Self Directed IRAs

Self Directed IRAs

When it comes to Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) “self directed” has two common uses. For a traditional IRA that invests in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs, the account holder typically decides which asset classes (eg, stock, mutual fund or bond) to invest and amongst those assets, which security to invest in (the S&P 500 ETF, Google, Apple, Exxon Mobil, etc.). In that broad sense, most all IRAs are ‘self directed’ by the account holder. The investor decides where and what to invest in.

The self directed IRA that will talk about are IRAs that hold alternative investments, like real estate, private notes, tax liens and commodities. To do this, IRA account holders must arrange for a special account. The purpose of this site is to discuss self directed IRAs that hold these kinds of alternative investments.

Self-directed IRAs give individuals many more investment options. Beyond stocks, ETFs, bonds and mutual funds one can invest in precious metals, residential or commercial real estate, promissory notes, tax liens and even private businesses, precious metals while enjoying the significant tax benefits IRAs offer.

Not for Everyone

If you have the knowledge, expertise and successful track record with investments outside the stock and bond markets, or want to diversify your retirement portfolio risk, the additional benefits and returns generated from  a self directed IRA could very well justify the effort and additional costs.

Selected self-directed IRA investment examples:

  • Single and multi-family homes (for “flipping”)
  • Commercial properties
  • Vacant land
  • Rental properties
  • Private mortgages
  • Vacation home/condo rentals
  • Precious metals
  • Private notes
  • Tax liens/deeds
  • Stock in a business (LLCs, LPs, C Corps)
  • Foreign exchange/currency


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