5 Most-Asked Questions about Self-Directed IRAs, with Answers and More

By Heather Taylor0 Comments

IRAs are growing in popularity as investors realize the tax-saving potential and the freedom to invest in alternatives that the accounts provide, but alternative investing in an IRA has a different set of rules than traditional IRA investing. Here are the questions we hear the most about self-directed IRA investing, as well as a wealth of resources to provide answers. At the end of this post you'll find the most recently released tools and resources, such as the Tax-Free or Tax-Deferred Savings Discovery Exercise.

1. I have some ideas, but am I able to invest in what I’m thinking? What rules do I need to know?
To determine who and what you can and cannot invest in, reference the Internal Revenue Code Publication 590. It details the list of prohibited transactions and disqualified persons, which are the guiding factors for self-directed investing.

It is important to consult with a tax advisor, financial planner, or other qualified professional before making any financial decisions and to perform your own due diligence.

This seven-page report provides more detail on the topic.

2. How does it work? How do I manage my account? What is the investing process like?
Many investors think self-directed IRA investing will be a difficult process to master. That isn't necessarily the case.

In this 20-minute video we walk through the 3 steps to process a transaction, including the titling and finer details that are often overlooked. 

In addition, here’s an infographic that details a self-directed IRA investment.

3. So what’s the catch? Why hasn’t my advisor heard of this? The fees must be expensive.
As a savvy investor, it is great that you are conducting your due diligence and making sure you make a sound financial decision. Doing your homework when selecting a custodian, like Equity Trust, is of an important aspect of your research.

What's the catch? The fees must be expensive (See the Fee Schedule here). Many clients have asked this question prior to opening an account because it can seem too good to be true. 

Plus, the cost of your mutual funds may be much higher than you think.

If you're looking to invest in alternatives to stocks and mutual funds, you'll need a self-directed IRA. Only certain types of institutions are regulated to hold this type of account. A self-directed IRA custodian is one such institution. Use this seven-point checklist when comparing self-directed IRA custodians.

4. Why should I choose Equity Trust as my self-directed IRA custodian?
Why are thousands of Americans choosing Equity Trust?
 5. What are the next steps?
As you get closer to opening a new account with Equity Trust Company, determining how you wish to fund the account becomes important. Do you plan to open and fund a new account? Do you plan to rollover or transfer an existing IRA, 401(k), or other qualified plan? Do you plan to do a total or a partial rollover?

To help shed more light on these questions, we’ve compiled some additional resources.
Limited Time Special Downloads - Tools for the New Year 


Discover your potential tax-free or tax-deferred savings with our brand-new Discovery Exercise. You can also download a free Self-Assessment and Blueprint for Success worksheet and a 35-minute Discovering Alternative Investing Options webinar that could help set the stage to make 2016 the best year yet.