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Precious Metal IRA: Retirement Investing In Gold & Silver

During periods of market volatility, confident investors turn to safe-haven assets such as precious metals. Even though market fluctuations can still influence gold, silver, and palladium, they’re often considered attractive options for long-term investments due to their ability to maintain and increase in value.

Conventional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) don’t allow for the inclusion of physical precious metals. However, specialized precious metal IRAs have been created to enable individuals to invest in gold, palladium, silver, and other valuable metals to protect their retirement savings.

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What Is a Precious Metal IRA?

A specialized type of Individual Retirement Account called a precious metal IRA allows investment by including unconventional assets such as precious metals, real estate, and cryptocurrency.

Unlike traditional IRAs that don’t allow direct ownership of these assets, self-directed precious metal IRAs provide the flexibility to include them in one’s investment strategy. Self-directed precious metal IRAs adhere to the same contribution limits as regular IRAs.

Kelli Click, the president of STRATA Trust Company, a custodian specializing in self-directed IRAs focused on gold and other metals, emphasizes that some individuals opt to incorporate precious metals into their retirement plan due to their historically proven long-term growth potential. Gold, silver, and palladium have consistently shown appreciation over time.

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How Does a Precious Metal IRA Work?

Selecting a custodian and an IRA management company is crucial when opting for a precious metal IRA. The custodian securely stores the physical precious metals in a designated storage facility. Keeping these metals at home isn’t permitted within this IRA structure.

After selecting a provider for your precious metals IRA, deciding on a custodian, and funding your account, the next step is determining the type and quantity of metals you wish to invest in. The account provider will provide ample support and guidance to help you make informed decisions that align with your investment objectives.

The custodian acquires valuable metals on your behalf and preserves them in a safe storage facility. The metals are held in an individual account, ensuring they’re separate from other investors’ holdings.

The regulations set by the IRS govern precious metal IRAs. These regulations include restrictions on the types of metals that can be owned and how they should be stored. Selecting a trustworthy custodian who’ll assist you throughout the process and ensure that your account complies with IRS regulations is crucial.

What Precious Metals Can You Invest in for Retirement?

Investing in precious metal IRAs allows individuals to diversify their portfolio by investing in gold, silver, platinum, or palladium. However, specific criteria set by the IRS must be met when investing in these metals. Investing in these precious metals requires meeting those standards.

  • Gold must be 99.5% pure
  • Silver must be 99.9% pure
  • Platinum must be 99.95% pure
  • Palladium must be 99.95% pure

Some products that fulfill these requirements are coins like Canadian Maple Leaf, Australian Koala, and PAMP Suisse bars. American Eagle coins, although not meeting the 99.5% purity standard for gold, are also accepted by the IRS.

Possessing rare or valuable coins, Swiss Francs, British Sovereigns, or German Marks within a self-directed IRA is impossible. Look at our compilation of the top gold IRAs for further information.

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How Much of Your IRA Should Include Precious Metals?

If you opt to engage in a precious metals Individual Retirement Account (IRA), it’s advisable to exercise caution. Considering your financial circumstances, most professionals suggest limiting your investment in precious metals to 5% to 10% of your retirement funds.

Several factors contribute to the experts’ explanation of this small percentage. Portfolios that are designed thoughtfully embrace diversity, which implies they don’t expose themselves to unnecessary risks by solely investing in one asset or type of asset. In simpler terms, no credible financial advisor would suggest putting all your assets into precious metals.

Although gold and other metals have consistently maintained their worth over extended periods, other investment options like stocks might be less lucrative than they are.

For individuals aiming to increase their retirement savings further, allocating excessive funds towards precious metals would be disadvantageous.

Remember that metals often considered “safe havens” may not provide the safety investors seek. These metals have shown historical volatility comparable to stocks. While their prices tend to increase during market downturns, they often decline when stocks rebound.

For individuals looking for security and protection against inflation, alternative investments such as high-quality bonds or Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) might be more suitable.

Several choices are available if you consider adding precious physical metals to your IRA.

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Special Considerations for Precious Metal IRAs

Regarding precious metal IRAs, there are additional factors to consider due to the involvement of purchasing and storing valuable physical metals.

There’s only one way around some of these fees. The IRS strictly prohibits storing the precious metals you’ve invested in your IRA at home. Doing so puts you at risk of incurring extra taxes and penalties.

How to Open a Precious Metal IRA

Getting started with a self-directed IRA and investing in precious metals can be more complex than opening a traditional or Roth IRA. Let me walk you through the steps:

1. Select a Self-Directed IRA Custodian

A custodian maintains your self-managed IRA. Custodians can be financial institutions, fiduciary companies, or entities that have received approval from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Self-managed IRA custodians allow investors to invest in non-traditional assets such as precious metals and real estate.

2. Choose a Precious Metals Dealer

You need to select a dealer who specializes in precious metals. Instruct the custodian of your IRA to transfer funds to the chosen dealer to purchase gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.

Conducting thorough research before selecting a dealer and using your IRA funds to purchase precious metals is essential. Look for dealers that are affiliated with industry trade groups, such as the American Numismatic Association (ANA), Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), or Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG), as they can assist with your search.

It’s also worth verifying if your IRA custodian already has established relationships with specific dealers. However, it’s still essential to independently verify their reputation through research.

3. Decide What Products to Buy

To make your purchase, you must collaborate with the dealer and decide on the products you wish to buy. The American Eagle Bullion Coins issued by the U.S. Mint are popular among the available options.

4. Choose a Depository

Investing in precious metals through a self-directed IRA necessitates using an authorized depository like the Delaware Depository. While your IRA custodian can suggest a suitable repository, you can choose one that adheres to the Internal Revenue Code’s regulations. Storing precious metals for your IRA personally isn’t allowed.

5. Complete the Transaction

Your transaction can be finalized once you’ve secured an IRA custodian, a dealer, and a depository. The custodian will handle the financial aspects, while the dealer will arrange to ship your valuable metals to the warehouse.

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How Do You Make a Withdrawal From a Precious Metal IRA?

When you withdraw funds, two choices are available:

  • In-Kind Distributions: You can receive the physical precious metal delivered to your location after the distribution.
  • Depository Purchase: The depository can buy the metal from you, providing the dollar equivalent of your investment.

In either scenario, reaching out to your custodian will initiate the transaction. Precious metal IRAs are governed by the same regulations as regular IRAs. While your investments can increase in value within the account without taxation, withdrawing them may result in taxes and penalties based on your account type and age.

With that in mind, once you reach the age of 72, it becomes necessary for you to begin receiving the Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). The process of withdrawing these minimum amounts may become more intricate since you will be obliged to do so per your holdings of valuable metals. Notably, each precious metal item can have a retail value reaching thousands of dollars per ounce.

Dealing with currencies other than the U.S. dollar may lead to a situation where you must withdraw an immense amount of value. If you choose to receive physical assets instead of cash, you will either have to sell your metals promptly or have enough money to cover the taxes owed on the precious metals delivered to you.

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Top 5 Precious Metals IRA

Goldco – Best Precious Metal IRA Company Overall


Star Rating: 4.9/5

Goldco stands out as a top-tier player in the gold IRA industry. This company offers an extensive selection of investment accounts for precious metals, such as cryptocurrency and gold or silver IRAs. Goldco Precious Metals excels at catering to diverse investment needs as a leading gold IRA provider.

Gold and silver IRA investors can easily navigate the user-friendly interface of the company’s website. Unlike competitors, this gold IRA provider ensures a straightforward and uncomplicated experience. In addition to this, they offer step-by-step guidance on establishing self-directed precious metals IRAs.

Goldco prioritizes customer satisfaction by providing personalized “white-glove” service through dedicated specialists assigned to each customer. However, one downside of choosing this company is its need for more transparency regarding gold IRA fees.

Goldco also offers a kit for customers who want to rollover their IRA into gold. They manage investment plans for transferring funds to a gold rollover IRA account, ensuring that investing in Goldco is secure and easy.


