Opening a precious metals IRA provides powerful portfolio diversification into gold, silver, platinum, and palladium to hedge against market volatility. However maximizing its long-term value requires ongoing oversight, including conducting yearly reviews and rebalancing your account allocations as needed.
Below we’ll explore best practices for periodic checks and realignment of your Precious Metals IRA to help it continue meeting your retirement investment objectives.
Why Annual Precious Metals IRA Reviews Matter
Unlike set-it-and-forget-it 401(k)s invested solely in mutual funds, IRAs with physical bullion require a bit more active management for several reasons:
- Changing personal circumstances – Your risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial needs can shift annually.
- Evolving market conditions – Relative values between asset classes change over time.
- IRA contribution limits – How much you can add each year provides rebalancing opportunities.
- Ongoing RMDs – Taking required minimum distributions allows for portfolio realignment.
- Asset performance variations – Different precious metals and mining stocks have alternating strong and weak years.
- New custodian offerings – Providers introduce new IRA-approved coins, bars, depositories, etc. over time.
- Storage needs – Growth in your account may require adjusting storage quantities/locations.
Conducting annual reviews enables you to assess these elements in a methodical fashion rather than reacting randomly.
Best Practices for Yearly Precious Metals IRA Reviews
Set aside time each year to review your Precious Metals IRA – some advisors recommend around the anniversary date you originally opened the account. Follow these best practices:
- Revisit your initial investment goals – Ask yourself whether your objectives have changed or remained consistent. Update goals accordingly.
- Assess your risk comfort – Gauge whether your risk tolerance has increased, decreased, or stayed the same over the past year based on life circumstances.
- Review asset allocation – Look at whether your portfolio breakdown across metals, stocks, cash, etc. remains optimal or needs realigning.
- Compare to performance benchmarks – Check how your Precious Metals IRA returns have tracked relative to precious metals market benchmarks over the past 1, 3, and 5-year periods.
- Research new investment options – Explore whether your custodian now offers new coins, bars, or depository storage facilities that may be worth adding.
- Update your beneficiary designations – Confirm your listed IRA beneficiaries are still accurate in case life events like marriages or new children have occurred.
- Adjust contributions based on new limits – The IRS adjusts IRA contribution limits annually. Factor in how much more you can add.
- Project your RMD schedule – As you get closer to age 72, map out your future required minimum distribution timelines.
- Review service levels from your custodian – Assess whether you remain satisfied with your Precious Metals IRA provider’s fees, fund selection, customer service, and technology offerings.
Planning your annual Precious Metals IRA review for a low-stress time of year allows you to approach the process in a calm, objective fashion.
Rebalancing Your Precious Metals Allocation
A key aspect of periodic IRA reviews is determining whether your precious metals asset allocation may need rebalancing back to your target levels.
Over time, outperformance among certain metals and underperformance in others can skew your portfolio allocation away from your original strategic breakdown. Rebalancing realigns holdings to your desired risk profile.
Common Rebalancing Triggers
Some scenarios that typically warrant revisiting your IRA’s precious metals asset allocation include:
- One metal grew over 20% of the total allocation
- Platinum or palladium doubled relative to gold/silver allocation
- Mining stocks now exceed the target ceiling (e.g. 15% of assets)
- Cash reserves fell below the minimum threshold (e.g. 5% of IRA)
- You reached an age milestone impacting your risk tolerance
- Adding new 100% precious metals assets like gold bars
- The dollar strengthened/weakened significantly, impacting gold
- Geopolitical turmoil drove one metal’s price disproportionately
Assessing these kinds of developments at least annually ensures your allocation stays optimized.
Precious Metals IRA Rebalancing Strategies
When your review determines it’s time to rebalance holdings, you can employ these portfolio management strategies:
- Directly adjust metals – Sell overweighted assets to purchase additional underweighted ones.
- Cap future contributions to inflated assets – Limit investing additional funds into metals that have already grown significantly.
- Divert future contributions to lagging assets – Put new IRA contributions mostly into metals that declined or underperformed.
- Let RMDs correct imbalances – If an asset grew a lot, take more RMDs from that holding.
- Hold the course – If skews are under 10% and you still like the asset, you may opt to not change anything.
- Diversify into other assets – Shift some overweighted metal holdings into underrepresented stocks, cash, or non-metal alternatives.
- Reassess your target allocation – Maybe current weightings now make sense given economic developments and should become the new baseline.
