Oxford Gold Group has only been part of the precious metals industry since 2018. They've broken into the highly competitive niche of gold IRAs, and they've gained a surprising reputation in a short period of time. But are their services legitimate? And are they better than their top competitors?
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About Oxford Gold Group
Oxford Gold Group was first founded in 2018. The company says that their main driving principle is that every person should have access to precious metals investments. They shouldn't be a luxury that is only afforded to the wealthy. Every customer who works with Oxford is given custom tailored advice for their specific needs and circumstances.
The company's main specialty is using retirement funds to purchase precious metals. Precious metals have historically performed well in times of economic turmoil. They are a tangible asset with a relatively stable value, which helps keep your portfolio secure while the economy goes through cycles.
If you purchase precious metals with your retirement funds, you will need to comply with strict IRS regulations regarding storage, custodianship, and the assets themselves. But Oxford Gold Group will also sell precious metals to people as an individual non-retirement investment. In these cases, they can ship the metals directly to you or arrange for storage elsewhere.
Oxford Gold Group operates with an intense client-first approach. Every client is given tools and information to learn about the precious metals industry. The goal is to help people be confident in their ability to choose the best items for their future.
As such, Oxford promises that they will answer every question that a customer has. They'll walk people through the purchase process from beginning to end. Every client is given suggestions and a plan tailored to their own needs and goals.
Most precious metals companies say that they give customers an individualized experience. But Oxford Gold Group has received universal acclaim and praise because it actually does. Customers say that they felt prioritized and cared for, and they also say that they didn't experience any sales pressure.
Gold IRA Services
Oxford Gold Group has published information about how to create a precious metals IRA. They also have pages that go much further in depth about different types of retirement account, different investment items, and the historic value of gold.
You will need to have your precious metals stored at a depository approved by the IRS. Your account will also need to be maintained by a custodian.
Oxford Gold Group is somewhat unusual in that they don't list any partner companies as a custodian. Instead, they tell people to seek out a custodian by themselves. This might be a credit union, brokerage, or trust company.
Many other precious metals IRA companies list several different custodians to choose from. That way, you're able to compare the fees and services of multiple options without getting overwhelmed. Some people might not know where to begin when looking for a custodian.
It is possible that if you call Oxford Gold Group to ask for advice, they will help you narrow down a good custodian for your needs. It's just odd that there's no information presented on the website. The good news about that, though, is that the company will work with any custodian -- no matter how large or small.
If you want to set up an account, you'll have to fill out an application. Oxford Gold Group does offer application services. Once you've chosen a custodial partner, you can call Oxford for help with their application. No matter how long or short the application, a dedicated representative will help you make sense of it. The entire process doesn't take any more than ten minutes.
Oxford also takes some of the hassle out of contacting the custodian. Instead of reaching out to the custodian yourself, you'll send your Oxford representative your application. They will then forward it to the appropriate party with whatever other information is required.
After sending the application, the company has usually created your account in the next 24 hours.
The account application creates a self-directed IRA. This is a retirement account that can hold alternative assets, like precious metals, that aren't eligible for traditional IRAs. With this type of account, you're in complete control of your holdings, rather than having a manager deal with it for you.
But if you want to hold precious metals in your retirement account, you need to put liquid funds in first. It is not legal to purchase precious metals and then use them as a retirement contribution. Similarly, you cannot enter precious metals that you already own into your IRA. You have to use liquid funds within the account to buy the metals.
There are several different ways that you can fund your account. Your custodian will typically walk you through this process. But Oxford Gold Group has gone a step further in streamlining the setup. They can talk to your custodian on your behalf and get the transfer set up for you.
The most common choice is to use a rollover. For those who already have 401(k) retirement accounts, you can move some of your funds into your new IRA without incurring any penalties.
A similar process is available for people who have an existing IRA. Maybe it's a traditional IRA that can't hold precious metals. You can transfer funds from this account into your self-directed account.
A less common option is to make an IRA contribution from your personal savings. With this method, you will be subject to the annual limits on how much you can contribute per year.
Pulling from savings is ideal if you already know that you want to move a large amount of savings into your retirement account. But since the majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, most people don't have this amount of money easily accessible.
Transfers might take anywhere from one to five days. It depends on the method and the custodian. Some custodians process transfers faster than others. The most common method of transfer is a bank wire, which is also the quickest.
