Best Precious Metals IRA Custodians

July 22, 2023
Written by Peter Anderson

When it comes to investing in precious metals for a retirement account, selecting a reputable IRA custodian is crucial.

These custodians play a vital role in safeguarding assets and adhering to IRS laws and regulations while enabling individuals to create self-directed IRAs.

Factors such as website design, industry reputation, and fees should be considered when choosing a custodian. It is important to examine their fee structures, including startup and administration costs, as well as any discounts or waived fees for account setup or maintaining minimum balances.

Some well-known custodians in the market include Equity Trust, The Entrust Group, Midland Trust, Millennium Trust Company, and Pacific Premier Trust. Each of these custodians offers different services and fee structures, so consulting with them is essential to find the best fit for individual needs.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are from sponsors. The list below is an honest review gathered from thorough research, experience, and consumer-based feedback. 

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What is a Precious Metal IRA Custodian?

A precious metal IRA custodian is a licensed financial organization that acts as a trustworthy and secure storage solution for individuals looking to invest in precious metals within their retirement accounts, providing them with the ability to create self-directed IRAs and ensuring compliance with IRS regulations.

These custodians offer several advantages to account holders.

They have extensive knowledge of IRS laws and regulations governing tax-advantaged accounts, allowing clients to navigate the complex rules associated with self-directed IRAs.

Custodians provide various storage options for precious metals, including secure vaults or depositories, ensuring the safety and protection of these assets.

One of the key benefits of utilizing a precious metal IRA custodian is the opportunity for diversification within retirement portfolios.

Investing in precious metals such as gold or silver, account holders can hedge against inflation and market volatility while adding an alternative asset class to their holdings. 

Custodians facilitate this process by offering guidance on investment options and assisting in the purchase and storage of these assets.

Custodians are subject to strict regulations imposed by both federal and state authorities. They must adhere to capital standards and security protocols to ensure the safeguarding of clients' assets.

This regulatory oversight provides an additional layer of protection for investors.

Engaging a precious metal IRA custodian offers numerous advantages including compliance with IRS regulations, secure storage options for precious metals, diversification opportunities within retirement portfolios, and adherence to stringent regulatory standards.

The Role of a Precious Metal IRA Custodian

Precious metal IRA custodians play a crucial role in facilitating the management and administration of self-directed retirement accounts, ensuring compliance with IRS regulations and providing necessary support for account holders.

They have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of their clients and must follow IRS laws and regulations.

The role of a precious metal IRA custodian can be summarized in the following points:

  1. Compliance with IRS Regulations: Custodians are responsible for ensuring that all transactions within the IRA comply with IRS guidelines. They help customers navigate the complex rules surrounding self-directed IRAs, including contribution limits, distribution requirements, and investment restrictions.

  2. Storage and Protection Services: Precious metal IRA custodians provide secure storage for physical metals such as gold, silver, platinum, or palladium. They ensure that these assets are properly titled and inventoried to protect them from loss or theft.

  3. Customer Support and Assistance: Custodians offer support services to account holders, assisting them in opening and funding their precious metal IRAs. While they cannot provide tax or investment advice, they can answer questions about account administration and guide customers through transaction processes.

Precious metal IRA custodians fulfill an essential role by helping individuals manage their self-directed retirement accounts according to IRS regulations. They provide storage and protection services for physical metals while offering customer support to ensure smooth account operations.

Choosing a Fair and Reputable IRA Custodian

When selecting an IRA custodian, customers should carefully evaluate the reputation of the company in terms of its industry experience and client base.

One important consideration is the length of time the custodian has been in operation. This information can provide insight into their level of expertise and stability.

Customers should look at how many accounts and clients the custodian has, as well as their affiliations with precious metal IRA firms. These factors can help confirm the legitimacy and trustworthiness of a custodian.

Another aspect to consider is customer service. A fair and reputable IRA custodian will have knowledgeable professionals available to assist account owners.

Customers should contact the customer service line to inquire about services and offerings, ensuring that they receive prompt and accurate responses to their questions or concerns. 

Choosing a custodian with good customer service can greatly enhance the overall experience and increase retirement savings success.

Customers should also assess website usability when selecting a custodian. The website should be easy to navigate, professionally designed, and contain relevant information about investment services, fee structures, and management.

An appealing appearance coupled with clear information about the company's history can instill confidence in potential investors.

When choosing a fair and reputable IRA custodian, it is crucial to consider factors such as industry experience, client base, customer service availability, website usability, and reputation. 

Taking these considerations into account will help ensure that customers select a custodian that aligns with their needs and goals for retirement savings success.

Type of Accounts Precious Metal IRA Custodians Offer

To cater to a range of retirement investment needs, self-directed account custodians offer various types of accounts such as traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, and SIMPLE IRAs. These different account options provide investors with flexibility and the opportunity to diversify their retirement portfolios.

One of the benefits of investing in precious metals through a self-directed IRA is the potential for growth and protection against market volatility.

Precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium have historically maintained their value over time and can serve as a hedge against inflation.