  • Educational resources for investors to enhance their comprehension of precious metals IRA investment accounts
  • Swift transaction processing for investments
  • Top-tier customer support


  • Regarding fees, there needs to be more clarity in providing complete transparency
  • There are several choices available for bullion, platinum, and palladium


  • Precious Metals in IRA: Goldco specializes in offering Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) that enable individuals to incorporate precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium into their retirement investment strategy.
  • Gold and Silver Bullion: Goldco potentially provides access to physical gold and silver bullion, which can be acquired and held within an IRA, giving investors tangible assets within their retirement accounts.
  • Custodial Services: The company may extend custodial services to store and manage the precious metals in the IRA securely, ensuring asset protection and compliance with IRS regulations.
  • Retirement Planning Guidance: Goldco may offer guidance and assistance to individuals in planning their retirement strategies, including insights into the role of precious metals as a diversification tool within their investment portfolio.
  • IRA Transfer and Rollover: Goldco could assist in the transfer or rollover of existing retirement funds from other IRAs or 401(k) accounts into a precious metal IRA, allowing individuals to consolidate their retirement savings and include precious metals in their investment holdings.

Disclaimer: The authors of this post may be paid to recommend Goldco. The content on this website, including any positive reviews of Goldco, may not be neutral or independent.

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American Hartford Gold – Best Precious Metals IRA Company for Small Investments

American Hartford Gold

Star Rating: 4.7/5

With its stellar reputation and top-notch customer satisfaction ratings on influential review platforms like Trustpilot and Google, American Hartford Gold stands out as one of the industry’s most respected gold IRA companies. Since its establishment in 2005, this reputable dealer has consistently maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

American Hartford Gold specializes in helping families and individuals safeguard their wealth by offering a range of services that allow for diversification through precious metals such as gold and silver.

These services include options like precious metal IRAs, gold IRA rollovers, Silver IRA rollovers, and direct purchases of gold and silver bars or coins. Regarding direct purchases, a minimum investment amount of $5,000 is required. For those looking to roll over their existing gold IRAs, the minimum investment increases to $10,000.

American Hartford Gold promotes including silver investments in your retirement account alongside gold IRAs. If you’re interested, here’s a guide on how to invest in a gold IRA through American Hartford Gold:

  • Contact American Hartford Gold to converse with an expert and finalize the required documentation
  • Move an existing IRA into a new, self-directed gold IRA
  • Choose the gold or silver items to include in your IRA
  • Acquire your precious metals eligible for your IRA

American Hartford Gold provides the option to invest in precious metals IRAs through Equity Trust, a well-known custodian for gold IRAs. After selecting the desired precious metals to include in your account, you can store them with trusted storage companies such as Brinks, Delaware Depository, or International Depository Services Group.

The Gold IRA company provides a diverse range of silver and gold products that can be directly purchased. Some examples of the company’s offerings include:

  • Saint Helena Sovereign Gold coin
  • Canadian Gyrfalcon Gold coin
  • 1-ounce gold bar
  • Valcambi Combibar

Meanwhile, its silver products include products such as:

  • Australian Wildlife Silver coin
  • South African Krugerrand
  • 1-ounce rounds
  • Pre-64 circulated coins
  • 10 oz and 100 oz bars
  • Valcambi Combibar

When you buy valuable metals from American Hartford Gold, you’ll have a dedicated account representative to keep you updated on your investments. You can contact your representative anytime by dialing the phone number listed on the company’s website.

If you’re interested in delving into gold investments, the company offers a complimentary guide that can provide you with insightful knowledge. This comprehensive 25-page handbook covers everything from precious metals IRAs to managing your savings effectively. Take advantage of this resource before making any financial decisions in gold investing.


