Building Your Self-Directed IRA Team

Say what you will about Deflategate and Tom Brady. Bill Belichick, the current coach of the New England Patriots, may well turn out to be the greatest coach in NFL history. He’s got four Super Bowl rings and as of this writing 211 wins, 109 losses and a .659 winning percentage. Since joining the Patriots 15 years ago his winning percentage is an astounding .729 – a streak nearly unheard of in any team sport. Only Guy Chamberlin (.759), John Madden (.750) and the legendary Vince Lombardi (.738) can top Belichick’s winning percentage since joining the Patriots. And Belichick did it over fifteen seasons; none of the others were in the head coaching job in the NFL for over ten.

Why were these coaches so successful?

They didn’t do it themselves. These coaches all excelled in just a few areas: Identifying great talent, building great teams, and making sound and timely decisions, based on long study and analysis of the game.

The great Self-Directed IRA investors didn’t do it alone, either. Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts and one of the most successful living investors himself, actually built and led a company of expert analysts and venture capitalists – Bain Capital. Love him or hate him, he’s got a Self-Directed IRA worth millions – and he built a fantastically successful team at Bain Capital. His teambuilding and organizational skills were also good enough to save the Olympics, win a governor’s race and a tough GOP primary election in 2012 (though not good enough to overcome Obama’s formidable turnout efforts that year).

Warren Buffett doesn’t quite build ‘teams,’ but he’s an ace at identifying stars and letting them run with the football within their own ‘circles of competence.’ He also knows himself and his own strengths and weaknesses well enough to know to work with someone like Charlie Munger, “The Abominable ‘No’ Man,” who acts as an valuable foil to Buffett and a reality check on his occasionally rosy analyses.

So who should you have on your Self-Directed IRA team?

Well, that depends on your own strengths and weaknesses. But here are some starting points:

  • You need an investment advisor. Now, you could be an expert investor yourself. But every one of us needs an outside look now and then. All human beings are vulnerable to confirmation bias: The tendency to see what we want to see, and to believe what we want to be true. Having an investment advisor on your team who understands your goals, strategy and priorities, but doesn’t always see things precisely the way you do, may act as a reality check on your own investment flights of fancy. Warren Buffett may be the greatest investor who ever lived, but he needs Charlie Munger to be at his best over the long haul.

2.) You need an attorney. The best ones aren’t the potential worrywarts trying to talk you out of things. The best ones are the ones who can listen to your goals and plans, identify the legal risks and uncertainties, and help you develop approaches to mitigate them. That is, the best ones help you do what you want to do (as long as it’s not illegal!), rather than getting in the way.

  • You need a tax advisor. Few great investors are also great at tax planning. And if you are a great investor, you’ve probably got better uses of your time than worrying about tax planning. That takes a special kind of neurosis that few investors have. Furthermore, when you have a professional, licensed CPA or enrolled agent handle your tax returns for you, and guide you through the tax consequences of your financial decisions, you have a valuable advantage besides knowledge: You have someone with his or her own errors and omissions and liability insurance signing your tax return for you. And you have an independent look at your own tax returns to help prevent you from doing anything illegal or stupid. Well, illegal anyway.
  • You need a ball handler. That is, you need someone who can execute the plays and strategies you and your tax advisor, attorney and investment advisor (your offensive, defensive and special teams coordinators) conceive. When you have a play in mind, you want to be able to hand the ball to that key player you know can throw the ball to the right hands, on time, consistently, and despite all kinds of pressure on the field. That’s where American IRA, LLC comes in. We’re an experienced, expert administrator with a specialty in Self-Directed IRA strategies. If you are interested in directing any IRA money to nontraditional assets, including real estate, gold, precious metals, LLCs, partnerships, closely-held businesses, private equity, venture capital, house flipping, farming, ranching, tax liens and certificates or any other asset class you can imagine, you should call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472), or visit our extensive online information library at

With self-directed retirement investing, you’re the coach. You call the shots. However, we look forward to being on your team.

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