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Thursday
Apr112013

Does Tradition Have You Settling for “Good Enough” in Your IRA?

Does Tradition Have You Settling for “Good Enough” in Your IRA?
Do traditional retirement investments accomplish your goals or constrain them?

By J. Keith Johnson

By J. Keith Johnson, Hard Assets Alliance Contributor

As tax season draws to a close, it's a good time to reevaluate your retirement portfolio. Once we get into a routine regarding our finances, it's easy for us to grow so comfortable with our approach that we miss developing opportunities.

Let's face it, the world's changing ever more rapidly. What was mainstream just a few short years ago quickly has become tradition. There's nothing wrong with tradition, unless it constrains us to the past without realizing the potential of the present… or the future.

Breaking with Tradition

With today's rapidly changing markets, when it comes to our retirement, we need to be constantly vigilant in assessing both our current positions and upcoming opportunities. Unfortunately for most of us, we've embraced a traditional perspective that limits our retirement diversification.

What are the common retirement investments? Generally, beyond pensions and Social(ist) Security, we tend to constrain our considerations to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CDs, and other such instruments. However, the IRA lends itself to a host of other opportunities that savvy investors would do well to seriously consider.

As Safe as Money in the Bank?

Today's headlines do nothing to promote confidence in the stability of national banks. In fact, "as safe as money in the bank" takes on a whole new meaning in light of recent events in Cyprus.

Since IRAs can be diversified into tangible assets, it would be much more difficult to implement such measures as we see happening in Cyprus against them. Don't get me wrong: Nothing is completely immune from government intervention. However, the nature of the IRA readily lends itself to another layer of protection that traditional retirement investments do not enjoy. Some possibilities of IRA investment diversification include:

  • Real estate
  • Partnerships, limited partnerships, and LLCs
  • Deeds of trusts and mortgages
  • Secured and unsecured notes, and
  • precious metals

The challenge for most of us is that we either don't know how to manage most of these different investments or we don't have the time. And who wants to be saddled with managing a business or carrying a note during retirement? There is one exception, however:

Precious Metals

As you diversify your retirement in an effort to spread your exposure while maximizing profits, no doubt precious metals are on your radar.

Because of the challenges of holding bulk items such as precious metals, many IRA custodians fail to inform their customers that there are precious-metals options for IRA holding. As a result, a huge industry has grown under a sort of self-directed IRA subcategory called "Precious Metals IRAs."

These companies, working in the Precious Metals IRA subcategory, focus on setting up private, nonbank storage facilities where the custodian of the IRA account is able to hold investors' precious metals. Because the focus is to enable investors to add precious metals to their accounts, these IRAs seldom allow for anything other than precious metals. An obvious advantage here is the added diversity of using nonbank facilities.

So What Metals Can I Have in My IRA?

Surprisingly, the list of metals allowed in IRAs is rather long. Approved monetary metals must be legal tender with a purity of 0.995 or greater for gold, 0.999 for silver, and 0.995 for platinum and palladium. Permissible bullion includes:

  • American Eagle group (the US Gold Eagle is an exception to the fineness limit)
  • Australian Kangaroo
  • Austrian Philharmonic group
  • Canadian Maple Leaf group
  • Bars and rounds manufactured by a NYMEX- or COMEX-approved assayer or government mint

In addition, there are specific acceptable coins in gold, silver, and platinum:

Gold:

  • Credit Suisse-Pamp bars
  • Uncirculated US Buffalo gold coins (no proofs)

Silver:

  • Mexican Libertad coins

Platinum:

  • Isle of Man Nobles

Traditional Is Time-Consuming

Setting up and funding a traditional precious-metals IRA is not something you can take care of in a matter of minutes. The application process involves filling out the right forms and submitting them to your custodian. This generally takes around two to three days.

Next, you have to start funding your account. Once funding is in place, you'll need to find a dealer you want to work with and who can work with your custodian. After the dealer has verified with your custodian that you actually have the funds available to purchase the metals, the custodian still has to verify with you that you want to purchase the coins.

