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Advertisements about investing in gold or silver have been on the air for years. Today's investors may be interested in this industry, but they're cautious about diving into unknown waters.
Two companies offer similar services, including Goldco and Lear Capital.
Learning about precious metals investing is the best way to decide on those further investments by comparing service providers right now.
Before we get started, investing your savings is a serious task. When it comes to adding precious metals to your portfolio, how do you know which companies to trust?
That is why we have researched every company in the industry and selected the very few with the highest customer service standards.
This way you can easily compare the best companies in the business, and choose one that fits your needs and investment goals.
Read the list to see if Goldco & Lear Capital passed our strict customer service standards to become one of our top recommendations.
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Learning About Precious Metals IRAs
Precious metals IRAs or Individual Retirement Accounts are uniquely different than traditional or Roth IRAs. They're referred to as self-directed, which means investors have more investment options than just paper assets.
Investors work with a gold IRA custodian to set up, purchase, and manage the account. Any precious metals purchased will ship directly from a chosen mint and enter a secure depository. They remain in this facility as the precious metals increase in value.
There are a select number of companies in the precious metals IRA industry. Goldco and Lear Capital are two of the most visible companies available to investors today. Taking a close look at their services and reputations can guide an investor's decision regarding a financial partnership. Investing in precious metals is a long-term commitment, which means the right company can contribute to a lucrative future.
Goldco is a business that has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. With about a decade of experience, Goldco is a familiar name in the industry. They encourage investors to look around their website, learn a bit about gold IRAs and give them a call.
Their precious metals specialists can answer questions on both gold purchases, custodians, and depositories. The site shows off its many endorsements from media outlets to famous faces.
A free kit can also be ordered from Goldco, which offers more in-depth information about converting funds to precious metals.
Reading reviews on Goldco's site is a simple click away too. They're pleased to have such an online presence to bolster their reputation.
Getting to Know Lear Capital
Lear Capital is a gold IRA company that's been in business since 1997. It appears to have a lot of experience in the industry. The website is full of helpful information, including spot prices, informational blogs, and IRA details. All of this information provides power to the investor as they consider this entity for their retirement savings.
The site also details opening a Lear Advantage IRA, so they presumably have custodians to manage the accounts. However, investors may want to verify this fact with a representative. They do lay out their storage policies with Delaware Depository, which gives the investor a bigger picture of their potential investment with Lear Capital.
Determining Shared Characteristics
Both companies have many similarities. They both offer access to gold and silver coins and bars, for instance. IRA setups by representatives are services by both companies as well.
Neither company offers storage for investors' precious metals, however. They do partner with IRS-approved facilities so that any storage is safe and available for tax incentives.
Both websites have plenty of information about IRAs and precious metals. Investors may want to read over the information on both sites to get a good idea about gold and silver as investment vehicles.
Lear Capital and Goldco offer their investment kits too. By ordering the kits, however, both companies stipulate that they'll call the investor about purchasing precious metals in the future. This commitment to at least speaking to a representative is part of both sites' customer retention plans.
Benefiting From Goldco's Approach
Investors who appreciate a VIP approach to their investments will like Goldco. There are no confusing prices on gold coins or bars, for example. Sifting through this information isn't possible because Goldco simply asks for a phone call. They perform all the calculations for the investor.
They've also been in business for many years. This experience gives them many connections in the industry, which is helpful when deciding on various products, custodians, and depository features.
Goldco is also one of those companies that run specials throughout the year. Investors are welcome to ask about any signup incentives when they call in. Goldco can have some great deals if investors agree to their terms of service.
For example, Goldco is currently running a promotion where customers can get up to 5% back in FREE Silver when they invest $50,000 - $99,999.
And get up to 10% in FREE Silver when they invest $100,000 or more.
About Lear Capital's Services
Unlike Goldco, Lear Capital sells precious metals on the website. Investors can add items to their cart with clear pricing on most products. There are a few products with a "call for pricing" stamp, but it's not as widespread as other sites.
Lear Capital also advertises its own self-directed IRA, which is also a choice with Goldco. It appears that Lear can set up and manage investors' precious metals IRAs. Ideally, investors might ask about the account's specifics before agreeing to a rollover.
Investors also have access to many disclosures, which is a level of transparency not seen with every precious metals company. Reading over these documents gives investors a glimpse at the company's industry ethics.
Breaking Down Goldco's Disadvantages
A business that's been successful for many years will have both positive and negative reviews. Although it has an excellent rating with the Better Business Bureau, there are a few dozen complaints about pricing, transfer issues, and undervalued precious metals.
Many of these complaints, however, may be caused by basic misunderstandings. Because every quote is over the phone, misinterpretation is quite possible by both Goldco and the customer.
Another disadvantage is Goldco's lack of custodial duties. They simply consult with customers and assign a custodian. If they managed the accounts as custodians, this service would significantly improve their business model.
Learning About Lear Capital's Disadvantages
Lear Capital is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. It has many negative reviews or complaints about its business practices. Whether these complaints are simply misunderstandings or poor business ethics, investors should be wary of such transactions.
Another negative aspect is their filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This legal filing allows the company to reorganize for a better future, but it does raise red flags for investors. Successful precious metals companies don't usually need bankruptcy to improve their standing.
Comparing Business Features
With a cursory glance, both companies look extremely similar. They might look identical on several levels as well. However, there will always be a few key differences. Taking a look at specific features may narrow down which company can serve the investor better.
