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Gold bullion is a safe investment option for anyone looking to steer clear of the uncertainties of the stock market. Physical gold can be stored at home or in a secured vault. There are pros and cons to both storage options.
2023 has become a year for the history books. Financial markets have taken a significant hit, and many people are turning towards safer investment options to round out their investment portfolios.
With so much uncertainty in the stock market, it makes sense that many people are looking to invest in precious metals like silver and gold bullion.
There’s no doubt these items will keep their value, but the question is, should you store your gold bullion in a vault or at home? We’re going to discuss gold bullion storage in a vault vs. at home and the pros and cons of both of these options.
We’ll also discuss the use of depository storage vaults, as well as the six best IRS-approved depositories for precious metals storage.
What is a Depository Storage Vault?
A depository storage vault is a secure third party facility that stores and insures your precious metal investments. People usually only choose to use depository vaults if they have a large amount of precious metal to store.
When you place your gold into a storage vault, you ensure that if the unthinkable happens and your bullions get stolen, the company replaces the value (up to a specific amount).
Vaults also keep your precious metals stored in the appropriate conditions, such as having the proper moisture and temperature control.
Keeping your gold bullion secured in a secure and safe storage vault instead of your home means you get the peace of mind of knowing that if your house got broken into, you wouldn’t lose such a substantial investment.
You should never consider storing your gold bars in safe deposit boxes, as these are not FDIC secured and are subject to bank regulations.
You also have limits on when you can gain access to a bank's safe deposit box, meaning if it’s a bank holiday, you won’t be able to get into your box, even if it’s an emergency.
6 IRS Approved Depository Vaults
Precious metals have a lot of value, so it’s understandable why there are limited government-approved financial institutions that can store metal bullions.
We’re going to look at six out of seven of the world’s only IRS approved precious metal depositories.
Regal Assets is an international company that offers alternative asset management and depository services. This company is number one in North America for gold and retirement investing.
There is also a bullion vault in Dubai, considered one of the most secure in the world. This location services the Middle East and other foreign countries.
You will owe a $250 storage fee per year, although your first year of storage is free. When it comes to reputation, Regal Assets has perfect marks from all three agencies, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustlink, and BCA.
Brinks Global Services has two authorized bullion depositories, one in London and one in New York City. This company offers multiple advantages over other depositories.
They hold full liability for all valuables, and you can access and manage your inventory using an online portal. And they prepare, store, and release your precious metals based on the account owner’s preferences.
Another gold bullion storage depository is the Delaware Depository Service Company. This firm works mostly with refiners, IRA custodians, coin dealers, brokerage firms, manufacturers, retailers, and commodity trading houses, but they also have smaller individual clients.
The unique advantages of using Delaware DSC is that customers get the many Delaware business tax breaks, as well protection for up to $1 billion with all-risk coverage, and up to $100,000 protection per package during shipment through mail or express carrier.
Their secure depository is based in Wilmington, Delaware, and features Class 3 vaults and state-of-the-art security. Delaware Depository is IRS approved and licensed by the CME Group for NYMEX and COMEX.
JP Morgan Chase
JP Morgan has been in the precious metal business for over three decades, but it didn’t become an approved depository until 2011.
They now have state-of-the-art secured vaults in three locations, New York, Singapore, and London. Despite multiple vaults, they only hold less than 10% of the COMEX.
They store physical gold, silver, rhodium, platinum, and palladium. JP Morgan Global Metals also provides its customers with risk management solutions.
HSBC Bank is the largest bullion clearer in the world, leading the industry in the top six precious metal exchanges. They are the largest precious metals custodian and have the world’s most massive vault (commercial).
They have ranked #1 silver and gold dealers since 2003. And HSBC is IRS approved as a precious metals depository with customers from around the world.
You can access 24-hour trading and sales in the home bases of New York, London, China, or Hong Kong. And there’s also around the clock global customer support, so you’re never without help if you have questions or problems.
The final depository is COMEX-approved and American-based. CNT Depository Inc, located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, is the largest seller of raw gold to the United States federal government.