Self-directed IRAs offer tax advantages. Traditional IRAs allow for pre-tax contributions, meaning that investors can deduct their contributions from their taxable income. Roth IRAs, on the other hand, allow for post-tax contributions but offer tax-free distributions in retirement.

The process of opening a precious metal IRA account involves selecting a reputable custodian that specializes in self-directed IRAs with precious metal investments. Investors will need to complete necessary paperwork and provide identification documents.

It's important to carefully review the fees associated with opening and maintaining an account.

When selecting a precious metal IRA custodian, it's essential to consider factors such as industry reputation, customer service quality, fee structures, storage options, and investment alternatives available.

Conducting thorough research and comparing different custodians can help investors make informed decisions about which custodian is best suited for their individual needs.


Custodians implementing a fixed fee schedule offer a more cost-effective option for investors looking to open a self-directed IRA with precious metal investments. When considering fees, it is important for investors to conduct a comprehensive cost analysis and pricing comparison among different custodians.

Fee structure varies among custodians, and hidden charges may exist, making it crucial for investors to carefully review the terms and conditions before selecting a custodian. Precious metal IRA custodians typically charge an annual fixed fee or use a sliding scale based on the value of the account. 

It is advisable for investors to opt for custodians with fixed fee schedules as they provide greater transparency and predictability in terms of costs. These custodians charge a flat rate regardless of the account's value, eliminating any surprises related to fluctuating fees.

In addition to annual fees, there may be other costs associated with setting up and maintaining an IRA account with precious metal investments. These costs can include setup fees, storage fees, administrative fees, and transfer fees between custodians.

Investors should carefully consider these additional charges when comparing different custodians.

To make an informed decision regarding which precious metal IRA custodian to choose, investors should thoroughly review the fee structure of each potential provider.

Conducting a detailed cost analysis and evaluating pricing comparisons, investors can ensure that they select a custodian that aligns with their investment goals while minimizing unnecessary expenses.


Reviews of different IRA custodians can provide valuable insights for investors looking to make an informed decision about their retirement account options. When considering reviews of precious metals IRA custodians, investors should pay attention to the following aspects:

  • Customer experiences: Reading reviews from other customers can give potential investors a sense of the level of customer service provided by a particular custodian. Positive reviews may indicate responsive and knowledgeable customer support, while negative reviews may signal issues with communication or account management.
  • Security measures: Reviews can also shed light on the security measures implemented by custodians to protect investors' assets. This includes physical storage facilities, insurance coverage, and cybersecurity protocols. High ratings in this area may provide peace of mind for those concerned about asset protection.
  • Account setup process: Reviews can offer insights into the ease and efficiency of setting up an account with a specific custodian. This includes factors such as the application process, required documentation, and any potential delays or complications that customers have encountered.
  • Investment options: Different custodians may offer varying investment options within precious metals IRAs. Reviews can highlight whether a custodian offers a wide range of choices or if they are limited in terms of available investments.
  • Account management tools: Reviews can give investors an idea of the user-friendliness and functionality of online account management tools offered by each custodian. Positive feedback regarding these tools may indicate that investors have easy access to information about their accounts and investments.

Considering these aspects highlighted in reviews, individuals searching for the best precious metals IRA custodian can make more informed decisions based on real-world experiences shared by other customers.

Equity Trust

Equity Trust, a leading provider of IRA custodial services, offers a wide range of investment options including self-directed precious metals IRAs, hedge funds, managed futures, and real estate.

With over 130,000 clients and more than $12 billion in assets under custodial management, Equity Trust has established itself as a market leader in the industry.

When it comes to customer reviews, Equity Trust has received positive feedback for its reliable and trustworthy services. Clients have praised the company for its efficient handling of transactions and prompt responses to inquiries.

However, it is important to note that individual experiences may vary.

In terms of fees compared to other IRA custodians, Equity Trust charges a flat annual rate of $225 which includes storage fees. This fee structure makes them an affordable option for investors looking to diversify their retirement portfolios with precious metals.

Equity Trust also values customer service and provides knowledgeable professionals who are available to assist account owners. Their website usability is user-friendly and intuitive, allowing customers to easily navigate through their investment options and account information.

Equity Trust offers a comprehensive suite of investment options for individuals seeking self-directed IRAs.

With their competitive fees and commitment to customer service excellence, they are definitely worth considering when selecting a precious metals IRA custodian.

The Entrust Group

The Entrust Group, a well-established account administrator for self-directed retirement funds and tax-advantaged plans, offers custodial and administrative services for alternative investments in their self-directed IRA programs.

With over 40 years of experience in the industry, The Entrust Group provides a range of investment options for individuals and corporations looking to diversify their portfolios with precious metals and real estate.

When it comes to the account setup process, The Entrust Group has made it convenient for clients by offering a simple and straightforward procedure.

They have 30 walk-in offices nationwide where customers can receive assistance if needed. Their website provides comprehensive information and resources to guide investors through the setup process.

