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Self-Directed IRAs Made Easy - Your Path to Financial Freedom

Take control of your financial future, diversify your investments beyond the traditional and reap tax advantages to generate amazing wealth with a self-directed IRA.

Discover More about a Little-Known, but Powerful Tool to Create Financial Freedom

Investing in Alternatives to the Market with Tax-Advantaged Accounts Could Dramatically Increase Your Wealth – Find Out How…

Welcome to an exclusive club. You are about to learn about a powerful financial tool that only 2% of Americans are currently using. Here’s what you’ll discover:
  • The little-known tool really isn’t a “new” way to invest (hundreds of thousands have been using it for more than 35 years);
  • The importance of diversifying your portfolio;
  • How tax-advantaged investing can supercharge wealth creation;
  • Getting started is simpler than you think.

But First, Why Are Many People Increasingly Frustrated with Their Ability to Grow Wealth?

The reality of today’s investing environment is this: the stock market is volatile and just leaving money in a savings account and it's anemic returns could allow inflation to cripple your nest egg.
You don’t have to be trapped by conventional investing.  Everyday hundreds of thousands of investors take a different approach by investing outside the market in real estate, private businesses, promissory notes, precious metals and many other unconventional investments. 
Look no further than The Yale Endowment as an example of how a diversified portfolio can often produce better returns.

In the mid-1980s, Yale’s endowment adjusted its approach from a mix of only stocks and bonds to one that included investments in real estate, private equity, hedge funds, forests and farmlands – earning 15.6% annual returns and not one down year since 1987 ( – 10/13/13).
It is not just large endowments that have diversified their portfolios. Many of the world’s richest people became wealthy outside the market by investing in real estate, private businesses, and lending money. Check out the breakdown of how some of the world’s billionaires got rich.
Number of Forbes Billionaires Worldwide by Investment Type
  • Investments in their businesses- 148
  • Real Estate – 129
  • Finance - 78
( - published 3/7/13)

Your Financial Future Doesn’t Have to Rely on the Success or Failure of Others or Government Programs

For many, a comfortable financial future is in doubt, not only because of the volatility of the market, but also because of the instability of Social Security, pensions, and other government programs. People can be stuck relying on financial planners or advisors (who may or may not have their best interest in mind) who automatically invest in the market with mixed results for retirement planning.

But some people have decided a different approach is necessary. For more than 35 years, hundreds of thousands of investors have been taking control of their financial future, diversifying beyond the traditional using a little-known, but powerful financial tool – the self-directed IRA.
Since the creation of the IRA in 1974, investing in alternatives to the stock market has been allowed by the IRS (it is spelled out in IRS Publication 590).  For many, investing in real estate, tax liens, promissory notes, lending money, etc. with their IRA has produced remarkable results.
I invested $5,500 from a Roth IRA in two real estate options that I sold one year later to other investors for a total of $55,000.Tom W., New Jersey

We completed a real estate transaction in our IRA purchasing a property for $100,000 and then sold it for $128,865 in just 10 months, earning over 30% per annum basis.Don and Barbara C., Ohio


Self-Directed IRA Benefits Revealed…

An IRA is a government-sponsored retirement plan that allows investments to grow in a tax-advantaged environment. With tax advantages, investments in the IRA can compound over time and potentially be more profitable than the same investment outside the IRA. Combine the ability to compound investment profits tax-free or tax-deferred in an IRA with the advantages of a diversified portfolio and you have an extremely powerful financial tool.

