Have you decided to start gold investing with a new gold IRA but are stuck on choosing a gold IRA custodian?
There are so many gold IRA custodians out there that it’s easy to get frozen with analysis paralysis.
A gold IRA custodian helps to take care of their customers' gold individual retirement accounts and grow their retirement funds using physical precious metals assets like gold coins, silver coins and gold bars.
Don’t worry, in this article we’ve reviewed all the best gold IRA custodians that you could ever choose. When shopping for a gold IRA, you need to choose the best gold IRA custodians for your precious metals too, not just the best gold IRA companies!
Gold IRA Custodians - Overview
Gold IRA accounts get a little confusing... there's the IRA itself (usually a self-directed IRA of some kind), the custodian, and the depository (the storage provider).
In this review of the best gold IRA custodians we're going to clear up all the confusion on how a custodian differs from the actual IRA provider and the storage provider...
What is a Gold IRA Custodian?
A gold IRA custodian offers self-directed gold IRAs that let you invest in and hold alternative assets. In this case, your gold IRA custodian helps you hold your precious metals in an IRS-approved, non-bank trustee.
A gold IRA custodian lets you hold physical gold, silver, platinum and palladium that meets certain set minimum purity requirements. Gold IRAs are called gold IRAs but that doesn't mean you can't invest in other precious metals like silver, platinum and palladium in them!
These physical precious metals usually come in the form of coins or bars. For example, you can hold gold bullion or silver bullion as long as it meets the minimum purity requirements.
Top Gold IRA Custodians
Here’s our list of the top 9 gold IRA custodians that you can choose from. These gold IRA custodians have a proven track record of being trustworthy companies that regularly work with the best gold IRA companies like Augusta Precious Metals, Birch Gold Group, and Goldco Precious Metals.
These are some of the best custodians in the gold IRA business. You should go through this list thoroughly before deciding which one you want to trust with your precious metals IRA and your retirement account.
Equity Trust is one of America’s leading gold IRA custodians. They’ve been in business for over 30 years and have been trusted to manage literal billions of dollars in assets. Equity Trust does business with customers in all 50 states of America.
Equity Trust has been given an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, is partnered with the Delaware Depository and charges a flat fee of $225 per year.
New Direction IRA has been in business since 2003. It was started by two co-founders who aimed to provide a cost-effective and customer-friendly solution for investors who wanted to invest in more diverse assets. A diverse asset might mean gold bullion or precious metal coins in this case.
New Direction IRA has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website, partners with your depository of choice and charges a scale from $75 to $125 per year NOT including storage fees.
GoldStar Trust Company was established all the way back in 1989. They manage over $2.5 billion in assets and serve as custodians for almost 40,000 self-directed IRAs. The company is located in Canyon, Texas.
GoldStar Trust Company has also been recommended to gold IRA account holders by Augusta Precious Metals, which is one of the best gold IRA companies around, and we've created a review of GoldStar Trust here.
GoldStar Trust Company is a gold IRA custodian that has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. They use Delaware Depository to store their customers precious metals. Their charges scale from $175 to $400 per year which is inclusive of storage fees.
The Entrust Group has been providing account administration services for self-directed retirement accounts for almost 40 years.
The Entrust Group manages about $4 billion in assets and serves more than 20,000 clients. They provide asset options that many other companies don’t.
The Entrust Group is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, they use your choice of precious metals depository and they charge a flat fee of $150 per year. This does NOT include storage fees.
Midland Trust is a leader in the world of gold IRA custodians and has been around since 1994. They pride themselves on providing their clients with as many tax advantages and discounts as possible. They’ve serviced thousands of clients and handled billions of dollars in assets.
The Better Business Bureau has given Midland IRA an A+ rating. You can choose which depository they use for your precious metals. They charge a flat rate of $295 to $395 per year which is also inclusive of storage fees.
Millennium Trust Company is a gold IRA custodian that provides retirement and institutional custody services to its customers. They aim to help American workers retire well by giving them the tools and resources they need to invest in their retirement.
Millennium Trust Company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and they make use of the Delaware Depository. They charge a flat rate of $200 to $275 per year which is inclusive of storage fees.
Kingdom Trust is a well-established gold IRA custodian that helps its customers deal with all the ins and outs of gold IRAs.
They've recently rebranded as "Choiceapp.io", a retirement app that helps you invest in bitcoin and other alternative assets. Presumably they've maintained old Kingdom Trust accounts and continue to provide some of the same services.
The Better Business Bureau has given Kingdom Trust Company an A+ rating and they make use of the Delaware Depository. They charge a scaled fee of $175 and above per year which is inclusive of storage fees.
Provident Trust Group is a gold IRA custodian that was established in 2008. They have over 30,000 customers and have handled more than $6 billion worth of assets.
Provident Trust Group only has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau but that’s still pretty good! They use the Delaware Depository and charge a flat rate fee of $295 per year NOT including storage fees.
Vantage IRA has been in the business since 2004 and is doing its best to provide all the tools an American would need to invest in their retirement. They aim to help alternative investors make smart investments with as few problems as possible.
Vantage IRA is a gold IRA custodian that has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. They use the Delaware Depository and charge a flat rate fee of $100 per year which does NOT include storage fees.
How does a Gold IRA Custodian differ from a Gold IRA Company?
Gold IRA custodians and gold IRA companies are two different things but it’s easy to get them confused with each other. Gold IRA custodians, gold IRA companies and gold IRA providers all have their differences.
A gold IRA company’s job is to set up your self-directed IRA and buy the precious metals of your choice. Many of the best gold IRA companies team up with a custodian by default but sometimes you’ll need to choose your gold IRA company and gold IRA custodian separately. Usually, your gold IRA provider can recommend a trusted custodian for you.
