Common Self-Directed Investments

Real Estate

Real estate is a common alternative investment that can be purchased for many purposes including long term rental, rehabbing, or quick re-sales such as flipping and wholesaling.

Examples of real estate investments include:

  • Residential Homes
  • Commercial Properties
  • Trust Deeds
Learn More About Real Estate

Promissory Notes / Lending

Promissory notes or lending (also known as private debt) provides self-directed account holders with the ability to loan money from their account. Loans can be made to an individual or a company.

Examples of promissory note investments include:

  • Mortgage Notes
  • Corporate Debt
  • Draw Notes


Learn More About Promissory Notes / Lending

Private Equity / Entities

Private equity (also known as an entity) investments can include purchasing ownership in start-up companies, real estate development companies, private LLCs, private placements, etc. You can purchase ownership of a company as long as it is not publicly traded and the investment follows the rules for ownership by a retirement account, as outlined by the IRS.

Examples of private equity investments include:

  • Private LLCs
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Corporations

Learn More About Private Equity / Entities

Precious Metals

Precious metals are an alternative investment option that can be held within your self-directed account. Equity Trust Company (ETC) custodies certain types of gold, silver and platinum coins and bullion, subject to applicable rules and regulations.

Examples of precious metals investments include:

  • Gold and Silver American Eagle Coins
  • Proof Coins
  • Australian Perth Mint
Learn More About Precious Metals


Cryptocurrency is a digital currency designed to work as a medium of exchange. To do this, it uses cryptography to secure and verify transactions as well as control the creation of new units of a particular currency. Essentially, digital currencies are limited entries in a database that no one can change unless specific conditions are fulfilled.

Examples of cryptocurrency investments include:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ripple
  • Litecoin
Learn More About Cryptocurrency

Trading Accounts and Foreign Currency

Trading accounts can be used to trade traditional investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, foreign currency (Forex), futures, and commodities. Trading accounts can either be self-directed or managed.

Examples of trading account investments include:

  • Stocks
  • Foreign Currency
  • Commodities

Learn More About Trading Accounts and Foreign Currency

Mutual Funds and Stocks

Equity Trust also offers the opportunity to invest in traditional investments such as stocks and mutual funds.  There are multiple ways to invest in traditional assets within your Equity Trust account. You can purchase and sell mutual funds directly within your Equity Trust account or by holding a trading account with a brokerage firm.

Examples of traditional investments include:

  • Stocks
  • Mutual Funds
  • Exchange Traded Funds


Learn More About Mutual Funds and Stocks

Other Investment Possibilities

Popular alternative investments for self-directed IRAs include real estate, promissory notes, private placements, and cryptocurrency. However, there are even more investment types that can be held within your self-directed account.

Examples of additional investment possibilities include:

  • Oil and Gas Wells
  • Livestock
  • Food Trucks
Learn More About Other Investment Possibilities

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