Birch Gold Reviews – Should You Invest With Them In 2023?
The Birch Gold Group is a precious metals investment firm and dealer founded in Burbank, California, in 2003.
Today, the company boasts more than 10,000 customers, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Birch Gold Group enjoys a stellar reputation in the industry, offering both gold IRAs and precious metals IRAs to its target audience
Birch Gold Group also has hundreds of positive customer reviews posted in various places online.
Currently, the company maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, an AAA rating from the Business Consumer Alliance, and several other 5-star ratings on top review websites, including Consumer Affairs and GoldDealerReviews.com.
Today, many people know the Birch Gold Group from frequent appearances on conservative commentator Ben Shapiro’s show.
But their real claim to fame is a nearly two-decade-long track record of consistently keeping promises and delivering value to their customers.
In this review, I will take you through everything you need to know if you are thinking about investing with Birch Gold Group.
By the end of this review, you’ll be able to make a final decision about whether this company is the right one to go with or not.
Keep reading to find out more.
Why Invest in Physical Precious Metals?
Many financial advisors recommend investing in gold and precious metals for a variety of reasons.
Hedge Against Inflation.
Congress established the Federal Reserve in 1913 to maintain a stable dollar. Since then, the dollar has lost over 95% of its value.
A dollar from 1913 bought more than 26 times the goods and services of a dollar today. But gold has generally retained its purchasing power.
Since President Nixon took the dollar off of the gold standard in 1971, the dollar has lost more than 84% of its value.
Meanwhile, the price of gold has multiplied 50-fold. An ounce of gold continues to purchase roughly the same amount of goods and services as it has for centuries.
Protect against stock market volatility.
Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium each have a low correlation with the stock market.
When stocks fare poorly, investors frequently flee to a precious metals dealer as part of a flight to safety.
This surge in demand sometimes (but not always) drives precious metals prices up, even as stocks and other paper assets fall.
Gold isn’t a perfect hedge against stock market risk.
Precious metal prices fluctuate and are not perfectly negatively correlated with stock market returns.
But over very long periods, gold and precious metals have helped provide a valuable counterweight to stocks while also helping preserve purchasing power.
Safeguard against geopolitical instability.
Over the centuries, gold and silver have generally retained significant purchasing power, even as nations and currencies have collapsed.
An ounce of gold had value in the Roman Republic, which is valued today.
Maintain financial privacy.
Wealth in real estate, bank accounts, and brokerage accounts are all discoverable by creditors and vulnerable to freezing or seizure by government officials.
It’s not just a third-world problem: Cyprus and Canada have both seized or frozen accounts belonging to ordinary citizens who have committed no crime in recent years.
In contrast, personally-owned physical gold bullion and other physical precious metals are not discoverable by anyone and are not readily confiscated or frozen by any government.
No third-party needs to know what gold assets you own in your own name.
Birch Gold Group Products and Services
Birch Gold Group offers a wide variety of physical gold bullion, proof, and numismatic precious metals products in its inventory.
It also sells silver, platinum, and palladium bullion products.
Some of its inventory is suitable for investment within IRAs and other retirement accounts.
IRA-approved bullion and proofs are listed separately on its website.
You can also get a breakdown of common bullion products suitable for IRA precious metals investing.
Birch’s inventory is one of the broadest in the industry.
Editors of the San Francisco Gate named Birch Gold Group as having the best inventory of any precious metals company in America for 2022.
Birch is also one of several gold IRA companies that helps customers open up specialized self-directed retirement accounts, including gold IRAs, silver IRAs, gold and silver Roth IRAs, traditional IRAs, and other retirement plans.
In addition, The Birch Gold Group assists customers in executing rollover transactions from existing retirement accounts into gold IRAs or precious metals IRA accounts.
The company sells gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion products.
You can download the free 22-page information kit from Birch Gold Group for more information.
This info kit contains an overview of gold as a hedge against inflation and stock market volatility.
You’ll also learn the basics of how a precious metals IRA works, and how to do a rollover to a gold IRA.
The Customer Experience
The Birch Gold Group excels in two key areas: Investor education and customer service.
First, the company has created an extensive library of educational materials.
Online Birch Gold Group reviews are overwhelmingly positive on many prominent sites.
- Online reviewers on ConsumerAffairs.com currently rate the Birch Gold Group at 4.8 stars out of 5, based on 114 ratings.
- Reviewers on TrustLink.com rate the company 5 stars out of 5 across 126 reviews.
- TrustPilot users rate Birch Gold at 4.8 stars out of 5, based on 119 ratings.
Additionally, Birch Gold has received a “AAA” rating from the Business Consumer Alliance.
Their good reviews tend to mention positive interactions with sales and customer service.
Customers appear to love their reps and dedicated account managers, and reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.
Their poor reviews tend to focus on higher pricing, and on at least one occasion, recommending proof coins for purchase within a gold IRA.
However, these downsides are easily dealt with by comparing pricing on identical coins in like condition from other precious metals companies, and focusing on ordinary bullion rather than proof coins for IRA investment purposes.
Proof coins tend to sell at higher premiums than ordinary bullion.
Although they are legal if they meet other IRS requirements for purity and fineness, bullion proofs confer little or no advantage when held within IRA accounts compared to similar non-proof coins.
