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Gold is the world’s oldest “long-term investment.” Countless ancient cultures recognized the intrinsic value of precious metals, and modern-day investors still gravitate towards gold during uncertain times. Ironically, despite gold’s long history as a “store of value” investment, it’s not an option in standard individual retirement arrangement (IRA) accounts. However, that doesn’t mean investors can’t use their “golden year” funds to invest in glittering gold bars.
For instance, American Hartford Gold (AHG) has become famous for offering a self-directed Gold IRA account. With a simple phone call, American Hartford Gold promises to help clients use their retirement savings to invest in physical metals like gold and silver. So, how does American Hartford Gold’s IRA work, and is it suitable for your retirement strategy?
Bottom Line: American Hartford Gold is a reputable precious metals IRA provider based in Los Angeles, CA. They offer an array of products including gold and silver coins and bullion.
What is American Hartford Gold?
Founded in 2015, American Hartford Gold is a precious metals dealer headquartered in Los Angeles. Sanford Mann is the founder and current CEO of American Hartford Gold, and the company maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has a 5-star customer satisfaction rating on multiple review platforms like Trustpilot and Google.
American Hartford Gold has become a mainstream media sensation thanks to dozens of high-profile endorsements. Bill O’Reilly, Rick Harrison, Lou Dobbs, and Rudy Guliani are a few celebrities that back American Hartford Gold, and media outlets like Inc. and Fox News have published stories on this brand.
In addition to offering Gold IRAs, American Hartford Gold sells precious metals such as gold, silver, and palladium to American investors. According to American Hartford Gold’s website, they’ve already shipped $1.5 billion worth of precious metals.
How Does American Hartford Gold Work?
American Hartford Gold helps clients buy, store, and sell precious metals either through direct purchases or a Gold IRA program. Investors who want to purchase gold, silver, palladium, and platinum can call an American Hartford Gold agent at (866) 979-5117 and order from their catalog. Those interested in the Gold IRA rollover need to submit an IRA Intake Form online or speak with an agent to start the IRA rollover process.
American Hartford Gold recommends using either a 60-day rollover or a trustee-to-trustee transfer to initiate the IRA process because these are both tax-free and penalty-free. With the 60-day option, IRA holders need to send a check from their IRA account to American Hartford Gold to deposit money in their account within 60 days. By contrast, the trustee-to-trustee process transfers the IRA funds directly from your current IRA issuer into an American Hartford Gold account.
Once the money from your IRA is deposited into American Hartford Gold’s Gold IRA, you can make yearly contributions as you would for your standard IRA plan. For example, if you roll over a traditional IRA, you can deposit up to $6,000 per year (unless you’re over 50). The major difference with a Gold IRA is that you can invest in any of the precious metals listed on American Hartford Gold’s website. American Hartford Gold works with Equity Trust Company to secure the transportation and storage of your precious metals. Gold IRA holders can also choose from various storage facilities for their metals protected by the likes of Brinks or Delaware Trust.
With a Gold IRA, you won’t receive the precious physical metals until you start withdrawing from your IRA account. After you turn 59½, you can request to have American Hartford Gold ship your precious metals with free shipping costs. Alternatively, customers could request that American Hartford Gold liquidate their precious metal assets and send cash. Just keep in mind that American Hartford Gold says it “cannot guarantee that [it] will repurchase metals” as a part of its buyback program.
Anyone who wants to roll over their IRA into an American Hartford Gold Gold IRA needs a minimum investment of $10,000. After this, clients can deposit as much as they want into their Gold IRA in accordance with their IRA’s restrictions. American Hartford Gold says there are no minimum order sizes for its Gold IRA program.
American Hartford Gold recognizes all of the major retirement accounts in the USA. In addition to the Traditional IRA, people who have any of the following accounts can transition them to a Gold IRA:
- Roth IRA
- SEP IRA
- Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
To start opening a Gold IRA with American Hartford Gold, you need a pre-existing IRA account that fits American Hartford Gold’s criteria. Also, new clients must put a minimum initial deposit of $10,000 into their Gold IRA. If people meet these two criteria, they could fill out the IRA Intake Form on American Hartford Gold’s website or speak with an agent at (866) 979-5117.