  • No initial charges for getting started with them
  • Only a $5,000 minimum investment requirement
  • An outstanding assortment of coins and bullion
  • Offer discounts on maintenance, insurance, and storage
  • Collaborated with leading industry experts to offer storage alternatives


  • Annual costs rise in tandem with the account’s size
  • Palladium and platinum items are presently out of stock
  • A minimum of $10,000 is required to establish a Gold IRA


  • Precious Metals Portfolio: American Hartford Gold assists individuals in creating diversified portfolios of precious metals, encompassing assets like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
  • IRA Services: They provide IRA services tailored to precious metals, enabling clients to invest in physical metals within their retirement accounts, potentially offering tax benefits and diversification for their portfolios.
  • Secure Storage: American Hartford Gold offers secure storage options for clients who safeguard their precious metals in reputable and insured facilities.
  • Transparent Pricing: The company is dedicated to transparent pricing, ensuring clients understand the costs of acquiring and owning precious metals.
  • Buyback Program: They have a buyback program that permits clients to sell their precious metals back to the company at competitive rates.
  • Expert Guidance: American Hartford Gold delivers expert guidance from experienced professionals who offer personalized recommendations and support based on each individual’s investment objectives.
  • Market Insights: They equip clients with valuable market insights and updates regarding precious metals, helping them remain well-informed about market trends and potential investment prospects.

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Augusta Precious Metals – Best Precious Metal IRA Company for Customers Service

Augusta Precious Metals

Star Rating: 3.7/5

For more than four decades, Augusta Precious Metals has offered investment options. Their focus is primarily on silver bullion and coins, as well as gold bullion. However, if you’re interested in platinum or palladium investments, you must look elsewhere.

What makes Augusta Precious Metals stand out is their commitment to transparency. They provided a detailed breakdown of all expenses from the first meeting. This allows individuals to plan and allocate the necessary funds for their partnership correctly.

Clients can access a one-on-one web panel that helps them become more familiar with acquiring physical precious metals. Although the company doesn’t impose transaction fees, a price spread or bid applies to physical gold, silver, and platinum.

According to the firm’s transaction agreement, standard physical gold bullion products should have a spread of 5%, while premium products should have a space of 33%.

Compared to other companies in the industry, Augusta Precious Metals has a higher minimum investment requirement. However, this factor should encourage you to choose them as they’re currently recognized as one of the top gold IRA companies. Augusta investors can easily purchase rare metals by following these step-by-step instructions.

  • Make contributions to their retirement account
  • Opt for either gold, silver, or both
  • Enroll for delivery to their chosen location

If customers are dissatisfied with Augusta Precious Metals’ services, they offer a refund. They have a buyback option for withdrawing from old and new gold IRA accounts without any fees for liquidation.


  • An excellent A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Gold, silver, and other precious metals boast a 99% purity level
  • Engages in the trade of a wide range of valuable metals, encompassing gold, silver, and platinum
  • A diverse assortment of collector coins is available
  • Emphasizes customer education as a top priority
  • Assistance with the necessary paperwork for initiating an IRA
  • Ongoing support from Augusta professionals throughout the account’s lifetime
  • The possibility of zero fees for a duration of up to 10 years


  • Neither palladium nor platinum is available
  • A substantial minimum investment requirement of $50,000
  • Only two metals are currently offered: silver and gold


  • Expert Guidance: Augusta Precious Metals provides expert advice and personalized support to empower individuals to make well-informed decisions regarding their precious metals investments.
  • IRA Services: Specializing in IRA services for precious metals, they aid clients in diversifying their retirement portfolios by incorporating assets such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
  • Buyback Program: Augusta Precious Metals operates a buyback program, enabling clients to sell their precious metals back to the company at competitive rates.
  • Transparent Pricing: The company takes pride in its transparent pricing practices, ensuring clients understand the costs of acquiring precious metals.
  • Storage Options:  Augusta Precious Metals offers secure storage choices for clients safeguarding their precious metals in a highly secured vault.
  • Excellent Customer Service: The company is renowned for its exceptional customer service, staffed by dedicated professionals ready to assist clients throughout their investment journey.
  • IRA Transfer Assistance: Augusta Precious Metals assists clients in seamlessly transferring their existing IRAs to a precious metals IRA, guaranteeing a smooth and hassle-free transition.
  • Competitive Pricing: They’re committed to competitive pricing on their precious metals products, allowing clients to maximize their investment potential.