1. Fee Structures
Goldco's Gold IRA Fees
The required minimum purchase at Goldco to start a gold IRA is $25,000. Goldco’s preferred Custodian charges a flat annual account service fee which includes a one-time IRA account set-up fee of $50 as well as a $30 wire fee.
Annual maintenance is $100, and storage is $150 for segregated storage or $100 for non-segregated storage.
Fees for gold storage and custodianship can vary depending on the company you select to handle these services (required by the IRS, as all IRA assets must be managed by a custodian).
Depending on the Custodian, storage fees can range from $10 to $60 per month, or as a percentage of assets, from 0.35% to 1% annually. Goldco does not charge any storage fees for cash transactions over $25,000.
Goldco also requires a minimum of $25,000 to activate the account. Because of this large amount, the corresponding fees are merely a fraction of the investment. For more humble investors, however, these amounts may be too much for the budget.
It's difficult to find any information on minimum investment amounts for Lear Capital. For example, there have been reports of between $5,000 to $25,000 for these minimums. Representatives may quote a value during a call to the company, however.
Lear Capital quotes only a setup fee of $280 and a $200 annual fee for the life of the account afterward. There are no explanations about other fees, such as shipping or storage. They may be rolled into the annual fee, but investors must inquire about this fact on the initial phone call.
Buried within the transaction agreement is a mention of spread. Presumably, this term refers to Lear's profit margin on precious metals purchases. Investors might look around the website for any information about spreads or even commissions too.
These additional fees are presented in vague terms without any real value attributed to them. Understanding them before investing is crucial to a fair transaction.
2. Industry Reputation
This company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2011, which makes it a solid business to partner with for long-term gains. Its industry reputation is quite good too. It's been featured on many different media platforms, from Fox to Fortune. In addition, Goldco has several celebrities who endorse the product.
Goldco prominently posts their reviews on the website where they're easy to find. Many businesses appreciate working with them, and customers are largely happy with their accounts. Goldco wants its customers to be educated on gold IRAs, so they offer many articles to read over before investing any funds.
This company advertises several associations in the industry, such as the Numismatic Guaranty Company and Business Consumer Alliance. Their main advocate is Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, who lends a certain credibility to Lear Capital.
However, they don't advertise any information about their highlights in today's media, such as being featured on a television show. Their social media links are buried at the bottom of the site. Lear appears to be a strictly private entity with only a few industry connections.
In addition, Lear has many reviews both on their website and affiliate sites. They are a mixed bag of emotions, however, so their industry reputation isn't quite clear.
3. Customer Service
This company appears to have the best customer service in the industry. Most of their marketing references a step-by-step process performed over the phone. Serving the public for more than a decade with largely phone services does indicate stellar customer service.
Presumably, potential customers speak with a dedicated precious metals specialist who walks them through account setup, funding, and precious metals shipments. Keep in mind, however, that some online reviews cover poor experiences with these specialists, although these occurrences are rare. Customers may need to call and form their own judgments on how they're initially treated.
Alternatively, customers can start a conversation with Goldco by way of their live chat feature. It pops up on every Goldco webpage. It may eventually lead to a phone call, but the live chat is a great way to ask a few questions before committing to a longer conversation.
Similar to Goldco, Lear Capital requires a phone call to start any investment processes. They offer a contact page and email correspondence as alternatives, but a phone discussion will always be part of the experience.
There doesn't appear to be much customer support when it comes to online orders, however. Investors simply purchase products like any other website. If there's a question, a phone call is always the solution.
Because Lear Capital has many complaints through the BBB, it's refreshing to note that they do respond to them in kind. They appear to work toward a resolution whenever possible. Customer service at this point, however, may be fighting an uphill battle because there was an initial breakdown to cause the complaint in the first place.
4. Available Services
This company thrives on explaining savings strategies and opening accounts. They mainly attract investors who're looking for gold or silver IRAs. Representatives get to know investors during their initial phone call. Subsequently, one or more accounts might be activated based on those retirement goals.
Goldco proudly advertises that they work with any official custodian. For example, investors might ask for a custodian referral through Goldco or they may have one of their own. Opportunities to work with any custodian are helpful because each investor is unique in their financial situation.
Lastly, Goldco is available to buy back precious metals. Along with selling gold and silver, Goldco's buyback program gives investors some flexibility with their products as prices rise and fall.
Lear Capital has a refreshing retail side to its website. Investors can browse through their considerable products. Coins and bars of different sizes are priced as investors add them to their carts. There is even a disclaimer about changing prices before the sale is finalized. Investors know what they're paying right away.
These products can be either shipped directly to the investor or sent to a corresponding IRS-approved depository. Lear appears to act as the custodian according to the site's terminology.
They even have a 24-hour risk-free guarantee. If an investor is unhappy with any part of their transaction, they can be refunded within those 24 hours. This service is particularly attractive to new investors.
Choosing the Right Company
Both Goldco and Lear Capital have their advantages and disadvantages. Overall, investors must do their own research about each company to make a final decision about precious metals investments.
It appears that Goldco is by far the better choice between the two companies.
They have BBB accreditation, fewer complaints, and no bankruptcies on their record. Because gold is a long-term investment, a precious metals company with a solid stand in the industry is optimal. Investors can be sure that the company will be there to support them in the future.
There are many gold IRA providers in the industry today. By learning more about Goldco and Lear Capital, investors can make a decision that works for their future. Precious metals will always hold their value today and tomorrow.
Remember to read out list of the Top Gold Companies to see if Goldco & Lear Capital made the cut.
Or, if you like what you read about Goldco & Lear Capital, you can visit their website below.