Opening an Account
While you could immediately transfer your IRA funds to a self-directed Gold IRA, American Hartford Gold prioritizes educating its clients. Since investing in precious metals isn’t as common as buying ETFs and mutual funds, American Hartford Gold investors should gather as much info as possible before committing to a Gold IRA plan. Typically, people who set up a Gold IRA at American Hartford Gold go through the following steps:
- Step 1 – Request & read the free Gold IRA Guide: American Hartford Gold offers dozens of educational resources on its Gold IRA both in print and e-book format. Most people thinking about investing in a Gold IRA review resources in the Investor Library portal. Anyone can also find a button on American Hartford Gold’s homepage to request a free Gold & Silver info guide.
- Step 2 – Call a Gold IRA specialist: If you’re looking for more info or you want to initiate a Gold IRA, the next step is to speak with an American Hartford Gold agent. Along with investor education, American Hartford Gold emphasizes its high customer care standards. The company recommends investors call their toll-free number at (866) 979-5117 to ask questions and figure out the IRA rollover process.
- Step 3 – Fund a Gold IRA account: If you’ve decided to open a self-directed Gold IRA with American Hartford Gold, you can call an agent at (866) 979-5117 to initiate the process or fill out the IRA Intake Form. American Hartford Gold requests that clients use either a 60-day rollover by mailing a check from their IRA provider or a trustee-to-trustee rollover plan directly to American Hartford Gold. Again, the toll-free agents at American Hartford Gold can help you with the specifics of your rollover.
- Step 4 – Purchase gold or silver: Once the IRA funds are in your Gold IRA account, you can use them to buy precious metals at any time. Although this fund is called a “Gold IRA,” you can buy silver, platinum, or palladium. Investors can review all of the coins and bullion on American Hartford Gold’s website and call (866) 979-5117 to make a purchase. Gold IRA holders can also specify the affiliate facility where their precious metals are stored.
American Hartford Gold Features
American Hartford Gold’s top commitment is to give investors of all sizes easy access to precious metals. To achieve this goal, American Hartford Gold has a few distinctive features people can use to get involved in the precious metals market.
|Fees||$0 (setup fee), $180/year (custodian fee), $100/year (commingled account storage fee) or $150/year (segregated account storage fee) *other fees may apply|
|Account Types||Traditional IRA, Roth IRAs, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, 401(k), 403(b), 457, TSP and annuities|
|Offerings||Gold, Silver and Platinum|
|Better Business Bureau||A+ Rating|
|Business Consumer Alliance||AA Rating|
|Promotion||Get Up to $10,000 in Free Silver (*on Qualifying Purchases)|
|Physical Precious Metals Ownership|
|Free Info Kit|
|Support||Contact Form, Email ([email protected]) and Telephone: (800-462-0071)|
Although American Hartford Gold still offers direct shipments of precious metals, it’s widely known nowadays for its Gold IRA program. As the name suggests, American Hartford Gold’s Gold IRA is a retirement account focusing on precious metals. American Hartford Gold will purchase gold, silver, platinum, or palladium on your behalf and transport them to a secured facility for safekeeping. Gold IRA holders can request their precious metals for shipment once they reach retirement age or as American Hartford Gold to liquidate their holdings for cash payouts.
Since metals like gold aren’t “traditional assets” for IRAs, the Gold IRA is a “self-directed” account. People who want to take advantage of American Hartford Gold’s Gold IRA need to roll over a pre-existing IRA such as a Traditional, Roth, or 401(k) into a Gold IRA account. At a minimum, people need to deposit $10,000 into their Gold IRA, but there are no minimum purchase requirements. A Gold IRA has all of the tax benefits associated with other IRA accounts, but there are annual of $180 plus variable storage fees.
Available Precious Metals To Purchase
Whether you want a Gold IRA or are just in the market for physical metals, American Hartford Gold offers ways to get your hands on plenty of valuable & durable assets.
