USA Today: “A self-directed IRA allows you to invest in things other than securities registered with state or federal authorities. For example, you can use the assets in a self-directed IRA to buy a rental property, or even as the down payment for a mortgage on a rental property. There are restrictions, however, on self-dealing: You can’t rent the place to yourself, for example. And you must have a qualified third-party custodian for the IRA. Self-dealing restrictions on investing in small businesses — especially sole proprietorships — are also complex, and you should see a tax lawyer before you put IRA money into a small business. ‘Self-directed IRAs have helped fund thousands of small businesses that otherwise wouldn’t be there, says Tom Anderson, president of the Retirement Industry Trust Association, a trade group.”
Laurie Bachelder, Principal of NUA Advisors, LLC, writes: “Investors tired of watching their retirement accounts ride the Wall St. rollercoaster are searching for other ways to create wealth in their retirement accounts. If you turn to most business or financial publications or websites you will find many articles about investing in real estate with a Self Directed Retirement Account (‘SDRA’). The majority of articles written about investing with a SDRA pertain to real estate as a popular choice for an alternative investment, and why wouldn’t it be. Real estate offers several advantages.”
The Street: “Some Americans are using their Individual Retirement Accounts to invest in cattle, sports teams and restaurants, betting they can make more money than in the stock and bond markets. . . . Popular options include real estate investments and small-business loans.”
San Francisco Chronicle: “With many properties at bargain-basement prices, more people have been turning to their self-directed IRAs as a ready source of capital to make real estate investments. Companies that manage self-directed IRAs say real estate investments by their clients are up as much as 30 percent over the past year. . . . Self-directed IRAs account for just 2 percent of the $4.2 trillion IRA market, but are among its fastest- growing segments. They allow access to a variety of investment vehicles beyond just stocks and bonds. The IRS closely regulates them, and any real estate investments must be handled by IRA custodian firms that hold the property inside the IRA.”
Forbes: “Church bonds. Mexican land. Pay telephones. Swiss annuities. Bus shelters. Gold coins. Paintings. Mortgages. Untraded stock. Bull sperm. Bet you don’t know which five of these ten assets are permissible investments in Individual Retirement Accounts. . . . If you’re interested in unconventional assets, it’s worth boning up on the rules, because most lawyers and IRA custodians have only partial knowledge.”
See the table of custodians that allows self directed IRA investments.
CNBC: “If you recently watched your individual retirement account or 401(k) drop by double digits, you may wonder if there is a better way to sock away money in an uncertain economy. What if you could replace some of your investments with tax-deferred holdings not tied to the troubles on Wall Street? Maybe you’d prefer to invest in cattle in Wyoming, a gas station in Philadelphia or an underwater cemetery in Miami.”