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Congratulations – you’ve made the sensible decision to open or roll over into a gold IRA. You’re concerned about the financial future of you and your family and you want to plan for a comfortable retirement. However, you will need a custodian to manage the assets of your portfolio. What should one look for in a company? How should one select the custodian of one’s account?

The criteria one should consider for finding a custodian? They should be a well-established company with a solid and trustworthy business record and have customer testimonials available for review. They should be accredited by market watchdogs such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company should also have several investment options available to the investor, not only with various gold investments but with the capability of asset allocation with stocks or real estate. Finally, the custodian should be knowledgeable and vigilant to ever-changing market conditions with an eagerness to serve and educate the investor. Armed with this knowledge the investor can have confidence that he or she is making the best financial decisions for their retirement.

The first step in locating a gold IRA company is research; a simple internet search reveals several websites that rank various gold dealers and IRA custodians. One caveat to consider is that many companies offer gold for sale but are not IRA custodians. Note that gold IRA custodians are required to have secure storage facilities available to protect the holdings of their clients.

Now that a list of gold IRA brokers and/or custodians have been compiled, investigate reviews of these companies through market watchdogs such as the BBB and TrustLink. Transparency is also important; if a custodian company provides a forum site for customer feedback you can presume that service is of paramount importance to the company. The BBB provides ratings for various companies and handles any customer complaints. Parsing this information will reveal any patterns of complaints and/or poor customer service. TrustLink, a BBB offshoot, is an independent forum for customer feedback that uses redundant fact verification matrixes that ensure the accuracy and independence of reviews and ratings. Companies that are TrustLink members are generally confident in the quality of service they provide to their clients.

As mentioned above, a gold IRA custodian should have a variety of portfolios available to the investor. It is important to find a custodian that is not only experienced in gold but has the capability of combining both precious metals and stocks into an IRA. Gold can be added to any IRA type including traditional, Roth, simplified employee pension (SEP), and simplified incentive match plans for employees (SIMPLE).

While conducting due diligence the investor may encounter aggressive sales representatives pushing products that may not be a wise investment for a gold IRA. Or they may steer clients to gold investments that involve more risk than the client is willing to accept, such as gold mining company stock. Remember that age and total net worth of the client are factors in IRA investment; the closer to retirement an investor is, the less room there is for risk. It is important for someone who opens or rolls over an IRA to include gold to find a knowledgeable custodian who can advise the client on investments that best suit his or her situation. Avoid unscrupulous companies whose personnel attempts to push gold that cannot be included in an IRA, such as Krugerrands or gold that is less than 99.5% pure. It is advised that the investor be thorough in doing his homework regarding gold IRA custodians.

Nearly all investments involve some level of risk. But the more one knows about gold and the companies that sell gold and are IRA custodians the more confident the investor will be about the decisions that he or she makes. A company that exudes calm confidence, without pushing questionable products or services, and seeks to provide the best-individualized service and current market information to the client is the obvious choice.