Since “gold” is in American Hartford Gold’s name, it makes sense this company offers a wide assortment of fine gold products. Just a few of the high-profile gold options in American Hartford Gold’s catalog include:
- Austrian Philharmonic Gold Coins
- Australian Wildlife Gold Coins
- Saint Helena Sovereign Gold Gold Coins
- American Buffalo Gold Coins
- Canadian Buffalo 2018 Gold Coins
- Canadian Gyrfalcon Gold Coins
- American Eagle Gold Coins
- Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins
- South African Krugerrand Gold Coins
- 1 oz Gold Bar from Sunshine Minting
Similar to American Hartford Gold’s gold offerings, the company has a wide assortment of silver coins and bullion bars to purchase. A few highlights from American Hartford Gold’s current silver catalog include:
- Austrian Philharmonic Silver Coins
- Valcambi Combibar Silver Bars
- Mercury Dimes from the U.S. Mint
- Mercury Dimes from the U.S. Mint
- Saint Helena Sovereign Silver Coins
- American Eagle Silver Coins
- 100 oz Silver Bars
Palladium and Platinum
Although palladium and platinum aren’t listed on American Hartford Gold’s online catalog, American Hartford Gold can help clients put either of these precious metals into their portfolios. However, if you’re interested in platinum or palladium, you need to speak with an American Hartford Gold representative for personalized guidance.
American Hartford Gold claims to offer a “Buyback Commitment“ for precious metals with all of their clients. As stated on American Hartford Gold’s official website, it doesn’t “guarantee” that it will “repurchase metals” from anyone it sells its products to. However, if American Hartford Gold agrees to liquidate a client’s gold, silver, or other precious metal holdings, it won’t charge extra liquidation fees. Customers should reach out to American Hartford Gold’s toll-free number to request a precious metal buyback.
Precious Metals Storage
American Hartford Gold partners with many well-known US custodians and depositories throughout to secure your metals. According to American Hartford Gold’s official Gold IRA Guide, Equity Trust Company and Strata Trust Company now serve as American Hartford Gold’s IRA-approved custodians. All precious metals ordered through the Gold IRA program will go to a facility operated by one of the following depositories:
- Brinks Global Services
- Delaware Depository Trust
- International Depository Services
- A-M Global Logistics
American Hartford Gold lets Gold IRA holders choose the best depository location for their situation. Investors can also place their precious metals in comingled or segregated storage facilities. If people opt for a “commingled” account, their precious metals will be stored in bulk facilities. So, although the metal you’ll receive at retirement will have the same market value, it won’t be the exact coin or bullion you initially ordered.
By contrast, segregated storage accounts keep the exact precious metal type you ordered in a separate account for final delivery. Segregated storage costs IRA holders slightly higher annual fees versus commingled storage.
American Hartford Gold Fees
Self-directed IRAs often come with special fees, and American Hartford Gold’s Gold IRA is no different. While American Hartford Gold often offers deals to waive fees for new clients, it’s likely you will pay additional storage fees before you reach retirement age.
American Hartford Gold doesn’t charge startup fees to set up a Gold IRA.
Annual IRA Fees
Currently, American Hartford Gold’s annual IRA fees are set at $180 per year. However, American Hartford Gold often offers special deals such as waived fees. For instance, at the time of writing, American Hartford Gold has an offer to waive all Gold IRA fees for up to three years if you speak with an American Hartford Gold agent. Be sure to check the “Current Specials” tab on American Hartford Gold’s website under “Buy Gold” or “Buy Silver” to see the latest promotions.
In American Hartford Gold’s Gold IRA Guide, the company quotes two annual storage fee rates depending on what kind of storage you opt for. Those who put their precious metals in commingled accounts should pay $100 per year, while segregated accounts pay $150 annually.
American Hartford Gold doesn’t charge shipping fees to send gold or silver to your doorstep, nor does it charge special IRA fees to transfer from one account to a Gold IRA (provided you use the 60-day or trustee-to-trustee transfer methods). If you have additional questions about fees, American Hartford Gold always recommends reaching out to a toll-free agent.
American Hartford Gold Security
American Hartford Gold works with many highly rated depositories and custodians to provide clients with peace of mind. Anyone who opens a Gold IRA can choose to store their precious metals in facilities operated by Brinks, Delaware Depository Service, International Depository Services, or A-M Global Logistics. If you like, you can call an American Hartford Gold agent to schedule a visit to the facility where your precious metals are. American Hartford Gold also provides customers with 100% insured shipping for no additional charge.
