How Do I Open a Precious Metals IRA Account?

A self-directed IRA (SDIRA) that holds precious metals investments presents an exciting option to diversify your retirement savings. Like with any SDIRA investment, it’s important to have a firm grasp of the process to ensure a smooth investment purchase. The four steps below will walk you through setting up your new IRA, funding your IRA, selecting a precious metals dealer of your choice, and directing STRATA to move the precious metals to your IRA. Gradient Line

Before You Get Started

Thanks to updated IRA regulations, you can invest in most types of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium through an SDIRA. Visit our IRA allowable Precious Metals page to find out more about IRA acceptable/unacceptable precious metals.
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Precious Metals Investment Custody Process

This timeline is approximate, based on whether the required documents are received in good order. Precious metal investments are purchased, sold, and exchanged through third-party dealers/brokers. If transferring from another custodian or rolling over an IRA asset from another institution, STRATA is dependent on the existing service providers’ transaction process times. 


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OpenStep 1: Open Your IRA

To open an IRA, visit our Open an Account page. You will be prompted to fund your account during the IRA application (Step 2) if you are ready. If you are not ready to fund, then you may complete these steps at any time by using the links below.  

  • Fees IRA Fees and the Precious Metals Storage Fee are due at your account set-up. You may pay by check or credit card and set up Auto-Pay for recurring expenses. If payment is not included, the fees will be deducted from the transfer, rollover, or contribution funds prior to STRATA processing the purchase.
  • Depository Storage —The depository storage fee is an annual fee due at the time the storage account is opened and annually in conjunction with your IRA renewal fee. Both fees will be billed by STRATA at the time the IRA is opened and each year afterward during the anniversary month of the IRA account opening. Fees will not be prorated. 

You may reference STRATA's IRA Fee Schedule for current rates. 

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FundStep 2: Fund Your IRA

Fund your IRA by direct transfer, rollover, or annual contribution. Depending on the method selected, STRATA may be dependent on other financial institutions’ processing times, which can be 10-14 business days (up to 30 days for rollovers). If you are opening a new STRATA IRA and skipped the funding option in Step 1, or have already established an IRA with STRATA, click here to fund your IRA. It is recommended to start the funding process as soon as possible to avoid processing delays. Once STRATA receives the funds, it will take 2-3 business days to reflect the funds in your IRA. 

Discover the best way to fund your self-directed IRA while reducing your tax exposure when initiating a transfer or rollover. Learn more about funding options by clicking the links below:

  1. IRA Transfer The IRA can be funded through an IRA-to-IRA transfer. 
  2. RolloverA direct rollover from a 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan is another way to fund your self-directed IRA. Contact the plan administrator to obtain the form(s) needed to request or authorize a direct rollover.
  3. IRA ContributionIf eligible, you can make an annual IRA contribution to fund your Precious Metals IRA. See our IRA Annual Limits chart.

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PM DealerStep 3: Choose Your Precious Metals Dealer

STRATA does not buy, sell, or exchange precious metals. You will need to negotiate the purchase, sale, or exchange of any precious metals through the dealer/broker of your choice.

You determine the precious metals dealer you wish to use, and you will negotiate the precious metals to be purchased and place your buy order directly with the dealer. 

  • Due Diligence — STRATA has no affiliation with any dealers or their sales representatives. As an IRA custodian, we do not conduct a due diligence review of your investment or dealer of choice. Few states have regulatory oversight of precious metal dealers — therefore, it’s important that you do your own due diligence to protect your retirement savings. Please refer to our Precious Metals- Important Points and Protect Yourself webpages for research resources available.

  • New Dealers —  If your dealer of choice has not worked with STRATA before, they must submit the Precious Metals Dealer Representation Letter.

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DirectStep 4: Direct Your Investment

Once your STRATA IRA is open, funded, and your precious metals dealer has been selected, then you are ready to submit your documentation and provide investment direction instructions.   

Complete and sign our Investment Direction and Disclosures - Precious Metals form and submit it with the order ticket. The order ticket must be itemized to show the type, quantity, and price of the precious metals purchased.

Upon receipt, STRATA will remit payment to the precious metals dealer and provide the dealer with instructions for delivery of the precious metals to the depository.

Depository Requirements — To stay in compliance with IRS rules, investors may not take possession of or control any assets while held in an IRA (including precious metals). Before filling out the investment direction form, learn more about depositories and storage options.  

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Next Steps

Once you have signed up for online access for your new STRATA IRA, leverage these helpful resources to recover lost passwords, find documents quickly, and set up your security profile: