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Advantage Gold is a massively popular company that sells gold and silver online. They often come up when researching gold IRAs because of how many satisfied customers they have. But how do they compare to their competitors? And are their services actually legitimate?
We've dug deep to find not just the good things about the company, but also the rare negative feedback. Here are all of the basics that you should be aware of if you're considering working with them.
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See if Advantage Gold made our list this year, or continue with this review below to see if they are possibly the right company for your investment needs.
About Advantage Gold
Advantage Gold has become a major part of the online gold industry in part because of how experienced the co-founders are. Both of the co-founders have discussed economics on major media outlets and in major financial publications. In addition, Adam Baratta has written two best-selling books about precious metals and how they affect your finances.
Though the company is a relative newcomer when compared to some others, they have been established long enough to create a reputation. The company was created in 2014 and has been operating for about eight years. Co-founders Kirill Zagalsky and Adam Baratta had worked together as account executives for another company that sold gold IRAs. Then they decided to leave that company to create their own business together.
The California-based business focuses on IRAs and works with customers throughout the US. As long as you have an address in one of the fifty states, you're good to go. The company's main focuses are on customer service and education, which is similar to many other gold IRA companies. The more people know about precious metals, the more likely they are to use their retirement funds to invest.
Advantage Gold itself has been featured within finance publications like INC magazine and Forbes.
About the Founders
One of the co-founders, Adam Baratta, is a best-selling author who wrote two finance-based books about gold. Both of these books were able to reach the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, and USA Today bestseller lists.
Prior to working in the precious metals industry, Adam got his start in Hollywood. He did work as a producer, director, and screenwriter, even going so far as to co-found a business to produce movies.
The other co-founder, Kirill Zagalsky, formerly worked as a senior executive at a gold IRA firm. He decided along with Adam that he wanted to break off and create his own business. The business would reflect the values that he wanted to see, while leveraging all of his expertise.
Kirill Zagalsky says that he has a passion for precious metals. It's important to him to help his clients turn their on-paper holdings into physical metals. Physical, tangible assets have more stability than stock market holdings or basic cash.
Pricing and Fees
You'll encounter certain fees while you're working with Advantage Gold. Some of these fees are charged by the company itself, while others are charged by your custodian and depository. Advantage Gold is a dealer, not a custodian. Your custodian needs to be paid to maintain your account, and you have to pay to keep your depository vault open.
All of these fees only apply if you're opening an IRA. If you're making a personal investment using your savings instead of your retirement funds, then you don't need to worry about special maintenance or storage. But you can open an account at a storage vault if you want, as they have much stronger security than home storage.
Advantage Gold does have a fair amount of transparency regarding the custodians they work with. Their main preferred partners are Equity Trust Company and STRATA Trust Company. Both of these are extremely reputable partners that manage billions in assets, have thousands of customers, and have a great reputation overall.
The storage fee will depend on which depository you choose to work with. You'll need to pick a depository that complies with IRS regulations. Some people want to store their items in tax-advantaged states like Texas and Delaware. Others want to store their items close to home. Still others prefer to use offshore depositories, so that your items are kept farther from potential government overreach.
There isn't a ton of information available on which depositories Advantage Gold typically works with or where they're located. So it's hard to say how much you'll be paying for storage. It's best to look for a depository that has flat fees instead of charging you a percentage of the account. You can also expect that you'll pay more to have your items segregated. Usually the cost for storage ranges from $100 to $200 every year.
The custodian fee can vary from $95 to $250, depending on which custodian you choose and how their fee structure is set up. You might be able to access special pricing through their partnership with Advantage Gold. If you're not sure how much to budget for your annual fees, make sure to talk to your Advantage Gold representative about it. They can answer your questions.
Advantage Gold does charge a one-time fee of $50 to get your account set up. This is a fairly standard practice, as it covers the time spent doing your paperwork and talking to your custodian for you. That fifty dollars is a small price to pay for the amount of hassle that the process saves you, all things considered.
The minimum purchase to buy anything from the company appears to be $10,000. But when it comes to IRAs, there's a strong suggestion that you have at least $25,000 if you're facilitating a rollover. That means that you're taking your existing retirement account funds and putting them toward precious metals instead. The paperwork to do this is complex and has time deadlines, so it's urgent.
When you want to liquidate your holdings, you don't even have to struggle to look for a buyer. Advantage Gold has a buyback program. They will purchase your items at either the spot price or more. That's significantly more than the majority of IRA companies will offer to buy back your holdings, and it helps to minimize the spread of your investment. There are zero transaction fees or commissions on the buybacks.
Available Products and Services
We've discussed the IRA services and costs. But what other products are available? When you go to the company website, you'll be able to peruse different offers, including an offer for a free investment kit. All you have to do is give your basic contact info.