Customer support services are an essential aspect of any reputable custodian, and The Entrust Group excels in this area. They have knowledgeable professionals available to assist account holders with any questions or concerns they may have regarding their self-directed IRAs.

Security measures are crucial when dealing with alternative investments, such as precious metals. The Entrust Group prioritizes the security of client assets by partnering with trusted institutions for custody services.

This ensures that investments are held securely on behalf of the account holders.

One notable feature of The Entrust Group is its flexibility in investment choices. They allow clients to invest in a wide range of alternative assets beyond just precious metals, opening up opportunities for diversification based on individual preferences and risk tolerance.

The Entrust Group stands out as a reliable custodian that offers investment options, a smooth account setup process, excellent customer support services, robust security measures, and flexibility in investment choices within their self-directed IRA programs.

Midland Trust

Midland Trust, a Chicago-based custodian specializing in self-directed IRA investments with alternative assets, offers a streamlined process for clients to purchase and store various precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

They provide bookkeeping services and ongoing access to training resources for both IRA professionals and investors.

In terms of fees, Midland Trust charges $50 for each buy or sale of precious metals, which is slightly higher than the industry average. However, their storage fee is within the standard range.

They have an annual flat fee ranging from $295 to $395, which includes the storage fee.

When it comes to customer reviews, Midland Trust has received positive feedback for their knowledgeable professionals who assist account owners with their self-directed IRAs.

Their website usability is considered user-friendly and convenient.

Midland Trust offers different types of accounts tailored to meet the needs of individual investors seeking alternative asset options for their IRAs. With a segregated holding option and secure storage area at the Delaware Facility, they prioritize the safety and security of clients' precious metal investments.

Midland Trust provides a streamlined process for purchasing and storing precious metals within self-directed IRAs.

While they have slightly higher transaction fees compared to some competitors in the industry, they offer valuable services such as bookkeeping assistance and access to training resources. 

Customers appreciate Midland Trust's customer service quality and user-friendly website interface.

Millennium Trust Company

Millennium Trust Company, a reputable financial services provider, offers a diverse range of custodial and administrative services for individuals, businesses, and advisors in the sector.

With over 305,000 accounts and $11 billion in assets under custody, Millennium Trust Company has established itself as a leader in the industry.

One of the key advantages of Millennium Trust Company is its wide array of investment options. Customers have the opportunity to invest in conventional and non-traditional securities through different IRAs.

They offer self-directed IRAs specifically tailored for customers interested in investing in precious metals. This allows investors to diversify their portfolios and potentially capitalize on the benefits of owning physical assets.

When it comes to account setup process, Millennium Trust Company strives to make it as seamless as possible for its clients. They provide user-friendly online platforms that guide customers through each step of establishing their accounts.

Retirement planning resources are also available through Millennium Trust Company. They understand that effective retirement planning requires informed decision-making.

To assist with this, they offer educational materials and tools to help account holders make well-informed investment choices.

Investment performance is an important consideration for any custodian. While individual results may vary based on market conditions and individual investment choices, Millennium Trust Company aims to provide reliable custodial services that support positive investment outcomes.

Millennium Trust Company offers a comprehensive suite of services for individuals seeking precious metal IRA custodianship.

Their commitment to customer satisfaction is evident through their robust offering of investment options, easy account setup process, retirement planning resources, and focus on delivering positive investment performance.

Pacific Premier Trust

Pacific Premier Trust, headquartered in Irvine, California, stands out among custodial companies with its ability to accept a wide range of asset classes and services offered.

With nearly 44,000 client accounts and $17.6 billion in assets under custody, Pacific Premier Trust has established itself as a reputable player in the industry.

One notable aspect of Pacific Premier Trust is its broad acceptance of various asset classes. Apart from precious metals, they also handle real estate, marketable securities, wind farms, promissory notes, and more.

This flexibility allows investors to diversify their portfolios and explore alternative investment options within their self-directed IRAs.

It is important to note that Pacific Premier Trust has a high annual fee starting at $750. This may make them less cost-effective compared to other custodians in the market.

Customer satisfaction should also be taken into consideration when evaluating Pacific Premier Trust's services.

When comparing fees and industry reputation among different precious metal IRA custodians, potential customers should carefully assess their individual needs and priorities.

While Pacific Premier Trust offers a wide range of services and accepts diverse asset classes, the higher annual fee may not be suitable for all investors. Evaluating customer reviews and conducting thorough research can aid in making an informed decision regarding which custodian best aligns with one's goals and preferences.


Selecting a reputable IRA custodian is crucial when investing in precious metals for a retirement account. These custodians play a vital role in safeguarding assets and adhering to IRS laws and regulations.

Factors to consider include website design, industry reputation, and fees.

It is important to examine startup and administration costs, as well as any discounts or waived fees available.

Some well-known custodians in the market include Equity Trust, The Entrust Group, Midland Trust, Millennium Trust Company, and Pacific Premier Trust.

Consulting with these custodians can help determine the best fit for individual needs.

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