American Hartford Gold Customer Support
American Hartford Gold makes it easy for customers to get in touch with agents 24/7. If you have questions about a Gold IRA, you can always speak to a precious metals specialist on American Hartford Gold’s toll-free number (866) 979-5117. It’s also easy to contact American Hartford Gold via email by clicking the “Contact Us” tab on the bottom right of their main homepage.
American Hartford Gold User Experience
American Hartford Gold users rarely report complex issues navigating this platform’s website or reaching out to staff members. Indeed, on all major review websites (e.g., Trustpilot, ConsumerAffairs, Google Reviews, TrustLink, Better Business Bureau, and Business Consumer Alliance), American Hartford Gold has sterling ratings in the 4 – 5 star range. Reviewers consistently point out that American Hartford Gold’s agents help customers set up a precious metals strategy ideal for their needs. American Hartford Gold also has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau.
While clients shouldn’t rely solely on online reviews, most of the high ratings for American Hartford Gold are positive. It’s also good to see American Hartford Gold responds to most comments on review websites.
Here’s a sampling of what people are saying about American Hartford Gold’s services:
“So far working with American Hartford Gold has been a breath of fresh air. No automated call centers to weave through, 100% real people who go out of their way to ensure you are receiving the best service possible. They made my first purchase really easy and a smooth process. I feel very comfortable buying from American Hartford Gold.” Justin (Trustpilot)
“Working with American Hartford didn’t seem for real. It’s real laid back-like and I didn’t think it would be laid back like that. I actually had to ask and they said it’s a real thing and so far, so good. It’s a good place to put your money.” Richard of Leesburg, FL (ConsumerAffairs)
“Always pleasure dealing with The Hartfold [sic] Gold Group. I invest in a lot of gold and silver here and I have never had any problems. They serve for the customer, they answer any questions you may have and are always positive. I plan to use them for a long time. Honest, serious and impressive company.” Brian N (TrustLink)
“For some reason we had some issues gathering my funds from JPMorgan. It took multiple calls and speaking to several people to get our accounts rolled over. Zach seemed very happy to accommodate us, but had lots happening on his end. The Team at American Hartford Gold is very knowledgeable and professional, as they should be.” Sandi W (BBB)
American Hartford Gold Pros Explained
- High-quality security standards: American Hartford Gold only works with top-rated & IRS-compliant depositories and custodians with experience securing precious metals. Customers also enjoy free insurance on all precious metal shipments if they decide to claim their gold or silver.
- Personalized customer service: If you love speaking with a live & knowledgeable agent whenever you need help, then American Hartford Gold is a fantastic fit. This company emphasizes its customer service division, and current clients often highlight this feature in positive reviews. You can call American Hartford Gold’s toll-free number at any time to speak with a precious metals expert about your account.
- Access to four tangible precious metals: The unique feature of opening an American Hartford Gold Gold IRA is that you get access to physical precious metals. Instead of holding gold stocks or ETFs, you can have tangible gold, silver, palladium, or platinum in your portfolio. People who prefer the benefits of hard assets over stocks or bonds will appreciate American Hartford Gold’s offerings.
- Straightforward and fee-free IRA rollover process: There are no penalties or extra fees to transfer one IRA account into an American Hartford Gold IRA. As long as you follow the steps from an American Hartford Gold agent, you should have an easy time rolling over a pre-existing account onto American Hartford Gold’s platform. Plus, since American Hartford Gold accepts so many retirement programs, chances are it can find a way to help you.
- Option to liquidate assets or receive precious metals: American Hartford Gold offers customers the option to either receive their physical precious metals or get cash for their holdings. Once you reach retirement age, you can take control of your metals or ask for a check in the mail.
American Hartford Gold Cons Explained
- Lack of pricing transparency on website: Although American Hartford Gold provides interactive price charts for precious metals, you need to speak with an American Hartford Gold agent for full details on fees and the costs for different coins and bullion.
- Not available outside the USA: Non-American investors cannot buy metals from American Hartford Gold or enroll in a Gold IRA.
- The buyback program isn’t guaranteed: According to American Hartford Gold’s official website, it only offers a “buyback commitment” to customers. In other words, there’s no “guarantee” American Hartford Gold will buy back metals from customers.
