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Birch Gold Group is a well-known precious metals dealer, especially in conservative groups. The company has been endorsed by famous personalities like Steve Bannon and Ben Shapiro. But have past customers actually been satisfied? And what services does the company actually offer?
Birch Gold Group mainly focuses on providing precious metals IRAs, along with educational resources. To find out whether they're an ideal company for you, see what we've discovered.
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About Birch Gold Group
Birch Gold Group was founded in 2003, boasting nearly 20 years of experience in the precious metals industry. The company is located in Burbank, California. In addition to helping with the setup of precious metals IRAs, they offer precious metals for cash purchasing.
You can use Birch Gold's services from any of the 50 states. The company has been featured in multiple major media sources, plus it's been endorsed by multiple conservative commentators. They have served over 13,000 customers since first getting started.
The Birch Gold Group team is made up of a number of different finance professionals. These include former commodity brokers, financial advisors, and wealth managers.
Birch Gold Group operates on three key values. They have a strong emphasis on knowledge, 1-on-1 customer service, and overall trust.
Knowledge is one of the company's most important values. They believe that every customer should be educated about their options. Each customer should be given the choice to take charge of their financial future. In addition to educating customers about the benefits of precious metals, they also teach customers about the pros and cons of specific products.
Birch Gold Group has several guides available to help people learn to identify investment schemes and scams. They also have articles and videos that teach you about precious metals.
Customers are welcome to take or leave these resources as they see fit. You can work through all of the information at your own pace. In addition, you can ask whatever questions you have to your account specialist.
Another major value is 1-on-1 customer service. Birch Gold Group wants to create lifetime partnerships with its customers. As such, every customer is matched up with a single precious metals specialist. This one person will talk with you and become familiar with your goals.
Throughout your time with Birch Gold Group, you will always work with the same specialist. Since they've gotten to know you, they can make suggestions that will work for your specific needs. You'll have the opportunity to ask them whatever questions you have, from account updates to questions about the global economy and investments.
Another note is that Birch Gold Group doesn't ever sell your customer data. And they follow the industry standards for online data protection.
Birch Gold Group has a strong focus on integrity and honesty. They want to build up a trusting rapport with their customer base. Judging by the majority of customer feedback, they have managed to do a good job of this.
They say that in addition to being trusted by their customers, they want their customers to feel secure in general. That's part of why they have so many educational guides to teach customers to recognize scams.
Since the company has such a positive reputation, it seems like they've done a good job with promoting trust. But they acknowledge that trust is earned, and they say that they want the chance to earn that trust with every potential new customer.
One of Birch Gold Group's main focuses is on their IRA services. If you open a self-directed IRA, you can invest in alternative assets like real estate, cryptocurrency, and precious metals. But the paperwork to get started can be overwhelming, and there are strict guidelines regarding the assets you hold.
The precious metals IRA services help to simplify the process. You'll be given a dedicated account representative who will walk you through all of the paperwork and help you get set up with your custodian. Then they'll help you finalize your precious metals purchase once your account is fully funded.
The Birch Gold Group website is extremely transparent about the fees for these services. You should have at least $10,000 to invest, though you can invest more if you'd like. If you're making a cash purchase outside of an IRA, it's possible that you might be able to meet a lower minimum threshold.
You'll pay a basic setup fee of $50, which covers the cost of having someone walk you through all of the paperwork. When you purchase your precious metals, there will be a bank wire transfer fee of $30 per transaction. Wire transfer fees are fairly common, but there are some competitors that don't charge them.
There will then be ongoing annual fees for storage and maintenance. These are paid to your custodian and storage depository, rather than to Birch Gold Group. While the fees vary depending on what custodian and depository you use, the most common ones are $100 annually for each.
If you make a purchase of $50,000 or more for your new account, Birch Gold Group will fully cover your first year of fees. That means that you don't need to worry about the wire transfer, the setup fee, or the custodian and storage fee. After this, though, you will need to pay the annual fees each year.
