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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Proof, Uncirculated Brilliant, and Bullion: Everything You Need to Know about Buying Physical Gold

Proof, Uncirculated Brilliant, and Bullion: Everything You Need to Know about Buying Physical Gold

If you’re going to purchase physical precious metals, you should know the types and finishes available to you. Here is a rundown of the different kinds – and qualities – of coins.

Precious metals come in a variety of beautiful finishes. As a precious metals buyer, you’ll want to know and understand the different options. Proof, uncirculated brilliant, and bullion coins offer unique advantages to those who are looking to protect their savings with precious metals.

Proof coins – what are they?

Regardless of which government mint produces them, proof coins are the very highest standard of precious metal coin, with unparalleled detail and craftsmanship. Their extraordinarily sharpness and luster is a credit to the skill and artistry of the minter, having been hand-polished and specially treated before striking. With their stunning, mirror-like finish and crystal clear, intricate pattern, proof coins can be an excellent addition to a portfolio of precious metals.

Proof coins are struck by hand-detailed dies, so that any flaws that might mar the strike are removed prior to the initial press, and each coin is inserted into its press by hand. The proof blanks receive at least two strikes at a comparatively lower speed than other coin finishes, resulting in superior clarity and definition.

Furthermore, proof coins are individually extracted from the press and closely examined for any imperfections. After each coin is struck, the dies are meticulously air-cleaned in order to preserve the integrity of the design. The methodical attention to detail means that very few coins can be struck within a particular time frame. While thousands of bullion coins can be produced in one hour, fewer than 50 proof coins can be struck in that time. Furthermore, the proof die must be thoroughly re-polished by hand after approximately 100 strikes.

Although the number of official proof coins is limited, many are produced with unique finishes. One particularly beautiful example is the high relief coin, where the design has a crisp, three-dimensional effect, resulting in detail so precise that nuances can often be identified by touch. The artistry of high relief proof coins rivals that of fine jewelry.

Another category of proof coin is the relatively new reverse proof. Standard proof coins feature a high-gloss background (table), with frosted relief (the design detail). Reverse proof coins have a mirror polish relief, with a frosted background. The frosted detail can be produced as either a satin or matte finish.

The rarity of proof coins, combined with their exceptional beauty and precise detail, makes the pieces extremely attractive to precious metals buyers seeking to supplement their collection with high-value products. For holders of precious metals IRAs, however, it is important to remember that American Eagle coins are the only proofs that are IRS-approved, since their purity is guaranteed by the U.S. government.

Brilliant uncirculated coins – a breakdown.

Although proof coins are the very highest grade of coinage, brilliant uncirculated (also called “B.U.”) coins can nonetheless be a great addition to any precious metals portfolio.

In order to be classified as “brilliant uncirculated,” these coins must retain at least 95 percent of their original degree of brilliance in their finish, with no scratches or wear marks that are indicative of circulated coins. While they are produced at a markedly larger scale than proof coins, there is nonetheless a fair amount of craftsmanship and quality control during the minting process – the dies are hand finished in the same way that proof coins are, only they are not hand-fed into die itself.

Bullion coins – an important consideration for any portfolio.

Many people who buy physical gold, silver, platinum, or palladium as an inflation hedge will also find bullion coins as an excellent option.

Standard bullion coins won’t necessarily be as intricate as their brilliant uncirculated counterparts, but they can be purchased at a lower premium. Bullion coins aren’t rare – gold coins can be struck at roughly 250 per hour, while as many as 3,000 silver coins can be struck per hour.

Surprisingly, one significant advantage to holding bullion is the fact that it is common, and therefore has a large, eager market. If you ever want (or need) to sell your bullion, the transaction will likely be very quick and straightforward, since there is no ambiguity with products that approach melt value. More collectable items, on the other hand, might take a bit more time, effort, and negotiation.

Although bullion coins won’t be valued very much above the spot price of the precious metals they contain, the coins are still remarkable pieces any buyer can be proud to own.

In order to ensure the best outcome for your precious metals investment – whether you are looking for growth or protection – it is critical to know what kind of bullion will most effectively meet your personal and financial goals. Here are a few things to consider before you make your purchase:
  • Do you want to preserve your wealth?
  • Do you want easy liquidity?
  • Did you set out to buy proof coins?
  • Are you comfortable with market fluctuations?
If you are interested in purchasing precious metal coins – proofs or standard bullion coins – it is critically important to find a reputable dealer. At Birch Gold Group, we offer a diverse spectrum of precious metal products, and have the experience and industry expertise to help our clients realize their long-term economic objectives. If you are interested in either purchasing proof coins or bullion for your portfolio, contact the professionals at Birch Gold Group today for a thorough consultation.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Protect Your Retirement Savings – Fight Inflation With Gold

Protect Your Retirement Savings – Fight Inflation With Gold


The dollar just isn’t worth what it used to be, and as time progresses, its value seems to be decreasing – or plummeting – at an alarming rate. If you’ve been setting aside the same amount into your 401(k) or IRA for the past decade, it is very possible that you could arrive at retirement age without enough money to see you through the first year, let alone the following 30. So, what can you do?

