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Investing in precious metals, such as gold, usually has two primary benefits to your investment portfolio. The first is protecting your existing wealth against inflation. The second is giving your portfolio an anchor against economic and political turbulence.
Have you paid attention to the news lately? Have you noticed that both are happening at the same time lately? Do you think either will subside in the near future?
Putting anywhere from 5% to 15% of your overall retirement assets into precious metals might make sense. Doing so in a tax-advantaged IRA makes even more sense. The decision you face is who to arrange your account for you.
If you look through the available options, you might wind up considering American Hartford Gold vs U.S. Money Reserve.
Generally speaking, both are among the better brokers in the gold IRA sector. However, determining which one might be a better fit for you might come down to certain details.
Those details might include particulars ranging from costs and fees to specific features that they offer. I'll cover those in detail. I'll also go over their individual pros and cons and walk you through the ratings and reviews they've gotten from others.
My hope is that I'll present you with useful information that makes your decision easier. I can't make the choice for you, nor should I.
However, I hope to give you the knowledge you can use without overloading you.
Company Comparison: What U.S. Money Reserve and American Hartford Gold Offer
The first thing I'll do is a features comparison of the two brokers. I'll cover American Hartford Gold first and then U.S. Money Reserve in terms of what they offer, their IRA options, and individual pros and cons.
After that, I'll do head-to-head comparisons of their fees, rollovers, and reviews and ratings.
American Hartford Gold
American Hartford Gold is more formally known as the American Hartford Gold Group or just AHG. This precious metal dealer and broker is based out of Los Angeles. They have a decade of operations behind them but plenty more experience in helping people invest successfully.
In their time in the industry, they've done well in making a name for themselves. Their BBB ratings are really good, and they also have nearly perfect scores through TrustPilot and Google Reviews. They've also been endorsed by individuals such as Rudy Giuliani and Bill O'Reilly.
They have an extensive selection of precious metals you can choose from. They have gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. These come in the form of both bullion and coins, and they are sourced from mints around the world.
Many of their international products are not permitted for IRA use by the IRS, although there can be limited exceptions. Their website does a good job of marking clearly what you can buy as a private citizen or legally invest in as a gold IRA investor. The lineup and prices change regularly.
American Hartford Gold can be a tremendously smart move for anyone new to precious metals investing. Their customer service ratings rival the best competitors in the business, and the minimum investment levels they require are lower than many of their industry peers as well. The combination is a recipe for a great investment experience.
American Hartford Gold's buyback commitment is something special within the industry. While they can't guarantee prices or values ahead of time, just knowing they'll buy your metals back when you need to cash out means you won't have to do this yourself. You just tell them which metals to sell and in what volume, and you'll get a cash transfer of hard money a few business days later after they handle liquidation for you.
You can do either a gold or silver IRA through American Hartford Gold. For that matter, you can also invest in platinum and palladium. Not all precious metal brokers give you access to all four metals.
U.S. Money Reserve
U.S. Money Reserve has a unique claim to fame that no one else in the industry can really boast about. Their president has specific government experience related to investing with precious metals and money. Philip N. Diehl is a former director of the United States Mint.
He leads a team of more than a hundred professionals. Their various specialties include gold specialists, numismatic experts, coin research professionals, and departments focused on vault storage, product shipments, and standards compliance. The comprehensive skills and experience are everything you could want at your disposal as a client.
They can guide you in choosing the particular precious metal products in the best position to accomplish your investment goals. For precious metals, that should be portfolio diversification, asset protection, and wealth generation. With the right investment mix, you can accomplish all three at the same time.
The minimum investment for a precious metal IRA is $25,000. That puts them higher than American Hartford Gold, so this broker might be better for existing investors or those who have more wealth to put into precious metals. Customer service ratings are on the good side but not perfect.
The experience and knowledge available through this team is impeccable, however. From their president down to their customer service team, this group of professionals knows nearly everything about precious metal investing. You can take advantage of this while you are a client.
One unique feature of U.S. Money Reserve has to do with its location in the state of Texas. They might be the only gold IRA broker to have a depository in the state of Texas. If you live in the region, that might shorten your shipping times if you want your precious metal products delivered to you when you make withdrawals or distributions from your account.
U.S. Money Reserve IRA
U.S. Money Reserve offers gold IRAs for precious metal investing with tax benefits. They also offer silver IRAs that do the same thing with a different metal. Either one is a great way to get started with portfolio diversification, wealth generation, and asset protection.
Gold IRA brokers and their custodians have overhead expenses that they have to pay, so there will be annual fees assessed to your precious metal IRA for most years that your account is open.
There are ways to get these fees waived in some cases. Of course, what you want is a precious metal IRA that generates more wealth each year than it costs you in fees.
American Hartford Gold's Fees
For American Hartford Gold, you should expect to spend approximately $180 per year on your active account.
