American Hartford Gold is a company that helps people sign up for gold IRAs and buy precious metals for their accounts. They take care of the paperwork and the communication for you, making the entire process much easier than it would be if you tried to do it on your own.
There are dozens of gold IRA companies in the US that have basically the same premise, though. Not all of them have the most solid policies or level of transparency. Some might offer overpriced items, or they might not be as helpful with the setup process as you expect.
So is American Hartford Gold actually a good IRA company? What is their reputation like in the industry, and what have prior clients said regarding their own experiences?
Is American Hartford Gold a Reputable Company?
American Hartford Gold is reputable. It has grown quickly because it taps into a clientele that previously struggled to access quality IRA services. Unlike the other top competitors in the industry, American Hartford Gold doesn't have any setup fees. There are also no minimum investment costs, so you can get started even if you only have a little money to spend.
American Hartford Gold has been endorsed by several celebrities and commentators. It is the only gold company recommended by author and commentator Bill O'Reilly, reality television personality Rick Harrison, and podcaster and political commentator Lou Dobbs.
In 2021, American Hartford Gold was named the top fastest growing gold company in Inc. 5000's list of private growing companies. In addition, the company works with a number of charitable organizations, including the Wounded Warrior Project, A Place Called Home, Our House, and others.
There are thousands of past and current American Hartford Gold customers, spread through every state in the US. The company has two main locations with easily accessible addresses: a headquarters in Los Angeles, with another office operating from Woodland Hills in California. Since being established, the company has sold more than $1 billion worth of gold and silver.
All of these things indicate that American Hartford Gold has the professional qualifications and transparency necessary to run a gold dealership. But it's also important to see what the average customer has to say. Have past clients actually been satisfied with the company's service?
According to multiple third party websites, the answer is yes. The BBB gives American Hartford Gold an accreditation and top A+ rating. There are over 330 customer reviews showing an average of 4.95 stars, indicating universally positive feedback. Consumer Affairs displays an average of 4.8 stars with over 70 reviews, Yelp shows 4.5 stars with 38 reviews, and Trustpilot shows 5 stars with over 1,100 reviews.
You can read these thousands of five star reviews to see exactly what customers had to say. Many praise the affordability of the items and the care of the customer service team. They also say that the company provided good educational materials and helped them to feel confident about their purchases.
American Hartford Gold's main specialty is in connecting clients to bullion for their IRA. But they also have some coins and products that aren't eligible for an IRA, which you can buy with cash. Many of their IRA bullion was minted a few years ago but has never been circulated, meaning that it's in perfect condition and can be acquired for a lower price than competing coins.
When you open a gold IRA, there are a lot of factors to coordinate. You need to apply for and fund the account. You need to communicate with your account custodian, as well as the custodian of the current account holding your funds. You need to choose a licensed depository to store your items, and then you need to buy items that are compliant with the relevant federal tax codes.
American Hartford Gold helps by taking you through the paperwork and connecting you with one of their partner companies. They work with different custodians and storage depositories to bring customers these services at a lower price. They'll coordinate the shipping of the metals to whatever depository you choose.
When it comes to the metals themselves, you can expect to talk to an extremely knowledgeable representative. They will have answers to all of your questions about retirement, the industry, different global economic factors, and the available products. Once they learn more about your time table and long term goals for the investment, they can recommend specific products that will work for your needs.
While there aren't prices listed on the company website, American Hartford Gold does say that they have the lowest prices in the industry. In fact, they guarantee that if you're given a written offer to buy the same coin at a lower price elsewhere, they will match the price offered by the competitor. A few customers have said that they needed to jump through hoops to have this policy honored, but others state that they had no issue with it.
If you aren't interested in the IRA services, you can still buy the products with your cash savings. American Hartford Gold even offers free shipping to your door. The package will be fully insured.
Available Storage Choices
As mentioned, one of the advantages of working with a company like American Hartford Gold is that they partner with different storage facilities. There are a few options available to you when you invest with AHG. The three main companies are Brinks Global Services, International Depository Services, and the Delaware Depository.
The Delaware Depository is the biggest precious metals depository in the country. It has thousands upon thousands of square feet underground, with intense security measures and auditing. Delaware itself is a state that has no sales tax or transaction taxes on bullion, so it's a great choice for people whose home addresses are in high-tax states.
International Depository Services is responsible for several different projects, but the main one used by AHG is the Texas Depository. This is a highly secure vault that was recently built in Texas, since that's the home state of many gold investors. The depository has exclusively segregated storage units and is fully compliant with every IRS security regulation.
Brinks Global Services has thousands of depositories around the globe. Not only that, but they're a key household name in nearly every other segment of the security industry. In order to simplify things, though, American Hartford Gold only uses a few of their depositories. You'll be able to choose from options in Los Angeles, New York, or Salt Lake City.
