Scott R. Hillford
Author & Founder Gold Is Money 2
Disclaimer: Some or all of the companies reported here may provide compensation to us, at no cost to our readers. This is how we keep our reporting free for readers. Compensation and detailed analysis are what determines how companies appear on this website.
Planning for retirement involves a certain level of risk when it comes to investing in the stock market. There will be gains and losses over the years. Hopefully, the market is on the upswing when investors retire and start distributions.
There is another way to diversify a portfolio besides paper assets, however. Investing in physical gold is a clever strategy, which can complement any portfolio.
Buying gold from a reputable dealer is the next challenge. Explore a popular gold dealer, called Birch Gold Group, right now. They offer attractive products and services.
Prior reading further, it is important to acknowledge that investing your savings is a not easy. When it comes to incorporating precious metals into your investment portfolio, how can you tell which companies are reliable?
After devoting extensive time and effort, we have conducted thorough research within the precious metals industry and compiled a selection of the most trustworthy companies.
Take a moment to read our list and determine if Birch Gold Group has what it takes to make the list this year!
This lets you to quickly compare the leading companies in this field and select the one that aligns with your specific requirements and investment objectives.
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About the Birch Gold Group
Birch Gold Group is a precious metals dealer that's been in business since 2003. Because it has two decades of financial experience, investors already have a solid choice in this industry. There are only a few companies that can boast more than a decade of precious metals experience.
The website doesn't mention any founding members or historical information about the group's early years. The "About" page primarily focuses on what BGG can do for the customer. Although this information is certainly helpful, more details on the founding period would give investors a better idea of the company's mission.
Contact Birch Gold Group through two phone numbers, email, or an online contact form. The number of communication pathways is a good sign that BGG is a legitimate company. In fact, they also have a physical address. Based out of Burbank, California, BGG appears to have originated and remained at this facility since its inception.
This precious metals dealer advertises its operating hours along with the physical address on the website. It's unclear if investors are welcome to stop by the address or make an appointment. Many online dealers don't have a physical address, which can cause some red flags at times. Because BGG is part of a community in Southern California, they won't disappear on investors like other online entities.
This company is also active on six social media platforms. In essence, these accounts are six alternative ways of contacting BGG with any questions. Each account offers plenty of articles and news about the gold industry. There are even interviews between BGG staff and industry experts.
Most of the accounts have thousands of followers, which speaks to BGG's reputation in the financial industry. A company that keeps up with multiple communication pathways among its customers is often an honest business.
Focusing on Customer Service
Birch Gold Group stresses the importance of three values, including trust, one-on-one service, and customer education. They make this vision very clear on their "About" page. Because they take the time to explain their customer service vision, investors should compare this approach to other dealer sites.
It's not a typical sight because most dealers focus on a sales approach rather than service promises. As a result, BGG appears to have integrity when it put customers first.
BGG discusses trust as a main focus of their company's mission. They know that trust must be earned. With this fact in mind, they suggest visiting their resource page along with many other education sections. BGG also welcomes feedback from their customers so that they can improve on their business services.
Investors may be surprised about BGG's one-on-one service. Upon contacting the company, investors speak with a specialist. This professional will be the point of contact for all dealer transactions. When investors work with other dealers, they may speak with multiple people during each call.
This scenario can create misunderstandings and issues during a precious metals purchase. In contrast, working with a single specialist creates a professional bond that only improves the investment process. The professional gets to know the investor and his or her goals. As a result, proper investments can be made with possible success in the future.
This company also puts education first. BGG wants investors to ask questions, read guides and explore the Internet for alternative perspectives. Knowing about the precious metals industry empowers investors and helps BGG with suggestions. Because BGG stresses education and knowledge, investors should see this fact as a form of transparency. There are no scams on this site because knowledgeable investors would see past that.
Exploring IRA Services
BGG offers precious metals IRA services. These individual retirement accounts operate similarly to traditional IRAs. Investors purchase assets that can appreciate until retirement. Cashing out the IRA gives investors another form of income in their golden years.