Now you have a self-directed IRA that has been funded with cash. You can use the cash to invest in precious metals.
This is one of the places that Oxford Gold Group focuses on the most. They can talk to you about the different products available for purchase. When you talk to your account partner, they'll ask questions to get a sense of your long term goals, budget, risk tolerance, and other factors.
After you have finalized your choices of precious metal, your custodian will transfer the funds to Oxford Gold Group. Then Oxford will send the metals to a secure depository. According to their website, they have partnered with both the Delaware Depository and the Texas Depository.
When you invest in precious metals for an IRA, you need to store them in an IRS-approved vault. These vaults have advanced security measures and insurance policies. If anything happens to your holdings, you'll be able to recover the damage financially.
One interesting note is that as long as the depository is compliant with IRS security regulations, it doesn't need to be located in the US. Some people choose to store their precious metals offshore where they can't be seized by any central banking system or government.
Oxford Gold Group doesn't appear to have international storage options. But they have partnered with two major depositories: the Delaware Depository and the Texas Depository. As the names imply, these vaults are located in Delaware and Texas respectively.
Different storage companies have different fees. These are not the same as the account setup fees charged by Oxford. You'll have to pay storage and insurance fees on top of that. Similarly, you should keep in mind that your custodian will have fees as well.
Both the Texas and Delaware depositories have regular third party audits. This is when another entity will evaluate your account to make sure that your digital holdings are backed up by the physical metals.
With the Delaware Depository, you can choose to have a segregated or non-segregated vault. Segregated storage costs more per year, but it keeps your items separate from everyone else's. No one can access your holdings except you and your custodian.
Fees and Pricing
Oxford Gold Group has a fee to get your account set up. This covers the convenience of having them handle all of your paperwork and custodial communication. You'll pay $325 to create a new IRA.
The flat fee structure is a point in Oxford's favor. Some other precious metals companies charge a percentage of your account holdings instead. That means that you're penalized for having account growth over time.
But it should be noted that $325 is a much higher setup fee than one you'll find with most of the competition. That goes even for competitors that are as streamlined as Oxford!
After setting up your account, you will need to pay $180 in maintenance fees on an annual basis. This is not related to your custodial fees. Custodians all have very different fee structures. Some charge for transactions and reports, while others just have basic maintenance costs.
Is Oxford Gold Group a Scam?
Oxford Gold Group is not a scam. Despite only being around since 2018, the company has an A+ rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. There are 45 customer reviews on the BBB website with an average of 5 out of 5 stars, indicating universally positive reviews.
One complaint has been filed with the BBB. However, the customer didn't provide a lot of details. They just filed a complaint in June of 2021 to say that the company had a certain amount of their money and was refusing to return it. They didn't explain the circumstances leading up to the problem.
The customer followed up the day after posting the complaint to say that their products had finally shipped. The issue was resolved. It's unclear whether this was a problem with miscommunication or with shipping delays, but either way, there's no sign of malice. That's especially evident considering how many more glowing reviews there are.
The BBB isn't the only website that has accumulated a ton of great reviews. Consumer Affairs gives the company a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars with 53 reviews, indicating near-universal praise. Trustpilot has a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Customers consistently praise the service, convenience, and pricing.
Pros & Cons of Oxford Gold Group
Oxford Gold Group is a new precious metals IRA company that has already garnered an impressive reputation. Since 2018, they have been working with customers across the US to help create gold IRAs. Dozens of customers have left reviews praising the company for its great overall management and service.
It's definitely a fearsome competitor in the gold IRA industry. Because of how good the customer feedback is, we feel that this is a solid option to work with. However, the company does fall behind the competition in a few basic areas.
For one thing, their website doesn't have much information about who they work with. When you open a precious metals IRA, the bullion dealer is just one piece. You also need a custodian to maintain the account, along with a depository to keep the metals secure.
Most precious metals bullion dealers partner with at least one custodian and depository. But Oxford Gold Group doesn't have much information about companies that they frequently work with. They just say that you'll need to choose a custodian to open an account.
Another note is that the cost of setup is higher than what you'll find with a lot of the competition. It can cost more than $300 to create your account and maintain it for a year. After that, the yearly maintenance fee drops significantly, but it's still more than $100.
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