Don’t scoff a the self-directed either, they hold benefits. Making your own investment decisions and expanding investment options, including precious metals is very empowering.
Traditional 401(k) plans offer several investment choices, but they are limited asset classes. Although you may be able to invest in precious metals funds, gold and silver mining stocks, and other similar paper products, standard 401(k) plans do not include an option to invest in physical gold or silver.
Self-directed IRAs are the way to go if at all possible. Just like anything, owning something allows you to fully direct your intentions. Under self-directed plan, you can invest in physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars.