Asset diversification is crucial when it comes to selecting the investments that will create a strong and viable retirement portfolio. Precious metals are one type of asset that provides you with the opportunity to invest in something tangible that can weather a financial crisis. Investing in gold, silver, platinum and/or palladium minimizes your exposure to losses when other types of investments lose value. Unlike stocks and bonds, precious metals have inherent value and, metals can be held for an infinite amount of time. You control the ability to purchase and sell the metals in a tax-deferred or tax-free (Roth IRA) environment until which time you decide to withdraw your bullion or coins and take direct physical possession of them.
In 1997, Congress passed the Taxpayer Relief Act which expanded the precious metals holdings allowable in IRAs. Your IRA can invest in one, one-half, one-quarter, or one-tenth ounce US gold coins, or one-ounce silver coins minted by the Treasury Department. It can also invest in certain platinum coins and certain gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion. Proof coins must be encapsulated in complete, original mint packaging and include the certificate of authenticity. Small bullion bars must be manufactured to exact weight specifications and non-proof bullion coins must be in brilliant uncirculated condition and free from damage.