Comparing the Different Types of Gold IRA Investments

Gold-funded IRAs allow you to hedge against inflation while saving for retirement. Below, we explore the different types of gold IRA investments so you can make informed decisions when developing your portfolio. Be sure to consult a financial advisor if you need investment advice, as this article should only act as an educational resource.

What Are the Different Types of Gold IRA Investments?

gold bars stack of gold coins and etf chart

The IRS allows you to fund your IRA with a wide range of gold-related assets, including the following:

Physical Gold

Physical gold, or bullion, comes in two primary forms: coins and bars. Funding your IRA with bullion allows you to invest in gold in its purest form. You can avoid counterparty risks, though you’ll face higher storage fees and lower liquidity.

Gold Bars

Given the cost-effective premiums, IRA-eligible gold bars allow you to purchase the most ounces of gold at the lowest price. Bars typically weigh around 400 troy ounces, so entry prices start in the thousands, causing lower liquidity due to the high price point. You can find smaller and cheaper one-ounce and ten-ounce gold bars from dealers like Oxford Gold Group.

Gold Coins

Gold coins weigh less, so they often cost less. Popular IRA-eligible options include the American Gold Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf, and Gold Austrian Philharmonic, all of which we offer at Oxford Gold Group.

Gold coins offer intrinsic value because of their historical and cultural significance. Coins with high rarity levels may have higher price points, though they gain additional value with time. You’ll find higher premiums with gold coins versus bars.

Gold ETFs

Gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) trade similarly to stocks, offering simple accessibility but higher risks. An equivalent value of gold will back the asset you invest in, though you will not own the physical commodity. ETFs allow investors to dip their toes into the gold market at any price entry point without storage or vaulting fees.

Gold Mining Stocks

Gold mining stocks allow you to invest in precious metal mining companies. The mining sector features two investment categories: majors and juniors. Majors include less volatile, mature corporate companies, while juniors are up-and-coming, smaller, riskier ventures.

Gold Mutual Funds

Gold mutual funds constitute a form of ETF investing that requires varying account management restrictions and fees. Mutual funds and ETFs allow you to invest in different types of gold-backed assets.

Gold Futures and Options

Gold futures are contracts you make with a seller to purchase a set amount of precious metals on an agreed-upon date at a predetermined price. Inflation hedgers often use futures to minimize market risks, particularly with more volatile assets.

How To Choose the Right Type of Gold IRA Investment for You

man picking wooden cubes with check mark

The different types of gold IRA investments offer varying advantages and disadvantages for all investors. Consider the following factors when weighing your decision:

Personal Investment Goals and Risk Tolerance

The higher the risk, the higher the reward potential. Consider your investment goals, financial situation, and risk tolerance when weighing different asset types. For example, bullion offers lower risks and steady gains, while gold mining stocks offer high risks but potentially massive rewards.

Knowledge of Market Conditions and Trends

Investing in any asset requires baseline knowledge of the market in question. Before selecting the type of gold you want to invest in, consider your current knowledge level and your willingness to learn more.

Storage Costs

Physical gold requires IRS-approved vaulting that you must pay for annually. Prices will depend on the volume of your assets, the level of insurance you purchase, and the security at your facility.

You can avoid storage costs and complications with non-physical gold assets, like ETFs, though you will likely still need to pay account management fees.


Physical gold offers less liquidity and accessibility than ETFs, mutual funds, or stocks. Rather than simply going online and completing the transaction, you must find verified buyers or sellers to fulfill your needs. Luckily, many IRA custodians offer easy purchase systems to fund your account and buyback programs when you’re ready to sell.

What Are the Tax Implications of Gold IRA Investments?

judge gavel and scale with dollar banknote

IRAs offer tax advantages for investors. Learn how the tax implications vary between gold IRA accounts below:

Tax Advantages

The primary tax advantages for gold IRA investments include the following:

  • Tax deferment: With traditional IRAs, you can contribute tax-free funds to defer your payments until you’re ready to withdraw.
  • Inheritance tax relief: Sometimes, you can avoid inheritance taxes when passing assets to beneficiaries via self-directed IRAs.
  • Saver’s Credit: The Retirement Savings Contributions Credit program allows eligible taxpayers to take a tax credit on their gold IRA contributions.

Tax Considerations for Different Types of Gold IRA Investments

The IRS taxes different types of gold IRA investments according to varying guidelines. Your taxes will depend on the type of account you create and your income tax rate. For example, Roth IRAs require you to pay taxes with each contribution for a tax-free withdrawal, while traditional accounts follow the opposite terms.

Comparing Different Gold IRA Investment Options

When comparing the different types of gold IRA investments, we recommend considering the following:

Evaluate the Pros and Cons of Each Investment Type

First, evaluate how the pros and cons of each investment will affect you. For example, bullion offers the following pros:

  • Low counterparty risks
  • Price stability and low volatility
  • Easy price tracking history
  • Wide price point entries

Unfortunately, bullion comes with higher storage costs and lower liquidity. Meanwhile, non-physical gold investments offer higher risks, higher volatility, and more challenging market knowledge requirements, though they come with easier maintenance and storage costs.

Consider the Potential Returns and Risks

Every investment comes with risks and potential rewards. Consider the level of risk you’re willing to take compared to how much you hope to gain. If you simply want to save for retirement, you may want something with a lower risk.

Gold IRA Investment Storage Options

custodian unlocking safety deposit box

If you choose to invest in physical gold, you must store it in an IRS-approved depository. Your IRA custodian will set everything up for you. The following are a few popular vaulting options:

  • Brink’s Global Services
  • International Depository Services
  • HSBC Bank USA
  • Delaware Depository Service Company
  • CNT Depository

What Are Some Tips for Successful Gold IRA Investing?

Gold IRA investing is all about making the right decisions for your needs. The following tips can help:

Diversification and Asset Allocation Strategies

Investors often choose to diversify their portfolios with numerous asset types in case one underperforms. This way, if your gold mining stock fails, you can still retire using funds from your bullion.

Monitoring and Reviewing Investment Performance

Investing in any asset requires constant maintenance. If the asset downtrends for long periods, you may consider pulling it out to invest elsewhere. Your financial advisor or account manager will likely advise you here.

Staying Informed About Market Developments

The gold market shifts daily. When investing funds in gold assets, learn about the market and continually monitor new developments. You may learn about exciting changes that inform your portfolio strategy.

Now that you know about the different types of gold IRA investments, you can choose your preferred asset and create an account. Call Oxford Gold Group today at 833-600-GOLD to learn more about our gold IRA options.

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