Self Directed IRA Success: Habits of Successful Investors

What do the most successful Self Directed IRA investors have in common?

Well, besides having chosen a generally profitable portfolio of investments within their Self Directed IRA, that is. Self Directed IRA investors are a fairly diverse lot. And successful investors as a whole are even more diverse. But having worked with literally thousands of people over the years, we can drill down to some of the core attributes and habits our more successful clients generally have in common.

  • An amazing work ethic. By and large, the wealthy in this country did not inherit it. Instead, they worked very hard and had the foresight to create successful businesses. In other cases, they delayed consumption early in life and built a habit of investing early – usually in their 20s or 30s. None of the ones we know who have achieved true financial security have done so by being lazy.
  • A healthy respect for risk. Getting wealthy is one thing. Staying wealthy through several economic cycles is quite another. Anyone can get lucky by rolling the dice on a single penny stock, for example. But the people who relied on being lucky to become wealthy in the first place tended not to stay lucky 10 or 15 years later. Those with early success in narrow asset classes who have stayed wealthy and continued to add to their wealth through one or more recessions or market crashes nearly always took steps to diversify their wealth or to protect it from wild market moves as they got older.
  • They take care of themselves. The wealthier-than-average are also healthier-than-average. They tend to eat right, and work out regularly, either by going to a gym or by participating in outdoor activities – anything from yoga, biking, golf, tennis, swimming, hiking, kayaking, walking, jogging, fishing, surfing, sailing – you name it. Most of them get off the couch one way or the other. The wealthy take some time off work to take care of themselves.
  • They Keep a To-Do List. Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits, has found that nearly everyone he interviewed with liquid, investable assets of $3.2 million or more kept a to-do list or task log of some sort, whether digital or on paper. The format doesn’t matter much. What matters is that you use it!
  • They have a high savings rate. Yes, this is to be expected. But how high is high? Among those who have amassed more than $1 million in their 401(k)s, self-directed or otherwise, the average payroll contribution rate as 19 percent. That is, successful 401(k) owners diverted at least 20 percent of their salaries to long-term savings, according to data from mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments.
  • They Return Calls. 86 percent of individuals with $3 million of investable assets return phone calls right away – no matter who called.
  • They Get Help With Finances. Few of the wealthy are fully do-it-yourself investors. They overwhelmingly seek the services of experts when it comes to their finances. Nearly 8 in 10 people with net worth of $1 million or more retain one or more financial professionals to manage their wealth in some capacity, according to the PNC Wealth and Value Survey.

We’re very proud of our client list, and nearly all of them have built their finances upon a firm foundation of effort, discipline and good sense – or are well on their way. Although our offices are in Asheville and Charlotte, North Carolina, we work with successful and soon-to-be successful investors from coast to coast who want to take personal control of the assets in their IRAs, 401(k)s, SIMPLEs, SEPs and other tax-advantaged accounts, using alternative asset classes and strategies and Self Directed IRAs.

Call us today at 828-257-4949 or visit us online at and download or exclusive guides and e-book.

We look forward to working with you.