One note is that Birch Gold Group's preferred custodian doesn't use percentage-based fees. They charge a flat rate no matter how much or how little is stored in the account. So you don't need to worry that you'll be paying extra as you add more assets to your vault.
Opening an Account
The Birch Gold Group website has helpful information about how to open an IRA and purchase precious metals.
The first step is to create and fund the account. There is a requirement that you have at least $10,000 to invest if you work with Birch Gold Group. You can roll this over from existing retirement accounts like an IRA or 401(k) without incurring any penalties.
You'll choose your custodian and fill out the application paperwork for an account with them. Birch Gold Group works most closely with Equity Trust Company and STRATA Trust Company. Both of these custodians have excellent reviews, including an A+ with the Better Business Bureau.
Once your account is funded, you'll decide on which precious metals to purchase. This is a process that you'll go through with your account custodian. They will ask questions about your financial goals and address whatever concerns you might have. Then they'll make recommendations for products that best suit your long term ideals.
In order to be placed in an IRA, precious metals must meet the IRS qualifications for purity. Coins must also be approved from a list given by the IRS. Your Birch Gold Group specialist will be able to connect you with items that meet your specific needs.
After deciding on the metals, you'll make your purchase. You will confirm the price with your specialist, then fill out the paperwork and make a payment. As soon as the payment is received, the metals will be shipped to your depository of choice.
When your items arrive at the depository, your custodian will put them in your vault for you. As time goes on, your custodian will also issue account statements and keep you up to date on the value of your holdings.
That's all there is to it. But after everything is said and done, you can continue to keep an eye on your account. Your precious metals specialist will always be an email or phone call away if you have questions. You'll continue to work with the same specialist in the future, whether you're making new purchases or just asking questions.
Some of the most consistent feedback from past customers is about the company's IRA process. They say that the customer service team makes it extremely easy to open and fund an account. Several people have said that they began working with Birch Gold Group after frustrating experiences with other companies, and they couldn't be happier with the results.
Is Birch Gold Group a Scam?
Birch Gold Group is not a scam. They are accredited with the Better Business Bureau, have been in business for 19 years, and have an A+ rating. In addition to celebrity endorsements, the company has been positively reviewed by industry professionals and past customers alike.
There are 65 customer reviews on the BBB website, which give an average of 4.69 out of 5 stars. That shows that most customers have enjoyed their experiences. There are similarly positive reviews across other third party review sites.
As with any large company, there have been a handful of complaints. But Birch Gold Group makes an effort to respond to all of the negative feedback and resolve the issues.
Let's take a look at some of the positive reviews, then see how the company has responded to negative feedback as well.
One positive review from November of 2021 was from a customer who said that she looked into purchasing gold because of her worries about inflation. She had heard of Birch Gold Group through a popular conservative podcast, so she gave them a call. The process was very easy for her to complete.
She said that she worked with a representative named Brock regarding her goals, and then he referred her to an expert named Aaron to help explain how precious metals investing works. Every company representative that she spoke to was patient, informative, and encouraging. She said that the company also made it very easy to get the order set up so it could be processed.
The customer concluded by saying that she'd definitely recommend Birch Gold Group to anyone who wanted to invest in precious metals.
Another reviewer had similar sentiments. She said that working with Birch Gold Group was very easy, and that the employees are very helpful and knowledgeable. In addition, she said that she had made several more purchases following her initial investment. Every further purchase had been just as easy as the first.
There is another review that mentions the specialist Aaron. The customer said that after working with Aaron, he felt totally comfortable and informed about his purchase. The entire process was straightforward and didn't have any unnecessary complications.
One customer left a review saying that he had reached out to multiple gold companies about making a small investment, but he never heard back. He gave Birch Gold Group a try while extremely frustrated. Unlike the other gold companies, though, Birch Gold Group gave the customer the information to finalize the transaction the following day.
The customer talked through every section of the transaction agreement on the phone. Every time he had questions, he was able to work with a representative who would address his concerns. The gold purchase arrived within two weeks, and the customer said that he was extremely satisfied. He said that the company had been able to meet his needs because of how carefully they listened to him.
