If you’ve heard about precious metals IRAs, you might be asking yourself what the benefits are of investing in precious metals. The truth is that there are several benefits to investing in metals like gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Here are a few things that you need to know about investing in precious metals. Precious Metals Increase In Value When Markets Are Up Just like other investments, precious metals will increase in value as economic markets improve. Investors invest in metals like gold, silver and others as a way to diversify their portfolios and know that precious metals provide the kind of diversity that few other investments can offer. Precious Metals Increase in Value When Markets Are Down While it isn’t that hard to imagine that precious metals will increase in value when markets are on the rise, what might be surprising to you is that precious metals really begin to shine as an investment option when markets are down. Precious metals, unlike any other investment option, increase in value when economic markets soften because investors flee riskier investment vehicles and invest in the safety that precious metals offer. Having gold, silver and other metals in your retirement savings account provides you with the insurance against loss that everyday investors need to ensure that their retirement savings are there when they need them. Precious Metals Accounts Are Easy to Start Starting a precious metals account and protecting your existing savings is easy. All you have to do is complete the paperwork offered by the custodian of the precious metals IRA. They will then proceed to open the account and process a rollover that allows you to move your existing retirement savings into your precious metals IRA without having to pay taxes or an early withdrawal penalty. Then you can start making investments in various metals products. Your custodian can help you decide which products are right for your investment needs. Precious Metals IRAs offer you Tax Benefits Over Other Investment Options When you invest in a precious metals IRA, you make contributions on an after tax basis. This means that you pay income taxes on the money that you contribute using today’s tax rates. Your contributions are allowed to grow on a tax-free basis until you begin to take distributions, which are then conveyed to you on a tax-free basis. Your earnings will be taxed as income rather than investment gains, which is a much lower rate. Precious Metals IRAs Offer Withdrawal Benefits Just like with a Roth IRA, the contributions that you make into your precious metals IRA can be withdrawn at any time without the worry of taxation or penalty. Your earnings, on the other hand, must remain in your account until you are eligible to begin taking distributions, age 59 ½. There are certain conditions where you may be able to make withdrawals of your earnings early without penalty. These include a one time withdrawal of up to $10,000 for a first time home purchase or to pay for higher education expenses for yourself or your family member.