Vanguard Gold IRA: Do They Offer It?


Vanguard gold IRA or Vanguard precious metals are not offered by the company. However, they have the Vanguard Global Capital Cycles Fund, a type of Vanguard mutual fund, which invests up to 25% of its portfolio in precious metals ira, and gold-related paper assets or Vanguard ETF. 

Vanguard Group offers a wide range of alternative investments, like stocks, bonds, and cash assets, that enable customers to diversify their retirement savings. 

As a personal finance company, Vanguard funds are invested in real estate, and fixed income investment instruments, like an index fund. The company refers to gold and silver IRAs as an "alternative investment" and a prudent investor must weigh the risks before deciding to put money into it. 

What is IRA Eligible Gold and IRA Approved Gold?

IRA eligible gold and IRA approved gold are precious metals that are 99.5% pure. This is the minimum purity or fineness that most gold IRA companies require before accepting precious metals. Any gold bar, gold bullion, or gold coin needs to be produced by a refiner or manufacturer that is certified by the national government mint or institutions like ISO 9000, NYSE/Liffe, or TOCOM. 

Aside from the purity of the valuable metals, coins must be in their original mint packaging, and bear the original certificate of authenticity. Bullions that are less than 400 ounces must be manufactured to exact weight requirements, and are free from damage. 

Two of the most popular gold coins produced by the US Mint are the one-ounce American Eagle and American Buffalo coins. 

Gold  coins

bars  or  bullion

99.5% purity with original mint packaging and authenticity certificate99.5% purity with original mint packaging and authenticity certificate

99.5% purity produced by reliable manufacturers like the national government min

Non-proof coins must be brilliant, not circulated, and free of damage 

Small bullion under 400-oz must follow exact weight specifications

Not all gold coins produced by the national government mint are considered IRA eligible. Most collectible coins like the US Liberty, UK Sovereign, and French 20 Franc do not meet the purity standards required by most gold IRA companies.

Does Fidelity Offer Gold IRA? 

Fidelity offers paper-based gold assets or an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), but the company does not offer investment plans for physical gold or other precious metal IRA. You can buy into the company's ETFs using a traditional individual retirement account or Roth IRA. 

Stocks in gold and silver mining companies, or a mining fund, as well as mixed investments that give you moderate exposure to the metals market, are available at Fidelity. To take advantage of this offer, you need you need to have Fidelity Investments in the Direct Investing Program. 

Aside from gold ETF, Fidelity also has mutual funds that invest heavily in gold. For example, the Fidelity Select Gold Portfolio invests 50% or more of its portfolio in gold and the Fidelity Advisor Gold Fund, invests about 30% of its assets in gold.

Does Schwab Have a Gold IRA?

Charles Schwab Corporation has gold IRA but as paper-based assets or ETFs. You cannot purchase physical gold through the company, but you can have access to precious metals if you go through a brokerage account. However, these assets are still considered paper-based because you do not have access to the actual gold itself. 

Can You Own Gold in an IRA?

You can own gold in an IRA, and there is a specific retirement account for these types of investments. To own physical gold, you need to have a self-directed IRA, which an IRA custodian can offer. Custodians are required because the IRS does not allow you to store your gold yourself. These custodians are regulated strictly by the IRS and they have security measures to keep your gold safe. They also have insurance, so your gold is protected in the unlikely incident of theft or damage. 

Since there are overheads and maintenance costs, as these custodians hold and store your gold, they will charge you storage fees. This is one of the major downsides of owning physical gold. However, depending on the size of your investment, and how long you want to keep the gold for, paying the custodianship fees might be worth it for you. 

What are the Benefits of a Gold IRA Investment?

The two major benefits of a gold IRA investment are portfolio diversification and hedging against inflation and deflation. The opportunity to profit is also there, but this should not be the driving force behind your investment. 

Diversifying your retirement portfolio by investing in physical gold IRA and other precious metals will give you an alternative asset that will protect your funds against market turmoil, federal rate hikes, and fiat currency collapse. Mutual funds, stocks, and bonds are all paper assets that are subject to a lot of volatility. Physical gold is a stable commodity, so it adds another layer of diversification in your retirement account. 

