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.
Headlines about stock market slumps and debt ceiling talks may leave you looking at your retirement portfolio with concern. If you're a new investor, you may be wondering if you have options for building a more stable retirement portfolio. Investors approaching retirement age may question if it's too late to diversify their investments.
No matter where you are in your retirement planning, a precious metals IRA can give you the security and income you need in retirement. When you limit your portfolio to your employer's plan, you may not be accessing a variety of asset classes available to you.
Employer 401(k) or IRAs often limit investors to a custom mix of traditional investments. Employees may be able to change their mix of investments, but they won't be able to place their money in alternative investments.
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 Red Rock Secured 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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Investors can move beyond traditional investments like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds by opening up a self-directed IRA. Available as a traditional or Roth IRA, a self-directed IRA allows investors to choose from other asset classes.
You can invest your funds in assets like precious metals, art, collectibles, real estate, and cryptocurrency.
If you're interested in investing in precious metals, you'll need a special self-directed IRA for precious metal investments. These IRA accounts have specific rules and regulations set by the IRS.
Unlike your employer-provided retirement plan, when you set up a self-directed IRA, you are in the driver's seat. You decide how and where to allocate your investment funds. Your self-directed IRA's custodian carries out your wishes and does not decide how to invest your money.
For investors new to precious metal investing, a self-directed IRA may seem intimidating and risky. That's why choosing the right precious metal dealer is an important part of your precious metal investment strategy. The right dealer can help you set up and fund your Gold IRA.
They'll recommend a trustworthy custodian and depository. Dealers also can help you purchase IRA-approved precious metals. Before you choose your precious metal dealer, investors should become familiar with their investment options.
If you open up a Gold IRA, you can invest in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products. Within each of these precious metal classes, you can purchase coins, bullion, and bars. You also may purchase stock in gold mining companies or gold retailers.
About Red Rock Secured
Some dealers may limit their offerings to gold and silver, while other dealers offer a full range of precious metal products.
Fees and policies also vary among dealers, so read reviews and ask questions before signing up for your new IRA. When you're researching your options for precious metal dealers, you may come across Red Rock Secured.
This company focuses on educating clients on precious metal investments. According to the Red Rock Secured website, the team provides excellent customer service to new and experienced investors.
Red Rock Secured offers premium and secure precious metal products for Gold IRAs. The company received the 2023 Bullion Dealer of the Year Award. It was ranked #211 on the Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Company list.
Based in El Segundo, California, just south of Los Angeles, Red Rock Secured is a privately-held company. Founded in December 2009, Red Rock Secured was incorporated in 2016. They received Better Business Bureau accreditation in 2017.
The company promises to act with integrity. They prioritize high levels of communication with their customers. Red Rock Secured offers a "never zero policy." According to the company's website, this policy states that "When investing with Red Rock Secured, our client’s portfolio will never go to $0."
Sean Kelly: Also known as Shade Johnson-Kelly, Sean Kelly is the CEO and owner of Red Rock Secured. Kelly also may have used the name Shade Kelly-Johnson. In addition to founding Red Rock Secured, Kelly also is associated with an inactive LLC named Fight Knights or FightKnights.com.
Under the name Shade Johnson-Kelly, Sean Kelly appears to be affiliated with another precious metal dealer called Kelly Gold. This company was established in 2021.
According to MarketWatch, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against Red Rock Secured and Sean Kelly, alleging the company was guilty of fraud and making false and misleading statements. The SEC also charged two former senior account executives in the scheme.
James Colon: Colon was the Vice President of Operations at Red Rock Secured from January 2021 to May 2022. His education and work experience was in the field of Human Resources.
Ashley Austin: Austin is listed as the Compliance Specialist at Red Rock Secured. Austin started working for Red Rock Secured in January 2021. Before Red Rock Secured, Austin worked at the Torrance-South Bay YMCA as an associate program director. She has an associate's degree from El Camino College.
Reasons to Work with Red Rock Secured
Before working with Red Rock Secured, investors should explore the different products and services available. Customer reviews and news articles will provide insight into how this company operates.
Like conventional IRAs, precious metals IRAs are available as either traditional or Roth IRAs. Traditional Gold IRAs use pre-tax dollars. Investors will pay taxes when they withdraw the money at retirement. Roth IRAs use post-tax dollars.
Investors can withdraw the money at any time tax-free. Investors should be aware that Gold IRAs have the same contribution limits as conventional IRAs. Red Rock Secured offers both types of Gold IRAs.
Steps to Get Started
Investors can start the process of opening a Gold IRA by filling out the online form on Red Rock Secured's website or calling the toll-free number. A representative from Red Rock Secured will contact you to schedule a free consultation.
Once you decide which type of IRA to open, Red Rock Secured will help you transfer or rollover your funds into the new IRA. When the funds are available, you can purchase coins, bullion, and bars. Red Rock Secured may limit your purchases to certain products.
