Gold’s Special Risks
All investments come with risks and rewards, gold included. “In many ways, gold IRAs have the same risks as any investment,” says Moy. “The price of gold can go up or down and have volatility. No one can accurately predict its future.”
But despite the risk, Moy says there is a reason to invest some of your retirement funds in the yellow stuff. “Gold has a 5,000-year history of being a store of value,” says Moy. “Stocks can go to zero [causing havoc to companies], as we’ve seen with Lehman Brothers, bonds can default as they did in Argentina or get big haircuts as in Greece. The value of the dollar has steadily gone down [at certain periods]. But gold will never be worth zero.”
If the price of gold does dip, Moy says that likely means your paper assets will be doing well. So, if your portfolio is balanced with gold and paper-based investments, a loss on the gold side will be balanced by the gain experienced by other assets. “Many of these risks exist for traditional IRAs, too. And traditional IRAs have risks that gold IRAs do not have,” he adds.
However, there are also some risks specific to investing in physical gold. Any physical commodity is subject to theft. Someone could break into the depository where your gold is being stored. However, to qualify for gold IRAs, depositories are required to be insured, which would protect your investment as long as your account doesn’t exceed the custodian’s stated value on accounts,
“There are also untrustworthy custodians who might steal from their customers’ accounts or commit fraud by selling your precious metals that they do not have nor are planning to buy,” says Moy. “These risks can be mitigated by choosing a custodian that ensures the financial transaction.