Gold Alliance Gold IRA Review
$10,000 funding minimum
- Enjoys a stellar reputation, including excellent testimonials and an A+ BBB rating.
Buyback program makes your assets easy to liquidate at competitive prices.
Great selection of preferred custodial and asset storage partners.
- Reputation for higher prices and premiums.
Gold Alliance was founded in 2002 in California but moved its headquarters to Reno, NV in 2021. Since then, it has racked up an impressive roster of press clippings and celebrity endorsements to establish itself as a leading player in the Gold IRA space.
CEO Joseph Sherman touts his working-class upbringing as the son of a baker, and translates this experience into a commitment to hardworking American families. He has been sounding the alarm about the possibility of a global economic reset since 2016 and has encouraged average Americans to protect themselves from the excessive volatility of the capital markets by storing wealth in the form of precious metals.
Gold Alliance is vocal in its support of US armed service veterans and donates to charities that support veteran affairs, including the National Veterans Foundation, Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, and Wounded Warriors Family Support.
Reputation, Reviews, and Achievements
In business for many years, Gold Alliance has had more than enough time to establish a reputation for itself, and what you will find is almost universally impressive. Gold Alliance enjoys the distinction of being named the fastest-growing gold company by Inc. 5,000. The San Francisco Examiner put it at #1 on its top five Gold IRA companies, and it also made Digital Journal’s list of the top five gold dealers. Additionally, the company has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Yahoo Finance, and International Business Times.
It sports high-profile endorsements from the likes of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. As always, spokesmanship relationships mean very little, as celebrity endorsers are often compensated.
But clients are not compensated for leaving user reviews, and Gold Alliance enjoys a stellar 4.96-out-of-5 star rating average from user reviews with the Better Business Bureau. Significantly fewer people have reviewed the company on Google or Trustpilot, but what reviews there are excellent, with 4.8 and 4.7 star averages respectively.
Current customers report that Gold Alliance offers excellent customer service. You can call the toll-free number for customer support at any time or fill out the contact form on the “Contact” page for email support.
The website also includes a chat support bubble in the lower righthand portion of the website. Chat support is one of the most popular channels of customer support, since the user and a support specialist can have a back-and-forth without having to wait for a call to connect or an email response, so it’s nice to see that Gold Alliance offers this option.
Bonuses and Incentives
Gold Alliance has no public incentives or bonuses available for new personal or Gold IRA customers. However, its lack of minimum investment for a new Gold IRA still makes them an attractive option, especially in the lower-to-middle net worth categories.
Fees and Charges
Gold Alliance does not make its fee structure public on its website. This is most likely so they can preserve the right to change fees without notice, and also so that visitors don’t abandon the company in the comparison-shopping phase before they have a chance to collect the lead.
The most recent data available points to an annual fee structure of $180 per year, including storage, insurance, and maintenance fees. There is also reportedly a $50 one-time setup fee. However, this fee structure places Gold Alliance within the margin of error of most other Gold IRA providers, nothing to be alarmed about.
However, since their fees are not published in public, you should contact them to learn the most up-to-date information about their fee structure and be wary of any hidden fees.
One of the fortunate characteristics of the Gold Alliance Gold IRA program is that it has no minimum investment. Some companies require a minimum purchase to open a Gold IRA.
This is especially important for many investors who find high minimums to be too high a barrier to entry. Consider a firm that had a minimum investment of $25,000, for example. Lots of people have $25,000 in retirement wealth … but keep in mind that most financial advisors suggest keeping no more than 5-10% of your retirement nest egg invested in physical gold, silver, and the like. As such, the barrier to entry for a $25,000 Gold IRA, following financial advisors’ instructions, is actually $250,000 in retirement wealth.
With Gold Alliance, on the other hand, you can start building a cache of precious metals with the tax protection of an IRA right from the outset of your retirement savings. Additionally, since there is no minimum, you make your entire first funding of your new Gold IRA with a new contribution instead of having to roll funds over.
One caveat to the benefit of no minimum — like other gold dealers, Gold Alliance offers price breaks the more precious metal you purchase. At lower purchase quantities, higher premiums and markups apply. You don’t have to invest as much to get started, but you will pay more per ounce for your gold and silver than you would if you bought in bulk.
As mentioned, the “Products” page highlights a total of 66 products ranging from Kennedy silver half-dollars to popular and premium bullion coins and bars. There’s a range of popular coins from the US, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere — Eagles, Guineas, Striped Marlins, and so on.