Your Precious Metals IRA advisor can help assess rebalancing options most appropriate for your unique holdings and objectives.
Maintaining Proper Asset Location
Another important aspect of an annual Precious Metals IRA review is confirming your specific gold, silver, platinum, and palladium holdings reside in the optimal type of retirement account to maximize their tax advantages.
Because precious metals produce no income, they’re best held in Roth IRAs where they can grow tax-free. Since metals don’t generate disqualifying income like dividends or interest, they avoid jeopardizing Roth status.
Conversely, income-generating assets like bonds, rental real estate, dividend stocks, ETFs, etc. are better located in Traditional IRAs. Otherwise, you waste their tax-deferral benefits.
Review whether shifting some of your Roth IRA precious metals into a Traditional account in exchange for paper assets could improve your overall tax planning.
Updating Precious Metals IRA Beneficiaries
Unfortunately, around 25% of IRA account holders have beneficiary designations that are outdated or inaccurate. This can lead to serious adverse consequences after death.
During your annual review, double-check that any life changes like marriage, divorce, new children, or the passing of a loved one necessitate submitting an updated beneficiary form to your Precious Metals IRA custodian. Don’t inadvertently disinherit your intended heirs.
Review Custodian Services and Fees
If you feel dissatisfied with your current Precious Metals IRA provider for any reason, consider whether moving to a new custodian makes sense. Compare factors like:
- Fees for storage, transactions, account administration
- Range of IRS-approved coins/bars/depositories offered
- Technology used – website, mobile apps, account security
- Customer service responsiveness and metal valuation expertise
- Ability to support rebalancing, RMDs, and beneficiary updates
- Overall reputation and longevity in the industry
A valuable part of an annual review is revalidating you to remain with the optimal partner custodian.
Seeking Help from Precious Metals IRA Experts
While DIY management of small IRAs is certainly possible, investors with substantial precious metals holdings often benefit from professional account reviews and portfolio rebalancing support.
Qualified financial advisors and Precious Metals IRA specialists can provide an objective annual assessment on:
- Fine-tuning your asset allocation and rebalancing approaches
- Adjusting for life stage changes like marriage, retirement, inheritance
- Coordinating RMDs and optimizing withdrawals
- Alternating between Roth and Traditional accounts
- Navigating custodian transitions if warranted
Look for a firm with expertise across precious metals, IRS rules, and retirement distribution strategies to be a helpful guide in managing the annual review.
Maintaining your account’s viability involves more than just an initial Precious Metals IRA investment. Conducting methodical annual reviews, keeping allocations aligned with targets, and selecting the right custodian partner will help ensure your IRA continues serving its purpose to fund your retirement. Be proactive about optimizing your holdings on an ongoing basis.
Precious Metals IRA Review FAQs
Should I review my Precious Metals IRA every year?
Yes, annual reviews help you revalidate investment goals, adjust allocations, update beneficiaries, evaluate new offerings, and confirm appropriate asset location.
When’s the best time to conduct an annual review?
Set aside time every year such as on the anniversary when you originally opened your Precious Metals IRA for a methodical review.
What should I look at during annual reviews?
Assess your asset allocation, risk tolerance, performance, custodian satisfaction, new investment options, RMD projections, and beneficiaries.
How often should I rebalance my Precious Metals IRA?
Rebalancing allocation back to targets is advisable at least annually or whenever one asset skews over 20%+ of total holdings.
What are the rebalancing methods I can use?
Sell overweighted assets, limit future contributions to inflated assets, divert contributions to lagging assets, take RMDs from inflated assets, or hold the course.
When should I move metals between Roth and Traditional IRAs?
Consider moving income-generating assets to Traditional IRAs and non-yielding assets like physical metals to Roths to maximize tax advantages.
Should I review custodian satisfaction annually?
Yes, your annual review is a good time to evaluate administration fees, technology, customer service, range of offerings, and expertise from your IRA provider.
Precious Metals IRA Review Resources
- Tips for Rebalancing IRAs – FINRA
- IRA Review Guidelines – Fidelity Investments
- Precious Metals IRA Allocations – Advantage Gold
- Roth vs. Traditional Precious Metals IRA – Motley Fool
- Gold IRA Administration Reviews – Consumer Affairs
- Switching Precious Metals IRA Custodians – GoldSilver.com
- Managing Precious Metals Assets in an IRA – New Direction IRA
Get professional support with your Precious Metals IRA reviews and rebalancing from full-service advisors. Protect your nest egg with gold and silver!