- Only ideal for conservative investors: Precious metals like gold are “safe haven” assets that typically aren’t as volatile as “risk-on” assets like growth stocks or cryptocurrencies. While precious metals can increase in value over the years, they may offer less profit potential.
- Extra fees will eat into retirement savings: Even if precious metals increase in value by the time investors retire, they need to factor in the fees they’ll pay for maintenance and storage. Self-directed IRAs typically carry extra fees people wouldn’t pay with a standard IRA program.
American Hartford Gold Alternatives
As with any other service, you should always check out the competition to make an informed decision when opening a gold IRA.
American Hartford Gold vs. Augusta Precious Metals
Augusta Precious Metals and American Hartford Gold are remarkably similar companies. Both of these precious metals suppliers are headquartered in Los Angeles and offer Gold & Silver IRA rollovers. Plus, Augusta Precious Metals partners with Delaware Depository and Equity Trust.
A significant distinction between Augusta Precious Metals and American Hartford Gold is that the former has a minimum opening deposit of $50,000 for a Gold & Silver IRA. However, Augusta Precious Metals only has three fees: setup ($50), annual custodial ($100), and yearly depository ($100). There’s no shipping, management, or insurance charge for those who open a Gold & Silver IRA with Augusta Precious Metals. Read our full Augusta Precious Metals review to learn more.
American Hartford Gold vs. Goldco
Headquartered in Calabasas, Goldco is another California-based gold supplier that offers a Precious Metals IRA. Although American Hartford Gold and Goldco have many similarities, the latter company has a higher minimum deposit of $25,000 for its Gold and Silver IRAs. However, Goldco has been in business for longer than American Hartford Gold (since 2006), and multiple companies and media personalities (including Chuck Norris!) endorse it. Some investors may feel more comfortable with Goldco’s long history in the industry, despite its higher initial deposit. Read our full Goldco review to learn more.
|Annual Fees||$175 – $225 (waived for the first year)||$200 (waived for the first year)||Varies depending on custodian|
|Information Kit||Physical Kit||Physical Kit|
|Verdict||Best For Low Minimum Purchase||Best For Transparency||Best For Customer Service|
Who is American Hartford Gold Best For?
American Hartford Gold’s Gold IRA is best for cautious and conservative investors who want to add durable “store of value” assets to their retirement accounts. Working with an IRA provider like American Hartford Gold helps people put precious metals into their portfolios without too much complexity. Also, American Hartford Gold’s minimum deposit isn’t exceptionally high compared with many other gold IRA issuers. If you believe in the long-term potential of precious metals, but you want another company to store these items on your behalf, it may be worth calling an American Hartford Gold agent for details.
American Hartford Gold FAQs
Although American Hartford Gold’s customer care division is always open to answering questions, here are a few answers to common queries people have about opening a Gold IRA.
Who Owns American Hartford Gold?
American Hartford Gold is a company based in Los Angeles. Sanford Mann is the founder and current CEO of American Hartford Gold. Scott Gerlis and Max Baecker are the Executive Chairman and President of the company, respectively. The company’s website claims to employ 100 people.
Is American Hartford Gold Trustworthy?
American Hartford Gold has multiple accreditations from publications like Inc. as well as an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau. All of American Hartford Gold’s partners including Equity Trust and Brinks have a long reputation for trustworthiness in the precious metals industry. There are also hundreds of reviews on sites such as TrustPilot, ConsumerAffairs, and Google Reviews.
Do I Own The Physical Precious Metals in an American Hartford Gold IRA Account?
Yes, you own the physical precious metals you purchase in an American Hartford Gold Gold IRA. While you can only claim these metals once you reach retirement age, American Hartford Gold will secure your precious metals in a secure location of your choosing.
How Do I Withdraw Money From My American Hartford Gold Account?
After you reach retirement age (59½ years), you can call American Hartford Gold for penalty-free payouts on your Gold IRA. If you’d prefer to liquidate your assets and receive a check, you’ll need to call an American Hartford Gold representative to arrange a payment. Alternatively, you could dial American Hartford Gold’s toll-free number and ask them to ship your metals to your home address. Either way, American Hartford Gold provides zero additional fees (e.g., liquidation, shipping, and insurance).