Red Rock Secured states that your precious metals will be stored in a "top-tier" depository facility. Clients can check up on their investments in person. However, Red Rock Secured's website does not list which depositories they work with.
When you open your Gold IRA, you will need to select an approved custodian for your account. Red Rock Secured works with Kingdom Trust. This company recently rebranded and is now called Choice by Kingdom Trust. Located in Kentucky and South Dakota, Kingdom Trust offers 24/7 self-support.
Kingdom Trust has a B rating from the Better Business Bureau. They have an average 2.19 rating out of 5. In the past three years, the Better Business Bureau received 62 complaints about Kingdom Trust. Customers filed complaints against this company alleging fraudulent credit card charges, poor communication, and lack of transparency.
Who Should Invest in a Gold IRA?
If you're an investor interested in diversifying your investment portfolio, then a Gold IRA may be a good choice for you. Gold and other precious metal investments offer stability when economic times are tough.
During political and economic turmoil, gold often increases in value. Investors often use gold and other precious metals as a hedge against inflation. If you're concerned that your retirement portfolio is too limited, you may be interested in a Gold IRA.
Is Red Rock Secured a Scam?
Before trusting Red Rock Secured with any money, potential customers should be aware of pending charges against the company and its founder.
On May 15, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Red Rock Secured, CEO Sean Kelly, and two former senior account executives in connection with "a fraudulent scheme that involved convincing hundreds of investors to sell securities in their retirement accounts to buy gold and silver coins at prices that included markups far greater than the defendants had promised."
According to MarketWatch, Red Rock Secured targeted "conservative" and "right-wing" senior citizens with false and misleading statements about the economy and inflation. The filing states that Red Rock secured allegedly convinced seniors to move their retirement funds to a Gold or Silver IRA.
Instead of purchasing gold and silver bullion as promised, Red Rock Secured allegedly convinced investors to purchase obscure silver Canadian coins that Red Rock Secured cornered the market on. The SEC alleges that Red Rock Secured overinflated the value of these niche silver coins.
The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the State of Hawaii securities regulator, also filed a federal lawsuit against Red Rock Secured for perpetrating an approximately $60 million fraud scheme that targeted customers’ retirement savings.
Although the Better Business Bureau gives Red Rock Secured an A+ rating, the BBB added warnings about these pending lawsuits and charges to the Red Rock Secured listing. The BBB gives Red Rock Secured an average of 4.71 out of 5 stars.
However, the company also has nine customer complaints in three years. Customers complained that company representatives did not inform the customer what type of silver they were purchasing. The same customer also reported a discrepancy in the silver's value.
Other complaints allege that company employees refused to make purchases as instructed by customers. When employees did make purchases, they waited several weeks to follow through with the purchase.
Multiple complaints accuse the company of poor communication. High turnover of employees and disconnected phone numbers mean that account owners often have a difficult time checking on their accounts. Employees associated with the company have questionable qualifications.
Red Rock Secured has a 4.8 rating on Trustpilot. According to MarketWatch, TrustPilot is investigating the reviews of Red Rock Secured to ensure the reviews are legitimate. Trustpilot also added an alert at the top of Red Rock Secured's listing to report on the SEC filing.
Red Rock Secured has two Facebook pages. Their older Facebook page has no reviews. The admin of the company's Facebook page limited comments on their posts. On May 18, 2023, a second page for Red Rock Secured appeared on Facebook. This page has one post and no reviews.
Pros & Cons
Red Rock Secured features a professional-looking website with a lot of information for new and experienced investors. The company promotes its excellent ratings on TrustPilot, Better Business Bureau, and Google.
However, numerous customers complained about poor communication, high employee turnover, and discrepancies in transactions. The company also appears to be limiting comments on its social media.
In addition to customer complaints and multiple Facebook pages, there are other red flags that customers should consider before investing their hard-earned money with Red Rock Secured.
Red Rock Secured's CEO, Sean Kelly, appears to operate or be associated with several different companies under the names Sean Kelly, Shade Kelly-Johnson, or Shade Johnson-Kelly.
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed serious charges against Red Rock Secured, its CEO, and several executives. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a complaint in U.S.
District Court alleging that Red Rock Secured cornered the market on silver and gold Canadian Red-Tailed Hawk (RTH) coins and then convinced customers, especially senior citizens, to invest in these overpriced coins.
The CFTC accuses Red Rock Secured of charging approximately 959 customers a markup of over $34 million. According to the CFTC press release, Red Rock Secured also made false and misleading statements claiming that these coins were safe and offered higher returns.
Potential investors should keep in mind that these lawsuits are pending in court. Red Rock Secured and Sean Kelly hired the Los Angeles law firm Cohen Williams to handle the case. According to the company's attorney, Michael Schafler, Red Rock Secured, and Kelly are cooperating with the SEC investigation and have nothing to hide.
Before selecting a precious metal dealer or investment firm, customers should research all of their investment options. Online reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot can provide some insight into the company's operations. If you have doubts about any company, consult with a trusted financial advisor about your retirement goals.
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