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Investing in precious metals may be an effective way to create a more secure financial future.
Opting to invest in a precious metals solo 401(k) may be an effective way for individuals to ensure that they have enough money for retirement.
This is because those who have such an account determine how their money is spent, which provides opportunities for diversification.
Let's take a closer look at what a solo 401(k) is, the potential benefits of investing in gold, and the process of doing so in a legal manner.
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.
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Why Invest in Gold?
There are many reasons why it may be a good idea to invest in gold as opposed to stocks or bonds. First, gold doesn't have a strong correlation with the stock market. Therefore, it may be possible to retain your capital or even turn a profit during periods of stock market declines.
As it is seen as a safe haven, gold prices typically increase during periods of economic or political unrest. Typically, investors will transfer funds out of the stock market or other assets into gold until a crisis is resolved or tensions have eased.
Finally, gold is generally seen as a hedge against inflation. This is because there is only a finite amount of material on the planet, which means that its value can't be manipulated by simply making more of it.
Furthermore, its value is based on its intrinsic qualities, which means that it can be used to facilitate transactions if a government were to collapse without warning.
What Is a Solo 401(k)
A solo 401(k) is a self-directed qualified retirement account in which the account holder gets to determine what types of assets to invest in. Typically, those who invest in an employer-sponsored 401(k) are limited to stocks, bonds, or other traditional securities.
Those who are self-employed may be able to make contributions as both an employer and an employee, which increases the amount that can be put away each year.
For 2023, the maximum contribution limit is $66,000, which is comprised of a maximum employee contribution of $22,500 and a maximum employer contribution equal to 25% of a company's profits for the year. That figure is reduced to 20% if the company is run as a sole proprietorship.
As with a traditional 401(k) a solo (401) is offered as either a traditional or a Roth account. A traditional 401(k) is funded with pre-tax dollars while a Roth account is funded with after-tax dollars.
The money grows tax-free while in the account, and those who have a traditional account will pay income tax on any amount that is withdrawn in retirement.
Those who have a Roth account can withdraw money tax-free at any point after age 59 1/2 assuming that they have had it for at least five years. Furthermore, contributions to an account can be withdrawn at any time without penalty.
Unlike a typical 401(k), the account holder is also the trustee, which gives that person checkbook control. This is what allows a person to buy whatever he or she thinks will yield the greatest return on investment or meet other long-term goals.
What Is a Precious Metals Solo 401(k)?
As the name suggests, a precious metals solo 401(k) is a product that allows investors to purchase gold, silver, or similar products instead of stocks or bonds. To open an account, an investor must first find a company that offers this type of plan, fill out plan documents and make an initial deposit.
The initial deposit may include funds rolled over from an existing 401(k) or similar type of retirement account. The initial deposit is then used to purchase gold coins, bars, or anything else that can be legally held in such an account.
It's important to note that the company you choose to serve as the account custodian will have little or no control over how account funds are spent or managed. Instead, it will simply ensure that the account is in compliance with IRS and other regulations.
A plan custodian may help with submitting annual reports, and ensure that minimum distributions are made in retirement or with other administrative tasks.
Investors may be charged fees in exchange for these services. However, there is a chance that these fees will be waived or reduced for many clients. Investors are encouraged to talk to their preferred custodian before creating an account.
What Can Be Placed in a Precious Metals Solo 401(k)?
To qualify for any type of tax advantage, any gold bullion purchased for holding inside of a solo 401(k) must have a fineness of at least .995%. The same is true for any coins, bars, or other type of gold product that an investor wants to purchase.
This rule also applies to any other metals that a person might want to acquire. In addition to gold, an investor can typically add silver, platinum, and palladium to a portfolio in search of greater diversification.
It's worth noting that an investor can purchase certain collectible pieces. For instance, an individual may want to add an American Eagle coin to a portfolio because he or she feels that it will appreciate faster than a typical piece of gold.
Generally speaking, gold bars or coins are valued by their weight while a collectible piece may have an additional intrinsic value that other buyers might be willing to pay for.
The reason why the American Eagle coin might be allowed in this type of solo 401 (k) is that it is minted by the federal government, which means that it generally conforms to the fineness requirements.
It may also be possible to purchase coins minted by the Canadian and Australian governments as well. Regardless of what an investor purchases, it must be acquired from a refiner approved by NYMEX/COMEX.
Many coins that are produced by the United States government come from refiners that have such approval, and the same is generally true of coins printed by other major governments.
Rules for Storing Gold Held in a Solo 401(k)
Properly storing gold held in a precious metals solo 401(k) is important for several different reasons. Most notably, the tax code requires that bullion be held either at a bank or at another facility designed to hold precious metals.
Therefore, it can't be stored in a safe in a residential property whether that property is owned by the account holder or another person.
Furthermore, it's recommended that the bullion be titled in the retirement account's name instead of the individual who owns it. This will make it clear that the gold is being kept for retirement purposes per federal tax laws.
In addition to conforming with tax laws, storing gold in a bank or other secure facility may minimize the risk that it is lost or stolen. It may also minimize the risk that the gold is scratched or physically damaged in any way that might reduce its value.
What to Consider Before Buying Gold
There are some steps that an investor is encouraged to take before buying gold whether it's held in a taxable account or inside of a precious metals solo 401(k). First, when buying gold for any reason, it's important to have it appraised by a trustworthy source.
The company serving as the custodian of a solo 401(k) may be able to provide the names of trusted appraisers or take other steps to educate their clients before acquiring gold.
It may also be worthwhile for an investor looking to open a precious metals 401(k) to consult with a financial or legal advisor before doing so.
Taking such a step may allow an individual to make a purchase feeling good that it fits their overall investing philosophy. It may also allow an investor to feel good that it won't be challenged by the IRS.
Precious Metals 401(k)
If items held inside of a precious metals 401(k) don't meet IRS standards, they may be removed from the account. This means that an investor might lose the tax advantages that it would have otherwise come with.
For example, the step-up in cost basis may be lost as the coin or bar would no longer appreciate tax-free while inside of a retirement account. Instead, it may be necessary to pay capital gains taxes on the appreciation as well as income taxes when the coin was sold or otherwise liquidated.
Investing in gold may be an ideal way to preserve and grow capital now and in the future. Investing in gold using a precious metals solo 401(k) may provide an investor with the flexibility needed to maximize gains while also avoiding some or all potential taxes on those gains.
Individuals who are interested in this type of investment vehicle are encouraged to consult a financial adviser or talk directly to any company that offers this type of product.
Remember to read out list of the Top Gold Companies.
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