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.
Morgan Stanley has been in business for a century. It's an investment firm in New York City and does not specialize in precious metals. Mostly, the company offers "paper gold" in the form of shares in gold mines or ETFs and other funds.
These funds deal in gold futures or other "paper investments" and not physical gold. Morgan Stanley doesn't offer a precious-metals IRA, but it does partner with companies that do, including depositories that store the gold.
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 Morgan Stanley has what it takes to make the list this year!
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About Morgan Stanley Gold IRA
Recently, Morgan Stanley had to pay $35 million in fines to the Securities and Exchange Commission because of its security failures. That $35 million was a settlement and not a full judgment.
According to the Better Business Bureau, the company holds a D- rating. Despite the company's age and experience, that rating comes from the company's inability to safeguard the personal information of roughly 15 million of its customers.
Other Online Reviews
The Trustpilot reviews of Morgan Stanley are nearly all negative. The complaints range from highlighting rude and/or incompetent customer service staff to outright criminal accusations. Several of the reviews mentioned that the company is trading on its name recognition.
To be fair, it used to be a powerful firm with a good reputation that, "... made money the old-fashioned way ... earn it." Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.
Other websites, such as investor.com, list more than a dozen SEC violations that can be traced back to Morgan Stanley and/or its subsidiaries.
The Better Business Bureau website lists 65 complaints that have closed within the last three years. There are certainly better firms for acquiring gold, especially when it comes to IRAs because Morgan Stanley doesn't offer those in the first place even if the company were still reputable.
Morgan Stanley does not offer precious metals themselves. Rather, it partners with companies that provide the gold. This reviewer recommends caution when doing so because the company's reputation affects its relationships with partners and other businesses in the industry.
Reputable companies may withdraw from doing business with Morgan Stanley. Still, if you do the proper research regarding the partner company, you can still buy the precious metals you want. This reviewer recommends dealing with almost any other company than Morgan Stanley, however.
Three Highly Recommended Companies Instead of Morgan Stanley
Goldco has been in business for 17 years and has built a sterling reputation in the industry. The chief reason for this is its industry-leading customer service.
The company's founder, Trevor Gerstz, says that customer service is the company's No. 1 priority, and this reviewer finds nothing to contradict that.
The company gives its customers exceptional support in finding the right kind of precious metals investments for them. The analysis is generally spot-on, but customers should remember that Goldco is not a financial planning company nor are its staff members investment advisors.
The company provides terrific incentives for creating an account, which balances out the higher-than-usual minimum balance for an account, which is $25,000.
The one thing that Goldco doesn't provide is custodian service for precious metals IRAs. Still, as the No. 1 precious metals company when it comes to customer service, Goldco is certainly and heartily recommended.
#2: Augusta Precious Metals
With this company, education is the No. 1 priority. The company believes that well-informed customers will both make savvy decisions and be loyal to the company that taught them how to get the most out of their precious-metals investments.
The company offers free shipping to an IRS-approved depository when you create a precious-metals IRA. Augusta Precious Metals also kicks in the shipping insurance. Lastly, the company will guide you through the whole process of creating and maintaining a self-directed IRA.
#3: American Hartford Gold
As of August 12, 2023, the company is running a promotion for certain qualifying purchases that will give you $10,000 in free silver.
This reviewer strongly encourages you to check that out with American Hartford Gold. If you are interested in creating a gold IRA, this is a great incentive to get started.
As a whole, the company generally has the lowest fees of any precious metals company. If you want to sell your gold back to American Hartford Gold, then you won't have to pay a buyback fee. The company also provides you will all the services you need regarding precious-metals IRAs
When you want to create a retirement account that contains precious metals, then you have to create the account under certain rules. For example, you aren't allowed to put any other kind of investments into such an account. Also, any precious metals that you put into the account must be brand new. You can't have owned them at all previously.
You can't buy them yourself. You have to have a custodian do it for it. Most companies will either provide you with a custodian or will have partnered with reputable custodians who can do all the paperwork and transactions for you.
Additionally, when you buy these precious metals through your custodian, you're not allowed to keep them at home. You have to have them sent to a special depository for safekeeping. One famous example is the Delaware Depository.
After your custodian sets up your account, and you transfer your newly purchased precious metals to the depository, they become inaccessible without penalty until you turn 59.5 years old. Thereafter, you may withdraw funds from the account until you turn 72 years old.
At that point, you must begin making regular withdrawals. Otherwise, you will face similar penalties to what you would face were you to have removed any of the metals before being 59.5.
The precious metals you invest in one of these IRAs may include bullion coins as well. Bullion coins are weighed with supreme accuracy so that they are as close to their minted value as possible. They require a certain level of purity to be considered bullion.
Gold coins must be 99.5% pure. Silver coins must be 99.9% pure. Coins of platinum or palladium must be 99.95% pure. There is an exception, however. Certain American Eagles are only 91.67% pure, but they are legacies from before the purity law and are still allowed to be kept in such an IRA.
Numismatic coins are disallowed. That's because these coins don't derive their value from the materials from which they're minted. For example, the copper in a 1955 double-die Lincoln cent isn't worth even 1 cent.
Still, the coin's latest price in extremely fine condition is roughly $1,200 as of August 12, 2023. Their value comes from their rarity and the demand for such coins in the industry. Because such demand varies greatly over time, numismatic coins' values go up and down equally greatly.
Therefore, their value cannot be set in the same way that coins whose value is just that of their metal content can be. So, the coins could be worth only fractions of the price you might pay to buy them.
May You Have Precious Metals at Home?
As long as the metals in question aren't part of a self-directed IRA, then yes, you may have them at home. For many reasons, however, it is not a good idea. Chief among these reasons is that most private dwellings cannot offer the same kind of security that a place like the Delaware Depository can.
The depository simply has more staff, better training, and better facilities than almost anyone can afford. Secondary to security, the possibility of contamination of precious metals is another reason not to have them at home. If you were to touch the precious metals, even accidentally, then you would irrevocably alter their value.
The oil in your skin will adversely affect the metals. Remember that removing precious metals from your IRA will count as you take possession of them even if you don't physically have them at hand. That will incur the penalties.
Price Performance of Precious Metals
For the last five decades, the price of all four of the basic precious metals has increased steadily. There were a couple of "down periods," but they always rebounded.
As of 3:25 p.m. on August 12, 2023, gold is trading at $1,924.05 per troy ounce. That's down from the all-time high of $2,020 per troy ounce, which gold achieved in early 2023.
Silver has been more up-and-down than gold over the same period of time. In the 1970s, silver traded at almost $50 per troy ounce.
Now, it's $22.79. Both platinum and palladium have been more valuable than gold in the past. Palladium once traded at $3,000 per troy ounce! Today, both trade at roughly 40% to half the value of gold.
It behooves you to remember that precious metals are a long-term strategy. You will rarely make a killing with them as you would with stocks or other volatile investments. The flip side is that you also will rarely lose your shirt.
Generally, the recommendation is for you to have between 5% and 10% of your entire portfolio in precious metals. Diversity is key for long-term growth toward retirement.
The Final Word
It bears repeating that you should avoid Morgan Stanley for your precious metals needs. Goldco, Augusta Precious Metals, and American Hartford Gold are all superior to Morgan Stanley. This reviewer recommends all three of these companies.
Remember to ask questions even if you're an experienced investor. The market may have changed since your last purchase, and the laws may also have changed.
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