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Oxford Gold – Best Precious Metals IRA Company for Educational Resources

Oxford Gold Group

Star Rating: 4.2/5

Oxford Gold Group, a well-known company, provides professional retirement planning assistance using precious metals IRAs. Their expertise lies in helping individuals unlock the potential of gold and other valuable metals to ensure a prosperous future.

The services offered by Oxford Gold Group include the purchase of physical gold and the establishment of Gold IRAs. They emphasize diversification by providing a variety of precious metals, such as silver, gold, platinum, and palladium, within existing retirement accounts.

In addition to this, they offer free educational resources and conduct extensive research to ensure that clients are well-informed when making investment decisions.

Oxford Gold Group provides a wide range of services and emphasizes the importance of secure storage for precious metals. They assist investors in finding trustworthy facilities such as the Brinks Depository in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Delaware Depository in Wilmington, Delaware.

By offering reliable storage choices, Oxford Gold Group ensures that clients’ investments are safeguarded from theft and potential damage.

The ownership of Oxford Gold Group is shrouded in mystery, adding a touch of intrigue to their story despite the abundance of information and services on their website. With their wealth of expertise, educational resources, and a strong emphasis on secure storage, Oxford Gold Group strives to assist individuals in achieving financial prosperity during retirement.

They aim to help people journey towards a secure and diversified future, a golden path filled with opportunities.


  • A company accredited by the BBB, boasting an A+ rating
  • Abundant educational materials and resources
  • A streamlined and swift investment procedure
  • Extensive selection of precious metals available for purchase
  • Round-the-clock customer support


  • A market decline could hinder a potential recovery
  • The ownership details are relatively obscure
  • Sharp declines in gold prices may occur


  • Gold Bullion Sales: Assisting individuals in purchasing gold bullion coins, bars, or other physical gold forms.
  • Gold IRAs: Providing guidance and services for establishing Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) that include physical gold as a component of a retirement investment plan.
  • Storage Facilities: Offering secure storage solutions for clients who prefer to house their gold assets in specialized vaults.
  • Buyback Programs: Providing buyback services for clients interested in selling their gold back to the company.
  • Educational and Guidance: Supplying materials and information to educate customers about gold investment strategies, market trends, and risk management.
  • Precious Metals Consulting: Offering tailored consulting services to assist clients in constructing investment portfolios incorporating gold and other precious metals.
  • Market Analysis: Furnishing research reports, market insights, and analyses related to gold and precious metals markets, aiding clients in making well-informed investment choices.

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Lear Capital – Best Precious Metals IRA Company for First-Time Buyers

Lear Capital

Star Rating: 3.9/5

Lear Capital, a well-regarded player in the precious metals IRA sector, presents an array of valuable metal coins like gold and silver to enhance IRA diversification. They pride themselves on their personalized service and commitment to keeping everything in-house without outsourcing.

Each investor is assigned a dedicated account manager who provides tailored assistance. To open a self-directed IRA account with Lear Capital, investors must make an initial deposit of $280 and an annual fee of $200 proportionate to their investment amount.

Lear Capital guarantees transparency by offering detailed price quotes, including all taxes and fees. Customers have responded positively, praising Lear Capital for their educational initiatives and openness regarding investment options.

The company has effectively addressed and resolved criticisms, earning an outstanding 4.9-star rating on Trustpilot. With nearly a quarter-century of experience, Lear Capital provides a seamless transaction process, a complimentary buy-back program, and the assistance of highly knowledgeable staff members.


