Augusta Gold IRA Review
$50,000 funding minimum
Free 1/10 oz gold coin with the creation of a new Gold IRA.
Glowing testimonials and reviews, as well as an A+ from the BBB, paint the picture of a highly trustworthy company.
- Lack of diversity of precious metals highlighted on the website (only gold and silver), but more metal selections may be available upon request.
Augusta Precious Metals aims to lead the industry in the contest for most educated, informed, and empowered clientele. The company was founded in 2012 in Beverly Hills by seasoned financial advisor Isaac Nurani, who observed first-hand how the “retirement industry” was set up primarily to help the big banks and financial institutions, not the individual American employees and entrepreneurs to whom they ostensibly owed fiduciary duty.
His solution — a precious metals brokerage with an emphasis on Gold IRAs and a commitment to education. Case in point — you will find many Gold IRA companies with a section in the “About Us” page of their website that introduces the executive team, usually with the founder/CEO right at the top (Nurani is no exception). But Augusta is one of the few that puts at second billing not the COO or CFO, but the Director of Education. In this case, it’s Devlyn Steel, a Harvard Business School graduate and three-decade veteran of over $2 billion in transactions. In fact, Mr. Steel has a whole page in the Augusta website to introduce him to users.
To this day, Augusta Precious Metals remains a family business with a reputation and footprint within the industry that other companies will find hard to match.
Reputation, Reviews, and Achievements
Augusta Precious Metals is not shy about touting its reputation, and rightly so. Sure, there’s the high-profile endorsers like Mark Levin and Joe Montana — take those with a grain of salt, as these could be paid promotions. What is a lot harder to fake are the deluge of awards, high rankings from watchdog groups, and (especially) verified testimonials from real users attesting to the quality of the company and its service.
A short list of feathers in the Augusta Precious Metals cap include:
An A+ ranking from the Better Business Bureau, including over 100 reviews registered with the BBB for an average star rating of 4.95 out of 5.
Almost 300 TrustLink ratings with an almost perfect five-out-of-five stars.
Over 300 Google reviews with an average star rating of 4.9.
Over 100 ratings on Consumer Affairs with an average star rating of 4.9.
Social proof doesn’t get more convincing than that in the Gold IRA space. Additionally, the company has received two Bronze “Stevie Awards” for Customer Service Success and Sales Distinction of the Year, and has also been named “Most Trusted Gold IRA Company” by IRA Gold Advisor.
A review of customer feedback reveals that Augusta Precious Metals offers prompt and attentive customer service. There is a separate toll-free number for current customers — 855-909-0082 — as well as a contact form for email inquiries. The website also features a chat function in the lower righthand portion of the website where you can initiate a chat session with an Augusta representative during business hours.
Bonuses and Incentives
Augusta offers newcomers a free gold coin when you open a new precious metals IRA. As we will see, the funding requirements are high, but even smaller bullion coins tend to be quite value, so this is a significant incentive.
New account holders have three coins to choose from for their sign-up bonus:
The 1/10 ounce Gold American Eagle
The 1/10 ounce Canadian Majestic Polar Bear
The 1/10 ounce Gold Britannia
Remember, Augusta doesn’t publish live pricing, so you will need to do some extra research on the current market value of these specific coins.
Fees and Charges
Augusta Precious Metals touts its commitment to transparency in its “Values Statement” page, but that commitment does not extend to listing prices and fees on its website. In common with many competitors, they don’t want a $50 price differential from one of their competitors to turn you off to their offering before they even have your contact information — and preferably before they have had a chance to talk to you on the phone, show you what they’re about, and (potentially) close the deal with you.
Again, this is not unique. Augusta’s pricing has a reputation of being on the lower end of precious metal IRA providers. The most current pricing data available is as follows:
Setup Fee: $50
Annual Custodial Fee: $100
Annual Storage Fee: $100
Since prices and fees are not made public, these fees are of course subject to change at any time and without notice. You will have to speak to an Augusta Precious Metals representative if you want to know the most up-to-date pricing.
In examining its funding requirements, it quickly becomes clear that an Augusta Precious Metals Gold IRA is not for everyone. In fact, Augusta has one of the higher minimums in the beginning — opening a new IRA requires $50,000 in new purchases of precious metal assets to be held by the IRA.
Is that really so much in the context of an entire retirement nest egg? In a word, yes. For context, most financial advisors recommend that investors allocate no more than 5-10% of their portfolios to precious metals like gold or silver. So let’s do the math — to follow that allocation recommendation, you would need a retirement nest egg of $500,000-$1,000,000 before it’s time to start thinking about buying $50,000 worth of gold, silver, or platinum.
So a new Augusta Precious Metals Gold IRA is for relatively high-net-worth individuals by default. Of course, $50,000 is well over IRS funding limits, so you will need to have the difference available from other retirement accounts for rollover.
