What Is A Gold 401k? – Do They Exist?

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calendar with retirement written in gold

Do you want to add Gold to you retirement account?

Have you been hearing about a gold 401(k)? But exactly what is a 401k? Do they even exist and is it something that you should be considering? These are just some of the questions that we are going to answer here.

Do you want to protect your retirement savings by adding some gold to it?

Be aware though. Because all gold are not the same and what you thought would provide you security for your retirement may turn out the be very risky.

What is a 401k account?

A 401(k) is a savings plan that allows workers to invest for their retirement before any taxes. Basically before you are getting taxes on your salary you can add some of this money to your retirement fund.

This has been an important factor for a lot of employers, besides health care and salary, to attract and keep skilled workers.

The reason why is because the employer will often match up, to a percentage, your contribution. Say that you decide to add 5% to your 401k, then your employer will maybe put in 5% as well.

This may sound great but there is some major weaknesses in a 401k. You are only allowed to invest in paper assets such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. This means that you are directly impacted by the strength or weakness of the economy.

For example, during the 2008 financial crisis people with retirement funds such as 401(k)’s lost almost $2 TRILLION. Because as you probably remember the stock market crashed and most of the peoples retirement funds were in paper assets that took a major hit.

One of the big reasons to why a lot of people want to own gold in their retirement accounts is because of the safety from another stock market crash. Gold has always been seen as a safe haven and when it comes to money for retirement, people want to feel safe and don’t want to wake up one morning and see half of their retirement savings gone. That’s what happened to a lot of people 2008.

What is a gold 401k, then?

A gold 401(k) is just as it sounds. It’s a 401(k) account (so a retirement account where you can add pre-tax dollars to) that are funded with gold.

BUT BE AWARE! You can not own physical gold in your 401k account.

This is very important. As we were talking about above you can only own paper assets in your 401(k). There are paper gold in the form of Gold ETFs and Gold Stocks that you can own. But that is a huge difference from owning physical gold.

There is a way to own physical gold in your retirement account though and we will explore how that can be done shortly. But first, it’s important to talk about the difference between paper gold and physical gold for retirement.

People fleeing the dollar into physical gold

More and more people are fleeing paper assets to seek the protection of physical gold. The reason why is because they do not trust our current system and are suspecting a new stock market crash. What are your feelings?

What is the difference between paper gold and physical gold in my retirement account?

Investing in paper gold is not even close to investing in physical gold. With paper gold we are talking about things like Gold ETFs and Gold stocks. This means that you are holding a paper certificate saying that somewhere in the world you own physical gold, but all you hold and can see is a paper (or some digits on a screen).

When you are thinking about adding gold to your retirement account what you want is security. You want to know that if the stock market crashes or anything other unusual and bad happens you still have your wealth protected. With paper gold you have none of that security.

Lets have a look at one of the most popular paper gold assets that you are allowed to own in a 401(k). This is a gold ETF that’s trading on COMEX. A primary market for trading commodities like gold, silver, aluminium, copper. Located in the United States.

In short how a Gold ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) works is that there is a vault somewhere in the world where the fund is storing it’s physical gold. Then they sell contracts to this fund saying that you own for example 1 ounce of gold in the vault. Kind of the same way as any other publicly traded company sells stock.

The reason why these exist is so that you can trade gold. You do not have to think about storing it or going out and purchase it yourself. You leave that up to the fund.

Their customers are then allowed to take physical delivery of gold whenever they want. That’s why it sounds good. But have a look at this latest chart from COMEX. There are 228 paper claims for every ounce of gold in the vault. Basically 228 people think that they own the same ounce of physical gold.

228 people holding paper claim to every 1 ounce of physical gold

228 people owning a paper claims for every ounce of physical gold. How do you think that will end?

Or in other words: if one person decides to take physical delivery of their gold there is 227 people that are left holding nothing but a paper claim. If 0.45% of the people holding these paper ETFs decides to take physical delivery of their gold they drain the vault of physical gold.

Is this the way you want you hard earned retirement money to be stored?

Please, if you have understood the importance of adding gold to your retirement account do NOT invest in paper gold like ETFs or gold stocks. They are just the same, and many times even riskier, as owning any other paper assets like stocks and bonds. You do not get the security that you want.

How can I get physical gold in my 401k then?

In order to own physical precious metals in your retirement account you have to open a self-directed IRA. A self-directed IRA is a retirement account where the investments are completely controlled by you.

This means that you are allowed to invest in other vehicles than just stocks, bonds and mutual funds. A self-directed IRA has the same limitations on withdrawal and deposits as any other retirement accounts. The only difference is, like we talked about, the fact that you are allowed to invest in almost anything you want (that’s still approved by the IRS).

