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Should you invest some of your wealth in gold and precious metals? Absolutely. They are a great hedge against inflation, they protect your assets from rough economic times, they hold their value, and they even grow in value over time.
Should you buy physical metals and keep them for yourself or invest in a gold IRA? If you want to buy bullion and coins for your own satisfaction, then you're free to do so. However, you'll have to be responsible for their safety, and you'll pay full taxes on every single transaction.
On the other hand, a gold IRA lets your precious metal assets grow tax-free while in a safe depository. If you wait long enough to do your withdrawals from the gold IRA, you'll enjoy tax benefits at that time. You can even enjoy tax benefits at the beginning by funding your gold IRA with a rollover from another retirement or investment account.
You'll need a gold IRA broker to do this, however. Is American Hartford Gold the right broker for you? That honestly depends on how well they align with your needs and circumstances.
I can't possibly know your financial status or objectives. However, I do know American Hartford Gold rather well. I'm here to help you learn about them, and then you can decide for yourself if they're the right option for you.
Who Is American Hartford Gold?
American Hartford Gold is based in Los Angeles, California. This company is family-owned. It's a precious metal broker that helps individuals invest for later in life.
Metals they Sell
The metals they deal with include gold, silver, and platinum. You can get these as coins in many cases. There are also bars and bullion available.
How to Buy
You can order precious metals as a normal sale with tax to be delivered to your home. You can also set up a precious metal IRA. That account can be funded by cash or a rollover.
American Hartford Gold's stated mission is to help clients secure their future by adding precious metals to their portfolios. Gold and silver are historically known to preserve wealth. However, they can also grow in value over time.
Leadership You Can Trust
The company leadership is highly experienced in managing and growing wealth. They're also very committed to high-caliber customer service and honest pricing. They give all investors a constant stream of market information and historical perspective that they can use.
Every client gets to enjoy a buyback commitment. That makes it easy to sell and liquidate your metals if you'd rather have cash money when it comes time to liquidate. They don't charge any extra fees for such liquidation.
Options for Diversifying Your Portfolio
Social Security is rarely enough to fund anyone's retirement, and IRAs are a way of saving up wealth over time to use in your golden years. Precious metals are a great way to diversify a portfolio while protecting your other assets against inflation and economic upheaval. An IRA format lets you enjoy tax-free growth while the account is active and tax savings when you make withdrawals.
Broad Selection of Precious Metals
The company has a broad selection of precious metal products from many different countries. The website doesn't list the always-changing prices, so you'll have to call about that. However, they do mark which products are IRA-eligible or not.
Committed to Customer Service
This business is very committed to customer service, communication, and trust. I've spoken to many current and former clients who have a lot of confidence in this broker's knowledge and skill. They tend to make things easy on their clients, as you can see for yourself if you study as many American Hartford Gold reviews as I have.
What Sets Them Apart From the Competition?You probably know by now that I study quite a few different precious metal brokers. What makes AHG different? That's a question I can answer.
They're a great broker to turn to if you are new to precious metal investing. Their onboarding procedure is very simple. Their personnel are also quite thorough and watch out for you.
The two leaders of the company have cumulative decades of industry expertise. They really understand the market. They also want you to understand the market, too, so that you can invest with knowledge and confidence.
There's no need to worry about markups or price gouging here. AHG has a price match promise so you always get the best rates. I can tell you that's very rare in this industry.
Precious Metals IRA & 401k Investment OptionsA precious metal IRA is a great option to do through American Hartford Gold. You get the tax benefits of an IRA. At the same time, you'll get the portfolio benefits of investing in precious metals.
You can't do a 401(k) through American Hartford Gold. However, you can do a 401(k) rollover into a precious metal IRA. If you do the transfer right, you'll preserve the tax-free status of your 401(k) wealth when it converts into precious metals.
Your 401(k) account is something you can do a rollover with if there's a qualifying event. Simply leaving your job is enough to trigger that. So is actually retiring.
You can do rollovers from other accounts as well. That includes nearly any other kind of IRA. You can also do a rollover from a TSP or 403(b) account.
Once in your precious metal IRA, you can invest in gold, silver, and platinum. American Hartford Gold has coins and bullion available. They'll likely recommend coins, as they have the best values and potential for growth.
How to Set Up an Account with American Hartford GoldThis is where AHG's customer service really shines through. It's so easy to set up an account with them. Then, you fund it and make your purchases.
Account creation couldn't be easier. They might just do it easier and simpler than most of their competitors. There's no obligation on your part to just do the paperwork in this step.
Funding your account can happen with a rollover from another retirement account or just cash. I usually urge people to do a rollover for the tax benefits. Portfolio diversification is also really important.
Once your account is funded and the depository is chosen, you pick the particular precious metal products you want to invest in. This is where their team steps up again. They'll let you know what they have available and tell you everything you need to know about it.
What Is the Minimum Investment?The minimum required investment for a precious metal IRA through American Hartford Gold is $10,000. That's higher than a few of their competitors, but it's also lower than many others that require $25,000 or even $50,000. I personally think that $10,000 is below the industry average.
Fees and CostsAmerican Hartford Gold doesn't seem to charge setup fees for starting an account with them. That saves you something from the very start. You can also get fees waived for several years on select accounts.
