There’s no question that we’re living in very worrying times today. Inflation has remained high for over a year, prices show no signs of decreasing, and now we’re possibly on the verge of recession. Everyone is worried about what the future holds.
Many Americans are starting to take steps to safeguard their wealth, fearful of a return to 2008-style levels of financial mayhem. And they’re turning to some old standbys to do so, such as precious metals.
While gold may get the headlines when it comes to precious metals, silver is sometimes the metal that shines brightest during tough times. Because of silver’s unique properties and its industrial uses, the silver price can be more volatile than the gold price. That can lead to more upside when precious metals prices start to rise.
Many silver investors have taken advantage of silver by investing in a silver IRA. With numerous silver IRA investment options to choose from, a silver IRA can be a useful entry into precious metals ownership.
What Is a Silver IRA?
For those who may not already be familiar with a silver IRA, a silver IRA is an IRA account that invests in and holds physical silver coins or bars. You may also see it referred to as a silver-backed IRA, a precious metals IRA, or various other terms.
A silver IRA functions in the same way as any other IRA account, and is subject to all the same rules and regulations as any other IRA. Perhaps one of its most useful advantages is that is offers the same tax advantages as any other IRA account.
Benefits of a Silver IRA
There are multiple benefits to investing in a silver IRA, but there are four that stand out.
Ask most people what a diversified portfolio looks like, and you’ll probably get answers that include a mix of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. Heck, many people probably think the standard 60/40 portfolio is well diversified.
For many people with retirement accounts, these types of financial assets are often the only types of investments in which they can invest. Many 401(k) plans or IRA custodians only offer a limited range of investment options.
But self-directed IRAs such as a silver IRA allow you to invest in a wide array of alternative assets, including real estate, private equity, or precious metals. A silver IRA is a type of self-directed IRA that puts you in control of your assets and allows you to choose what you invest in.
You can buy silver coins or bars with your silver IRA, which are then managed by an IRA custodian and stored in a bullion depository per IRS requirements. But you remain the owner of those silver coins and bars, and you choose whether to add to your silver holdings or when to take a distribution.
Silver can play a useful role in portfolio diversification because it can leave you less prone to the swings of financial markets. Many people trust precious metals to protect themselves against loss in the event of recessions or financial crises that can hammer Wall Street and financial markets.
Store of Value
Silver also has a tendency to maintain its value over time, and to make great gains during times of economic turmoil. When the economy starts to get rough, and recession looks imminent, people often look to gold and silver to maintain the value of their assets. And silver very often can make greater gains percentwagewise than gold does during these times.
Hedge Against Inflation
Just like gold, silver has traditionally been seen as a hedge against inflation, as it maintains its value and purchasing power over the long run. While the dollar has lost 86% of its purchasing power since President Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, silver has risen over 1,200% in value. And the last time the US faced stagflation, silver saw annualized gains of over 30% over the course of a decade, even as double-digit inflation eroded the value of the dollar.
Because a silver IRA follows the same rules and regulations as any other IRA, it offers the same tax advantages as any other IRA. Probably the most popular form of silver IRA is a Traditional silver IRA, which uses pre-tax dollars to buy silver. Gains are tax-free and taxes are only paid when you take a distribution.
You can fund your Traditional silver IRA with a tax-free rollover or transfer from an existing 401(k), IRA, TSP, or similar retirement account. That allows you to protect your existing retirement savings with an investment in physical silver.
You could also start a Roth silver IRA and fund it with post-tax dollars or through a Roth conversion. With a Roth silver IRA gains also accrue tax-free, and you pay no taxes when you take a distribution.
Types of Silver Investments
It’s important to remember that silver IRAs are subject to rules and regulations just like any other IRA. And that means that you can’t just buy any type of silver, or any type of silver coin. If you thought that you could buy silver jewelry, or put your grandmother’s silver cutlery into a silver IRA, you’d be mistaken. Even popular silver coins like junk silver aren’t eligible for a silver IRA.
So what are your silver IRA investment options? They’re generally broken up into two primary asset types, coins and bars.
Silver coins are probably the most popular silver IRA investment option. Silver coins circulated in commerce in the United States into the mid-1960s, and in Europe into the mid-1970s. Most people today are familiar with silver coins, as their size, shape, and color are still similar to circulating coinage.
Silver coins exist in all different types, and billions have been produced over the decades. But not every silver coin is IRA-eligible.
The IRS tax code forbids IRA accounts from owning collectibles, which generally includes coins and metals. But exceptions are made for precious metal bullion and select precious metal coinage.
Among the coins that are allowed to be owned by an IRA are the American Silver Eagle, as well as any coin with a fineness of .999 (99.9% purity) or higher. While many older coins don’t meet these purity standards, mints today adhere to this .999 fineness for many new investment-grade coins produced today.
Goldco works with mints around the world to bring you a multiplicity of sizes and designs of coins that are eligible to be purchased for your silver IRA.
Silver bars aren’t as widely produced as silver coins, but they’re still a popular silver IRA investment option. Silver bars range in size from small minted bars of an ounce in weight to large poured bars of 100 ounces or more.
The silver price is quoted as the price per ounce of a 1,000 ounce Good Delivery bar, which is the standard weight for the international silver trade. Silver bars are also available in a multitude of different sizes, shapes, and designs to suit everyone’s taste.
Other Silver Bullion
Theoretically other bullion products could be silver IRA investment options. These would include silver rounds, or other silver bullion such as silver shot. These are less common bullion products that aren’t always easy to find, and your ability to own them with a silver IRA would depend on your IRA custodian’s willingness to manage them and your bullion depository’s willingness to store them.
Plus there’s the fact that, if you want to take a distribution, the market for rounds and shot just isn’t as large as it is for coins and bars. That’s why silver coins and bars remain the most popular silver IRA investment options.
Is a Silver IRA Right for You?
If you’ve been looking for an option to help protect your existing wealth, whether it’s for a safe haven asset or a hedge against inflation, silver can help fill that role. Its track record during the 1970s stagflation and in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis demonstrates that silver can gain value even when other assets are floundering.
Whether or not you decide to invest in silver is a decision that you’ll need to make based upon your own financial situation, your financial outlook, and your future aims. Some people choose to go all in on silver with a silver IRA, others choose to diversify their portfolios with silver and gold, and still others skip the silver IRA so that they can take personal physical possession of their silver. The choices are yours to make, but Goldco has the silver investment options you’re looking for.
With over $1 billion in precious metals placements, Goldco has helped thousands of satisfied customers help protect their wealth with silver. Give us a call today to find out more about your silver IRA investment options.