After you have opened a self-directed IRA you will do a thing called a 401(k) rollover. This means that you can transfer all, or part of, your funds from your existing 401(k) into your self-directed IRA. Once the funds are received you can purchase physical gold and silver to store in your self-directed IRA.

If you want to know the difference between investing in gold and silver have a look at this post.

What type of gold are you allowed to own in a self-directed IRA?

There are two criteria that must be met for the gold in order to be allowed to own it in your self-directed IRA.

  1. It must be official currency of a recognized public entity.
  2. The gold must be of at least 0.995 in  purity.

There are a variety of gold that meet these two requirement and some of them are:

  • American Gold EagleGold American Gold Eagle Coin
  • Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin
  • American Gold Buffalo Coin
  • Austrian Philharmonic Gold Coin
  • Gold Britania Coin
  • Gold Kilo Bars
  • Credit Suisse Gold Bars
  • PAMP Gold Bars
  • Perth Mint Gold Bars
  • And many more…

You can learn more about the self-directed gold IRA rules if you like.

Does this sound overwhelming to you and not anything that you think you could do yourself? Good, because you don’t have to.

How do I rollover my 401(k) to a self-directed IRA? Which forms do I fill out? How do I fill out the forms? How does it work with taxes? What gold should I get? Where do I store it?

These are surely just some of the questions you have. And to do this all by yourself would be a big challenge and the possibility of something going wrong would be extremely high.

Good thing is that there are companies out there that specializes in helping people buy physical precious metals in their retirement accounts. The bad thing is that there are also a lot of scammers out there that will pretend to help you and then sell you some gold on a high premium so that they can make more money.

The first decision you have to make is to chose which company that should help you. Personally I have done a lot of research into these companies and the evidence are very strong for who the best one is.

Please do your own research and leave a comment below if there is something that I’ve missed but from my research a company called Regal Assets are undoubtedly the one with the most positive feedback.

Regal Asset is a market leader in precious metals and have a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a AAA rating by the Business Consumer Alliance. These are the two highest ratings that you can have and speaks of a well trusted, serious company.

If we have a look at customer reviews on the Internet there is not a company that is even close to have as many reviews as Regal Assets. Regal Assets holds a 5 out of 5 star rating at Trustlink with over 900 reviews. These are real customers that have completed the process and done business with Regal Assets.

If that wasn’t enough Regal Assets has also been ranked number 20 in financial services by the Inc. Magazine and has been featured in the Investment Guide by Forbes Magazine.


When you read through the reviews you can see that a lot of people speak about a very helpful support staff. They are said to not by pushy and not trying to sell you anything. That they understand how important this decision is for you and are there to answer all of your questions.

Regal Asset will help you fill out all of the necessary forms and you will have a person that guides you through the whole process. Basically what you do is electronically sign the forms and then pick out the metals you want to purchase. The rest Regal Assets will take care of.

Don’t hesitate to start your contact with Regal Assets today to get started with converting your IRA to physical gold. There are no obligations and that way they can review your individual case and answer all of your questions.

Read the full review of Regal Assets if you want even more information.

If you are eager to get the process started you can start their online application by clicking here. After that a representative from Regal Assets will contact you to go over all of the steps needed for you to add some physical gold to your retirement account.

If you want more information you can request Regal Assets FREE gold IRA rollover guide by clicking here. It contains a lot of information about how the process works and what gold to choose from.

I hope that you now know more about how to add physical gold to your retirement account. You can NOT do that by owning a 401(k). So a gold 401(k) only contain paper gold.

With this I hope that we have answered the question of What is a gold 401k? Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or other input. I would love to hear from you.

Please share the knowledge


  1. Hi Marcus,
    Great information, thanks for sharing your knowledge in this complex and dangerous field. Your instructions and guidance of Regal Assets enlightened me enough to convert my 401k into one that allows me to have an account with backing not only of paper.
    Only one question was not clarified in the guide and is about the limit, perhaps there is a minimum and a maximum?

    • Hi Renan and thanks for your comment.

      Yes it’s a complex field if you are going to do everything yourself. There will definitely be something that you missed if you would try and do it yourself. That’s why I’m telling people to choose a good company to work with when they want to convert their 401k to physical gold.

      The best company I’ve found is like I said, Regal Assets so thanks for enjoying the post and I hope that Regal Assets will help you with everything.

      The minimum is $5,000 and there is no maximum. Regal Assets have a lot of different packages depending on how much you want to allocate into gold and also what your investment strategy is.

      Most people will definitely have $5,000 to rollover but most people will rollover a lot more. Maybe 20-30% of your retirement funds.

      Contact Regal Assets to know more. I also have a full review of Regal Assets now where you will get more information.


  2. Knowing whether or not to buy gold has always been a topic of interest for me, yet a confusing one. I just seen an advertisement that Silver is now the way to go and you just know it’s a scam by looking at the page. This article actually makes sense. I’ve never even heard of doing this with my 401K, yet alone hearing about a gold 401K, so thanks for sharing this. Very useful information.