They do have overhead in managing your precious metal IRA. Their custodian who stores your gold and silver will also have costs. You'll pay around $200 per year to cover all of this.
American Hartford Gold and Silver Spot PricesYou'll have to call American Hartford Gold to find out the current prices of their gold and silver products. That might seem like it's a cheap gimmick to get people to call in and be subjected to high-pressure sales tactics instead of window shopping at their own leisure on the AHG website. However, this is actually a pretty common occurrence among precious metal brokers, and I'll tell you why.
Gold and silver are both precious metals that are invested in, bought, sold, and traded. Whether it's coins or bullion, both precious metals have values that fluctuate all the time. That's why prices aren't listed on precious metal dealer websites in many cases because they're always changing.
Think about how frustrating it would be to look at the price of a gold or silver coin you want one night only to come back and buy it the next morning when it's more expensive. If you didn't refresh the page overnight, you might not realize it until you are ready to check out. You might not even know it until you get billed.
This just reflects the nature of spot prices. The spot price of gold or silver is just the specific value either is trading for at that particular moment in time. These are markets that move all the time, just like stock values or exchange rates between currencies rise or fall and are in constant motion.
While it might make it annoying to shop, it also reflects some of the power of gold and silver. While values might go up and down, they historically go up a lot more than they go down. That means that when you invest in precious metals, you should be able to not just preserve the value of your wealth but also grow it.
BBB Rating and User ReviewsAmerican Hartford Gold has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau for the last six years.
They've only been in business for seven, so they joined this organization quite quickly. I tend to think that's a good sign about their commitment to customer service.
American Hartford Gold Complaints?Several dozen complaints have been filed against American Hartford Gold via the BBB platform. However, every single one of them has been answered by the broker. A good percentage of them have even been resolved to the customer's satisfaction that they withdrew or closed the complaint.
Pros & Cons
American Hartford Gold is a really good company that has many upsides to offer clients. Then again, they're not perfect, as no business truly is. I think looking over the pros and cons can help you find out whether or not AHG is a good match for your investment needs.
American Hartford Gold AlternativesIf you're going to really find the right precious metal broker, then you need to do comparison shopping. This is no different than shopping around for car insurance or a contractor for your home. To help you out, I'm comparing American Hartford Gold to three other brokers I've also analyzed professionally.
These three are Goldco, Augusta Precious Metals, and Noble Gold. What they all three have in common is really good customer service, especially Goldco, although the other two are pretty well-known for how they take care of their customers. Given that commonality, I'll focus on what separates them instead.
Goldco has earned some of the highest marks across the industry for customer service and integrity, including an A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau.
- A+ Better Business Bureau Rating
- AAA Rating via Business Consumer Alliance
- Up to $10,000 in Free Silver with Qualifying Purchase
- Easy 3-Step Process to Get Started
"The crew at GoldCo are professional and accommodating, extremely helpful and very easy to work with. My service rep, Tony Pino, was always available and willing to answer/explian any questions. Highly recommend them." -Mark G.
Goldco sets the industry standard for customer service, but AHG's ratings and numbers are just as stellar. American Hartford Gold just isn't as established as a name. Goldco might be a status symbol you can enjoy in later investing, but AHG is more attainable earlier in your portfolio diversification.
2. Augusta Precious Metals
Augusta Precious Metals has some of the highest marks across the industry for customer service and integrity.
- A+ Rating and Zero Complaints Registered with Better Business Bureau
- No High-Pressure Sales Tactics
- Welcome Webinar from Harvard-Trained Economist
- Simple 3-Step Process to Get Started
"I diversified my retirement with precious metals from Augusta. You can count on them."-Joe Montana, Hall of Fame Quarterback
The flip side is their minimum investment level. They want $50,000 just to get started. Even though new precious metal investors could benefit the most from their commitment to client education, they also make themselves one of the last places you might look to get started.
3. Noble Gold
- Leadership has more than two decades of experience
- The leaders are focused on helping people grow their own wealth
- The company has a strong emphasis on education so you always know what's going on
- Multiple services are provided and not all of them are IRA accounts
- You can buy your own physical gold
- Noble Gold does have a few things that might make you think twice.
- They're a more recent entry into the industry
- Fees aren't always obvious
The minimum investment level is where Noble Gold has a slight advantage. They only want $5,000. That's half of what you have to do at AHG. It's practically a draw between these two brokers, to be perfectly honest.
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SummaryAmerican Hartford Gold is a great mix of three things. They're all things I think you might find valuable as a precious metal investor. They are high-caliber customer service, commitment to client education, and a relatively low investment minimum.
The customer service available through AHG is nearly phenomenal. The BBB ratings and reviews attest to that. When you decide to trust a company with thousands of dollars of your assets, especially when they store it somewhere you can't personally visit, then you need to be able to trust them.
Client education is crucial to precious metals investing, too. You might hear about the stock market all the time, but this alternative asset class is a very different animal. It's also going to change over time, so you need someone helping you learn the past, present, and future all at the same time.
The $10,000 investment minimum is also a nice touch. There are a few companies that let you do less, but there aren't many. American Hartford Gold makes it easier than most to even get into this investment class.
They're not the only great company in the sector, but they're certainly one of them. I'd strongly urge you to consider them on your shortlist as you look for a potential precious metal IRA broker. They won't disappoint you.