They bring in over $8 billion a year in revenue through direct distribution and providing storage for many of the largest government mints in their Class III facility.
To get an example of how vast this depository is, there are 1,400 square feet of segregated vault space, over 200,000 square feet of insured storage, and 75 cubic feet of private storage. And all precious metals are insured by Llyod’s of London.
Offshore Storage vs. United States
Where you store your gold bullion is up to you. There are no reasons to choose to take your investments out of the United States unless you want to keep your finances protected from government confiscation.
But many people feel that there are benefits to having your gold stored in more than one international depository. Keeping your gold in foreign vaults can also protect you from currency inflation/debasement.
Singapore has become one of the most popular offshore locations to store your gold. There are plenty of state-of-the-art facilities with armed guards and private vaults.
And Singapore has no debt, a solvent government, low taxes, and a sovereign wealth fund. Other offshore locations with gold vault storages include London, Zurich, New York (if you’re not in the US), Hong Kong, and Austria.
- Some countries don’t require reporting to the IRS.
- Protect your gold from government freeze or seize.
- Diverse portfolio.
- Might be hard to physically view without travel.
- You could face penalties if you store your gold in a country that does not permit storage.
Co-mingled vs. Allocated Storage
When you store your gold in a vault, you can choose segregated (also called commingled) or allocated storage.
When you choose commingled or segregated storage, your precious metals are stored separately from other investors. They may be kept in an individual box or vault by themselves.
Using segregated storage means that your exact precious metals will be stored alone, so you always know where to find your metals.
If you’re trying to keep up with your coin collection or specific metals, you will do better with segregated storage, although it is more expensive than allocated storage.
With allocated storage, your precious metals get stored with those of other clients. If all you care about is the value of your metal, you can place them in allocated storage, where they will go into a vault along with other people’s metals.
Home Storage Gold IRA: Why It Might Be a Bad Idea
Home Storage Gold IRAs means that gold can be delivered and stored at your house, which you then claim in a self-directed IRA.
Three reasons why Home Storage Gold IRAs can be the wrong choice:
- Gold IRAs can be tricky, and you have to do it according to the (IRS) Internal Revenue Service guidelines.
- Gold stored at home is disqualified from tax-advantaged retirement savings accounts.
- For gold to qualify as an IRA, it has to be kept in an IRS-approved vault. Storing your gold at home can actually be considered a criminal offense.
Best Gold IRA Accounts
When storing your precious metals in a depository, you won’t have immediate access. It may take up to a few days before you can get your investments in your possession.
Plus, if you use a depository in another country, you can face longer times waiting for shipping and any extra shipping and processing costs.
Investing in precious metals like silver or gold bullion is a great way to round out your portfolio. Precious metals do not depreciate, so you will never lose money by purchasing precious metals.
You may face storage fees if you decide to store your precious metals in a depository instead of at home. But there are more benefits of keeping your gold in a secured facility instead of in your home.
Overall, precious metals are an excellent investment that will continue to gain value over time.
Regal Assets is the leading provider of both gold and cryptocurrency IRA rollovers. They have maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau for over 5 years.
All IRS approved depository vaults are insured by the FDIC. Your investment is protected to the dollar if something were to happen.
The five best countries to store your gold include New Zealand, Singapore, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and Austria.
Austria is one of the best countries for anonymous storage, whereas Singapore has the best innovation and secured vaults in the storage industry.
Most depositories will allow you to examine your precious metals, given that you have your investments stored in a segregated location.
If you choose commingled storage, your metals might not be the exact ones you deposited. And depending on which depository you choose, it may be difficult for you to be able to visit and examine your precious metals.
The final decision will depend on the vault you select.
Depending on how you store your metals will determine how difficult it will be to get them out of storage so you can sell them. Storing your gold at home is the easiest way to have access to them at any time.
Storing your bullion in a bank vault means you will be limited to the bank’s hours of operation. If a crisis happens, the bank may shut down, and you won’t be able to access your metals until they resume operation.