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If you've accumulated any amount of wealth over the years, then you might take some comfort in having it during these turbulent economic times. Then again, that same turbulence might also make you fear for the safety of your assets. Putting some of them into precious metals can be a really smart move right now, although I think that's the case nearly any year.
Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are four different metals, but they do a lot of the same things for your portfolio. They can be a great hedge against inflation eating away at your buying power, and these same metals can grow in value over time even when stock markets are suffering. Gold, in particular, has significant power to calm down your portfolio when markets are going crazy.
Precious metal investing lets you tap into all this, but it gets even better when you do so with the tax benefits of an IRA. A gold IRA is the best of both worlds, but you need a broker to arrange that with. Birch Gold Group is one option, and U.S. Money Reserve is another.
U.S. Money Reserve vs Birch Gold Group can be a tough decision, but I'm here to help you with that. I won't make the choice for you, but I will walk you through getting to know both gold IRA brokers. After that, you should be able to make your own decision with confidence.
Company Head-to-Head: What Birch Gold and U.S. Money Reserve Offer Customers
I'll certainly dive into some specific details about each company, but it's good to start with a quick overview of each company.
You need to get a general idea of what they're about before I talk about IRA options, pros and cons, ratings, fees, and rollover comparisons.
I try to cover everything as quickly as I can to save you time but also give you what you might need to make a decision.
1. Birch Gold Group
Birch Gold Group is an up-and-coming precious metal broker that is already rivaling the best in the business. They do that by offering two different things that precious metal investors want, and they do really well at both of them at the same time. One is customer service, and the other is client education.
The customer service levels you experience with Birch Gold Group are nearly spectacular. Almost everyone has a stellar experience when working with them. In this area alone, they're easily a top-five company in the industry.
You'll see their numbers and reviews for yourself later on in this content. For now, just know that they take care of their clients. While you should expect that of any business, I think it's really important in an industry where they want the responsibility of caring for tens of thousands of dollars worth of your investment wealth, especially when it's going to sit in some depository you can't visit yourself.
Focused on Client Education
Client education is just one of the many things that Birch Gold Group does very well. Again, they're not the absolute best in the business at that particular aspect, but I'd again put them in the top five for that category. They're certainly making their peers at the top stay on top of things and keep getting better, so that makes the entire sector better for everyone.
Most precious metal brokers will have educational resources on their websites you can use, but the best ones actually have professionals who care about your success. That means they will keep you apprised of what's going on in the precious metal sector, why trends are what they are, and how they can help or hurt you. In time, you'll start spotting things on your own thanks to what you learn.
Precious Metals IRA Options
Birch Gold Group offers gold and silver IRAs. You can use either to fight off the impact of inflation or find a safe spot from market turbulence. With a properly diversified portfolio, you should be able to preserve your wealth in a physical format while enjoying price gains over time that increase your investment assets.
This company lets you do that in not just gold and silver but also palladium and platinum. Investing in all four precious metals isn't as important to portfolio diversification as investing in alternate asset classes, such as stocks versus gold. However, the four metals each offer their own benefits, so having options is nice.
Birch gold group offers both gold and silver IRAs. You can fund these through IRA or 401(k) rollover. They also offer IRA planning services.
Precious metal products that you might be able to start with include gold coins, bars, and bullion. There are also palladium and silver coins and bars. Select platinum coins are also available.
Pros & Cons
Birch Gold Group has plenty of upsides, but also a few downsides. Knowing both can help you decide if their particular balance is right for you. I like them, but I also know they're not perfect.
2. U.S. Money Reserve
U.S. Money Reserve is a precious metal dealer and IRA broker based out of the state of Texas. One of the depositories they work with is in the state of Texas. That's appealing to many investors in the state that don't want their precious metals thousands of miles away, but the company of course works with any consumer in the country.
Experience That Counts
Experience and knowledge are the primary things that distinguish U.S. Money Reserve from other precious metal brokers. The company president served in the government before going into private business. He was a Director of the United States Mint.
He's brought his knowledge of money and coins to the consumer side of the economy. Along the way, he assembled a team of experts in many different disciplines. There are over a hundred of them waiting to help you, and their expertise covers subjects from precious metals to numismatics.
They Make the IRA Process Easy
U.S. Money Reserve can help you set up a precious metal IRA before also guiding you through choosing precious metal products that might serve you well in your account. This is a great way to diversify your portfolio away from stocks and bonds or other paper-based assets. Gold often does better than many currency reserves in times of inflation like is happening right now.
The tax benefits of an IRA format make it easier to keep the gains your precious metal investment generates under their guidance and tutelage. That's even more likely if you wait until you are 59 1/2 before you start taking withdrawals off of your investments. That will minimize the taxes that you'll be responsible for.
U.S. Money Reserve has been around for many years. However, it's only been lately that they joined the BBB. Their customer service ratings are fairly good, but they're also not perfect.
