Buy (and store) gold and silver in a Solo 401k

Thinking about market crashes or currency collapse? Maybe just the historical price of precious metals to equities? Nothing replaces physical coins in your hand.

First: Solo 401k rules and IRA rules are different.

Most dealers and custodians talk about IRAs, or 'IRAs & Solo 401ks' using one common list of what's ok. They shouldn't.

Having read and cross-indexed a stack of Internal Revenue Code what a Solo 401k can physically buy and where it can store it is much broader than an IRA and summarizes much like this:

What you can buy

  • American Eagles (gold and silver), COMEX grade bullion = Utterly safe.
  • Pre-1965 US silver coins (Junk Silver) = Very safe.
  • Maples, Krugerrands, and other quality bullion = Safe.*

*Practically speaking they shouldn’t be an issue in an audit; but if it was you'd win... but having to go to court to prove it would be time and money wasted. Buy, and be invoiced, accordingly.

Where you can store it

  • Anywhere in the world.
  • No bank or depository required.
  • In a burlap bag in your gun safe? Buried on an desert island? Stored on your boat? In a secure storage unit in Sweden? In a safe deposit box? You bet.

Yes, that’s dramatically different than an IRA. (Especially useful if you want to store overseas in places where Eagles could be subject to import duties like New Zealand or Singapore.)

What you can’t do

  • No collectible coins, graded coins, low purity coins/bars.
  • Don’t put it on display (you’re not allowed ‘current benefit’ from retirement account assets).

Flat out; using a Solo 401k instead of an IRA gives you options, both domestic and abroad, that make it better for investors by allowing a broader range of (more useful) metal and saving you on storage fees.

Once people find out what they can do we get two questions:

What kind of metal do you buy?
How much metal is enough?

What kind of metal do you buy?

I buy physical silver in the form of pre-1965 US coins (quarters, dimes, etc). Made of 90% silver, you’ll be able to easily buy groceries or fuel with a handful of coins from your Solo 401k even if it was $100/oz. It’ll be impossible to buy daily basics with the 1oz gold Eagles (commonly sold to IRAs) if gold is $5,000/oz.

In my view, this gives the silver coins the most bang-for-the-buck should you face a distress situation. They’re a readily known amount of silver per coin and way too complex to bother faking for the per ounce value (unlike gold coins which are readily faked at the current prices given how easily dirt-cheap tungsten can be plated with gold and how similar their specific gravities are).

How much metal is enough?

For most of human history, and across much of the under-developed world now, 1/10 of an ounce of silver was (and is) close to a day's wages.

So a scant $20,000-ish in dollars will buy approximately 1,000 ounces of pre-1965 90% silver coins. That’s enough to live out a decade or better comfortably in many places around the globe.

Want to be sure? Buy more. I just like to point out the historical values and its buying power relative to global income to show US clients we might not need as much as we thought.

Have an IRA (or can’t do this with your Solo 401k)? Get help.

888-509-1551 or fire up a chat... We’ll walk you through the simple process of getting switched over as easily as you can say 'tangible assets' 'tax-free gains' or maybe 'chest-buried-under-the-cabin'. Thanks for reading. Talk soon.