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Last Updated on November 7, 2023
When it comes to investing in precious metals, having a knowledgeable and trustworthy company to guide you is crucial.
Lear Capital has built a strong reputation over the years as one of the leading providers of precious metals investments and self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).
In this review, we will delve into the details of Lear Capital and explore the various aspects of their services, including their self-directed IRA process, precious metals rules and regulations, fees, storage and security options, and more.
This comprehensive review will also provide a balanced perspective by discussing the pros and cons of working with Lear Capital.
Before we dive in, are you looking for the top-rated precious metals IRA company for 2023? We’ve reviewed and rated them and narrowed it down to our top choice – Goldco – learn more and get a free precious metals investing kit below:
What is Lear Capital?
Established in 1997, Lear Capital is a precious metals dealer and IRA custodian that specializes in helping investors diversify their portfolios by investing in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
The company aims to provide a secure and reliable way for investors to protect their wealth, particularly during times of economic uncertainty.
With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Lear Capital has a proven track record, having served more than 200,000 clients and conducted over $3 billion in transactions.
Key Company Highlights
- Industry Experience: With over two decades in the precious metals business, Lear Capital has extensive knowledge and experience in assisting clients with their investment needs.
- Comprehensive Services: Lear Capital offers a wide range of services, including buying and selling precious metals, setting up self-directed IRAs, and providing secure storage solutions.
- Educational Resources: The company is dedicated to educating its clients and the public about the benefits of investing in precious metals. They offer a wealth of information, including market news, analysis, and investment guides on their website.
- Customer Service: Lear Capital has a team of professional account representatives committed to providing personalized service and answering any questions clients may have.
- Competitive Pricing: The company offers competitive pricing on their precious metals products and strives to provide transparency in their fee structure.
How Their Self Directed IRA Works
A self-directed IRA allows investors to hold alternative assets, such as precious metals, in their retirement accounts. Lear Capital offers a simple and straightforward process to set up a precious metals IRA:
- Open an IRA account: Investors first need to establish an IRA account with an approved custodian. Lear Capital has a partnership with Equity Trust Company, a reputable IRA custodian. They will help you set up an account and provide the necessary paperwork.
- Fund the account: Once the IRA account is established, investors can fund it through various methods, such as transferring funds from an existing IRA, rolling over a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plans, or making a direct contribution.
- Select your precious metals: After funding the account, investors can consult with Lear Capital’s account representatives to choose the appropriate precious metals based on their investment goals and risk tolerance.
- Storage and security: Once the metals are purchased, they will be securely stored in an approved depository. Lear Capital offers a variety of storage options, which we will discuss later in this review.
Precious Metals Rules and Regulations
When investing in a precious metals IRA, it is essential to understand the rules and regulations set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Some key guidelines include:
- Approved metals: Only specific types of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars are permitted in an IRA. These must meet the minimum fineness standards set by the IRS.
- Custodianship: All assets in a precious metals IRA must be held by a qualified IRA custodian, who is responsible for managing the account, handling transactions, and ensuring compliance with IRS regulations.
- Storage: Precious metals held in an IRA must be stored in an approved depository, separate from the investor’s personal holdings, to ensure security and prevent any conflicts of interest.
- Distribution: IRA distributions can be taken in the form of physical metals or cash. Withdrawals are subject to taxes, and early withdrawal penalties may apply if taken before the age of 59½.
- Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs): Investors must start taking RMDs from their IRAs by April 1 of the year following the year in which they turn 72. RMDs can be taken in the form of precious metals or cash.
Lear Capital strives to maintain transparency in its fee structure. Some of the fees associated with a precious metals IRA include:
- Account setup fee: This is a one-time fee charged for establishing the IRA account with the custodian. Lear Capital’s setup fee is $500.
- Annual custodian fee: This fee covers the custodian’s ongoing administrative and reporting services. Lear Capital charges a flat fee of $80 per year.
- Storage fee: The storage fee is charged annually to cover the cost of securely storing your precious metals in an approved depository. Lear Capital’s storage fees range from $100 to $150 per year, depending on the chosen storage facility.
- Additional fees: Other fees may apply, such as transfer fees and distribution fees. It’s essential to consult with Lear Capital’s account representatives to understand any additional charges.
Storage and Security Options
Lear Capital offers a range of storage options through their partnerships with reputable depositories:
- Domestic storage: Investors can choose from a selection of approved domestic depositories in the United States, such as Delaware Depository and Brinks Global Services.
- International storage: Lear Capital also provides international storage options, including the Cayman Islands, for investors seeking greater diversification and potential tax advantages.
All depositories used by Lear Capital adhere to strict security protocols, including 24/7 surveillance, advanced access controls, and comprehensive insurance coverage to protect investors’ assets.
How to Get Started
Getting started with Lear Capital is simple and can be done in a few steps:
Contact Lear Capital: Reach out to the company via phone, email, or the online form on their website to discuss your investment goals and get personalized assistance from their account representatives.
- Open an IRA account: If you’re interested in a precious metals IRA, Lear Capital will guide you through the account setup process and provide the necessary paperwork.
- Fund your account: Choose the funding method that best suits your needs, such as a transfer, rollover, or direct contribution.
- Select your precious metals: Lear Capital’s account representatives will help you choose the appropriate metals for your investment strategy and risk tolerance.
- Monitor your investments: Once your precious metals are purchased and stored, you can track your investments through regular account statements and online access provided by the custodian.
Pros and Cons
- Industry experience: With over 20 years in the business, Lear Capital has the knowledge and expertise to assist investors with their precious metals investments.
- Comprehensive services: The company offers a wide range of services, from buying and selling precious metals to setting up self-directed IRAs and providing storage solutions.
- Educational resources: Lear Capital’s commitment to educating clients helps investors make informed decisions about their investments.
- Competitive pricing: The company’s pricing is competitive, and they strive for transparency in their fee structure.
- Account setup fee: Lear Capital’s account setup fee of $500 is higher than some competitors.
- Limited online account management: The company could improve its online account management features to provide a more seamless user experience.
Lear Capital is a reputable precious metals dealer and IRA custodian with a strong track record and a commitment to providing comprehensive services and education to its clients. With over two decades of experience in the industry, they have the knowledge and expertise to assist investors in diversifying their portfolios and protecting their wealth.
Their self-directed IRA process is straightforward, and they offer various storage and security options to suit investors’ needs. While their account setup fee is higher than some competitors, their overall fee structure is transparent and competitive. One area where Lear Capital could improve is their online account management features, which would benefit from enhancements to provide a more seamless user experience.
In conclusion, Lear Capital is a solid choice for investors seeking a trusted partner for precious metals investments and self-directed IRAs. Their industry experience, comprehensive services, and commitment to client education make them a reliable option for investors looking to protect and grow their wealth through precious metals.
FAQs about Lear Capital
- Is Lear Capital reputable?
Lear Capital is a legitimate company with mixed customer experiences. It has a high rating on Trustpilot but faced legal issues between 2019 and 2022.
Regardless of your chosen firm, ensure you understand the implications of investing in gold or precious metals through an SDIRA and consult a financial advisor about potential tax or legal implications.
- How does Lear Capital make money?
Lear Capital generates revenue by selling precious metals and possibly by facilitating SDIRAs and acting as intermediaries for buying and storing platinum, silver, or gold bullion and coins.
- Is Lear Capital going out of business?
No, Lear Capital is not going out of business. It is permitted to continue operations while restructuring its debt.