Self-Directed IRA

What are the Lesser-Known Investment Options with a Self-Directed IRA?

What are the Lesser-Known Investment Options with a Self-Directed IRA?

If you have followed this blog for long enough, then you know investors often pursue Self-Directed IRAs for a range of other investments. That typically includes real estate, precious metals, tax liens, private companies, and more. But what about that phrase “and more”? After all, one of the key characteristics of the Self-Directed IRA is that it lets investors diversify out of the stock market and into a broad range of asset classes. What are those asset classes, and how do investors use them? Let us take a look at some of the basic alternative options that some investors consider.

Why You Can Invest in a Wide Range of Asset Classes with a Self-Directed IRA

Let us get this out of the way: why are so many options available in the first place? The truth is, for many retirement accounts, this was always an option. The IRS, for example, states explicitly what investors cannot put their retirement money in, such as collectibles like art and fine wine. These often line up with difficult-to-track personal items that are not appropriate for a retirement account.

But when you get outside of those limited prohibited asset classes, you begin to realize what else is out there. The combinations are so endless that it can even feel a bit overwhelming for the investor. After all, many investors like a more simplified method of investing in a Self-Directed IRA, such as putting money toward a single asset class that they are familiar with, like real estate. But as you will see below, there are plenty of options that you should consider.

A List of Alternative-Alternative Asset Classes

A quick note: “alternative-alternative” is not an official term. Since many people consider the asset classes like real estate and precious metals as “alternative” retirement asset classes, we thought we would have a little fun and call these lesser-known asset classes “alternative-alternative.” What are they? If you head over to our “Other Investments” section, you will find a wide range of potential investments:

  • Royalty rights, such as purchasing the rights to the royalties earned in music.
  • Foreign stock.
  • Equipment and leases, provided that you don’t use them for your personal use—the same goes for any of the asset classes on this list.
  • Commodities.
  • Rights and warrants.
  • American depository receipts.
  • U.S. treasury bills.
  • Farm real estate.
  • Mutual funds.

That is right: mutual funds. You may be surprised to find that Self-Directed IRAs can come full circle, as you are free to choose what you want to invest in. It may be entirely possible to construct a conservative financial portfolio in mutual funds if you want; a Self-Directed IRA is not inherently risky. Since you are the one calling the shots, you are also the one responsible for choosing your exact risk profile.

And there are some asset classes on this list that belong to other, familiar, asset classes. For example, farm real estate is not a common retirement asset, but real estate is more common. It only goes to show just how many options you have when you consider exploring a Self-Directed IRA on your own terms.

What’s Next?

At American IRA, we like to highlight the possibilities within a Self-Directed IRA. But we cannot do any of it for you. A Self-Directed IRA is exactly like it sounds self-directed, meaning that any and all decisions ultimately come from you. But you can work with a trusted Self-Directed IRA custodian to make sure that your paperwork is in line, which is essential.

Interested in learning more about Self-Directed IRAs?  Contact American IRA, LLC at 866-7500-IRA (472) for a free consultation.  Download our free guides or visit us online at

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