Birch Gold Group Review

Located in Burbank, California, Birch Gold Group specializes in providing “precious metals IRAs”. This is a term the company prefers over “gold IRAs” because of the variety of precious metal assets they recommend to retirement account owners.

In addition to precious metals IRAs, the company also sells precious metals to investors outside of a retirement plan.

Among several other items, this Birch Gold Group review takes a look at the investment options and education offered by the firm, as well as their process to set up a gold IRA. Read on to learn more!

Company History

Founded in 2003, the precious metals IRA professionals at Birch Gold Group have been servicing investors saving for retirement for nearly 20 years. The company’s president is Laith Alsaraff, who has assembled a team of seasoned professionals with prior experience at leading companies such as Citigroup, IBM, and Dun & Bradstreet.

Birch Gold Group’s values can be summed up by the word “understanding”. The company believes the investor must understand the product they’re investing in and relying on for a secure retirement; the firm also believes it’s important to understand the customer’s objectives and any concerns they might have.

As stated on its website, Birch Gold Group holds itself to a “rigorous set of standards,” including customer empowerment, empathy, ethics, and transparency.

The firm has a customer base of more than 13,000 people across every state in the USA. Moreover, major media and news outlets regularly feature Birch Gold Group alongside discussions of industry trends, market stability or instability, and growth cycles. One example of this is the Ben Shapiro Show.

Birch Gold Group Investment Options Offered

The firm offers four precious metal types approved for an IRA: gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Birch Gold Group also sells precious metal bars, coins, and rounds for non-IRA investments.

Approved gold IRA investments provided by the company are:

  • American Buffalo Coin
  • Bullion American Eagle Coin
  • Proof American Eagle Coin
  • Australian Florin Coin (seen below)
  • Canadian Maple Leaf Coin
  • Gyrfalcon Coin
  • Polar Bear and Cub Coin
  • Rose Crown Guinea Coin
  • Twin Maples Coin
  • Valcambi CombiBars
  • Gold Bars and Rounds
2021 Gold Australian Florin Coin Product Listing
2021 Gold Australian Florin Product Listing

The organization also sources a variety of rare coins for individual collectors, including Morgan Silver Dollars, Gold Indian Head Eagles, and Saint Gaudens Double Eagles.

Birch Gold Group accepts IRA transfers and 401(k) rollovers for new precious metal IRA account holders. Because gold IRAs receive the same tax treatment as other “tax-qualified retirement plans,” transfers and rollovers are not subject to penalties or taxes if completed properly.

Some of the accounts that can be rolled over into a Birch Gold Group precious metals IRA are:

  • Eligible 401(k), 403(b), 457, and Thrift Savings Plans (TSPs)
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • SIMPLE IRA
  • SEP IRA

Setting Up an IRA with Birch Gold Group

Birch Gold employs a five-step process for setting up a precious metals IRA, which is as follows:

Step 1: Start the IRA and select funding source(s)

The firm assigns each new account holder a Precious Metals Specialist, who reviews the accounts to be rolled over and answers any questions the investor might have. In addition, the specialist explains direct rollovers (preferred) vs. indirect rollovers and provides the customer with an explanation of account minimums, fees, and other expenses.

Because precious metal and gold IRAs must be a type of IRA called a “self-directed IRA,” a “custodian” who is licensed to facilitate buy and sell transactions within these types of IRAs must be selected. 

Birch Gold Group’s recommended custodian is Equity Trust Company because of its successful track record (over 45 years) and competitive fees. Still, they will work with another custodian if a customer so chooses.

Step 2: Precious Metals Selection

During this step, the Precious Metals Specialist reviews the customer’s precious metals options.

They will talk with the customer about their long-term investment objectives and risk tolerance, and explain asset allocation. Above all, though, Birch Gold Group emphasizes that the account holder makes the final decision on precious metals selection.

Step 3: Purchase the Metals

The custodian will complete the paperwork necessary to purchase the metals and arrange for delivery to the storage facility.

Step 4: Delivery and Storage of Metals

During account setup, the Precious Metal Specialist gives the account holder a list of options for storing the physical assets. Birch Gold’s preferred insured depositories are Brink’s Global Service and Delaware Depository Service Company, which offer insurance coverage of up to $1 billion.

Many investors select Brink’s because of its well-known name and the large number of storage locations they have across the country.

Delaware Depository Service Company is highly rated for the storage of precious metals; what’s more, they offer depositors both segregated and non-segregated (less expensive) vault storage options. 

Step 5: Monitor IRA Performance

Birch Gold Group’s Precious Metals Specialists are available to monitor account performance, answer questions, and make any changes the account holder requests. 

Birch Gold Group Minimum Investment and Fees

A minimum investment of $10,000 is necessary to open a precious metals IRA with Birch Gold Group. 

Their annual maintenance fee for each account is $75, and customers will also need to pay a yearly fee to their custodian (Equity Trust’s yearly fee is $100). In addition, storage fees for the metals will range between $100 and $150 per year, depending upon the type of storage selected.

Birch Gold Group only charges an annual maintenance fee; they don’t charge customers a percentage of the value of assets in their account, regardless of its value.

Furthermore, for accounts over $50,000, the firm waives all of their initial fees for account setup, wire transfers, account maintenance, and depository storage fees. 

Birch Gold Group also offers an ongoing promotion for “qualifying new accounts” by way of a precious metals gift up to $10,000 in value and waiving all setup fees. 

Birch Gold Group Ratings and Complaints

The company’s reviews are primarily favorable. 

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has given Birch Gold Group a rating of A+ (it’s highest). Out of 68 customer reviews on the BBB’s website, the average rating was 4.76/5. The BBB reports that nine complaints have been filed against the organization in the past three years; be that as it may, Birch Gold has actively responded to and worked to resolve them.

The Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) shows a AAA rating (it’s highest) based on seven 5-star customer reviews on the site. The BCA mentions that two complaints have been lodged against Birch Gold Group; nevertheless, the company has successfully resolved both of them.

Trustpilot provides 121 reviews of Birch Gold Group, the most of any consumer advisory website. The average star rating on those reviews was 4.8/5; 95% of them have an “Excellent” rating.

In addition to these resources, Google, TrustLink, and Yelp also display very favorable ratings and reviews.

Pros and Cons of Working With Birch Gold Group

Like every precious metals IRA provider, Birch Gold Group has its pluses and minuses. See some of the most pertinent ones below.

Pros:

  • Robust product offering: with four types of metals available, investors have several options to diversify their holdings.
  • Years of experience: in almost 20 years of doing business, the firm has served thousands of individual investors in every state. Not to mention, they have a seasoned team that’s well-versed with IRS regulations concerning self-directed IRAs.
  • Superior customer service: if there is one constant in Birch Gold Group reviews, it’s the courtesy and knowledge of their Precious Metal Specialists.

Cons:

  • Higher minimums: Birch Gold’s minimum investment to open a precious metals IRA is $10,000; this tends to be on the high side in comparison to other types of IRAs and qualified retirement plans.
  • Nine BBB complaints: while some gold IRA companies have more BBB complaints, the nine that Birch Gold has is something to be mindful of.

Birch Gold Group and Investor Education

Birch Gold is lauded for its priority on educating potential and existing account holders, not making a sale. 

The company recognizes that most people contacting them have a basic knowledge of gold IRAs. Birch Gold Group has shown they believe they should educate customers about the benefits and risks of investing in precious metals so investors can make informed buying decisions.

One tool the firm offers potential investors to broaden their knowledge of investing in precious metals is their Free Information Kit. The kit explains how gold and silver protect against extreme stock market downturns (like the 2020 “Coronavirus Crash”), act as a safeguard against inflation, and help investors diversify their savings. 

The organization also has made available the “Birch Gold Group Scam Protection Resource Guide“; the guide provides information on the warning signs of a scam, how to avoid fraud, the latest investment scams to be on the alert for, and more. Adding to this, Birch Gold Group occasionally posts YouTube videos; one example is the scam protection video at the end of this section.

There are also many educational resources for investors on the company’s website. One example is its “Quick Guide: Precious Metal IRAs“. Moreover, the product pages offer in-depth details about the various metals account owners have to choose from.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about Birch Gold Group? See the commonly asked questions and their corresponding answers below.

Is Birch Gold Group a legitimate company?

Yes, Birch Gold Group is legitimate; the company enjoys an excellent reputation in its industry. It has received top marks from the BBB, BCA, and other leading websites with consumer reviews.

In addition, Birch Gold Group’s legal department and compliance officer ensure the company complies with the USA PATRIOT ACT. The main purpose of the act it to target money laundering and requires financial institutions to establish anti-money laundering programs, including:

  • The designation of a compliance officer (which Birch Gold Group employs on a full-time basis) 
  • The development of internal policies and procedures 
  • An ongoing employee training program
  • An independent audit to test programs (Birch Gold Group has this audit conducted annually)

Is home delivery a possibility?

Birch Gold does offer home delivery to individual purchasers of precious metals. However, physical possession by an investor in precious metals contained in a precious metals IRA is prohibited by the IRS.

Is there a buyback program?

Birch Gold Group provides a great buyback program for its customers. In fact, they are known for their consistency in making competitive buyback offers.

Is the investment performance of metals in my IRA guaranteed?

One of the ways investors can tell Birch Gold Group is legitimate is that the company doesn’t guarantee investment performance. Instead, they make it clear that, like any investment, precious metals are subject to market risk and can lose value.

The company strives to make it easy for investors to track the performance of their account. A toll-free number provides access to customer service team members who will review account holdings and performance. 

Birch Gold Group also provides an Interactive and Historical Chart on their website; the chart provides streaming updates on the market performance of the metals they sell.

How long will the rollover or transfer process take?

The rollover or transfer process with Birch Gold Group usually occurs within 10-14 days after your account is opened and the proper paperwork is completed. Moreover, customers tout the company’s efficiency (one of its core values).

Being on the receiving end of the rollover or transfer, Birch Gold Group is dependent on the speed and accuracy of the firm currently holding a customer’s funds and making the transfer. 

Birch Gold Group Review Conclusion

Birch Gold has a clear-cut, refined process of setting up precious metal IRAs and helping people make educated choices concerning which assets to purchase for their account. 

One of the older companies in the space, Birch Gold Group has nearly two decades of experience and thousands of satisfied customers. Furthermore, their staff is known to be consultative with a genuine concern to do the right thing for the customer.

With solid reviews, an excellent track record, and values based on “understanding”, Birch Gold Group is a distinguished gold IRA company and gets our stamp of approval.

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