Real vs. paper assets. With precious metals IRAs, you actually own the metals kept by your custodian. With an ETF, you are not able to take physical possession of the metals, which are considered a paper security, unless you own more than $100,000 worth of the funds' shares. The money you have invested in an ETF can be lost if that ETF were to be valued at zero and your investment would be gone. Through the Provident Metals IRA program, you are able to physically take possession of your precious metals and you own something that has never been worth zero.
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