After several contacts between the dealer, custodian, and you, to verify that everyone is on board and all funds are available, the order is finally placed. The dealer then sends the order to a storage facility designated by the custodian. After receipt has been verified, the trust company releases the funds to the dealer and the metals are finally – after about two or three weeks – attributed to your account. Is it any wonder that many people are too overwhelmed by traditional precious-metals IRAs to bother?

Again, it's time to think past tradition. And the Hard Assets Alliance has provided a major step into the future.

The SmartMetals IRA – Establishing a New Tradition

What if the above scenario was reduced to a couple of days? That's what the Hard Assets Alliance has accomplished with its new SmartMetals™ IRA. In fact, the process has been so streamlined that it's actually easier than most traditional IRA setups.

All you have to do to get started is fill out a simple online application. This should take you around ten minutes. Once your application is approved – usually within two business days – you will receive confirmation and instructions regarding funding and the use of your SmartMetals IRA.

Once you've funded your account, ordering is as simple as signing in to your account from your computer, choosing your metals, and clicking on your selection. It really is as simple as that. You can manage your account from any computer, any time you desire. In fact, if you hurry, you still have time to apply your SmartMetals IRA contribution to your 2012 tax filing.

Traditional retirement investments have served many people well. But as the times change, the wise investor changes with them. Old traditions can still serve us well, but adjusting some of them to meet the demands of our ever-changing world markets will serve you better both today and in your retirement. There's no better time than the present to set a new tradition with your SmartMetals IRA.

____________________________________________________________________________________

You can open your own SmartMetals IRA today by simply filling out this short online application. For specific personal advice, please see your tax professional. To diversify your retirement into precious metals, enjoy the security, technology, and convenience that only the SmartMetals IRA can provide, go here for more information or talk to a Hard Assets Alliance representative at 1-877-727-7387 (877-7-ASSETS) Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Arizona Time. International callers can reach us at 1-602-626-3022.


Disclaimer

The Hard Assets Alliance website and the SmartMetals Investor are published by Hard Assets Alliance, LLC. Information contained in such publications is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The information contained in such publications is not intended to constitute individual investment advice and is not designed to meet your personal financial situation. The opinions expressed in such publications are those of the publisher and are subject to change without notice. The information in such publications may become outdated, and there is no obligation to update any such information.

Any Hard Assets Alliance publication or website and its content and images, as well as all copyright, trademark, and other rights therein, are owned by Hard Assets Alliance, LLC. No portion of any Hard Assets Alliance publication or website may be extracted or reproduced without permission of Hard Assets Alliance, LLC. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any copyright, trademark, or other right of Hard Assets Alliance, LLC. Unauthorized use, reproduction, or rebroadcast of any content of any Hard Assets Alliance publication or website is prohibited and shall be considered an infringement and/or misappropriation of the proprietary rights of Hard Assets Alliance, LLC.

Hard Assets Alliance, LLC reserves the right to cancel any subscription at any time. Cancellation of a subscription may result from any unauthorized use or reproduction or rebroadcast of any Hard Assets Alliance publication or website, any infringement or misappropriation of Hard Assets Alliance, LLC's proprietary rights, or any other reason determined in the sole discretion of Hard Assets Alliance, LLC.

Affiliate Notice: Hard Assets Alliance has affiliate agreements in place that may include fee sharing. If you have a website or newsletter and would like to be considered for inclusion in the Hard Assets Alliance affiliate program, please contact us. Likewise, from time to time Hard Assets Alliance may engage in affiliate programs offered by other companies, though corporate policy firmly dictates that such agreements will have no influence on any product or service recommendations, nor alter the pricing that would otherwise be available in absence of such an agreement. As always, it is important that you do your own due diligence before transacting any business with any firm, for any product or service.

© 2013 Hard Assets Alliance, LLC.

........................................................................................................................

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