Hi. I’m Rob Lambin, from Radford, VA. I built this site in November 2013 to inform and help others, who like me, see the value in putting some savings aside into gold, and are now trying to find the best companies to call.
A few years ago when the stock market crashed, one of my close friends saw hundreds of thousands vanish from his 401K. And just like his savings, his plans of retiring the following year went out the window. Earlier than that, I had fortunately made up my mind, being 57, that I would continue to keep some money in both my 401K and IRA, but that I also needed to diversify into economy proof investments.
Why Did I Want to Own Physical Gold?
Are you worried that the American dollar continues to lose value? Or that your 401K or IRA is yielding less year to year growth compared to previous years, and it may very well drop sharply when the next stock market crash happens? And what about the recent government shutdown, the giant international debt, and other similar factors that make this economy unstable?
These were some of my own concerns and why owning physical gold as part of my portfolio made sense. Gold is one of the most consistently appreciating assets in history. I wanted to own something that I know is scarce, and something that I know cannot be printed and has a proven history of being inflation proof.
When I Call Gold Companies, I Ask Them 5 Questions:
Prove To Me That You Are Experts in Rollovers
I want to make sure that the company is experienced executing rollovers from a 401K, IRA, or Roth IRA, or knows how to assist me in managing my Self Directed IRA, and especially, that they are very well versed in managing all tax implications. A rollover involves them contacting my current financial institution, reporting to the IRS, handling all paperwork and payments, maximizing my tax benefit, and minimizing my risk in the transition. In addition, a Gold IRA only allows specific coins and bullion that meet certain purity criteria, so you need an expert to know which these are. These are no tasks for rookies. When I interview gold companies, they need to give me a feeling that they are absolute experts and that they’ve done this a million times.
Where Will You Store My Gold Holdings?
With a Gold IRA, IRS rules require that your store your physical gold with a third party custodian. This custodian, however, cannot be chosen by you – it’s chosen by the Gold IRA company you decide to work with. That is exactly why I want to make sure that the storage facility, Depository, or method the company uses is the best possible one. My savings must remain safe until I decide to take them out.
I want to hear that they offer Segregated Storage. With Segregated Storage, your gold coins and bars are assured to NOT be co-mingled with other people’s assets. Meaning, your savings will be securely stored in their own isolated space in the vault, compared to non-segregated storage, where your assets are mixed with everyone else’s. Even more important, segregated storage is usually insured for higher amounts and by more reputable entities, and is easier to liquidate. Segregated Storage is more expensive so gold companies either don’t offer it, or charge a much higher fee for it, so be sure to ask these questions.
Give Me a Complete Explanation of Your Fees and Fee Structure
I do not want any hidden fees. I want to know ALL the fees the company charges, and why, before I seal the deal with them. Some of the most common fees are setup, processing, shipping, administrative, application, storage, transfer, termination, and annual. The two most important fees to pay attention to are the annual and storage, as they are recurring.
I’m looking for an annual fee that is flat, not scaled. A scaled fee means that if my Gold IRA wealth grows, so does my annual fee. A flat fee, on the other hand, secures the same rate forever, independently from the size of my savings. I also want my storage fees to be a flat fee of under $100, or to keep them at an absolute minimum (the industry standard is 0.10% of your savings, annually).
How Long Do You Take To Process The Rollover?
The answer I want to hear is less than 48 hours. Some companies take up to 90 days to process and an extra 30 days to ship to the storage facility. This is mainly because they do not operate electronically. Look for a gold company that has an established system of finalizing paperwork electronically, so your rollover is secured within 2 days, and shipped within 7 days. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where your savings are up in the air for 4 months.
Do You Offer a Buy Back Program?
If the gold company does not offer a buy back program, I scratch them off my list. The reason being is that I want to ensure I’m buying liquid assets. Gold is phenomenal because it will continue to increase in value, unlike the dollar. But if I have a medical emergency and I need money overnight, I want an exit strategy. Look for gold companies that offer to buy back from existing clients. The best companies will offer to buy back at whatever the current price of gold is at that time, as they focus more on client retention vs. profiting at buy back.
What Company Did I Choose?
Regal Assets Official Site - Call them at 1-877-959-2419
When I called Regal Assets I had already talked with several other gold companies so I knew the dog & pony show. I talked to Colin Plume, who I’d recommend to anyone. If you call Regal, try to ask for him. I was really between 3 companies, and my decision ultimately came to a just a few important points.