A precious metals IRA allows investors to choose alternative assets, such as gold and silver, instead of paper assets, which include stocks and bonds, for their accounts. In fact, investors are buying physical gold for these IRAs. The assets are simply secured at a facility called a depository.
BGG makes it clear that they do not directly manage precious metals IRAs. They act as a consultant for investors. For this reason, investors can use BGG's resources to start a gold IRA.
For example, the company can guide investors to a qualified custodian. This professional manages the account by facilitating fund transfers, and purchases and arranging product shipping. Custodians are required by the federal government for a gold IRA to be eligible for tax benefits.
Investors should also note that they cannot take personal possession of the precious metals either. Any purchases for the gold IRA must ship from a mint to the depository. This arrangement is how the government protects this investment as a tax benefit. The custodian is the bridge between the precious metals and investors.
BGG works with many custodians and depositories in the industry. They do list many of the organizations on the website too. It's implied that investors are free to work with other custodians and depositories of their choice. However, BGG suggests using their associates because of the affordable fees. Other custodians and depositories will have their own fees that may not be as attractive to investors.
Working with BGG to set up an account and purchase products appears to be a streamlined process. It's in the investor's best interests to work with the suggested custodians and depositories. Once the physical gold, silver, palladium, or platinum ships, a tracking number will be associated with it. Investors will always know where their assets are at all times.
Setting up an Account
BGG offers a comprehensive, step-by-step process for account setups. The first step begins with a call to a specialist. If there are any questions, this professional can clarify those concerns.
Presumably, the specialist goes over which custodians are available for a gold IRA. Alternatively, investors might have another custodian in mind. The chosen custodian will be connected to the gold IRA at that point.
The next step involves funding the new account. Precious metals cannot be purchased for a gold IRA through standard protocols, such as a credit card or check. The funds must be in the IRA, and then the custodian can earmark them for precious metals purchases.
Ideally, fund the gold IRA with a rollover from another IRA or 401(k) plan. This strategy means that taxes won't be due on the amount at all. Taxes are only paid when the investor withdraws any amount during retirement.
Reputable custodians and BGG can walk the investor through the funding process. In most cases, established retirement accounts are eligible. It may take a few days for the funds to be available, but the specialist should keep investors aware of the progress in the meantime.
With a funded account, BGG should work with the investor to buy products for the gold IRA. There are only a few products allowed in a gold IRA, such as American Eagle or Canadian Maple Leaf coins. In fact, BGG stamps these products as "IRA Approved" on the website.
Purchased products ship from a mint and out to the depository. Depending on the facility, the items may be commingled or segregated from other investors' products. Keep in mind that the precious metals will always be secure, which allows them to increase in value over time.
Take these steps to set up the gold IRA so that investors have a strong portfolio. Because it takes more effort to set up and manage a gold IRA, there will be extra fees associated with it. BGG is very clear about its fee structures. If investors work with a BGG custodian and depository, they'll only see a $200 yearly fee for management, storage, and insurance. This amount applies to any gold IRA balance too.
Investors should also expect a one-time setup fee of $50 and wire transfer costs of $30 each. These fees are typical of the industry and remain extremely reasonable compared to other dealers.
Understanding Birch Gold Group's Industry Reputation
There are many scams in the gold dealing industry. However, BGG is not a scam. It's a legitimate company that supports its customers over the years. Take a look at the Better Business Bureau's website to see BGG's official standings, for example. They have an A+ rating with 20 years of experience.
There have been complaints recorded over the past few years, however. Investors should read over the complaints to see how they were resolved. It's normal in business to have some complaints about everyday business.
Considering BGG has been in business for several decades, the number of complaints is relatively low. Presumably, they deal with many transactions every month. Complaints can arise based on the company's volume alone.
Investors can see who supports BGG by heading to their "Endorsements" page. Scroll down the page to see many familiar faces. Podcasters, doctors, reporters, and many other business professionals speak highly of BGG. They wouldn't approve of their likenesses being used unless they're legitimately partnered with this dealer.