You can make sure you have a solid inflation hedge. You can buy gold.

How to Triumph Against Inflation


Cash is intrinsically incapable of combatting inflation. As we’ve seen, its buying power is continually diminishing; if you put aside $1000, in 25 years’ time, you may find that that $1000 can only buy you a fraction of the same goods that it can today. However, hard assets like gold, commercial real estate property, and farmland have inherent value – value that can protect you and your future against the plunging value of currency.

Gold has consistently stable buying power. While, unlike other assets, it doesn’t typically increase in value dramatically, it also generally doesn’t lose its purchasing power. For example, if you were to buy $100,000 in gold in 1955, you wouldn’t merely have $100,000 today; you’d have a hard asset with the buying power roughly equivalent to approximately $900,000.

It is essential that your retirement savings can cover everything your annual wages currently cover (and more, ideally). By purchasing physical gold, you can increase your financial stability throughout your retirement years, even as global markets and interest rates fluctuate.

For more details on how a Precious Metals IRA can help you meet your financial challenges and achieve your retirement goals, contact the experts at Birch Gold Group for a thorough consultation today. Visit facebook page for more details.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Dreaming Of Early Retirement? A Few Factors To Consider

Dreaming Of Early Retirement? A Few Factors To Consider


Many of us fantasize about leaving the stress and aggravation of our 9-to-5 jobs and simply living the lives we want. While winning the lottery or inheriting millions of dollars from a long-lost relative probably aren’t sound financial strategies, it is possible to retire early if you make a series of reasonable, pragmatic decisions.

Downsize your lifestyle significantly.


If you want to live the rest of your days in the lap of luxury, then you might need to win the lottery. However, if a lavish lifestyle isn’t important to you at all (but managing financial pitfalls is), you can take stock of your spending habits and assets and determine what you’ll need for food, shelter, and healthcare, and go from there.

Firstly, calculate your current spending rate, since it will determine how much you’ll need to save. Figure out what you will be able to eliminate simply by no longer working (cost of commuting; professional association fees). Next, determine which expenses you can simply eliminate (cable television; lattes). Finally, investigate where you could be over-spending (cell phone plans; expensive grocery stores; car payments and maintenance).

Work towards paying off your debt.


This is probably the single biggest hurdle to overcome when planning for an early retirement. While it might be wise – in some circumstances – to keep a mortgage if the funds can be used to invest in lucrative financial markets, you should nonetheless do your best to pay off other outstanding debt that can’t be successfully leveraged, like student loans and credit cards.

Plan for medical expenses.


The second biggest hurdle for many Americans is anticipating the cost of healthcare during retirement – and now that the Affordable Care Act is under threat, it’s nearly impossible to know what mandates will be available.

Because the cost of health care has historically risen faster than the inflation rate, it is important to calculate your health-related expenses at an increase of approximately 5 percent per year. Also, investigate different supplemental insurance plans as well as the benefits of a Health Savings Account.

To learn more about how purchasing precious metals may be able to preserve your savings in retirement, contact the experts at Birch Gold Group for information on how a gold IRA could benefit you. Visit twitter page for more details.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Think You’Ve Got Your Retirement All Figured Out? Think Again – 3 Major Retirement Mistakes

Think You’Ve Got Your Retirement All Figured Out? Think Again – 3 Major Retirement Mistakes


If you’ve gotten a head start on your retirement savings, congratulations! You’re well ahead of the curve – particularly if you’re under 40. However, your 401(k) contributions and your IRA might not solve all of the issues you may encounter when you reach the magical age of 65. Here are a few factors that you’ll want to consider when planning for your retirement.

Not considering the costs of significant medical care.


Major medical events can wipe out retirement savings quickly and easily. One study conducted by HealthView Services found that the cost of healthcare for seniors who’ve begun their retirement in 2015 may range between $290,000 and $400,000 per couple – and that’s not factoring in out-of-pocket costs not covered by Medicare Parts B and D. Medical calamities could place a tremendous burden on retirement savings.

Also, the costs of assisted care for those who’ve suffered a mental or physical disability can be absolutely devastating. Make sure you investigate long-term care insurance plans.

Believing that you’ll be able to work past retirement.