A gold IRA custodian administers gold IRA transactions. The custodian helps you deal with the necessary paperwork and tax reporting that comes with investing in gold, silver, platinum and palladium using precious metals IRAs. The gold IRA custodian’s most important job is helping you deal with the IRS for your retirement investments planning.
How Do Gold IRA Custodians Work?
The majority of gold IRA custodians work the same way. They’re non-bank trust companies that provide alternative investment options like precious metals IRAs or gold IRAs.
They need to maintain something called an “omnibus account” with a traditional bank to allow them to execute financial transactions. Because of this, the clients that work with these gold IRA custodians get FDIC insurance of up to $250,000 to protect their investments.
Here’s a list of what gold IRA custodians can do for you:
They help customers establish and fund their precious metal IRAs.
They help you buy and sell your precious metal assets of choice. For example, they help you buy gold coins, silver coins and gold bars.
They help you distribute, transfer and roll over your assets as you see fit. As an example, they can help you do a gold IRA rollover from an already existing IRA. Let's say for example you have a 401(k) that you want to transfer to a gold IRA. They can help you facilitate all the paperwork with your current provider and get you set up.
They make sure that your assets are titled correctly and are inventoried properly.
They issue quarterly statements.
They help keep you informed of your “Required Minimum Distribution” obligations.
They help make sure everything is reported to the IRS.
Some gold IRA custodians can also provide services as financial advisors.
Reviews of Gold IRA Custodians Around the Web
Reviews are extremely important in the precious metals industry. They help you make sure you keep your precious metals safe with the best gold IRA companies.
Here are some sample reviews of our top 3 gold IRA custodians:
Equity Trust: “Everyone should have an IRA account. This company was the first and is the best. I have had an account since 2009. The only way to invest!” ~ Steve Harrison
New Direction IRA: “I have been with a new direction company for a few years. I have found the staff to be very helpful but I have found a gem, Marsha. Not only is she very nice, but she also is extremely competent and she helps me through all your forms. Ask Marsha for lots of help. I like competent.!!!” ~ Darrel Handke
GoldStar Trust Company: “great company. Took the time to go over all of the paperwork with me. Even saved me money by not opening an account with inadequate funds to support the storage and maintenance fees for one of the potential physical gold accounts.” ~ Grant Linhart
Gold IRA Custodian Fees & Pricing
Gold IRA custodians tend to have one of two types of fee structures.
A flat rate regardless of your account value or a scaled fee that’s based on the value of your account. A flat rate is also known as a fixed rate.
Flat rates tend to be more cost-effective so try and choose a gold IRA custodian that charges fixed rates if you can. Gold prices aren't cheap and you should try to save as much as you can on gold IRA fees!
Here’s what our top 9 gold IRA custodians charge:
Gold IRA Custodian Fees
$225 per year
New Direction IRA
$75 to $125 per year
GoldStar Trust Company
$175 to $400 per year
The Entrust Group
$150 per year
$295 to $395 per year
Millennium Trust Company
$200 to $275 per year
Kingdom Trust Company
$175 and above per year
Provident Trust Group
$295 per year
$100 per year
How do Gold IRA Custodians store your precious metals?
Your gold IRA investments and the precious metals that you invest in using your gold IRA need to be held by a bank or an approved, non-bank trustee. This is in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code, Section 408. It's technically not legal to store IRA gold at home (there are some loopholes you can take advantage of but we don't recommend it).
A gold IRA custodian can choose to store your physical gold and other precious metals like silver, platinum and palladium with any of IRS-approved depositories. However, the majority of custodians tend to use the Delaware Depository.
Delaware Depository is the choice used by most gold IRA companies and custodians because it's regarded as one of the safest. Whether it's precious metal coins or billions, the top gold IRA companies trust the precious metals assets in their customer's gold IRA accounts are kept safe in the Delaware Depository.
Here’s a list of the most commonly used IRS-approved depositories:
- Delaware Depository
- Brinks Global Services
- International Depository Services
- First State Depository
- CNT Depository
- Idaho Armored Vaults
FAQs About Gold IRA Custodians And Gold IRA Companies
Yes, all the gold you own in your gold IRA custodian account is yours. This goes for the silver, platinum and palladium in your account as well.
The minimum income you need to open a gold IRA custodian account will vary from custodian to custodian. You need to check with each company individually.
Like most gold IRA companies, some gold IRA custodian accounts have no minimum at all. Others might have extremely high minimum requirements.
A gold IRA custodian helps you buy and sell IRS-approved physical precious metals and hold them in a tax-compliant self-directed IRA. A gold IRA company helps you set up your IRA, select a depository, and choose how to fund your account. Typically you will work with a gold IRA company, depository, and a custodian.
Final Thoughts - Which gold IRA custodian should you trust with your precious metals IRA?
The gold IRA custodian that’s right for you is the one that’s best suited to cater to your personal needs. You need to make sure that your retirement account is in the best hands possible, right?
Go back through our list of gold IRA custodians and decide which one is best for you.
Gold IRA accounts are something that you should only trust with the absolute best gold investment companies that are suited for your goals!
With all that being said, we believe that the general best choices of gold IRA custodians are New Direction IRA, GoldStar Trust Company and Equity Trust. They're all companies that are well-known for taking care of retirement accounts and growing their customers' retirement funds.
If you’re looking to get started and open a gold IRA and are on the fence because you’re not sure which custodian to go with, check out Augusta Precious Metals. Not only can they help you set up your IRA, they will help you select the best custodian for you.