Multiple Precious Metals Investment Options
You can also buy coins, bars, and bullion outside of a precious metal account if you would simply like to have them for your own personal ownership. You would be responsible for storing them somewhere safe. If you do that at home, then you should know that your homeowner's or renter's insurance usually won't cover gold products automatically without letting them know in advance and going through some serious paperwork to document their existence and value.
Like Birch Gold Group, U.S. Money Reserve lets you do precious metal IRAs. You can have a gold IRA, a silver IRA, or even both. You can also fund these using IRA or 401(k) rollovers.
You can get gold and silver products for the precious metals you put into these accounts. There are not likely to be any palladium options with U.S. Money Reserve. Platinum options are sometimes mentioned, but it doesn't seem to be consistent.
Pros & Cons
U.S. Money Reserve has been around a while, but its history hasn't always been consistently great. Remember to see them as they are now. That's how they'd be helping you anyway.
Even though you're trying to save money and hopefully make some, you're going to pay some fees. There might be setup fees when you first get started. You can also expect annual fees for account administration and custodial matters.
Birch Gold Fees
Birch Gold Group will likely cost you $80 to get started. They usually have a $5 setup fee to start the account. There might also be a $30 fee for wire transfers.
Annual fees usually run $180. The account management is $80. Their depository charges $100 for storage.
If you invest $50,000 or more, then you can probably get all the first-year fees waived. Birch Gold Group has been known to run specials for investment levels as low as $10,000. I'd encourage you to contact them directly to find out what they have you can take advantage of right now.
U.S. Money Reserve Fees
Annual account fees are a bit higher at U.S. Money Reserve. For both account administration and depository storage, you'll face $250 in total. That's higher than Birch Gold Group, but there are things that might work in your favor.
U.S. Money Reserve is not usually known for charging setup fees when you create an account. For that matter, they often waive thousands of dollars worth of fees for your first year at any investment level. Sometimes, that credit rolls over to subsequent years, but you need to contact them directly to see what their current specials are.
Both gold IRA brokers have teams of customer service specialists waiting to help you do a rollover from other retirement or investment accounts to fund your precious metal investing. I think that's really important, considering how much money you might be trusting them with. How well their customer service does is crucial to your comfort with them.
Birch Gold Group Rollover Options
Birch Gold Group requires a minimum IRA investment of $10,000. There are competitors in the sector that go even lower, but there aren't many. This is one of the more accessible minimum investment levels you'll find in the industry.
Birch's customer service is highly rated and some of the best in the business. That's something you can really benefit from when creating an account, funding it, and choosing precious metal products. Their customer reviews are really good, and they have been for a long time.
U.S. Money Reserve's Rollover Options
U.S. Money Reserve isn't open to as many investors. Their minimum IRA investment is $25,000. That's about the middle of the road for the sector since some companies mandate twice that much.
The customer service at U.S. Money Reserve is a bit more tricky as a story compared to Birch. The company did face a lawsuit about a decade ago regarding overcharging clients, and they had to pay back millions in restitution. That was then, however, as they've certainly cleaned up their practices and customer service since then.
Customer Ratings and Reviews
While I'm grateful that you trust my own knowledge and analysis, I'm also sure that I'm not the only resource you're checking about these two gold IRA brokers. That's smart. Plenty of other investors have already tried or used these two companies, and their own feedback can be very useful in your own choices.
Birch Gold Group Ratings
Birch Gold Group has been an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau since 2011. That's almost a decade earlier than U.S. Money Reserve. The BBB gives them an A+ rating, which involves dozens of factors but not customer reviews.
BBB users have left 65 customer reviews. They average 4.69/5.00. That's obviously a really good score.
The company does have some complaints filed against them. Eleven of them have been closed in recent years, with four of them closed in just the last year. Birch Gold Group reached out to every single complainant and resolved a good number of these issues to the customer's eventual satisfaction.
U.S. Money Reserve Ratings
U.S. Money Reserve has been an accredited member of the BBB only since 2020. That's very recent, considering how many years the company has been actively operating. The BBB gives them an A+ rating, but that's only a reflection of where they stand now and not their entire corporate history.
BBB users have posted 44 total reviews of U.S. Money Reserve. These average 3.89/5.00. It's a good score, but it could obviously be better.
Two dozen complaints have been closed in the last few years. Ten of them were closed in the previous year. U.S. Money Reserve seems to follow the industry standard of addressing every complaint and trying to resolve issues with unhappy clients, and some of those attempts are successful.
In regards to looking at Birch Gold Group vs U.S. Money Reserve, there are many positive attributes to both brokers. They're both relatively good companies, so I won't tell you which one you should choose. However, I can suggest that you pick one or the other based on certain factors that might be important to you.
You Should Consider Birch Gold Group If...
- You want exceptional customer service
- You want some of the best client education around
- You want to invest only $10,000
- You want access to all four precious metals
- You want to support a highly rated business
You Should Consider U.S. Money Reserve If...
- You have more than $25,000 to invest
- You want the only depository available in Texas
- You would like to do business with a company headed by a former Mint director
- You only want to deal in gold or silver
- You believe companies can get better over time