3 Ways Self-Directed IRAs Can Help Investors Create Financial Freedom
  1. True Investing Diversity Could Result in Higher Returns: With a self-directed IRA you can realize true asset diversity and potentially higher returns, investing beyond the market into assets such as real property, tax liens, mortgage notes, precious metals, foreign currency, plus much more. As mentioned earlier, the Yale Endowment Fund and many of the world's richest billionaires succeeded because of a diverse portfolio including investments outside the market.
  2. Tax Advantages = Lasting Wealth: Investing in a tax-advantaged account (tax-deferred/tax-free profits, plus the possibility of large tax deductions) can have a tremendous effect on future wealth – see chart below. Let's see this powerful concept in action:
    Your IRA purchases a property that you rehab and sell earning a $20,000 profit. In a Traditional IRA, taxes on your profit are deferred and can be used for future investments. In a Roth IRA, profits from your investments can be distributed to you tax-free. Outside an IRA, your profits are subject to tax and as a result, may lower your profit from $20,000 to $15,000. By using an IRA for your investment, you are able to use your tax-free earnings to create more tax-free earning – a powerful tool to grow wealth.
  3. Create Over 100 years of Tax-Free Growth for Future Generations: Self-directed IRAs allow the passing of assets to beneficiaries after death with little or no tax, allowing you to stretch wealth over generations. Imagine being able to pass all your hard work and effort you have put into increasing your nest egg to your beneficiaries intact.

Note about chart: This example assumes contributions of $4,000 a year, for 30 years, assuming 8% compound interest in a tax-advantaged account vs. an account that is taxed at a 31% rate.

Why Have Self-Directed IRAs Become So Popular...But Large Banks and Brokerage Firms Still Don't Offer Them?

It might seem like self-directed IRAs are a recent phenomenon, but they have been around since the IRA was created in 1974.  Investing in alternatives to stocks, bonds, and mutual funds has always been allowed by the IRS (it is spelled out in IRS Publication 590).

Self-directed IRAs haven’t received large attention until recently because most custodians who offer IRAs (banks and brokerage firms) don’t offer true self-directing at their firms. Large banks and brokerage firms typically allow primarily stock-related investments because of the easy of management and ability to charge fees. Frankly, it's just not as profitable for them to allow investments outside of stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and CDs. They make money on commissions from trades, selling investors certain investment funds (that they also get referral fees for) and for assets under management without having to administer more complex transactions and custody of non-traditional investments.

But Equity Trust has been a custodian of alternative investments, such as real estate, since 1983. We are a leader in the industry because we are able to administer and custody alternative assets and facilitate transactions, using a straightforward, simple fee schedule. As more and more investors decide to take control of their financial future and reap the benefits of self-directed IRAs, they turn to Equity Trust.

Endless Investment Options

Take Control of Your Future and Diversify Beyond the Volatility of the Market

Can you really invest your IRA in real estate and other alternative investments? Absolutely.
IRS Publication 590 states which investments are prohibited in IRAs including life insurance policies, artwork, stamps, rugs, antiques, gems, and other collectibles. A full range of investments including, but not limited to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, promissory notes, tax liens, etc. are acceptable as long as IRS rules governing retirement plans are followed.

Some of the Most Popular Investments Using Self-Directed IRAs Include:

Real Estate:  Purchasing residential, commercial, or undeveloped property has historically been a stable investment for many investors. Self-directed IRA owners use many different strategies (rehab and resell, rentals, purchase option contracts) with many types of real estate (single-family homes, duplexes, mobile homes, and raw land) to achieve profits. In addition, self-directed IRAs can also invest in real estate-related investments such as tax liens and mortgages.
Self-Directed IRAs in Action: Gail D., from Michigan is a retired grandmother, who turned to real estate to grow her IRA. Her IRA purchased a fixer-upper near Detroit for $17,000 and invested $15,000 to improve the property. A few months later she was able to sell the property for $70,000 – more than doubling the value of her self-directed IRA.
Private Lending: Often overlooked by investors is the ability to use their self-directed IRA to lend money. An IRA can lend money to investors for their projects or businesses, backed by collateral, with agreed terms for loan origination fees and interest.
Self-Directed IRAs in Action: Dan O., from Arizona left his job in corporate finance to become a private lender using his self-directed IRA. Real estate investors in his area, who often can’t get traditional bank financing, will come to Dan for money. His self-directed IRA will loans money to the investors, using the property as collateral for the loan. Depending on the terms, Dan’s IRA can earn 14 - 18% for the length of the loan.
Investing in Private Businesses: Self-directed IRAs can invest in businesses through private stock offerings or private placements. Any profits generated by the business come back to the IRA. 
Self-Directed IRAs in Action: Richard A. from New Jersey had invested in real estate with his IRA and loaned money from his IRA to other real estate investors. Both endeavors had been profitable, but he was surprised that he could also invest in businesses. A unique opportunity Richard found through networking allowed him to invest his IRA in a FedEx Ground delivery route. The owner of an existing route wanted to expand and Richard’s IRA was able to invest in a new route. Richard’s IRA profits from the success of the business.