- Lowest Fees
They waive the entire first year. So, I didn’t have to pay for the setup, administrative, storage, or annual fees the first year. The fees that kick in the second year are lower and better structured than others. They charge a flat administrative annual fee of $100, compared to a scaling fee which will increase every time my savings increase. They charge a flat $150 annual storage fee vs. the industry average of a flat $225 or a 0.10% of the balance.
- Fastest Processing and Shipping
My 401K rollover was processed in 48 hours. The shipping of my gold assets to the Depository took 7 days. Other companies quoted up to 90 days processing and 30 days shipping.
- Non-Pushy Staff
I can’t speak for anyone else, but Colin Plume was tremendous and very experienced in rollovers. I had questions about everything and took me 4 months to decide, and he put in hours of his time to explain all details through. Ask for him when you contact Regal Assets.
- Segregated Storage
My assets are held in Segregated Storage via Brinks. It’s hard to find Segregated Storage and Regal offered it. I’m charged a flat $100 per year which beats most competitors, even those offering non-segregated storage.
The best way to get started is to ask your questions directly to Regal Assets
Official Website: www.RegalAssets.com
One of the last things I did was to see what clients were saying. I found only 5 star reviews and no complaints. They have the highest possible ranking with TrustLink, the Better Business Bureau, and the Business Consumer Alliance.
Regal Assets also had no complaints and phenomenal client reviews on Yelp, ScamBook, the Ripoff Report, and CitySearch.
Companies I Called, But Decided Not To Work With:
Why This is Not a Decision I Made Overnight
I did my homework. I called every single one of the top gold companies I was able to find. I knew I wanted gold, but rolling over your 401K or IRA is not simple (despite what sales people may say). It has a lot of implications, and if you don’t do it right, you can lose 1) a lot of money in the process and 2) a lot of recurring money every year.
Watch out for sales people. They want their commission, and it is very rare that they will look after your personal interest. With most companies, I would’ve lost around $500 the first year and an average of $2500 every recurring year, due to higher annual and storage fees. Losing that much would defeat my objective – in that case I would have probably been better off sticking it out with dollars and stocks.
The best advice I can give you is, read my reviews, but call the companies yourself. A lot of the best information is in the conversations you have with the company experts. And, if they sound shady or pushy, run for the hills.
What Company Do I Recommend?
As of November 2013, I’m still recommending Regal Assets. You can call and ask for Colin at 1-877-959-2419
It is strange that a gold company goes out of business, so most of the current gold companies have been around for a while. For the consumer, this is excellent. The longer a company exists, the more the reviews, complaints, and rankings it accumulates in its trajectory. In this day and age, this makes it very easy for a savvy consumer to discern the best from the worst.
I’m always looking for the next best deal, but so far, I’m still very happy with Regal. I haven’t found a company that matches their offer and service. Please feel free to send me an email with any questions about my experience directly to [email protected] and I’ll answer personally.
A Piece of Advice From Billionaires
Jim Rogers (net worth of $300 million)
“Gold will be the great investment over the next decade.” - Jim Rogers, March 2011
David Einhorn ($560 million net worth)
“Gold is the money of choice and we would like to have a meaningful amount of our assets denominated in gold. It’s the biggest position in the fund”… “It’s the one kind of money Bernanke can’t print more of.” - David Einhorn
John Paulson (over $4.6 billion invested in gold)
“Gold can easily pass $2,400 per ounce, reaching up to $4,000 an ounce within 2012.” - John Paulso
Thomas Kaplan (over $2 billion invested in gold)
“People view gold as emotional, but when they demythologize it, when they look at it for what it is and the opportunity it represents, they’re going to say, “We really should own some of that.’ The question will then change to “Where do we get the gold?” – Thomas Kaplan
Seth Klarman (over $1 billion invested in gold)
“There are no easy ways to navigate these turbulent waters. But because the greatest risks are of currency debasement and runaway inflation, protection against a currency collapse – such as exposure to gold – and against much higher interest rates seem like necessary hedges to maintain.” - Seth Klarman
What Company Do I Recommend You Call First?
Regal Assets Official Site - Call them at 1-877-959-2419
Even if you decide not to go with Regal Assets, I highly recommend you give them a call. I felt much more confident about rolling over to gold after speaking to Colin. He answered all my questions. It’s a matter of preference, but I rather spend my time on the phone with an expert than entire days researching and trying to find a legitimate source of information – which is hard to do nowadays.
If you would like to talk to me, I’ll be glad to help out in anyway I can. You can email me directly to [email protected] and I’ll answer personally.