While we have a variety of gold and silver products represented here, that’s all there is — gold and silver. No platinum bullion, no palladium bullion. Since the price ticker in the website header includes platinum and palladium pricing, this is a discouraging omission. Why display the price if you don’t sell the stuff?
Now, that’s not to say that this product page is a comprehensive inventory. It’s not an eCommerce page. You can click through the product images to a product detail page — weight, diameter, fineness, history, etc. — but there’s no shopping cart, no “Purchase” button, only a “Call For Pricing” button. (Yes, you guessed it – they want you on the phone with an agent! THey want the lead.”) Point being — they may well have access to more bullion than they list on this “Products” page.
But then, why not list it? Even just generic bullion bars? It gives the impression of limited selection.
Let’s address pricing once again. Premium and markups from spot vary, but Gold Alliance has a reputation for higher premiums, possibly owing to its lower minimum purchase thresholds. It’s not the only factor to consider, but it is something to keep an eye out for.
The toll-free number to contact an agent appears at the top of every page on the website. Calling that number when you are in a position to have a conversation is probably the best way to get started. You can also request a “Free Guide” (not much more information given) by filling out a contact form.
Gold Alliance is not an IRA custodial service in its own right. Instead, it partners with three different IRA custodial services — Equity Trust, Preferred Trust, and GoldStar Trust. All three of these companies are reputable, licensed IRA custodians with different strengths and weaknesses. You are encouraged to do your own research and choose the custodian that best aligns with your needs.
It is unclear as to whether you can use other IRA custodians and still source your precious metals through Gold Alliance. If you have a preferred custodian other than these three, that’s definitely something to verify with a Gold Alliance representative.
Gold Alliance offers you a variety of secure storage options to keep your precious metal assets safe and accounted for in compliance with IRS regulations. Like many such companies, they nudge you in the direction of the popular Delaware Depository, insured by London Underwriters and in possession of proprietary Cloud software making it easy for IRA custodians to offer online account management functionality. If you had your heart set on storing your precious metal at the Delaware Depository, Gold Alliance can make that happen.
Buyback and Liquidation Policy
Gold Alliance does not advertise it prominently, but it does offer a buyback policy whereby they promise to buy back its own bullion — that is, bullion coins and bars you purchased from them. For other assets, purchased through other dealers, they will assess its value and make an offer, but make no guarantee of purchase or at what price.
A strong buyback policy gives you some security about the ease and value of your liquidation when it comes time to turn the assets into cash. This isn’t a huge deal since the IRS requires you to only store bullion with high liquidity in a Gold IRA. After all, there will always be a liquid market for American Eagles. But it’s a nice incentive nonetheless.
Education and Client Empowerment
For newcomers to precious metal investing and Gold IRAs, Gold Alliance offers several educational resources on its website. It starts with a one-pager titled “Why Gold,” available in the header menu, relating the basics of gold investing.
It also has a four-part section on Gold IRAs, as well as a “Resources” section that includes several other articles on the basics. From there, you’re directed to “View All News.” Clicking “View All News” redirects you to the company’s blog, uncreatively titled “Blog.”
The blog features a few highlight stories, as well as dropdown lists of “Categories” (Asset Strategy, Market News, Precious Metal IRAs, etc.) and types of resources (eBooks, articles, news). Other than that, it’s a fairly standard blog, and as mentioned before there’s something a little cheap and non-authoritative about a company in the financial industry calling their blog a “Blog.” It smacks of lazy web design.
While it helps to be able to sort by subject and resource type, it’s less helpful to have education jumbled up with market news, etc. on the tiles of a generic blog. While the information might be there and might be good, there isn’t exactly an easy “Gold IRAs 101” you can dig into.
There is also a notable lack of video content. The Gold Alliance Youtube Channel features only one video, less than two minutes long and posted a year ago. Not a good look for a company that has been in business since 2002.
Gold Alliance does not offer online purchase options. You have to get on the phone with a representative to initiate a Gold IRA or a purchase. Because Gold Alliance is not the IRA custodian, they don’t offer an online portal to manage your account online. If online account management and tracking is important to you, make sure to choose a custodian who offers it. Note that some depositories — notably the Delaware Depository — make online account tracking easier than others.
Gold Alliance benefits from an excellent reputation, but suffers from a lack of product options, less-than-user-friendly client education ecosystem, and an unclear onboarding process.
However, its lack of minimum investment to open a Gold IRA is a big mark in its favor — it opens up the opportunity of a Gold IRA to a much larger demographic of income-earners. If you are early in your retirement journey or have a smaller net worth, you can easily adhere to recommended allocations by choosing Gold Alliance as your Gold IRA provider.
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