November 11

Advantage Gold Review: Complaints, Fees, & Ratings

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Advantage Gold specializes in helping investors roll over existing IRA or 401(k) assets into self-directed retirement accounts that hold physical gold or other precious metals.

Although they don’t advertise a direct sales operation on their website, you can also buy gold and other precious metals directly for your own personal collection from them. They will ship the products directly to your home.

In this Advantage Gold review, we take a look at the company's history, IRA fee structure, preferred custodian and gold storage provider, online client reviews, and more. Let's get started.

Advantage gold


Advantage Gold Guide

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Company History

The firm was founded in 2014 by two friends, Adam Baratta and Kirill Zagalsky, who had already achieved success as precious metal brokers at a major firm before starting out on their own. A sought-after speaker in the gold investment market, Adam Baratta has also written two best-selling books on gold investing.

His first book, Gold Is A Better Way… And Other Wealth Building Secrets Wall Street Doesn’t Tell You was released in 2018, followed by The Great Devaluation: How to Embrace, Prepare, and Profit from the Coming Global Monetary Reset in August of 2020.

Best selling book The Great Devaluation

Adam Baratta's best selling book

Although a relative newcomer to the industry, Advantage Gold is already a major player in the retail precious metals market, with a highly-regarded customer service team and a solid record of execution.

Advantage Gold is a U.S. Mint-listed gold and precious metals dealer that is currently one of the dominant players in the gold IRA niche. Many companies set themselves up as third-party administrators of self-directed IRA accounts. They are investment agnostic, and take on no advisory responsibilities.

Their role is simply transactional: The account owner sends in their written instructions to buy or sell, from whom, and at what price. From there, the administrator’s job is to ensure the transaction is properly executed and accounted for, send required documentation to the account owner and the IRS, and send regular statements to the client.

Dissatisfied with a purely transactional model that is typical in the gold IRA space, Baratta and Zagalsky wanted to form deeper client relationships. Advantage Gold takes on much more educational burden than most traditional gold brokers. They pride themselves on top-notch customer service – and have a long track record of delivering it. As a result, they’ve racked up years of very solid reviews across multiple third party independent review sites and social media platforms. 

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Advantage Gold Review: Inside look at the gold IRA dealer's background, complaints, fees, and more

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Fee Structure

While many investment houses charge an assets under management (AUM) fee of 1% to 2% per year, Advantage Gold's IRA program involves a much more efficient flat fee, regardless of the size of the account.

If you open an IRA account via Gold Advantage, you can expect the following fees:

  • $80 per year from the custodian (Equity Trust);
  • $100 per year for secure vault storage and insurance;
  • $50 set-up fee. The company may waive this fee for new investors.

As a broker, Advantage Gold primarily makes its money on the spread between their wholesale price and your retail price. Since Advantage Gold is a fairly large player, they have some pricing power on the wholesale markets, and are generally able to provide very competitive pricing.

Advantage Gold Guide

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Buyback Policy

One of Advantage Gold's stronger differentiators is its solid buyback policy: If you buy precious metals through them, the company will pay the current spot price for the metal at the time of sale. For some in-demand products, the company will pay higher than the spot price. The company commits to this policy on its website.

Custodian

Advantage Gold works with two custodians, Equity Trust, in Westlake, Ohio, and the Strata Trust Company, formerly Self-Directed IRA Services, in Waco, Texas. Between the two, Equity Trust has a slightly more favorable fee structure for Advantage Gold clients, according to a company source.

Click Here to Request More Information from Advantage Gold Today.

Inventory

Since Advantage Gold is a U.S. Mint-authorized dealer, you won’t have a problem getting any U.S. Mint product on the original sales market through them. They have a strong inventory of Canadian gold coins and other products, as well. They don’t have a deep inventory of more esoteric coins or bars – especially the ones not approved for IRA accounts. So numismatic collectors and hardcore ‘stackers’ might have to look elsewhere to fill out their collections. But their access to product is more than adequate for the purposes of buying bullion to diversify IRAs and personal investment portfolios.

One minor marketing quibble:  If you watch their promotional video on their website, you can see the founders talking about owning physical gold in an IRA, while sitting around a table with clients actually physically handling gold bars and coins. This is a little misleading: IRS rules specifically prohibit owners of self-directed IRAs from taking physical possession of their gold and precious metal assets.

Related: Top Gold IRA Companies - Review of the Best IRA Specialists for 2022

Storage Options

In reality, people who own gold, silver, palladium, or platinum bullion within their retirement accounts almost never actually lay eyes on their precious metal investments. Instead, the bars, coins, and rounds held in their IRAs and other self-directed accounts never pass through their hands. The bullion transferred into their IRA’s name, and the actual metal is held at specialized third-party vault vendors. If you buy precious metals for your IRA through Advantage Gold, your assets will be held by one of two very reputable vault companies: The Delaware Depository, or Brinks Global Services, USA.