Here is Just a Partial List of Possible Self-Directed IRA Investments:

  • Residential Real Estate (single-family,
    multi-family, condos, mobile homes)
  • Raw or Undeveloped Land
  • Promissory Notes
  • Tax Liens
  • Oil & Gas
  • Private Offerings/Placements
  • Gold & Silver
  • Equipment Leasing
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Real Estate Notes (mortgages and deeds)
  • Private Partnerships, LLCs
  • Foreign Currencies
  • Publicly Traded Stocks
  • Judgment/Structured Settlements
  • Factoring

Plenty of Opportunities for Both Active and Passive Investors…

Self-directed IRAs allow flexibility for both investors who are more active – those purchasing properties and rehabbing them or originating loans – and for investors who want to be passive.
By investing with a self-directed IRA in third-party services that manage the investment details, investors can remain passive. For example, investors could use a self-directed IRA to invest in a service that would purchase and manage rental properties on their IRA’s behalf. Similarly, there are a number of services that purchase tax lien investments on behalf of self-directed IRAs. In both cases, the self-directed IRA could benefit from diverse investments without having to do much of the work.

…And Many Investments Are Much Less Than You Think

A popular misconception is that you need lots of money to invest with a self-directed IRA. There are plenty of small-dollar investment opportunities that require only a minimal amount to begin. Real estate purchase option contracts and tax liens are examples of small-dollar investments that are popular for self-directed IRAs, as well as mobile home properties and raw land.
For example, an investor can purchase a contract to purchase a property at a certain price within a specific timeframe such as $100,000 within six months. The investor's self-directed IRA pays a $500 non-refundable fee for the contract. During the six months, the investor finds another buyer for the property at $120,000. Exercising the contract, the IRA is able to purchase the property for $100,000 and simultaneously sell it for $120,000. The self-directed IRA has now earned $19,500 from an investment of only $500. 

Unsure of Investing in Alternatives to the Market? We Can Help…

Often, lack of knowledge or experience with alternative investments is a roadblock to using self-directed IRAs. Don’t let this happen to you.
With more than 35 years of alternative investing experience, educating investors and providing extraordinary service is a cornerstone of Equity Trust’s mission. We are focused on making everyone feel comfortable through the self-directed IRA investing process no matter their experience level.
Every client has exclusive access to:
  • Compelling education offerings that reveal strategies for every level of investor
  • Training webinars to keep you informed on the latest industry trends that could make you a more profitable investor
  • Dedicated client service representatives to walk you through each transaction
Plus, our industry-first online account management and educational tool – – is available to help investors become more educated, and possibly, more profitable.

With myEQUITY, you can:
  • Manage your account on any device
  • Initiate investments and pay bills related to your account
  • Access education created for all levels of investors on various strategies from industry experts who have completed hundreds – even thousands – of successful deals
For in-person education, Equity Trust travels the country each year offering one-day educational events about self-directed IRAs and various investment opportunities.

How Does It Work?

Equity Trust Makes Self-Directed Investing Easy

Investing with a self-directed IRA isn’t much different than investing outside of an IRA. Most investors have transactions that are not complicated and are straightforward. Watch this quick video on how the process is made easy at Equity Trust. 

Self-Directed IRA Rules You Need to Know

Even though self-directed IRA investing is similar to investing outside an IRA, there are some rules you must follow. These rules are generally grouped in three categories (and outlined in IRS Publication 590): prohibited transactions, disqualified individuals and self-dealing.
  1. Prohibited Transactions
    Self-directed IRAs allow you to invest in a full spectrum of assets outside the market, but there are a few IRA investments the IRS prohibits, such as:
    • Art Work
    • Metals
    • Coins
    • Rugs
    • Gems
    • Certain Collectibles
    • Antiques
    • Stamps
    • Life Insurance
  2. Disqualified Individuals
    Your Equity Trust account cannot sell an investment to, or otherwise be involved with, disqualified persons.
  3. Self-Dealing
    Note that you, as owner of the self-directed IRA, are a disqualified individual. In the eyes of the IRS, you and your IRA are not one and the same. Although the IRA is established to benefit you and your beneficiaries, it is truly a separate "trust." An IRA CANNOT buy or sell investments from the IRA Owner.

    Common Examples of Self-Dealing You Should Avoid
    • Having your IRA purchase real estate that you own presently
    • Having your IRA purchase real estate that is owned by a family member of lineal descent, such as your father
    • Issuing a mortgage on a relative’s new residence purchased by a family member who is a disqualified person as listed above
    • Granting a child a second mortgage for the down payment on his or her first home
    • Buying stock from the IRA owner (any transaction involving IRA funds and a “disqualified person” is prohibited)

Investment Liaisons Keep You on Track with Each Investment

Even though self-directed IRA investing is similar to investing outside an IRA, confusion about rules, mistakes and errors can happen, often with new investors.
No problem – Equity Trust assigns client service representatives assist with transactions during an investment. The representative is there to answer any questions and help overcome any obstacles, and will even walk you through a specific transaction to make processing as efficient as possible.

Equity Trust's extensive experience benefits you - the company completes 231 real estate transactions and processes 250 promissory notes each week (12,000/13,000 per year). The representatives have seen almost every situation and have experience helping complete investments under almost any circumstance.

Discover How Others Have Profited from Self-Directed IRAs

Investors Just Like You Create Self-Directed IRA Success Every Day – See How They Do It

You might achieve success like those clients…but you have to take action. They each took the first step and opened a self-directed IRA. Join these investors, who have already made the choice to diversify outside the market and take control of their financial future.

IMPORTANT: Don't Make This Critical Mistake!

As active investors know, opportunities are often time-sensitive. Many Equity Trust clients' biggest regret is not opening an Equity Trust account earlier because they've missed out on a last-minute (and often lucrative) opportunity.

Don't let this be you! All of the tax deductions, tax-deferred/tax-free profits, and ability to take direct control of your investments with self-directed IRAs won't happen unless you take the first step of opening an account.

Discover the Equity Trust Difference and Begin Creating Wealth Today

Learn How Easy it is to Get Started and Open an Account in as Little as 15 Minutes

Equity Trust has been a self-directed IRA leader for 35 years. Our experience in account custody and approximately $25 billion in assets, a commitment to operational efficiency, our highly-trained professionals, the valuable investing education offerings, and the most robust online systems in the industry, makes us the only choice for self-directed IRAs.
Even with Equity Trust's track record of excellence and knowing that you are working with the industry leader, opening a self-directed IRA can be intimidating to new investors. Don’t worry - Equity Trust helps tens of thousands of investors get started on the path to financial freedom each year.

Here are Common Questions We Receive Daily and the Answers that Can Help You Get Started Today:

How do I get money to the account?
Opening and contributing to a self-directed IRA is easy – working with an Equity Trust specialist it can take as little as 15 minutes. You can also transfer or roll-over existing IRAs or 401(k) assets in-kind (you don't have to liquidate them) to a Self-Directed IRA to help fund your investments. Equity Trust Senior Account Executives will walk you through each step.

I don’t have an investment ready right now. Shouldn’t I wait?
No. Remember, many of Equity Trust clients' biggest regrets are not opening a self-directed IRA earlier because they’ve missed out on a time-sensitive (and often lucrative) investment.
Great alternative investment opportunities can pop up at any time. Investors can end up very disappointed that they dragged their feet opening an account, missing out on a great investment (and the potential tax-free profits of using the self-directed IRA) because a deal came together at the last minute. Don’t let this be you!
Plus, Equity Trust is the only self-directed IRA custodian that has its own brokerage service. You can keep your money in traditional stocks and mutual funds while you wait for your next investment.

Do I need a lot of money to get started?
One of the biggest misconceptions about self-directed IRAs is that you need a large amount of money to start. Not true. There are numerous strategies that investors use, including partnering their IRA with other accounts or participating in a percentage of a total investment. Plus, there are plenty of investments that could require as little as a few hundred dollars to start, including tax liens, real estate option contracts, and promissory notes, among others.
What are the fees?
Equity Trust believes in a simple, easy-to-understand fee schedule that doesn’t nickel and dime the investor for every transaction. We have a fixed, annual fee based on the account balance.
Other self-directed IRA custodians can have complicated fee structures with basis points, fees for every transaction in the account, and quarterly fees for administration of each asset. And some promoters of self-directed IRAs will actually charge thousands of dollars just to set-up LLCs for self-directed investing that offer little back-end account support and in many cases, the elaborate structures aren’t needed.
A self-directed IRA’s annual fee will often look high in comparison with an annual IRA fee at a traditional investment firm or bank. It is important to note two things: (1) the administrative work for processing and custody of an alternative investment is much larger than for stocks and mutual funds, and (2) almost all mutual funds, the most popular investment in IRAs, have management fees automatically taken out. The actual costs of investing in stocks and mutual funds in an IRA are quite comparable to self-directed IRA fees.

A Trusted Custodian Focused on Providing Extraordinary Service to Help Your Financial Dreams Come True

To take advantage of the powerful benefits of self-directed IRAs, you must open an account with a custodian. In IRS Publication 590 it states that an IRA must be established with a custodian or trustee and “the trustee or custodian must be a bank, a federally insured credit union, a savings and loan association, or an entity approved by the IRS to act as trustee or custodian.”
Equity Trust is a custodian that meets the high-standards set forth by the Internal Revenue Code and is regulated and audited by South Dakota. As a trusted custodian, Equity Trust has provided invaluable services for self-directed IRA investors looking to achieve financial freedom for close to 40 years.
Here is why Equity Trust is the only choice when selecting a self-directed IRA custodian:
  • Since 1983, Equity Trust has been an experienced provider of self-directed IRAs with approximately $25 billion in assets for custodial services
  • More than 400 employees, who complete 12,000 real estate and 13,000 promissory note transactions a year, focused on serving you with extraordinary customer service
  • Quick and accurate investment processing with systems assuring your investments aren't delayed that are matched with client service representatives, to help clients overcome investment obstacles
  • The industry’s first and most robust online account management tool, myEQUITY, to quickly check account balances and initiate investments
  • Plus, ongoing education from self-directed IRA and investing educators on creating tax-free or tax-deferred wealth
FREE Self-Directed IRA Success Kit

Take Control of Your Financial Future

Discover what only 2% of Americans know about creating wealth. Self-directed IRAs and other retirement plans allow you to create wealth by investing in areas where you have knowledge, expertise, and comfort.
Our FREE Self-Directed IRA Success Kit Reveals:
  • The #1 Wealth Creating Tip (Used by Warren Buffett)
  • How to Earn Tax-Advantaged Profits Investing in Alternatives to the Market
  • How Easy it is to Get Started on the Path to Financial Freedom

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Ready to Take Control of Your Financial Future

Are you doing everything you can to maximize your retirement accounts and wealth building opportunities? Could you receive greater tax deductions by using certain retirement plans? Are you familiar with all your IRA/401(k) investment options? 

Schedule your personal no-cost, no-obligation consultation with an Equity Trust Senior Account Executive to find answers these questions. Our specialists will provide an objective assessment of where you are now - and options for getting to where you want to be next! 

Your consultation will include:
  • A discussion of your goals and investment preferences
  • Education for you and your financial advisors about your options

Contact Us Today at 855-233-4382 for a Free, No-Obligation, Consultation