retirement

6 surprising IRA investment options

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That's so precious
That's so precious | Jasmin Awad / EyeEm/GettyImages

That's so precious

Besides coins, the IRS since 1997 has allowed investors to use IRA funds to buy precious metals bullion, such as silver or gold bars. Like coins, your bullion must be stored for you, for a fee. Your custodian is expected to arrange that.

The following metals can be purchased with an IRA, subject to standards of purity:

  • Gold.
  • Silver.
  • Palladium.
  • Platinum.

Again, Green says she's not a fan, at least not for IRAs. For one thing, once you reach age 70 1/2, you'll be required to start taking required minimum distributions from a traditional IRA. The distribution is a percentage of your IRA's value. If you're holding bullion, "you'll have to get it valued every year" to compute your minimum distribution, Green says.

Bullion has another fundamental problem, in her opinion: "It doesn't perform over time. It's all peaks and valleys."

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