Let's make this perfectly clear.  Precious metals can be held within an IRA and the advantages of doing so are many.  Perhaps the greatest advantage is the fact that gold and other precious metals have never been worth zero.  For as long as you have precious metals in your IRA account, you will never have to concern yourself of that asset becoming worthless.  Generally, gold and its bevy of precious metal friends, are negatively correlated to the performance of stocks and other paper assets.  If stocks are doing well, precious metals may sit quietly in your account, trading sideways or even losing ground from time to time. But who cares?  The reason you own gold is to protect yourself in those times when stocks are volatile and the economy is uncertain. Aside from the anomaly of the last decade, where stocks climbed to all time highs and gold climbed right along with it, we can look at the two decades prior and see that the theory of negative correlation holds some truth.  The decade of the 80s, under the Reagan watch, saw the economy expand and gold prices steadily decline.  The stock bugs cheered and gold was cast into the dumpster of spent bull markets.  Why own it when it's going down?  Then came the decade of the 90s.  I call it the buy-now-pay-later decade from HEL, (Home Equity Loans).  Almost everything was on sale for FREE!  Carpet, electronics, furniture, appliances you name it.  You could have it now and pay for it later.  The economy was booming, deficits were shrinking, even the budget balanced a couple times.  And, if there was something that you actually had to pay for, no worries, you could borrow your home equity to buy season tickets, eat at fancy restaurants and vacation in exotic places.  Everybody was hitting the jackpot.  And what was gold doing?  Early in the decade gold traded near $400 an ounce then drifted as low as $250 an ounce while the stock bugs bathed in tech bubbles.  There's that negative correlation thing again.   Then came the new millennium.  Liquidity began to run dry as many people were borrowed to the max.  Credit limits were breached and the markets got nervous.  Stocks faltered and gold began to reverse course.  Desperate times called for desperate measures and big Al came to the rescue.  Interest rates plunged and where the tech bubble left off the real estate bubble began to inflate.  Anyone could buy a house, even borrow more than it was worth in some cases, and then take the extra money to buy stocks again.Soon two bubbles were inflating, both stocks and real estate and what was gold doing?  It began a steady but stealth rise to new record highs.  The smart money saw the writing on the wall and began to move.  The unwary never saw it coming as many continued to revel in the glory of a stock and real estate boom.  Earlier I referred to the first decade of this millennium as an anomaly to the theory of negative correlation.  The reality though, is that for many the impending credit crisis was apparent.  You can't borrow yourself into prosperity and that's exactly what the entire country was doing.  Finally, more and more investors began to think in terms of diversification, specifically into gold and other precious metals.Now, using hindsight as my crutch, tell me what risk there would have been in owning gold in your savings and retirement accounts throughout the last 3 decades.  While gold prices were on the decline, stocks and real estate were providing healthy returns.  Surely, just a small portion of those returns diversified into gold would now be paying large dividends.In a previous article of mine on March 17, 2010, I illustrate how a 20% diversified gold position in your savings and retirement account, over the last decade, could have returned an 80/20 portfolio more than 50%.  That's with 80% of your portfolio in stocks and 20% in gold bullion coins.  Where stocks lost a net 10% or so, gold bullion prices rose 400%.  Retracing our steps back a little further, wouldn't it have been great to have accumulated some gold in the prior two decades - just in case?  Please, for those who did not diversify then into gold or precious metals, don't take this as a cheap shot or an I told you so.  Frankly, I'm trying to do just the opposite.  I'm telling you so.  I believe it is far from too late to take advantage of gold.  One of the greatest advantages of owning gold in your savings and retirement accounts, including a Lear Capital Gold IRA, is that gold has never been worth zero.  And, because of the negative correlation between stocks and precious metals, the risk of owning gold, in reality, is that every other asset you have does well.  That said, what are the risks of owning gold today?  Let's name a few.  Risk One - Despite the printing of trillions for stimulus and bailouts, there is no risk of inflation.  That could drive the price of gold down, but gas prices may also retreat, along with food and energy, thus making it less expensive to live.  In this scenario, gold ownership is inconsequential.  Your standard of living has not really changed.Risk Two - Stocks rally to new highs.  Well, if you had 80% of your savings and retirement in stocks and 20% diversified into gold, who cares?  You are ahead of the game.  Risk Three - Real Estate prices could skyrocket again, adding dollars to your net worth for retirement.  Fooey!  There goes the gold price down again.  Do you care yet?I could go on and on and bring up the risks that; no country is at risk of default on sovereign debt; geopolitical unrest is now at rest; our own debt can forever be paid with borrowed money; need I say more?  In my opinion, these are just some of the many risks of owning gold right now.  Some say because gold has already done so well over the last 9 years or so, that the bubble is about to burst.  Looking back, it could be argued the stock bubble and real estate bubbles took nearly 30 years to inflate.  If it's now gold's turn to blow up the bubble we could be looking at many more years of rising prices.  I don't have a crystal ball, but in my humble opinion the rewards of owning gold right now appear to far outweigh the risks.  And for those who depend heavily on tax deferred savings and retirement accounts to save for the day you get the gold watch, Gold in your IRA may be just what the doctor ordered. It's really quite simple, especially with proper guidance.  If you would like to learn more visit the Lear Capital Gold IRA Center and request your FREE Information.  If history is any indicator, whether inside or outside of an IRA, now may be the best time ever to own gold.