  • All purchases come with a satisfaction guarantee valid for 24 hours
  • Commitment to swift turnaround times and shipment schedules
  • Enrollment in the Lear Online Education Center is offered at no cost
  • Each client is assigned a dedicated and knowledgeable agent for personalized service


  • Fees for self-directed IRAs are minimal and billed annually
  • A minimum investment of $25,000 is necessary


  • Precious Metal Coins: Lear Capital provides a range of valuable metal coins, including gold and silver, suitable for IRA diversification and investment objectives.
  • Dedicated Account Managers: Every investor partnering with Lear Capital benefits from a dedicated account manager who offers individualized service and expert guidance throughout the investment process.
  • Transparent Pricing: Lear Capital ensures pricing transparency by furnishing comprehensive quotes incorporating taxes and fees upfront, preventing hidden expenses and unforeseen charges for clients.
  • Self-Directed IRA Accounts: The company assists clients in initiating self-directed IRA accounts, granting individuals control over their investments and the flexibility to choose from various precious metal options.
  • Hassle-Free Transactions: Lear Capital places a premium on facilitating smooth and uncomplicated transaction processes, ensuring clients can easily manage their precious metal purchases and sales.
  • Buy-Back Plan: They provide a complimentary buy-back program, enabling clients to sell their precious metals back to Lear Capital at competitive rates.
  • Knowledgeable Personnel: Lear Capital takes pride in having informed personnel to support clients, address inquiries, and offer expertise concerning precious metal investments.

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Our Ranking Methodology for Best Precious Metal IRA

  • Available Assets and Product: While this article primarily focuses on the evaluation of top gold IRAs, we’ve thoughtfully encompassed a discussion of other options, such as silver, platinum, and palladium IRAs.
  • Fees: Our evaluations of the finest gold IRAs exclusively feature custodians offering competitive and transparent pricing without additional fees or recurring service charges. We refrain from endorsing any custodian that falls short of these standards.
  • Customer Services: Transitioning from a traditional IRA to a gold IRA is a significant decision. Consequently, we’ve exclusively considered the finest gold IRAs with knowledgeable customer service representatives who comprehensively understand IRS regulations and tax compliance in our assessments.
  • Reputation: When managing your financial affairs, entrusting them to reputable companies is paramount. Consequently, all the top gold IRAs mentioned in our review have received favorable ratings from the Business Consumer Alliance, BBB, and Consumer Affairs, affirming their credibility.

Best Precious Metal IRA – FAQs

What Precious Metals Are Allowed in the IRA?

Individuals can hold four valuable metals in an Individual Retirement Account, gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. However, these metals must be IRS-sanctioned coins or bars to qualify for the IRA.

Is a Precious Metals IRA a Good Investment?

Custodians, who usually oversee these accounts, enjoy the same tax benefits as a traditional IRA. Investing in Precious Metals IRAs can be an excellent strategy for individuals looking to expand their retirement portfolio, safeguard their savings against inflation, and guarantee the security of their retirement funds.

What Is the Safest Precious Metal to Invest In?

For a considerable time, gold has been regarded as a secure investment due to its scarcity and consistent track record. It’s considered a safeguard against inflation and currency devaluation, making it particularly attractive during economic instability.

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Final Thoughts on the Best Precious Metal IRA

If you have concerns about the increasing prices and instability of the market, you may want to consider investing in precious metal Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Although they provide potential benefits, they come at a higher cost than other investment options. They carry more risk than traditional IRAs.

Investing in precious metal IRAs is often a wise decision for individuals who already have established investment portfolios and want to diversify their options. Investors can effectively broaden their holdings by allocating small funds towards physical gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.

For those who prefer a simpler approach to investing in precious metals without dealing with specialized IRAs or navigating through custodians, dealers, and depositories, alternative options are available.

You might consider investing in financial instruments such as Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) or mutual funds that track the performance of indexes or prices of valuable metals. These choices offer exposure to different assets while reducing expenses and risks. They’re eligible for inclusion in your retirement accounts.

Finding a compelling reason to use a precious metal IRA becomes challenging due to the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of owning precious metals through ETFs and mutual funds.

Regardless of the situation, precious metals and invested funds should only play a small role in your retirement savings rather than being the main focus of your investment strategy.

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Disclaimer: The authors of this post may be paid to recommend Goldco. The content on this website, including any positive reviews of Goldco, may not be neutral or independent.

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