As a hedge against inflation and deflation, gold has proven to be an effective tool in preventing the erosion of your funds. Whenever the value of the stock market crashes, gold investments can cushion your portfolio and protect you from the worst of it. 

While it is not really for making a profit, gold can sometimes do so. For example, gold prices in the 1970s and 1980s were under $100, whereas today it's almost $2000. It's a slow growing stock that is prone to lengthy sideways growth, but the potential is there. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Gold IRA?

PROS of Gold IRA

CONS of gold ira

Tax Benefits

No Returns and Dividends

Less Liquid; Suitable for Long-Term Investment

Custodianship Fees

Total Control via Self-Directed IRAs

Funding Limits

Some Accounts Allow Penalty- and Tax-Free Withdrawals

Less Liquid; Not Suitable for Quick Cash Needs

Gold IRAs give investors some tax benefits that are not available in other forms of investments. All contributions that are put into gold IRAs are tax-deductible. You also have the option to invest in Roth IRA which gives you tax-free and penalty-free withdrawals until the age of 59.5. You can choose when you want the investment taxed - traditional IRAs are taxed when you withdraw after retirement, while Roth IRAs are taxed upfront.

If you have enough knowledge about investing and are confident enough to handle a self-directed IRA, you will enjoy the total freedom and control you have over your retirement funds. All the decisions are made by you and you minimize the cost of paying a broker to do all your transactions. 

The liquidity of gold is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage, because this depends on your financial situation. If you are often in need of fresh injection of capital and you are banking on your gold investments to come to the rescue, this is not a good place to invest. If you are looking for something that will, in a way, force you to have savings, then gold is for you. 

Maintaining physical precious metal requires you to pay custodianship fees, which are typically higher than regular brokerage and IRA management fees. When you eventually sell your valuable metals, you will need to pay for insurance, transport, and transaction fees to move your gold from one account to another. 

Lastly, while you have total control of how your gold investment will be traded, your broker will control all your transactions. This means that you cannot just buy gold elsewhere or use gold that you currently possess and store it the custodian's vaults. Your transactions must all be done and reported by the custodian as the IRS requires full transparency. 

How Do You Set-Up a Gold/Silver IRA?

As an investor, when you open your first gold IRA account, research the IRA custodian who will handle your account. Talk to them, ask as many questions as you think are necessary before giving them your business. They have to be IRS-approved, and they must show you their documents, especially if you are going with a lesser known custodian. The best gold IRA companies are those that are well-known like Birch Gold Group, TD Ameritrade, Patriot Gold Group, and Augusta Precious Metal. These companies have been in the business for a long time and have proven track records. 

You should expect and require full transparency with fees and charges from the gold IRA company, because you don't want your portfolio to take any hits in the long run. Patriot Gold Group and Noble Gold Group are well-known companies with excellent customer service and investor account management, and many shareholders choose them for this reason. 

The second step in setting up your gold or silver IRA is to fund the account. Once the account is open, you can finance the account by doing an annual contribution, doing an IRA-to-IRA transfer, or an IRA rollover. 

If you choose to do an annual IRA contribution, you can do so in small regular increments or as a one-off payment. The contributions can be made online and the funds will be transferred automatically. Keep in mind that the contribution limits are still the same, whether you choose to make a lump sum payment or not. 

IRA-to-IRA transfers are straightforward transactions that move your funds from one investment stream to another. If you have an existing traditional IRA account at a brokerage, you can ask for a part of that to be transferred to another IRA account. However, there might be transfer fees if you fund your gold IRA this way, and it might not be possible if you are transferring the funds to another IRA company. 

Lastly, an IRA rollover is moving funds from your 401(k), 403(b), or other applicable retirement accounts to a gold IRA retirement fund. You can do this by filling out a request form and submitting the required documents. The transfer is usually completed within 24-48 hours. 


Managing your retirement fund and investing in gold can be rewarding as long as you take all the risks into consideration, and weigh out the pros and cons. When you decide to open a gold IRA account, the process of funding and growing the account is straightforward. Remember to pick a reliable IRA custodian, and make mindful investment choices as you familiarize yourself with the market. 

About the author 

Emillene Torres

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