retirement

6 surprising IRA investment options

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Heads-up on coins
Heads up on coins | Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

Heads-up on coins

You can buy coins with your IRA, including:

  • S. gold coins in 1-ounce, half-ounce, quarter-ounce and one-tenth-ounce denominations.
  • 1-ounce silver coins minted by the U.S. Treasury Department.
  • Certain platinum coins.

Gold and silver coins have been measurements of value for thousands of years. They tend to be stable or go up when stock markets crash or inflation soars.

But that doesn't necessarily mean they're good for every IRA. For one thing, they don't pay interest or dividends, so you won't be compounding returns between purchase and withdrawal. And many mainstream IRA custodians, like banks and mutual funds, don't offer this investment option.

IRS regulations require that coin storage be overseen by a custodian, but custodians don't have to offer the service.

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