Self Directed IRA – Do Gold and Silver Belong?

When you look at today’s stock market prices, it’s tempting to want to call it an emergency and sell off. After all, a tumultuous stock market means that people turn to other ways to preserve their retirement. Two of the most powerful tools in their arsenal? Gold, silver, and the Self Directed IRA.

Precious metals have a long history as a “hedge” against the stock market crashing and inflationary prices, but do the facts really stand up to that history? And is a Self Directed IRA the best vehicle for those precious metals?

Here we’ll take a look at those very questions and come up with hard answers. Let’s examine the history of gold and silver as safe retirement vehicles that might serve you in your Self Directed IRA:

Gold: A Popular Tool in the Self Directed IRA

First, let’s look at the idea that gold and silver can help you protect your wealth in the case of economic emergency. There are typically a few arguments you’ll hear from people who invest in gold and silver:

  • Precious metals tend to hold their value over time, which serves as a hedge against unstable monetary policies and inflation.
  • Gold and silver are the last bastion of monetary value in a true economic emergency.
  • Since it’s difficult to acquire gold and silver, their prices tend to be relatively stable, which can’t be said of fiat currencies.

In the case of the first point—that precious metals tend to hold their value over time—it’s true. Measuring the value of gold and silver in today’s prices actually gives you a fairly accurate look at the value of money in the past. Some people have even taken a look at Shakespeare’s finances and made sense of it by calculating his income in the cost of today’s silver.

But that’s an extremely long-term view of precious metals; just because they hold their value over centuries doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll hold their value over decades, does it? The average Self Directed IRA is hoping that the value will hold stable and increase for decades, after all. The problem here is that there isn’t much history to work off of. The price of gold was fixed until the United States abandoned the gold standard in 1971, when President Nixon ordered that gold no longer be convertible directly to U.S. dollars. Gold prices spiked in the late 1970s and again in the early 2010s, but they’ve never reverted as low as these original prices.

Owning Precious Metals in Your Self Directed IRA

Whether you want to own a relatively large percentage of your portfolio in gold and silver generally depends on your outlook on the economy. Precious metals has seen spikes after periods of economic hardship, but there’s no direct causal relationship between falling stock prices and the price of precious commodities. What’s important to remember, however, is that gold and silver’s “fixed” status—they’re difficult to mine—means that the supply remains stable. And with a stable supply comes relatively stable prices.

As gold is priced in U.S. dollars, your investments in precious metals in a Self Directed IRA will also depend on how much you value a diversified portfolio. When you hold all of your assets in a single currency, some investors aren’t comfortable. Once again, it depends on your outlook. But if you’d like to learn more about owning gold and silver as a stable portion of your retirement portfolio, be sure to contact us at by calling 828-257-4949 or continuing to read our website. You’ll learn more about these investment opportunities as well as the other retirement investment vehicles available to you when you direct your own IRA.