade ago, hardly anyone had even heard of Bitcoin. But now the future of cryptocurrency is on every investor's mind.
The IRS has approved holding cryptocurrency in a self-directed IRA. Like with precious metals, you need to adhere to certain standards regarding the storage and the type of cryptocurrency.
Goldco is partnered with a sister company called CoinIRA. This company can work with you to help you learn about the advantages and disadvantages of different cryptocurrencies. You'll be able to choose crypto to invest in using a secure digital wallet.
However, it should be noted that there isn't an option to put cryptocurrency and precious metals into the same self-directed IRA. If you want a company that will do that for you, you might want to work with Regal Assets instead.
Opening an IRA
Self-directed IRAs are a unique type of retirement account. Unlike traditional IRAs, these are not managed by an investment manager. Instead, they are managed by you alone. You can choose exactly what assets to purchase, and you aren't bound to any traditional division of assets.
However, that can also be intimidating, especially if you don't have a strong financial background. You can use a self-directed IRA to buy alternative assets like precious metals, cryptocurrency, and even real estate. But you have to comply with the IRS regulations to do so.
If you don't have a tax background or financial expertise, that might seem overwhelming. Even just the paperwork to get started is overwhelming. But it's a lot less overwhelming when you work with companies like Goldco.
These are the basic steps you'll take to create and fund your IRA with one of Goldco's experts.
Choosing a Plan
The first step is to choose a plan. If you want to invest in precious metals for your retirement, you will need to create a self-directed IRA. To do this, you should talk to an IRA expert.
Goldco employs a large number of in-house IRA tax experts. These people are familiar with the paperwork and tax regulations governing different IRAs.
Filling Out Custodial Paperwork
You'll need a custodian who will manage and oversee your precious metals IRA. With many precious metals dealers, they'll direct you to the website of their preferred custodian. But that isn't the case with Goldco.
With Goldco, you never actually need to talk to your custodian yourself. Your account representative will talk you through the application process. Then they'll send your application to the custodian and handle all of the communication for you.
Goldco will also walk you through the process of funding your account. This will typically be done by rolling over funds from your existing retirement account. Rollovers of this nature can be done without incurring any tax penalties.
Once the account is fully set up and funded, you can use those funds to purchase precious metals.
Goldco has a variety of educational materials available on their website. These can teach you about the different precious metals on the market, and the benefits and drawbacks of investing in each.
You can also ask your account representative questions. They'll help to enlighten you about the relevant information.
Once you actually purchase the metals, they will be shipped to your storage depository of choice. Goldco will handle all of the communication with your custodian so that you don't have to. All you need to do is finalize your purchase and authorize them to talk to your custodian on your behalf.
It usually takes around 10 business days to go from contacting Goldco to purchasing your precious metals. Much of this is simply the time that it takes for different pieces of paperwork to be processed.
Pricing and Fees
Goldco's precious metals are available for some of the most competitive pricing in the business. In fact, almost nobody has complained about the value of their items. The few complaints that exist are related to misconceptions about how precious metals investments perform over time.
Goldco does not appear to publish prices for their products on their website. But they do provide information about different gold and silver pieces in their inventory. Pricing information likely changes based on the fluctuating spot prices. As such, you'll need to get a quote by contacting the company.
There are also some costs and fees associated with having a precious metals IRA.
Goldco has a setup fee of just $50 for a precious metals IRA. That's one of the lowest in the business. Most competitors have setup fees that range from $100 to $300.
There is also a one-time wire transfer fee of $30. This is to cover the cost of rolling over your retirement funds into a new account. Wire transfer fees are very common, and again, this is one of the lowest in the business.
Maintenance and Storage
No matter what precious metals IRA company you work with, you will have to pay maintenance and storage fees. The maintenance fee goes to your custodian, and the storage fee covers the cost of keeping your account open with a registered depository.
You are required by law to store your precious metals IRA in a depository licensed by the IRS. You are also required by law to have a licensed custodian in charge of it.
The maintenance fee for Goldco's preferred custodial partner is just $80. Not only is that much less than most companies charge, but it's also a flat fee. Flat fees are preferred to percentage-based ones because with a percentage-based fee, you pay more for having a larger account. It's like being punished for earning more money.
Storage fees might also vary slightly depending on the company you work with. However, Goldco's preferred depositories have a cost of $100 for non-segregated storage and $150 for segregated. Segregated storage means that your vault is completely separate from everyone else's. Nobody except for you and your custodian is able to access the contents.
Regardless of whether you choose segregated or non-segregated storage, there is a high level of security at the depository. Your items will also be fully insured in case of theft, damage, or any other risks.
The three available vaults are:
If you have no preference on segregated or non-segregated storage, then your choice of vault might be related to the region you're in instead.
Goldco also frequently runs promotions for those opening a new gold IRA. If your initial deposit is at least $50,000, you can have your first year of fees waived. You might also get 5% off your total order.
One of the biggest concerns with precious metals investment is the liquidation process. You want to make sure that you can get an appropriate amount of cash for your metals, fast.
When the time comes to take distributions from your account, you have two choices. You can either have precious metals shipped directly to you, or you can sell the metals back to Goldco.
Goldco has a buyback guarantee. If you purchase precious metals from them, they will buy those precious metals back when the time comes. They also ask that people who are liquidating their assets allow Goldco to make the first offer. Goldco tends to give a much better quote than the average precious metals dealer.
But with that said, there is no requirement that you have to sell your metals to Goldco. If you want to take physical possession of them or sell them to a different company, you're fully within your rights to do so.
Is Goldco a Scam?
Goldco is definitely not a scam. In fact, it is widely considered to be one of the best precious metals IRA companies in the business. Feedback from past customers has been overwhelmingly positive. The company operates with a high level of ethics and transparency, and they work hard to take care of people's money.
Not only are there thousands of positive customer reviews across several third party websites, but Goldco also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Goldco has also been noted for its impressive growth. Every year from 2015 to 2018, Goldco was part of Inc Magazine's 5000 fastest-growing companies in the US. They have also been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the Los Angeles area.
Goldco has been endorsed by multiple celebrity and political figures. Among these are the TV personality Sean Hannity and the prior presidential candidate Ron Paul.
One thing that sets Goldco apart is the company's customer service. Each client goes through an extremely streamlined process to set up their IRA. At the same time, the setup fee is very affordable. You can chat with representatives online and get a reply in just a few minutes.
Are There Red Flags?
Sometimes you can learn more about a company from negative feedback than positive feedback. Goldco is popular nationwide with thousands of customers. Even though almost all of the feedback has been positive, there have been a few complaints here and there.
So let's take a look at some of the negative online feedback and see what people had to say.
On the BBB website, there have been 225 customer reviews, almost all of which are positive. There have only been 15 complaints closed in the last three years. Twelve of those were filed in the past 12 months.
Obviously we can't look at all twelve, but we can see a handful.
One complaint was from someone who said they were receiving several calls per day. The company responded to apologize. They added that calls are only made to people who provide their information. The complainant had asked for information. But Goldco removed their information from their call list.
The complainant said that they accepted the resolution.
Another person made the same complaint. They said they had asked Goldco to take them off the call list, but the company had never done so. Goldco responded to say that they believed a different customer had given them the wrong number, as the complainant's information was not in their system.
Yet another person claimed to have received an unsolicited call. But Goldco responded to say that the person actually had solicited information and given Goldco permission to call. They had information about the contact they'd had with the individual.
One complaint was from someone who said they were overcharged for the precious metals they bought. Goldco responded to apologize and say that the original sales representative wasn't with the company anymore. They explained that the customer's purchase was actually worth more than what they were quoted.
The customer responded to say that they accepted the resolution and appreciated the company for reaching out.
Most of the recent complaints seem to be about phone calls. It's very rare for customers to have any issue with the cost of the precious metals. When people have cited issues with their purchases, they're usually operating with mistaken information about their coins or about how the precious metals market works.
There don't seem to be any fraudulent practices or patterns of mismanagement at Goldco. Any complaints appear to be related to misunderstandings, and the company is good about communicating with clients.
Pros & Cons of Goldco
Overall, Goldco is our most highly recommended company to work with for a precious metals IRA (after a review of over 100 companies). The only potential drawback is that they have a relatively high minimum investment amount. This means that people with smaller retirement accounts might not be able to access their services.
But if you do meet the minimum requirements, we recommend Goldco above every other precious metals company.
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