DEAR HARRY: I am 62, and I'm not financially able to retire. I don't have much saved, only about $23,000 in my IRA. I have been hearing a lot about investing in gold. Recently I attended a "seminar" given by a company that promoted gold ownership. One of the speakers predicted a damaging inflation before 2018. That would make gold king. He had a history of accurate investment predictions that looked impressive. That company said that it would invest in gold bullion for me for the IRA. The charge would be $250 for the first year, followed by a $150 annual custodial-and-management fee. Is it OK to roll over my IRA into gold this way? Is gold a good investment today?
WHAT HARRY SAYS: You may roll over your IRA in this way if the promoters are legally recognized custodians. From what you have said, it appears that they are. No tax is due on the rollover. However, a number of bullion-invested mutual funds have track records that are subject to public scrutiny. Some have done very well. Stick with them if you decide to go gold. Any number of gold bugs have been predicting huge rises in the rate of inflation ever since the big bailouts of 2008 and 2009. It has not happened, even after the Fed's quantitative easing. If you still are a gold bull, don't go for 100 percent. Stay diversified. To me, gold has one advantage: If all hell breaks loose, gold will "open doors." I don't believe we're in for major inflation in the near future.