How Can I See How My Investments Are Performing With American Hartford Gold?
Everyone who opens a Gold IRA with American Hartford Gold can speak with a precious metals expert at any time to assess the value of their portfolio. American Hartford Gold also says its account administrators will send statements on a “regular schedule.” People can also see real-time price charts for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium on American Hartford Gold’s homepage.
Where Does American Hartford Gold Store My Precious Metals?
American Hartford Gold works with four depositories to store precious metals in the following locations:
● Brinks Global Services: Los Angeles, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; Springfield Gardens, NY
● Delaware Depository Trust: Wilmington, DE
● International Depository Services: New Castle, DE; Dallas, TX
● A-M Global Logistics: Las Vegas, NV
Although American Hartford Gold strongly recommends working with Brinks or Delaware Depository Trust, customers could choose any of the above cities to store their precious metals. No matter which city you select, your precious metals will be in a secured and insured vault.
Do Contributions On An American Hartford Gold Account Work The Same As A Regular IRA Account?
All of the same purchasing limits on your standard IRA account apply to an American Hartford Gold Gold IRA. So, if you roll over a Traditional IRA into a Gold IRA, you can make a max annual contribution of $6,000 before you turn 50.
What Are The Tax Advantages Of An American Hartford Gold IRA Account?
Similar to annual contributions, American Hartford Gold’s Gold IRAs enjoy the tax benefits associated with other retirement accounts. For example, if you roll over a Traditional IRA, you will only have to pay taxes on Gold IRA contributions once you start pulling money out at retirement age. For those who roll over a Roth IRA, you’ll pay taxes on contributions, but you can withdraw funds at retirement age without tax penalties.
How Does American Hartford Gold Make Money?
Compared with competing Gold IRA issuers, American Hartford Gold doesn’t have the most transparent fee structure. However, the company charges annual fees of at least $180 to Gold IRA holders. Also, it’s common practice for precious metals dealers to charge a slight premium for their products. American Hartford Gold likely sells its gold, silver, platinum, and palladium for a markup to cover its expenses.
Where Is American Hartford Gold’s Headquarters?
American Hartford Gold’s headquarters is at the following address:
11755 Wilshire Blvd.,11th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Do I Pay The Shipping On My American Hartford Gold IRA?
American Hartford Gold handles all the shipping costs to store gold in partner facilities and send precious metals to your door.
How Do I Roll Over Funds From Another Account Into An American Hartford Gold IRA Account?
American Hartford Gold recommends using a 60-day rollover or a trustee-to-trustee transfer to deposit your IRA funds into a Gold IRA. With the 60-day rollover, you’ll need to request a check from your currency IRA provider and send it to American Hartford Gold for processing. For a trustee-to-trustee transfer, clients need to contact an American Hartford Gold agent with their IRA info to link their retirement accounts. In both of these cases, you won’t pay any bonus fees or penalties. Be sure to speak with a toll-free American Hartford Gold agent to find specifics on sending your provider’s IRA funds to a Gold IRA.
In A Nutshell
- Key Highlight: Exclusive buyback program for existing clients
- Minimum Investment: $10,000
- Metals Available: Gold and silver bullion and coins
- Ratings: 5.0/5.0 over 1000 reviews (Trustpilot); 4.9/5.0 over 267 reviews (BBB) and A+ rating with BBB
American Hartford Gold isn’t the oldest precious metals company in the USA, but it has become one of the best-known and most-trusted companies in the industry. American Hartford Gold is a solid choice for those most interested in “solid” retirement investments thanks to its positive customer ratings, high-profile endorsements, and strong accreditations. Anyone looking to add precious metals to their retirement account with a relatively low minimum deposit and attractive fees should consider speaking with American Hartford Gold’s agents. Since American Hartford Gold has such a sterling reputation for its customer care division, you should talk with a helpful American Hartford Gold representative within a few minutes.
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Eric Esposito is a freelance writer, editor, and cryptocurrency enthusiast. Although it took him a few years to grasp the Bitcoin revolution, Eric has become a crypto convert and long-term “hodler.” Besides crypto investing, Eric is interested in helping others understand how to safely stack sats with passive income opportunities.