Some of this is for the administrative costs involved with brokering your account. Most of it will simply be for custodial storage in a safe depository.
If you want the first year of fees, shipping, and storage to be waived, then ask American Hartford Gold about getting that done. They usually have specials going on where that is possible. At the time of writing, the investment level required for that was $10,000.
That also happened to be their minimum investment level at the time. That's how much you have to fund or do a rollover with in order to even start an account. If you want to invest less, you'll have to look elsewhere, although you're certainly free to invest more.
U.S. Money Reserve Fees
In regards to U.S. Money Reserve, the annual account fees are higher. Expect to pay approximately $250 per year. Again, this is for account management and custodial services via a depository.
This broker does usually offer to waive setup and storage fees. That can start with the first year of your account. They do up to $2,500 worth of credits that you might be able to spread across multiple years, assuming that special is still valid when you contact them.
U.S. Money Reserve has an even higher minimum investment than American Hartford Gold. This broker mandates at least $25,000 to be invested before you can invest with them. That puts them somewhere around the middle of the industry, but it can be a high standard for many early investors to meet.
Investing in precious metals is a good way to preserve some of your portfolio wealth in the face of inflation and economic turbulence. Since that's more of a necessity after you actually develop an investment portfolio, many investors come to precious metals after a while and then increase their exposure over time. That means that doing a rollover from another retirement account is what funds most gold IRAs.
American Hartford Gold Rollover Options
American Hartford Gold lets you fund a precious metal IRA from another IRA. You can also do it from a 401(k) or 403(b) account. You simply create an account with them, choose your metals, and then fund it.
Where American Hartford Gold stands out in direct comparison to U.S. Money Reserve is the customer service involved with the rollover process. Their ratings by hundreds of users are just phenomenal and have been for quite some time.
U.S. Money Reserve Rollover Options
You can also do a precious metal IRA with U.S. Money Reserve via a rollover from the same retirement accounts. The difference here is the customer service reviews. BBB reviews almost average 4/5 stars, which is pretty good, but the broker's history isn't entirely clean.
Several years ago, they were hit with a lawsuit about overcharging for products and wound up paying out millions in restitution. The company has certainly cleaned itself up since then and is moving in the right direction. However, their accreditation with the BBB isn't nearly as steadfast as American Hartford Gold's is in terms of long-term track record.
Customer Ratings and Reviews
Investing thousands of dollars in precious metals is a big decision. While I thank you for reading my analyst opinions on these brokers, I would never advise you to go by what I say alone. In fact, your own qualified personal financial advisor should be someone you turn to about much of this, including how much to invest in precious metals.
Along the same lines, you shouldn't just take my word for everything about these two companies. Thousands of other people have already done business with them, and their feedback and complaints can tell you a lot. I personally like using the Better Business Bureau website to look up such things, since it's one place where companies might actually respond to unsatisfied clients.
American Hartford Gold Ratings
American Hartford Gold has had dozens of complaints filed against them. In the last three years, 22 of them were closed, with 11 coming in the last 12 months. The thing that you should know is that a good number of these complaints were resolved to the customer's satisfaction, and American Hartford Gold at least answered all of them to attempt resolution.
Among BBB users, 254 of them have left their individual reviews. They average 4.94 out of 5 stars. For so many reviews being posted, that is a spectacular average.
The BBB themselves have given American Hartford Gold an A+ rating. American Hartford Gold is an accredited member of the organization. They've held that status since 2016, only a year after their founding.
U.S. Money Reserve Ratings
U.S. Money Reserve has had just a handful more complaints filed against them. In the last three years, they got 24 complaints closed, with 10 of them closing in the most recent 12 months. They have attempted to answer every single one, and a fair number of them have been resolved.
Current BBB users have left 44 individual reviews. They average 3.89 out of 5 stars. That's obviously not as high as American Hartford Gold, but it's still a relatively good number.
The BBB rates U.S. Money Reserve as an A+ business, and U.S. Money Reserve is an accredited member. However, they've only been that since 2020. This is despite being in business for 20 years.
There are many gold IRA brokers to look at when making your precious metal investment plans. If your situation comes down to U.S. Money Reserve vs American Hartford Gold, then you're looking at two good companies. Which one you should pick will probably just come down to whoever suits your needs and circumstances the best.
You Should Consider American Hartford Gold if...
- You want to deal with a broker with exceptional customer service reviews
- You like companies that have been members of the BBB for a while
- You only want to invest $10,000
- You like free shipping
- You want an easy buyback option for easy liquidation
You Should Consider U.S. Money Reserve if...
- You can invest $25,000 or more
- You want to see about waiving multiple years of fees
- You only want to invest in gold and silver
- You want access to the only depository in Texas
- You believe in companies reinventing themselves for the better