Vanguard Precious Metals IRA Review

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When exploring retirement investment options, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) often emerge as a top choice. Among these, Precious Metals IRAs have been gaining attention, especially for those looking to diversify with assets like gold and silver. 

Vanguard, a renowned name in the investment sphere, offers a range of investment options but, notably, does not provide a self-directed IRA for physical precious metals.

This is a key consideration for investors aiming to include tangible assets in their retirement portfolios. Let's delve deeper into what Vanguard offers and why those seeking a Precious Metals IRA might need to look elsewhere.

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About Vanguard Precious Metals IRA

Vanguard is known for its wide array of investment products, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. However, when it comes to alternative investments, their approach is more conservative.

According to their website, Vanguard views alternative investments, including commodities like precious metals, as complex and potentially high-risk options.

They emphasize that the prices of precious metals can be extremely unpredictable and volatile. This stance reflects in their product offerings, where they do not facilitate direct trading in commodities and futures, including precious metals.

For investors interested in precious metals, this is a crucial point. While Vanguard acknowledges the role of commodities as a potential hedge against risks of traditional investments, their services do not extend to direct investment in these assets. 

Instead, Vanguard's approach to alternative investments is more inclined towards products like real estate investment trusts (REITs) and mortgage-backed securities, which can offer exposure to real estate and other non-traditional asset classes.

This conservative approach towards precious metals and commodities means that Vanguard may not be the ideal choice for investors specifically interested in a Precious Metals IRA. Such IRAs require a provider that can handle the unique aspects of dealing with physical assets like gold and silver, including storage and insurance considerations.

Vanguard's focus remains on more traditional investment vehicles, which, while diverse, do not cater to the niche needs of a Precious Metals IRA. For those looking to include physical gold and silver in their retirement portfolios, it's important to seek out specialized companies. 

These firms are equipped to handle the specific requirements of Precious Metals IRAs, including compliance with IRS regulations, secure storage, and providing a range of precious metal products. While Vanguard offers a robust platform for traditional investments, its offerings do not extend to the specialized realm of Precious Metals IRAs.

Why Should You Invest in a Precious Metals IRA?

Investing in a Precious Metals IRA offers a multitude of benefits, making it an attractive option for many investors. Let's delve deeper into the reasons why this investment strategy deserves your attention.

Diversification Beyond Traditional Assets

Diversification is a cornerstone of sound investing, and precious metals provide a unique avenue to achieve this. Unlike traditional stocks and bonds, precious metals like gold and silver often move independently of stock markets.

This means when the stock market dips, your precious metals might hold steady or even increase in value, offering a balancing effect on your portfolio. This kind of diversification is not just about spreading your investments but also about creating a safety net against market volatility.

Hedge Against Inflation

Precious metals have historically been a reliable hedge against inflation. As inflation diminishes the purchasing power of paper money, the intrinsic value of precious metals tends to remain robust.

For instance, gold has maintained its purchasing power over centuries, making it a go-to asset for those looking to preserve their wealth over the long term. In an era where inflation concerns are growing, having a portion of your retirement in precious metals can be a wise move.

Growth Potential in Uncertain Times

Precious metals have shown the potential for growth, especially during periods of economic uncertainty or geopolitical tensions. When confidence in governments and financial institutions wavers, investors often seek the safety of gold and silver.

This flight to safety can drive up the prices of these metals, offering growth opportunities for your IRA. It's not just about playing it safe; it's about being strategically positioned for growth when other assets are struggling.

Tangible Asset Ownership

There's a unique comfort in owning physical assets. Precious metals in your IRA are tangible – you can hold them in your hands, unlike stocks or bonds. This tangibility provides a sense of security and permanence. It's a physical reminder of your investment and wealth, which can be reassuring in a world where most financial assets are digital and intangible.

Protection Against Currency Devaluation

Precious metals are valued globally and are not tied to the performance of any single currency. This global appeal means that if your home currency devalues, your investment in precious metals may still hold strong on the international stage. In a world where currency values can be volatile, this offers an added layer of protection for your retirement savings.

Based on our firsthand experience, we've seen that adding precious metals to an IRA can bring peace of mind and a sense of balance to your retirement planning. It's not just about the potential financial gains; it's also about the confidence that comes from knowing you have a diversified, tangible, and globally recognized asset in your portfolio.

This approach to retirement investing can be particularly appealing for those who want to hedge against the unpredictable nature of markets and economies.

Top 3 Companies Choosing Over Vanguard

Best In Selection

  • Award Winning Company

Goldco: #1 Recommendation Based on Feedback from Our Readers

Goldco stands out as a leading provider of Precious Metals IRAs, specializing in helping investors add gold and silver to their retirement portfolios.

Their services are tailored to those looking to diversify their investment strategy with precious metals, offering a range of gold and silver coins and bars that are eligible for IRA investments.

Goldco's commitment to customer service is evident in their personalized approach, guiding clients through every step of the IRA rollover process. They also provide educational resources, helping investors understand the nuances of precious metals investing.

Based on our observations, Goldco's strength lies in its comprehensive service offering, from selecting the right metals to finalizing the IRA setup. However, it's important to note that their fees might be higher compared to some competitors, and their focus is primarily on gold and silver, limiting options for those interested in other precious metals like platinum or palladium.