Minimum Purchase Requirement
At present, the Birch Gold Group requires a minimum investment of $10,000 to open a new account, which is quite modest by industry standards.
Gold IRA Custodial Services
If you’re going to hold IRA investments in gold bars, gold coins, or other precious metals, it’s important that your IRA custodian understands the rules concerning precious metals IRAs.
Choosing the right custodian can go a long way in helping you avoid common problems like violating prohibited transaction rules that govern self-directed IRA accounts.
Your IRA custodian is an IRS-approved bank trust or other financial institution that helps ensure your rollover transactions, contributions, deposits, purchases, sales, and distributions are all properly credited, and handled in accordance with IRS regulations and the law.
The custodian also handles IRS reporting and paperwork.
Birch Gold Group regularly works with two of the top IRA custodian firms in the country: Equity Trust, and STRATA Trust Group.
While every custodian is different, most custodians that Birch Gold Group normally works with charge a one-time initial account set-up fee (usually between $30 and $50), and an ongoing maintenance fee of around $180 per year.
Fees for the first year are waived for account sizes of $50,000 or more.
You may also see a menu of fees for common transactions, such as purchases, additional statements, filing or document fees, and others.
Birch Gold Group Storage and Delivery Options
When it comes to delivery options, there are two basic types of customers:
- Those who want to and are allowed to take personal physical possession and who want their gold shipped to them directly.
- Those with gold IRAs or who otherwise want their gold held at a secure storage facility or vault service.
A collection of gold Canadian Maple Leafs and Gold Austrian Philharmonic coins.
Precious Metals IRA Storage Options
Depending on the custodian, Birch Gold Group customers may have the option of storing their gold and other precious metals assets at secure Brink’s Global Services storage facilities in Los Angeles, New York City, or Salt Lake City.
They also work with Delaware Depository, and International Depository Services.
Each of these vault facilities are approved by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).
Each facility accepts any IRA-approved metals, including American Eagles, Gold American Buffalos, Canadian Maple Leafs, Austrian Philharmonics, Australian Kookaburra coins, Chinese Pandas, and more.
Each shipment is carefully inventoried by storage facility personnel as it arrives at the storage facility.
From there, your assets are stored segregated from other assets, and periodically inventoried.
Storage fees for gold IRAs usually depend on the amount of metal held in the vault.
Normally, storage fees range from $50 to about $300 annually.
Overall Fees and Expenses
While there are some costs to owning and safeguarding physical gold and precious metals, they often compare favorably to paying a 1% assets under management fee every year to hold a gold ETF or a precious metals mutual fund.
Assume you have $1 million investable assets, and you want to have a 10% allocation to precious metals in your overall retirement portfolio.
A 1% AUM fee on $100,000 in a gold ETF would cost you as the investor $1,000 per year in fees.
Holding the same $1,000 in gold bullion within a gold IRA may generate $100 to $400 in fees per year while generating very similar overall investment returns.
The most significant variable would be the premium or markup you pay to Birch Gold Group when you buy your gold at retail prices – just a little over spot – and the discount you might receive years later when you liquidate.
This is one reason why most Wall Street financial advisors don’t mention the role of owning physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium in an investment portfolio.
They don’t have a way of generating an income from your physical precious metals holdings.
The Birch Gold Group doesn’t charge any investment fees, expense ratios, commissions, or AUM fees.
Even shipping is free.
Birch Gold Group makes its money on the spread between retail and wholesale prices and does not make money on buybacks.
Get started with Birch Gold Group.
TIP: Beware of Gold IRA ‘Home Storage’ Scams
You can store as much of your non-IRA physical gold and physical precious metals at home as you like.
But the law prohibits IRA owners from taking personal possession of bullion held within their retirement accounts.
A few precious metals dealers have run ads depicting elderly people sitting at their kitchen tables with stacks of gold coins.
But these ads are misleading for those who want to own gold within a self-directed IRA.
A recent court decision confirms that it is illegal for investors to keep IRA-owned bullion in their own personal possession.
If the IRS discovers you are holding your IRA-owned gold, silver, palladium, or platinum bullion in your own home or safe deposit box, rather than storing it with an authorized bank or trust company acting as a custodian, they will disallow the entire IRA account.
In effect, they’ll force you to take an immediate distribution of all the assets in the IRA at once.
That may trigger immediate tax liability and substantial penalties.
You won’t be running into this problem with Birch Gold Group.
In fact, they warn investors of this issue on their very own website.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Birch Gold Group
To summarize, the following are some pros and cons of investing with Birch Gold Group.
|Outstanding customer service||Limited in-house educational resources|
|Experienced, knowledgeable sales staff||Not necessarily the low-cost provider|
|A broad inventory of IRA and non-IRA-authorized coins and bars|
|Reasonable $10,000 minimum purchase|
|Free shipping where the customer takes physical possession|
Contact Birch Gold Group
Here is the Birch Gold Group contact information for reference:
- 3500 W Olive Ave #300
- Burbank, CA 91505-4652
- Phone: (800) 355-2116
Get started with Birch Gold Group and get a free info kit.
Further reading on AdamEnfroy.com: If you want to be in the best headspace possible before making an investment decision, knowing everything there is to know about a gold IRA is key.
Check out my post on what a gold IRA is in order to get the right knowledge and make a final (and right) decision.
Also, here’s a gold IRA rollover guide if you’re interested in exploring this topic further.