The “Products” section of the Augusta website is broken down into four offerings — ”Common Gold Bullion,” “Common Silver Bullion,” “Premium Gold,” and “Premium Silver.” There is also a separate section for “IRA-Eligible” products, as defined by fineness (purity) and liquidity.
In the “Common Bullion” sections, you will find many familiar faces from the bullion market — American Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs, Austrian Philharmonics, South African Krugerrands, as well as generic listings of gold and silver bars.
In the “Premium” sections, you will find specialized, commemorative, and collectable coins, like Australian Striped Marlins, antique Indian and Liberty coins, certified coins, and proof coins.
What you won’t find anywhere are palladium and platinum bullion options. Augusta’s price tracker includes charts for the platinum and palladium markets, and the fact that they are not listed on the product pages does not mean that Augusta can’t get their hands on them. But if “diversification” is the goal, diversification among different precious metals is a key component of the plan, and it’s worth confirming that your Gold IRA broker will have access to the necessary metals.
Another thing you won’t find is product pricing. To be sure, each individual product has its own product page with a wealth of information about each product — source, weight, diameter, fineness, and a brief profile or history of each product. This has the effect of making it seem like you’re shopping in an eCommerce store. But you’re not. Instead of “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now,” every product listing and product page contains the call-to-action “Call For Pricing.” Yes, they want to get you on the phone.
Again, it’s a marketing site, and there’s no reason to get mad at a marketing site for marketing. Just be advised that while you can get some interesting information on the product selection within the website, you will need to speak to a representative to truly find out what they have in stock and at what price.
To get started, you can call the toll-free number at the top of every page, or you can pick up the lead magnet — a “Free Guide.” Once you fill out the contact form for the free guide, you get a welcome email and redirect to a page that tells you to expect a call from a rep.
The IRS requires that every Gold IRA be administered by a licensed custodian. While Augusta Precious Metals advertises Gold IRA services, it is not a licensed IRA custodian and as such will not act as custodian for your Gold IRA. It just buys and sells the assets that will fund your Gold IRA.
As for who will be the custodian, Augusta is ready with a list of pre-vetted custodians. Their “preferred custodian” is Equity Trust, a reputable custodian that has been in business for three decades and managed over $25 billion in assets across all 50 states.
That said, you don’t have to use Equity Trust. They simply offer that recommendation for convenience, for clients that don’t want to do a bunch of shopping around. (They also probably have a mutually beneficial relationship with Equity Trust.) That said, you should always do your due diligence, and if you wind up finding a custodian you prefer, you should propose them — Augusta will probably work with them to get the business.
As with many Gold IRA providers, you have a choice of storage options when you store assets through Augusta Precious Metals. The website lists a variety of storage options across the country in case you want to be close to your assets or store them in a specific state. As is common in this space, Augusta recommends the Delaware Depository, one of the largest, most tech-forward, and most-resilient depositories in the country, extremely popular for Gold IRA asset storage.
Buyback and Liquidation Policy
While Augusta does advertise its willingness to buy gold and silver, it does not have a buyback program, nor does it guarantee its willingness to buy assets — even assets it sold to you. If you seek the security of an official buyback program, Augusta isn’t it.
Education and Client Empowerment
As mentioned, Augusta Precious Metals is loud in its commitment to client education, and it puts its money where its mouth is. Its “Resources and Tools” section includes a video library, recordings of web conferences, a separate section on market news, and a separate two-video series on “Gold IRA Dealer Lies, Gimmicks & High Pressure Tactics.” Of course, this is a necessarily self-serving video series — it’s designed to make you fear other dealers and emphasize that Augusta doesn’t resort to the nasty tactics they describe. But it contains useful information nonetheless.
The commitment to video content is especially heartening. Video is a powerful learning tool, and Augusta’s surplus of video content demonstrates its commitment to educate clients of all learning styles. This content isn’t here for window-dressing — it’s here to be consumed.
Despite its high-quality website, Augusta Precious Metals seems to have no client portal or obvious back-end — possibly because they are primarily precious metals dealers, not Gold IRA custodians themselves. Account management will happen through the custodian, whom you select. If you want easy online account management for your Gold IRA, select a custodian who offers it.
If you want to learn more about Gold IRAs, Augusta Precious Metals offers a wealth of information. If you prefer video content, they are an especially good source. They also enjoy widespread respect and near-universal acclaim from their clients, which is a big deal.
Questions remain about their selection, onboarding process, and transparency with respect to prices and fees, and that $50,000 onboarding minimum likely limits this Gold IRA provider to individuals with a high net worth.
But if you have a half million or more saved for retirement and want to roll $50k into gold with IRA tax privileges, Augusta Precious Metals is a serious contender for your business.
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