It's unclear if BGG is part of any industry organizations, such as the American Numismatic Association. Most dealers prominently mention these organizations on their websites. Potential investors see these associations, which means the dealer has a strong commitment to the industry as a whole. Investors who're curious about BGG's affiliations may need to ask about them over the phone.
A refreshing part of BGG's website is the Scam Protection Resource Guide. It's a comprehensive look at what a scam involves and how to avoid them. Investors might search for this information elsewhere, but it speaks to BGG's character that they include it on the site. It's not difficult to find either. They want investors to have a fair and lucrative experience with gold investments.
Looking at Various Reviews
There are many reviews on the Better Business Bureau website regarding BGG. They're largely positive in nature. In fact, BGG responds to a few of these positive responses.
When it comes to negative reviews, however, many of them revolve around commission structures. For example, some customers complain about excessive percentages taken out of their deposit amounts.
It's difficult to break down these concerns because they may stem from misunderstandings during negotiations. The company doesn't offer an explanation on the BBB website either.
Investors might look at other reviews around the Internet, such as on Trustpilot, for any other concerns. The reviews have about the same ratio of positive versus negative comments as the BBB website. It appears that BGG is trying to educate and serve its customers as well as they can.
Ideally, read as many reviews as possible before making a financial commitment. Many consumers offer their advice through these review posts too, such as reading the fine print or reminding investors that gold is a long-term investment. In the end, investors can proceed with some caution when buying precious metals.
Advantages and Disadvantages
BGG has its share of pros and cons. A feature that might be seen as both an advantage and disadvantage is the gold IRA minimum amount. BGG states repeatedly on the site that they require $10,000 as a minimum amount to start a precious metals IRA.
This amount may be attractive to some and not to others. Other dealers often ask for more than $10,000 to start, so this amount is largely an advantage.
A disadvantage that's reflected in the online reviews is questionable commission structures. Because there are no prices on the products, investors must call in for a quote. This scenario isn't unusual for the precious metals industry.
However, misunderstandings about product prices and commission amounts arise from the lack of transparency. Some investors might think BGG is taking too much from their savings to cover commissions. It would be helpful to see a standard commission listed on the site for investors to use as a baseline.
The sheer volume of information on the site is a welcome advantage. BGG appears to be on the investor's side as this information is offered, updated and reported regularly. From updated precious metals prices to a newsletter signup page, BGG appears to serve customers well.
The latest news offered on BGG's website is fear-based wording. Terms like "crisis" and "panicked" work on investors' internal fears. This disadvantage can be turned around with more optimistic financial news.
There's no need to scare people into buying precious metals. It's a solid investment that just needs to be treated as a long-term commitment. More news about gold ETFs, futures, and the physical metals themselves would be a welcome sight.
Picking a Finance Partner
When investors compare other dealers to BGG, they may see a difference in this company. Their website is full of useful information that's written for the average investor. It doesn't try to confuse or belittle investors. In fact, the education pages are designed to empower every person.
Each product page offers history, specifications, and other insights about the item. BGG is truly there for the customer. Although rough pricing for the products would be a helpful addition, BGG makes up for it with detailed information.
BGG offers pricing that's reasonable for most consumers. This pricing matches well with the customer service that BGG touts across its website. High-quality service is a core value at BGG. In fact, their services rival the most expensive dealers in the industry. Investors simply enjoy the service at a lower price than elsewhere.
Interested investors might try a small step toward gold investments by asking for the free info kit. BGG can send out this information so that investors can slowly make a financial decision. Any decision regarding retirement funds should be approached with caution and education.
Overall, this dealer is a great choice as a precious metals resource. Their industry reputation is of the highest quality among customers and dealers alike.
Visiting their website and social media accounts are great ways to stay in touch with the latest financial information too. Because the investor will always have a dedicated specialist, investing in precious metals is easier with every call to BGG.
With any financial decision, investors should always research companies and investment strategies before making any adjustments.
Birch Gold Group is a solid company with high quality services. Starting out with an investment can get investors acclimated to the gold market. In time, investing in gold can be as commonplace as stocks and bonds.
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