Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) can be funded with physical gold and silver, yet very few investors are aware of this fact. They are exempt from all capital gains taxes, so if your investments perform well over a long period of time, it can result in huge savings.

Diversifying your retirement portfolio with precious metals is fundamentally required if you properly understand asset allocation (see the Ibbotson study). Additionally precious metals normally rise during periods of unsettling events such as wars, terrorism, inflation, deflation, downturns in the stock market and the US dollar. Precious metals usually yield large profits in these circumstances.

What is unique about this plan is that you can take physical possession of the actual gold or silver when you make your withdrawals. Thats correct! You can cash out in real honest-to-goodness gold and silver instead of fiat dollars. This is the most important feature of all. Down the road, in this generational bull market in gold and silver, the odds are in your favor that you will want and need the physicals when its time to access your investment.

Once you decide that you want to include precious metals in your retirement planning, you need to determine how much you want to invest. How much depends on your annual contribution, your personal goals and your individual investment philosophy. Factors to consider are your age, total assets and risk tolerance.

Very few institutions are set up to handle the precious metals component of retirement plans. One of the leaders in the field is GoldStar Trust Company. GoldStar Trust Company for investors who want IRAs that will accept precious metals. GoldStar serves as custodian for approximately 20,000 self-directed IRAs with assets in excess of $700 million.

GoldStar is not a coin dealer, but it will work with dealers who buy and sell precious metal coins and bullion for your IRA on your instructions.

Establishing an IRA with GoldStar Trust Company

Setting up a self-directed IRA with GoldStar is easy. I will be discussing this at the Money Show in Las Vegas in May. Afterwards there are only three steps to follow.

1. Submit the paperwork.

2. Fund the account.

3. Direct your broker which precious metals to buy.

The metals are stored at HSBC Bank USAs New York precious metals depository, which is one of the worlds largest and is used by COMEX and other major commodities exchanges. Annual storage fees are charged at a flat fee of $90 per year regardless of the size of the account.

Steps #1 and #2 involves completing the proper forms to transfer the funds to GoldStar. Normally, the funds are transferred directly from an existing IRA or Qualified Retirement Plan.

In Step #3, the IRA investor directs a dealer which precious metals to buy.

In my next issue I will be covering the IRA distribution and which coins and metal qualify.