  • Wide selection of gold and silver coins and bars
  • Strong customer service reputation
  • Educational resources for investors
  • Streamlined process for setting up and funding IRAs


  • You have to call them for investment options outside of gold and silver

Best for Educating Clients

  • Stevie® Award Winner

Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta is renowned for its commitment to customer education and transparency. 

They emphasize educating their clients about the benefits of precious metals IRAs, offering a wealth of resources and expert guidance.

Augusta's process is designed to be straightforward and transparent, with no high-pressure sales tactics. They provide personalized customer service, ensuring that each investor's needs and goals are addressed. 

Augusta's product offerings include a selection of gold and silver bullion and premium coins, catering to a range of investment preferences. After putting it to the test, we found that Augusta's strength is in their educational approach and transparent pricing, making them a reliable choice for those new to precious metals investing.

However, their minimum investment requirement may be higher than some investors are comfortable with, and their focus is limited to gold and silver.


  • Personalized customer service
  • No high-pressure sales tactics
  • Transparent pricing and fee structure
  • Extensive educational materials


  • Minimum investment requirement may be high for some investors
  • Limited to gold and silver; no platinum or palladium options

Best for Bullion Investors

American Hartford Gold

American Hartford Gold is known for its competitive pricing and comprehensive buyback program. They offer a variety of gold and silver products, including coins and bars, suitable for IRA investments.

Their process is streamlined, making it easy for investors to set up a Gold IRA or roll over an existing retirement account.

American Hartford Gold prides itself on keeping clients informed about market trends and the value of their investments. Their customer service is geared towards providing customized solutions, ensuring that each investor's portfolio aligns with their financial goals.

The company's competitive edge lies in its pricing and the assurance of a buyback commitment, offering peace of mind to investors. However, they offer less variety in precious metal products compared to some of their competitors and are relatively new in the market, which might be a consideration for some investors.


  • Competitive pricing on gold and silver
  • Buyback commitment
  • Good customer service record
  • Easy setup and rollover process


  • Less variety in precious metal products compared to some rivals
  • Relatively new in the market, which might concern some investors

In choosing a company for a Precious Metals IRA, it's essential to consider factors like customer service, product offerings, fees, and educational resources.

Each of these companies has its unique strengths and potential drawbacks, and the right choice depends on your individual investment goals and preferences.


What Makes a Precious Metals IRA Different from a Traditional IRA?

A Precious Metals IRA offers a unique investment avenue compared to a traditional IRA. While traditional IRAs are limited to stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, a Precious Metals IRA allows for the inclusion of physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

This type of IRA is a form of self-directed IRA, giving investors the freedom to include a broader variety of assets. The inclusion of precious metals in an IRA portfolio is not just about diversification; it's about tapping into assets that have historically held their value over the long term.

Gold, silver, and other precious metals have been seen as a store of value for centuries, offering a sense of security during times of economic uncertainty. Through our practical knowledge, we've seen that adding precious metals to an IRA can serve as a hedge against inflation and economic downturns, while also providing a tax-efficient shelter for potential gains.

Are Precious Metals IRAs Safe and Secure Investments?

When it comes to the safety and security of Precious Metals IRAs, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, the inherent value of precious metals contributes to the safety of these investments. Gold and silver, for instance, have been coveted for their stability and value retention over centuries.

However, it's important to understand that like any investment, precious metals are subject to market fluctuations and their own forms of volatility. Despite this, many investors view them as superior long-term investment choices for retaining and growing value, especially during times when the stock market is unstable.

The security of a Precious Metals IRA is also bolstered by stringent IRS regulations. These IRAs must be held with a custodian and stored in a secure depository. You cannot store the precious metals from your IRA at home, as doing so could lead to additional taxes and penalties.

The custodian is responsible for purchasing the metals on your behalf and ensuring they are stored safely in a segregated account, separate from other investors' metals. This level of oversight and regulation adds a layer of security to your investment.

How Do You Start a Precious Metals IRA and What Are the Costs Involved?

Starting a Precious Metals IRA involves a few key steps. First, you need to select a self-directed IRA custodian, which can be a bank, trust company, or other entity approved by the IRS. This custodian enables you to invest in alternative assets like precious metals.

Next, you choose a precious metals dealer to purchase gold, silver, platinum, or palladium. It's crucial to conduct thorough research before selecting a dealer, looking for those affiliated with industry trade groups for added assurance of their credibility.

Once you've selected a custodian and dealer, you'll work with them to decide which precious metals products to buy. The custodian then handles the payments, and the dealer ships your precious metals to an approved depository. Remember, you cannot store these metals yourself.

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In terms of costs, a Precious Metals IRA typically incurs more fees than a standard IRA. These can include setup fees, transaction fees, custodial fees, and physical asset storage fees.

While some of these fees are unavoidable due to the nature of the investment, they are a crucial factor to consider when evaluating the overall cost-effectiveness of a Precious Metals IRA.

Our findings show that while Precious Metals IRAs offer a unique investment opportunity, particularly for those concerned about inflation and market volatility, they also come with their own set of considerations.

These include the cost of maintaining the IRA, the choice of custodian and dealer, and the understanding of the market dynamics of precious metals. As with any investment, it's essential to weigh these factors against your individual financial goals and circumstances.

Make sure to check out our compilation of The Top & Best Gold Companies to see if Vanguard made the cut

If you find Vanguard appealing, explore more on their website by visiting the link below.

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