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Investor Insights Blog|3 Ways a Self-Directed IRA Can Help You Diversify Your Portfolio

Self-Directed IRA Concepts

3 Ways a Self-Directed IRA Can Help You Diversify Your Portfolio

Before we share three reasons why investors seeking a diversified portfolio should consider a self-directed IRA, let’s quickly define the term “self-directed.” 

self-directed IRA (or other retirement account) is technically no different than an IRA or retirement account you may already have or be familiar with. 

But with one crucial difference. 

The company that holds your IRA determines whether or not they will support alternative asset investments. Directed custodians such as Equity Trust specialize in the custody of alternative assets and enable you to invest in a wide array of assets beyond stocks and bonds. 

Now that we have the basics covered, here are three ways a self-directed IRA could potentially help you diversify your portfolio. 

1. Hedge against the market with alternative assets. 

Many investors are initially drawn to investing in alternative assets with a self-directed IRA because they aren’t happy with the returns in their portfolio, are looking to invest beyond the market, or are worried about market volatility and want to add more diversification to their portfolio. 

My long-time financial advisor had stressed the value of diversification and rebalancing of assets, and I decided to take action. I wanted to stabilize my retirement portfolio.

Alan, Texas

Alternative assets typically don’t correlate to the stock market and can help add diversification to your portfolio. As a recent InvestmentNews article shared:

“Across wealth management, the trend is definitely toward diversification away from the traditional, long-only stock and bond exposure. ‘We utilize custom market-linked notes, private real estate investments and other nontraditional investments in order to smooth out the overall returns of our portfolios,’ (Wealth Manager Thomas) Balcom said. ‘Failure to incorporate alternative investments would be a great disservice to your clients.’”

2. Customize and diversify your portfolio with more investment freedom and flexibility. 

With your Equity Trust account, you have the opportunity to invest in alternative assets such as real estate, promissory notes, private equity, precious metals, cryptocurrency, and more. Additionally, you can invest in traditional assets such as stocks and mutual funds – all through a single custodian. 

It’s either one or the other at many companies – only alternative or only traditional assets. But with a self-directed account at Equity Trust, you hand-select the investments in your portfolio with the freedom to diversify in whatever way makes sense for you. 

“To my surprise, I discovered there were many non-traditional assets such as real estate, tax liens, and promissory notes that our retirement dollars could invest in using a self-directed IRA.”  – Susan, New York

“When I first heard about Equity Trust Company a couple of decades ago, I didn’t believe any of this was possible. I wondered why I’d never heard about it.” – Joel, New York

3. Take control and invest in what you know best.

If you have experience or an interest in real estate, invest in real estate. If you’re passionate about cryptocurrency or renewable energy, you can do that too. 

If you know of an exciting new start-up company, have specialized knowledge from your background or experience, or find a private equity fund you like, it’s possible to invest with your retirement savings. Regardless of the opportunities you findchances are, you can do it with a self-directed IRA at Equity Trust. 

” I think people are better off investing in what they know, but even then, due diligence is critical. “  – Don, Tennessee 

“When I tell people that I invest in real estate through my IRA, they usually look perplexed,” Kay says. “I can tell that most do not know what I am talking about. However, my successes spike their interest.”

“I have not had to deal with the emotional ups and downs that I would experience when my retirement savings were invested in mutual funds and stocks.” – Kay, California

As you’ll learn in your research, the IRS only provides a list of assets you can’t invest in. Beyond that, there is a myriad of options available to self-directed IRA investors. 

Equity Trust clients have invested in llamas, toy factories, farm machinerycar dealership financing, Broadway productions, X-ray machines, new-age electric cars, and many other unique investments beyond real estate and other more common alternative assets. 

Watch: Client Greg discusses diversifying with real estate and private lending in a self-directed IRA.


Should I wait to open an account if I don’t have an investment ready right now?

There are several reasons to open your self-directed account at Equity Trust Company, even before you have selected an alternative investment.

  1. If you are transferring cash/assets to your account from another custodian, you should allow time for the resigning custodian to process your request and deliver the account holdings to Equity Trust.
  2. You have the ability to invest in traditional assets while you are researching other opportunities.
  3. Once you have selected an alternative investment, you will not have other actions in process that may delay the funding processing.

How do I set up a self-directed retirement account?

To set up a self-directed retirement account with Equity Trust visit myEQUITY and start the process today. You can also visit How to Get Started for more information. Or simply schedule a free, one-on-one consultation with an Equity Trust Senior Account Executive.


Do I have to liquidate investments in order to transfer assets to my self-directed IRA at Equity Trust?

Although transfer of cash is a much faster process, clients may choose to transfer assets in kind. This allows clients to maintain their current investment positions, the only difference being the registration of the asset. However, the ability to transfer assets in-kind from a tax-qualified plan will be subject to the provisions of the arrangement; therefore, you should consult with your plan administrator regarding the permissible options allowed under the tax-qualified plan.

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