Even if you’ve been at the same organization for most of your working life, it’s unwise to assume that you’ll still have a place even as you enter retirement age. Whether it’s because the business downsizes or closes, or if you suddenly have to retire due to health or familial obligations, it is very possible that retirement could be forced upon you.

Failing to diversify your portfolio.


If your retirement portfolio is mostly stock in the organization for which you work, you could be in for trouble. It’s easy to keep your finances tied to a company you know and trust, but if your company fails, your nest egg will shatter.

A well-diversified portfolio should contain physical assets as well as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Gold and other precious metals can help to protect your savings with the kind of long-term security you can rely upon when other markets take a significant hit.

If you are interested in purchasing gold or precious metals, contact the professionals at Birch Gold Group for a thorough consultation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Why Open a Gold Ira? Here Are 4 Reasons

Why Open a Gold Ira? Here Are 4 Reasons


You have numerous retirement savings options to choose from, so why should you decide to open a gold IRA? Here are four reasons you should consider carefully.

Bonds might not offer the yields you hoped.

Although bonds are a popular retirement solution because they usually present lower risk than stocks, you may want to consider their yield upon maturity. Also, you may want to consider what kind of protection they offer against inflation.

You have inflation protection.


Even if you don’t trust banks and instead choose to hold your cash in a safe in your home, you’re still vulnerable to rising inflation. The $10,000 you squirreled away will still be there in 20+ years, but that same $10,000 won't have nearly the same purchasing power!

Gold, on the other hand, has historically maintained the same buying power, so the value of your savings will remain relatively the same over time.

Rising gold value is tax-deferred.


When you opt to roll over retirement savings from a traditional IRA or 401(k) into a traditional gold IRA, you can do so without accruing penalties.

Gold has been the monetary standard for all of human history.


For thousands of years, gold has been a universal symbol of wealth and stability. There is no currency system anywhere in the world that can match gold as a source of prosperity.

If you would like to learn how buying gold can help you reach your retirement goals, contact the team at Birch Gold Group for a comprehensive consultation today. Visit blog link for more details.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Safe Haven Assets: What You Need To Know

Safe Haven Assets: What You Need To Know

It is possible – according to many financial experts – that we could be at the beginning of a difficult economy. In 2008, the financial crisis left numerous Americans in absolute fiscal ruin, with their retirement savings and 401(k) accounts depleted. As we enter a new year having only barely recovered from the beating we endured not even 10 years ago, how do we protect ourselves against such dangerous economic fluctuations?

One answer: Safe haven assets. But, how do they work?

The Function of Safe Haven Assets


Safe haven assets aren’t necessarily going to make you wealthy in the blink of an eye. These are assets that retain – and maybe even increase – their value over the course of several decades, even during fiscal crises or periods of inflation.

Even cash itself isn’t a safe haven asset. Think about it – in the 1950s, you could buy a home for roughly $8,500. Today, the average home price is approximately $350,000. If you held on to your $8,500 from 1950, you’d have currency that had lost approximately 97% of its value!

What are the best safe haven assets?


While there used to be several categories of safe haven assets to choose from – government bonds, and the U.S. dollar were among them –one reliable safe haven asset that has stood the test of time is Gold.

Gold has universally agreed-upon intrinsic value. It is also a physical asset that doesn’t solely exist on paper; it’s a commodity you can hold in your hand. Historically, the value of gold has gone up in times of economic recession, because consumers know that it’s something tangible that has had remarkable spending power for nearly all of human history.

If you want to guard against economic turbulence and protect your retirement assets, contact the Birch Gold Group today to learn how having gold as a part of your savings can benefit you. Visit pinterest for more details.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Roll it on Over: Should You Transfer Your 401(k) to a Precious Metals IRA?

Roll it on Over: Should You Transfer Your 401(k) to a Precious Metals IRA?


If you currently hold an employer-managed 401(k) plan from an old job, you might want to think about the benefits of opening, or rolling over to, a precious metals IRA.

Holding funds in an old 401(k) plan might not be as lucrative as you think. While many appreciate the ease of a 401(k), it has become an increasingly popular and financially sound long-term strategy to either roll over or transfer those retirement assets to an IRA; particularly a precious metals IRA. With the value of the dollar on the decline, making the transition might be one of the smartest retirement decisions you can make.

While holding a precious metals IRA may not be the right choice for everyone, it is nonetheless important to consider the many benefits of holding a precious metals IRA. First, let’s discuss the difference between a 401(k) and a precious metals IRA.

401(k) Vs. Precious Metals IRA


A 401(k) account is either an employer-sponsored or sole proprietor retirement account that allows people to invest a portion of their salary prior to taxation. These accounts usually contain a combination of stocks and mutual funds.