Any large company is bound to receive some negative feedback over time. It's the way they handle this feedback that's important. In addition, looking at past complaints can help to determine whether there are any repetitive or deep-seated issues.
Over the past three years, there have been 12 complaints filed with the BBB. Five of those complaints were filed within the past year.
Potentially Overpriced Products
One customer left a complaint in April of 2022 stating that he was unhappy with his experience. He said that when he made the initial call, the salesman that he spoke to rushed the customer through the process. He also alleged that the salesman had tricked him.
Apparently the salesman convinced the customer to buy gold by the gram, rather than the ounce. But when the customer made these purchases, they then discovered that the items had been marked up to 25% to 35% above the spot price.
The customer said that when he asked about the spot price of silver, the representative said that it was $27. In actuality, the price was about $25. The customer said that he wished that he'd done more research, and added that it had taken three weeks for the itemized receipt to be sent.
Birch Gold Group responded to say that transparency was one of their biggest priorities, so this complaint was very concerning. They said that they had tried to contact the customer, but he wasn't returning their calls. They explained that there are multiple factors that influence the price of precious metals, and that the customer was confused about the pricing information.
They also contested the idea that the customer hadn't received his receipt for three weeks. But they did say that with shipping delays, it's possible that the receipt didn't arrive for three weeks, even though it was sent out much earlier.
The customer responded to reiterate his earlier complaints, stating that the company had not satisfactorily addressed them. Birch Gold Group responded to say that they were willing to talk with him to work something out, and that they were sorry if there had been a miscommunication. They concluded by saying that even though they disputed the client's complaint, they still wanted to resolve the issue, because they value the client's satisfaction.
Confusing Account Statements
One customer left a negative review about their IRA. They had invested a great deal in the IRA, but their account statement said that the value of the account was much lower. They believed that they had been overcharged for their holdings, and that they had incurred major losses.
The customer said that the price of precious metals had climbed since making the initial investment. As such, he believed that the discrepancy in his holdings shouldn't be as large. He also said that he hadn't been given any satisfactory answers when he called to ask about the issue.
The customer said that it was difficult to get a proper copy of his transaction sent to him. Once he received his first statement, it showed that he'd lost a significant amount within just two months. Despite calling Birch Gold Group to ask for information, he was just told that it was an issue with the spot price.
He concluded by saying that he wanted to have his money refunded so he could invest with a different company instead.
Birch Gold Group responded to say that they had managed to get in contact with the customer and clear up the issues. The problem was with the Equity Trust Company custodian, not with Birch Gold. Equity Trust issues statements that show the value of a customer's holdings with the spot price of the metals.
But precious metals are always traded at a markup higher than the spot price. As such, the account statements didn't represent the true value that the customer might get if he liquidated.
Birch Gold Group concluded by saying that they make an effort to explain the reporting process to new customers. But ultimately these reports are generated by Equity Trust, and therefore are the responsibility of Equity Trust to explain.
Pros & Cons of Birch Gold Group
If you're considering investing part of your retirement into precious metals, Birch Gold Group is one of the most solid companies that you can work with. In addition to being endorsed by conservative commentators, it has been positively reviewed by hundreds of past customers online.
Consumer watchdogs like the BBB and Business Consumer Alliance also give Birch Gold Group top marks. Customers consistently say that the service and the education are above average. There are several customers who have left reviews saying that they came to Birch Gold Group after frustrating experiences with other companies, and they ended up extremely satisfied.
As with any large company, there have been a few complaints here and there. But Birch Gold Group has made an effort to respond to every complaint. The vast majority of them have been resolved to the customer's satisfaction. In addition, most of them seem to involve misunderstandings, rather than any dishonesty or malicious practices.
Overall, we do recommend working with Birch Gold Group. Since their minimum investment threshold is $10,000, they're more accessible than some of the more expensive competitors. And their reputation is excellent.
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