With the vast reach and convenience of the Internet, it is no wonder that consumers today are turning online for more and more of their purchases. Once looked to only for items such as books and smaller items, the Internet now offers individuals a way to shop for staples of everyday living, along with big ticket buys such as autos and homes. This also includes the purchase of retirement investments.
Yet, given that consumers are now apt to part with large sums of money sight unseen, there must also be a way to better assure buyers that they are making a safe and secure purchase – and that the entity on the other side of the transaction is reputable.
History of Online Investing
Until just a couple of decades ago, it was necessary to contact an investment broker either in person or via telephone in order to purchase or sell shares of stock or to perform any other type of investing.
Yet, by the late 1980s, the financial services industry began to see the potential of the World Wide Web. It was then that some of the first online trading companies came about where consumers could begin to make stock trades using the Internet – and in 1991, E-Trade Securities was established.
Today, there are numerous online trading brokerages where investors may buy and sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CDs, and more. The move to Internet buying and selling has also moved into the precious metals arena, where today there are numerous metals dealers online that offer gold, silver, platinum, and other metals for sale to investors.
In addition, many of these dealers also offer self directed IRA (Individual Retirement Account) accounts where investors can not only reap the benefits of investing in precious metals, but they can also take part in the many tax advantages – such as tax deferred or tax free investment growth – that IRA investors are provided.
Why Consider Precious Metals IRA Investing?
Precious metals IRA investing can provide several advantages over just simply putting retirement money into stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. The recently volatile stock market has put many investors’ funds at great risk – and at a time when those who are fast approaching retirement cannot afford to lose their hard earned savings.
There are a number of benefits to allocating a percentage of retirement assets to precious metals. These can include:
- Hedge Against Inflation – An inflation hedge is considered to be an asset that has “intrinsic value.” This is because these assets, for example, gold, are typically negatively correlated to stocks and bonds – meaning that when the price of these assets go down, the price of gold and precious metals will usually go up. Gold and other metals can be particularly beneficial for retirees who are trying to keep their retirement assets and income on par with the rising cost of goods and services over time.
- Asset Protection – Due in large part to the reduced risk that it offers to a portfolio, adding gold and other metals will also tend to provide overall asset protection. This can be welcome to those who have spent many sleepless nights worrying over a volatile stock market in the past.
- Additional Asset Growth – Precious metals can also provide investors with additional asset growth. For many centuries, gold, silver, and other metals have had a reputation for being a symbol of wealth. Metals – gold and silver in particular – are typically in high demand, especially in industries such as jewelry and electronics. This can tend to drive the price, and the value, of these metals up even further.
How to Compare Gold and Precious Metals Online Dealers
Prior to purchasing any type of gold or other precious metal, it is important to first ensure that the dealer you purchase it from is reputable, and that the metals are of good, high quality. Today, because so many dealers offer their metals products online, it can be more challenging to make a determination as to which company is best. However, there are some tips that can help to narrow down the choices.
When considering the best places to buy silver and gold online, there are a number of criteria that should be considered. These should include:
- Company Background & Reputation – The company’s background and reputation is key. Here, you should check the company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and accreditation (if applicable). Typically, the BBB will rate companies based on the letters A+ through F, similar to a school report card. The BBB will also provide information on any recent complaints that have been filed and closed. Other helpful rating agencies to check can include information from TrustLink and the Business Consumer Alliance (BCA). Precious metals dealers such as Regal Assets that consistently have high rankings and zero complaints should typically be considered as a top choice.
- Product Selection – The dealer’s product selection is also important. This is especially pertinent when investing through a precious metals IRA account because the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has specific guidelines pertaining to which types of metals can and cannot be placed inside of an IRA account.
- Customer Service – Certainly, the customer service that is received is also a primary factor in which company is chosen as the best place to buy silver and gold. This is especially the case for newer investors. Reps should be easily accessible – as well as knowledgeable and helpful as it pertains to questions and concerns regarding investing in precious metals, opening an IRA account, and what types of metals will work best for an investor’s particular needs and goals.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the best place to buy silver and gold will depend on an investor’s needs, experience, and goals as they relate to metals investing. With the number of online precious metals dealers growing over the past few years, it is more important than ever to perform an ample amount of research into a company prior to initiating any type of investment. This way, you will be much better assured that you are making the right move up front.