A precious metals IRA (Individual Retirement Account) is a self-directed IRA that allows the holder to purchase and/or invest in a broad scope of products using the monetary value of physical metals owned by the account holder. In 2015, IRAs held approximately $50 billion in what are known as “alternative” or “unconventional” assets. These are classified as items that have significant monetary value, such as private equity, precious metals, and real estate, yet are more difficult to liquidate than paper assets, like stocks and bonds.

401(k) Contributions: If you are still with the employer that sponsors your 401(k), in 2017, the holder of a 401(k) account could contribute a maximum of $18,000 (including employer contributions) annually if the account holder is 49 years of age or younger. After the age of 50, the maximum annual contribution is $24,000.

For account holders over the age of 50 that are still with the employer sponsoring your 401(k), it is possible to make up for an under-the-maximum contribution with a “catch-up” contribution the following year of up to $5,500, which is not counted towards the standard maximum contribution. So, if your contribution one year is $20,000, the contribution the following year can be $26,000.

For 401(k)’s with a current job, an employer can match the account holder’s contribution up to 6 percent.

Precious Metals IRA Contributions: In 2017, the holder of a precious metals IRA could contribute a maximum of $5,500 annually if the account holder is 49 years of age or younger. After the age of 50, the maximum annual contribution is $6,500.

Account holders over the age of 50 who make contributions under the yearly limit can make a “catch up” contribution of up to $1,000.

There are numerous reasons why it could be beneficial to move your funds out of a 401(k) from an old employer and open a precious metals IRA.

Diversification Options


Typically, holding a 401(k) account limits your options when it comes to investments. Account holders looking to broaden their choices find that their 401(k) plans are quite conservative; the point is to mitigate risk with the goal of hitting a particular target over the course of several decades. Moreover, it is likely the account advisor – not the account holder – who oversees the choice of investments.

A precious metals IRA account, however, allows for greater control by the account holder in terms of asset classification. A precious metals IRA can hold gold, silver, platinum, and palladium; more broadly, because it falls under the umbrella of a Self-Directed IRA, it can also hold real estate, stocks, and privately-held companies.

However, some account holders – particularly those who are already close to retirement – might be concerned about increased risk. While there might be greater risk associated with the types of assets held in a precious metals IRA, the reward will be considerably greater than what could be achieved with a comparatively conservative 401(k) plan. Moreover, precious metals can act as a safe haven asset against poorly performing stocks.

Early Withdrawal


Both 401(k) accounts and IRAs allow for early distribution. During times of financial crisis, or personal or medical emergencies, you might require access to your retirement savings. While it is possible to borrow against your 401(k), if you make an actual early withdrawal, you would have to pay state and federal taxes as well as a 10 percent penalty (unless you are experiencing a hardship as outlined by the Internal Revenue Service).

A precious metals IRA, on the other hand, offers greater flexibility for the account holder. Although taxes will still apply, in some cases, you may take an early distribution of a portion of your retirement funds without being penalized (when you first buy a home, or for higher education expenses). However, you will have to pay state and federal taxes.

Easy accessibility isn’t without a downside, however. The difficulty in withdrawing from a 401(k) account can sometimes act as an incentive to leave it untouched. The ease of taking funds from an IRA, on the other hand, might cause some to use it frequently and inappropriately, significantly compromising the potential for growth in the long run.

Flexible Financial Solutions


An employer-sponsored 401(k) account is managed by an account advisor who is working with only a fraction of the investment options available to precious metals IRA holders. Precious metals IRAs offer a far more customizable suite of assets than 401(k) accounts.

Nevertheless, a precious metals IRA requires greater participation from the account holder than a 401(k). The 401(k) account is set up with a precise retirement goal in mind, which many holders find safer and more convenient.

What’s Right for You?


Some holders of a current employer-sponsored 401(k) might not be able to roll over into a precious metals IRA until after the age of 59 1/2. Additionally, if you’re participating in an employer-match contribution plan, you’ll likely want to keep taking advantage of the matching funds.

However, if you’re carrying a 401(k) plan from a previous employer, or if you’ve recently retired, it could be to your advantage to consider rolling over your 401(k) into a precious metals IRA. With the possibility of a more lucrative and flexible options with a precious metals IRA, you may find yourself at a significant economic advantage. Furthermore, holding physical precious metals might prove to be a wise move, considering the current lack of stability in the global economy, and the weakening U.S. dollar.

Ultimately, having a precious metals IRA – even in addition to a 401(k) plan – will increase your chances of long-term security while opening you up to the possibility of a significant return.

If you have any questions about rolling your 401(k) account into a precious metals IRA, please contact the team at Birch Gold Group for a thorough consultation.