    • Hi Michael and thanks for your comment.

      I do think that silver is still going to be a very good investment. I will be making a post soon and talk about why I think that. Keep an eye out for it.

      But yeah you’re right. There are a lot of people that do not really understand gold and silver but want to promote it on their site just because it can make them some money.

      I have been investing in gold for around 10 years now personally and I absolutely love the subject.

      The best thing is that you can move over a part of your retirement funds to your gold IRA. You do not have to allocate all of your retirement funds to gold.

      Have a look at self-directed gold IRA rules to know a little bit more how it works.


  3. Oh my gosh how are paper gold ETFs and stocks NOT ILLEGAL? Marcus, what an informative and well researched article. You have given me a lot to think about. And of course it would figure there are a lot of scammers out there to take advantage of someone like me just starting to look into something like this. Thanks for the heads up!

    • Hi Leah and thanks for your comment.

      You’re absolutely right. Gold ETFs should be illegal when they are operating like this. But it hasn’t been like this for ever. Not to long ago they had almost all of the physical gold that they issued paper.

      It has been lately that they have completely been disconnected.

      A fun fact is that this is how our dollar went from being backed up by gold to not being backed up by anything as well. Before we had enough physical gold in the vaults to cover all the paper dollars in existence.

      But when so much money was spend on the Vietnam war and other projects they often paid these bills by creating more paper notes. Until one day in 1971 the people around the world started to want their gold back.

      Because of that President Richard Nixon had to abandon the gold standard. So today the only thing that’s different between monopoly money and a US dollar bill is the fact that we have confident in that the US dollar can purchase something.

      Once that confidence goes away, it’s just a piece of paper. And people not owning real assets (gold, silver, real estate, land, art,…) will get wiped out.

      You can read more about this in my post about why gold is going up in price today.

      I’m glad that I could give you a heads up. Don’t fall for any collector coins when investing in physical gold.

      Thanks again and please contact me if you want some more help. Owning physical gold in today’s environment is a must.


  4. Hi Marcus,

    Thanks a lot for the detailed information. I have been hearing for a long time about gold 401k from older people. I never really understood what it meant and not I finally do.

    I can’t believe that people lost $2 trillion during the 2008 crash. That’s crazy.

    Do you think that we will see something similar soon? And how soon?

    • Hi Elo and thanks for the comment.

      I’m glad that you finally figured out what they were talking about. A gold 401k doesn’t exist but a self-direct gold IRA do. And like we were talking about you can easily rollover your 401k to physical gold.

      Can you imagine that you’ve been working all your life and saving up money to have a nice and relaxing retirement just to wake up one morning and see it all gone?

      This happened to a lot of people. They lost it all. And instead of the government bailing out these people they bailed out the banks that were the ones creating this mess.

      I don’t think it’s a matter of if, but more a matter of when the next stock market crash happens. A lot of experts are finally saying the same thing.

      The current system of debt is not sustainable and to just keep on piling on trillions of dollars to the national debt will soon break the system.

      And when the system does break it’s essential that you own som physical gold to protect yourself. Otherwise there’s a big chance that you will lose all your retirement savings just like a lot of people did 2008.

      It’s just not worth the risk to be gamling on the stock market with your retirement savings today.

      Thanks again and feel free to contact me if you have any other questions,


  5. Hello there,

    Some very good information in this article, thanks for sharing.

    I never knew there was a 401k gold thing, is that only in the US or around the world too?

    I’d love to invest in Gold but its so expensive. So would silver be a good alternative, and really what’s the likelihood of silver rocketing up?

    Also, gold can be a bit risky in terms of storing it; I know there are companies out there which offer to store it securely for you. Are things like that safe?

    • Hi there and thanks for the comment.

      Yes gold IRA is an US thing only. Because you can save for your retirement using a IRA account in the US. Other parts of the world have similar things but I’m not too sure if you are allowed to store physical gold in those.

      Yes gold is expensive right now and it will just be more expensive as the time goes (definition of a great investment).

      But I certainly hear what you are saying. You could maybe open up a free gold savings account. This way you can purchase gold in small amounts (1 gram a month for example) which will make it easier to start acquiring some physical gold.

      Silver will also go up in the same way as gold will. All the precious metals in fact (platinum and palladium as well). Silver is like you say easier to start investing in right now because it’s cheaper. I will come out with an article soon on the difference of gold and silver investing. Make sure to keep an eye out for that.

      Yes gold can be risky to store it. But the good thing with gold is that it’s outside of the financial system so nobody knows that you own it. And it also stores a lot of wealth in a small space so you shouldn’t have any issues in ”hiding” it. Check out how to store you gold coins and bullion for a deeper discussion.

      Thanks again



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