If you are considering purchasing gold or any other precious metal for your IRA or other tax-advantaged account, don’t attempt to take direct physical possession of the asset. If you do, and the IRS finds out, they could disallow the entire account. They will then force you to take a distribution on the entire amount, and subject you to significant taxes and penalties.

Related: The Home Storage Gold IRA - What Investors Need to Know

Advantage Gold Reviews & Ratings

Advantage Gold customers tend to be happy, which speaks well for them not just about the value offering but also about the professionalism of the sales and customer service staff.

Currently, the company enjoys an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, a 10 out of 10 rating from Trustlink, and a 9.9 out of 10 rating from Trustpilot.

Advantage Gold BBB

Advantage Gold - A+ Rating with the BBB

Who Should Consider Advantage Gold?

If you’re interested in diversifying a part of a stock-heavy IRA or 401(k) portfolio into gold and precious metals, and you’re starting more or less from scratch, Advantage Gold is a solid choice. You may pay a bit more than you would at more ‘no-frills’ shops that are set up for more experienced gold investors. Advantage Gold invests a lot more into educational resources for its clients than most other firms, as well. You can also get a jumpstart on your gold investing education by reading Gold is a Better Way.

Advantage Gold has invested more in client education than most shops. New investors have access to a wealth of educational videos, articles, and books.

Also, because they do IRAs on a daily basis, their staff is familiar with the many rules and regulations that cover precious metal investment within IRAs. This is important, because making a wrong move with an IRA account can risk running afoul of prohibited transaction rules, leading to significant taxes and penalties.

For the IRA rollover customer, or those simply looking to diversify their portfolios and hedge against the declining purchasing power of the dollar, Advantage Gold is a solid choice.

Have Your Own Adviser

Understand that for all the educational resources they provide, they are a sales outfit and they are in the business of selling gold. They are not licensed or registered investment advisors, attorneys, or CPAs. You shouldn’t rely entirely on research provided to you from one company. When making significant investment decisions affecting your retirement security, you should also seek the services of a qualified investment professional to determine if gold investing is right for you.

Related: Advantage Gold's Precious Metals IRA Eligibility Checker - Do You Qualify?

Advantage Gold Guide

New Report from Advantage Gold:

Secure Your Investment Portfolio or IRA with Physical Gold & Silver (Tax-Free).

The ‘Gold Is A Better Way’ Premium Membership

If you’re feeling flush, and you’re serious about improving your knowledge about gold investing and the role of gold and precious metals in your portfolio, you might consider signing up for the premium “Gold is a Better Way” membership program, available at www.goldisabetterway.com.

This membership comes with access to an extensive library of educational videos, the Full Faith and Credit newsletter, custom market comparison graphs and critical market indicators. It also advertises “VIP only access to secret industry events and offers.”

Members also get access to both of Adam Baratta's books.

Advantage Gold Complaints...

No review is complete without some criticism. Membership to the Gold is a Better Way premium program is on the pricey side, at $249 per month. That comes out to $2,988 per year. To justify that kind of expense, you would need to be dealing with a large amount of money, with a sizable allocation to gold and precious metals. 

It would be hard to justify the expense for those with a precious metals allocation below six figures, at least. If you’re willing to tolerate a 1% expense ratio on your investments, you would need an allocation $300,000 or more in gold or precious metals to justify that expense. If you have a 30% allocation to precious metals, then you would have a $1 million overall portfolio or more.

At that level, you can hire a professional money manager for that same 1% and enjoy life!

But if you’re a diehard goldbug and you absolutely love reading and learning about gold investing and the set of economic beliefs behind it, you’ll probably enjoy your subscription. Just understand that it’s designed to add value for a very limited set of dedicated gold investors and active traders – especially net of costs.

The primary focus of this company is not their membership site, but to facilitate gold IRAs. This is where the precious metals dealer shines.

Advantage Gold Review - Solid Choice

There are a number of precious metals dealers in the U.S. that specialize in gold and silver IRAs. In this Advantage Gold review, we've placed the firm at the top of our list of trusted IRA dealers for 2022. If you're ready to learn more about the benefits of a precious metals IRA, request your free IRS Loophole Report from the company below.

Advantage Gold Guide

Request Advantage Gold's Free IRS Loophole Report. Learn How Gold Can Diversify Your 401(k) and Protect Your Savings from Inflation.


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About the author 

Ilir Salihi

Ilir is passionate about personal finance, investing, and digital marketing. He's written about precious metals and cryptocurrencies since 2013. When he's not publishing new content, he's spending time at home in Washington, D.C. with his family.

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