The guide covers everything there is to know about everything. It goes over the global economy, retirement planning, alternative assets, future speculation, benefits of gold, how to make your actual purchases, how to find out which coins have been approved, and finally an FAQ.
Essentially, you get a broad view of the whole industry and the basics of economics and retirement diversification. Then you get into the more detailed info about the available products and how to decide which are best for you. It's laid out in a very simple, easy-to-grasp format, and it even comes with a glossary at the end.
Many companies offer a gold guide, but this is one of the most comprehensive we've seen.
Precious metals IRAs are the main focus of the company. Both of the co-founders previously worked directly with precious metals IRAs, so they have a wealth of experience. They understand how important these accounts are.
Advantage Gold's IRA services have received positive reviews from past customers as well. Customers consistently say that they're amazed by how simple and convenient the whole process was. They also say that the company representatives helped to clarify their options, kept them from feeling overwhelmed, and made sure that they understood every step of the process.
With any gold IRA, you'll access the following:
Depending on which custodian you use, you might also get access to an online account with real time updates on the value of your holdings. Any custodian will give you ongoing reports regarding your account and any changes to their policies.
Some people choose to purchase investment bullion directly instead of using their retirement funds. Many Americans don't have enough saved to do that, but if you do, then it's a good idea. You can get in contact with the company and talk about which products in their inventory work best for you.
Since these purchases are made with your cash, there aren't IRS regulations governing everything. You can have the items sent to your home address instead of a high security depository. Every package ships with full insurance until it arrives. Many experts do recommend using a depository for personal portfolio investments, though, as they are regularly audited and fully insured.
There are many different coins that Advantage Gold offers which meet the standards for an IRA. They come from sovereign mints, are approved by the IRS, and have met or exceeded the purity standards written in the law.
Advantage Gold does have some platinum coins available, although these are limited. For example, you can find American Eagle coins in platinum and proof platinum. There are other coins that are available in gold, silver, or both.
Some examples of the types of coins that you might find in their inventory include:
The Canadian mint makes a variety of wildlife-themed coins, usually with a different one every year. These bullion coins are worth a lot, and they may appeal to investors who like animals. Other people might prefer to use the more traditional American Eagle investments, which are considered the easiest to liquidate in the industry.
If you have a specific type of coin that you want to buy, but you don't see it on the list, you can bring it up with your representative. They'll be able to determine whether the coin is IRA-eligible, and if so, whether the company can get a hold of it.
According to the Advantage Gold website, the company most closely works with Equity Trust and STRATA Trust. But they can also work with any licensed custodian that has been vetted.
Both Equity Trust and STRATA Trust have great reputations. But Equity Trust does have a few advantages over STRATA. Overall, they have an annual fee structure that's a little lower than STRATA, and their fee for setup is just $50 as opposed to $80. You're unlikely to find anything lower than that in this industry.
But with that said, STRATA also has a high level of transparency with their customers. You won't have to deal with hidden fees. Though you might pay slightly more, you'll have access to just as much honesty and integrity as you get with Equity Trust.
It's a good idea to ask whether Advantage Gold has any current promotions running when you talk to your representative. Depending on how much you invest, it's possible that Advantage Gold will waive your fee to get set up, as well as your first year of general maintenance fees.
Is Advantage Gold a Scam?
Advantage Gold isn't a scam. In addition to being a wildly popular choice of precious metals dealer, the company has excellent reviews online. Consumer Affairs shows 5 out of 5 stars with over 420 votes, and Trustpilot shows 4.9 stars with nearly 1,400 reviews. The BBB rating is 4.79 stars from customers and an A+ from the organization itself.
There has only been one complaint filed with the BBB in the past three years. For a company of this size, that's an incredible track record. Unfortunately, the BBB complaint page seems to be broken, so the text of the complaint is unavailable. But the A+ rating indicates that the company responded and made an effort to solve the issue.
Given how many positive reviews there are from other customers, this complaint is likely to be a fluke. It might have been caused by a misunderstanding or some other minor issue. There's nothing that seems to show that the company is mismanaged or has patterns of neglect. There are also no complaint patterns across other third party websites.
Pros & Cons of Advantage Gold
Advantage Gold is a popular choice for people who want to invest with a gold IRA. Both of the co-founders have been seen in the media, and they have tons of past expertise in the precious metals industry. The company does have a great reputation and almost no complaints.
The one major drawback is that their inventory tends to be somewhat limited. If you work with one of our top picks for your gold IRA, you might have access to a slightly wider selection of bullion.
Don't forget to checkout our top 5 companies before investing!
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We hope that we were able to help you determine where or where not to put your investment!