Birch Gold Group Review
Often rated as one of the 10 best gold IRA companies in operation right now, it is clear to see that the Birch Gold Group takes its reputation seriously. There have been no registered complaints about the actions taken by this company in the last 12 months and it takes a deep search of the internet to discover anything truly bad about this company. The Birch Gold Group Difference is to protect personal finances so that all financial goals can be achieved. Do they hit the mark?
What Are the Costs To Set Up a Gold IRA?
There is no cost at the Birch Gold Group to rollover your existing IRA or 401k or to set up a new account with the organization. You can take a look online at their free investing kit to take a look at the company’s philosophies about investing to see if they match up with your own. A helpful FAQ section takes you through the basics of having a gold or silver IRA and lets you determine if investing in precious metals is right for you.
Fees and markups aren’t listed on their site, but the last published rates were a $90 setup fee and a $160 annual storage fee for all IRAs. There is a 30% markup on purchases of collectible proof gold and silver coins that are placed into a tax-advantaged retirement account. The minimum purchase amount is $10,000. With the markup, this means a $10,000 minimum purchase will net $7,000 worth of precious metals for your retirement account.
The markup on bullion, however, is just 2%.
Birch Gold Group offers new gold IRA members a free information kit that is based on the current precious metals’ market and can be requested directly through their site or with a toll-free call. There is no listed cost to create the initial IRA, but you will need to rollover an existing tax-advantaged retirement account in order to take advantage of what this provider has to offer. They do have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
What Are the Types of Precious Metals Available?
The Birch Gold Group used to be a silver and gold IRA company that offered no other precious metals, but that has changed. Now platinum and palladium are offered as well. This gives you access to a good investment strategy with your IRA, but may limit your diversification options. You can choose to directly trade in the commodity market or you can add rare gold coins or silver coins to your portfolio.
This group primarily trades in US struck gold and silver coins, some at face value. A Precious Metals IRA through Birch Gold Group does allow you to diversify your funds beyond using the struck coins that meet the quality requirements for retirement account investing. Rolling over an existing IRA to this group allows for stocks, bonds, mutual funds, mortgages, real estate, and even private loans to be initiated from the retirement account.
How Is the Buying and Selling Process Handled?
There is very little information available to a consumer unless you speak with a direct representative about what their processes, policies, and procedures happen to be. Some may see this as a lack of transparency, but any questions can be quickly answered with a toll-free call to one of their helpful representatives.
Prices are based on the spot price of the preferred metal that is being purchased. Interactive and historical charts on pricing for the four precious metals represented are available on the home page. The preferred depository for items purchased and maintained by a custodian is in Delaware. Birch Gold Group is a US Mint listed dealer.
What Timeframes Are Expected?
The Birch Gold Group provides a lot of information about the history of the precious metals that they offer investors, but there is very little in terms of the metal trading process that they utilize. At every screen, you’re encouraged to request their free investment kit which is helpful in some areas, but not so much for transparency of the purchasing process, or to contact their toll-free number.
Because the IRA rollover process is not in a digital format, the rollover time may be extended for certain users. Physical paperwork must be sent to you, then filled out and returned to the Birch Gold Group to take advantage of this opportunity.
There is no listing online as to a guaranteed shipping timeframe, although the IRA transfer process is listed as taking 7 days. A ticker displays current prices, but there are no order forms online to secure an order. This requires customers to contact the organization in person during regular business hours in order to place orders or begin the IRA rollover process.
Birch Gold Group does say that they have improved their internal processes to be in contact with individuals who have late orders for the gold products they have purchased. What defines a late order is not mentioned in the company statement, however, and there are no policies or procedures listed for self-directed IRA gold storage on their site or within any current press releases.
Would We Recommend the Birch Gold Group?
The lack of complaints about Birch Gold Group is encouraging, but can also be reflective of the fact that they are a relatively new gold IRA company that is soliciting for business. They have been in operation since 2003 and have several positive reviews listed on numerous sites. If you are wanting to rollover a current tax-advantaged IRA to become a Precious Metals IRA, then this group has the potential to meet your needs.
In the end, we still prefer the process that is offered by Regal Assets. With a 7 day guaranteed shipping time, no liquidation fees, lower purchasing markups, and other low-cost investment options, the experience is straightforward and simple. Birch Gold Group lets you self-direct your IRA, just as Regal Assets does, but ultimately we feel there is more value in a relationship with the latter company instead of the former in a direct comparison of the two.