While there are some companies that offer dozens of different depositories, this five-depository setup by AHG is helpful and reasonable. There is at least one depository in every major region in the US. If you have a specific depository that you'd like to use to keep your precious metals closer, you can ask your representative about the possibility. AHG does not regularly partner with any depositories outside of the US.
Some gold IRA businesses have several different custodians to choose from. But American Hartford Gold appears to have partnered with Equity Trust Company alone. There are no other preferred custodians listed on their website.
Fortunately, Equity Trust Company has an excellent reputation. It is one of the top choices for self-directed IRA custodians of any kind, and many of the industry-leading gold IRA companies use their services. They also have a reasonable pricing structure, which prioritizes the protection of the customer's wealth.
Equity Trust Company works with customers from every state in the nation. They currently manage over 210,000 accounts for individual customers, with total holdings of more than $34 billion. The online publication Investopedia rated Equity Trust Company as the best self-directed IRA custodian in the industry in 2022.
There are more than 400 employees who work for Equity Trust Company, and over a million account transactions take place per year. These might involve purchasing new items, liquidating assets, and taking distributions. Each customer has an account with a dashboard that shows their holdings and makes it easy to initiate transactions.
Equity Trust Company has been established in the business for over 45 years and has seen many retirees through their entire retirement. Their accounts are flexible enough for you to expand into other alternative assets if you ever decide that you want to diversify beyond precious metals, too.
Promotional Offers and Buyback Program
American Hartford Gold has grown so quickly in part because of the number of referrals from current clients. But they have also created national advertising campaigns and strategies with promotional offers. The company makes an effort to create incentive for customers to invest with them as opposed to the competition.
First of all, the company doesn't have any setup fees. There also isn't an investment minimum. Most reputable gold IRA companies require clients to invest a certain amount to use their services, usually several thousand dollars at least. But even if you only have a little money to set aside for your purchase, AHG will support you through the journey.
This offer extends to your IRA rollover. The rollover process involves talking to your old and new custodians to facilitate a transfer of funds. It needs to be done within 60 days to avoid penalties, and it can be a pain to coordinate. American Hartford Gold will help you with the transfer paperwork and then work with your custodians for free to get everything set up.
If you invest a certain amount as a first time customer, American Hartford Gold may fully cover your storage and maintenance fees for one to three years. You can talk to your representative about what is required to take advantage of this promotion.
Another offer is to be given free silver in exchange for an order. If the order meets the promotional qualifications, then you can have a maximum of $1,500 in silver sent right to your door. This silver is not part of your IRA, which means that you can do whatever you want with it. All shipping is free, whether it's to your home or to a storage depository.
American Hartford Gold has a free investment guide available for download as well. It discusses the importance of investing in precious metals, what you should know about retirement and the economy, and what products are available to store in an IRA.
The buyback program is another way to entice potential customers. Many of the most reputable companies in this industry offer buybacks. Once you're ready to take distributions from your account, you can simply sell your items back to AHG. The liquid funds will be deposited into your account, where they can be withdrawn. There are never any transaction fees when you sell back your precious metals to AHG.
Opening an IRA
As has been mentioned, American Hartford Gold's entire setup revolves around helping customers open an IRA without any of the extra fees and hassle. Therefore, the steps to get started are fairly simple.
They also have one of the fastest turnaround times in the industry. According to their website, you can have a self-directed IRA created and ready to fund within three days of initially contacting them. Many other competitors in the industry say that customers should expect to wait several weeks for this kind of setup.
Your first step will be to either download the investment guide or use the website contact form to request a call. Then a company representative will help set your account up, connecting you with your custodian and depository. They'll assist you with your rollover paperwork or with making a cash deposit from your savings.
Once there are funds ready to use in the account, you can choose what bullion to buy. Your representative will be able to answer questions and provide guidance. If you aren't sure what to pick, you can make a purchase based on their recommendation alone.
After you finalize your purchase, the package will be shipped to your depository and handled by your custodian. Most depositories will allow you to visit and look at your holdings in person, as long as you schedule an appointment with the appropriate amount of advance notice.
American Hartford Gold is one of the leading voices in the gold IRA industry, even though the company has only been operating since 2015. They have rapidly expanded to serve people throughout the US. The company frequently runs national advertisements that teach people about gold IRAs and offer promotions for investing.
Some aspects of AHG's marketing might sound too good to be true. For example, they're one of the only leading IRA companies that doesn't have any minimums or setup fees. But this helps a low-income demographic to access their services, when these customers might not be able to afford the competition.
The most positive green flag for American Hartford Gold is the customer reviews. The company has received nearly universal praise for their attention to detail, friendly representatives, and customer service. Customers say that they felt confident and like the company really cared about connecting them with the best products.