Factors to Consider When Selecting a Self Directed IRA Custodian

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Self Directed IRA Custodian

Here is a convenient list of questions and issues to consider when selecting a custodian for a self directed IRA.

  1. Understand the alternative investment you wish to pursue and the documents you need to have assets recorded/titled and payments processed.
  2. Find a list of custodians, narrow this list down and confirm that the short list of custodians you seek to use can properly administer the investment you are considering, and also understand which types of investments the custodian may not administer.
  3. Learn account set up fees, processing fees, asset based fee and all other costs associated with having an account.
  4. Note how long the custodian has been in business, number of employees, number of accounts serviced and the total assets under administration.
  5. Research the custodians’ track record, especially with the Better Business Bureau.
  6. Confirm that the firm you are considering is authorized and properly licensed to act as a custodian for an IRA.
  7. Find out which bank that uninvested cash will reside at and if that cash is FDIC insured
  8. Are there any alternative investment types you don’t allow (outside those specifically prohibited by the IRS)?
  9. Ask for names and contact information of a few current clients, understand what kind of investments they pursue and if they are happy with the custodian’s level of service and fees.
  10. Understand how fast custodian can process a check, authorize a new investment, and process other standard requests.
  11. What is your typical turn around time for investment authorization requests, check requests, etc.
  12. Are there any other benefits like webinars, online communities, white papers, presentations that the custodian offers its clients.
  13. Do a basic google search of the custodian’s senior management team for any results related to the executive management’s or firm’s character.

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