Alternative Investments

Self-Directed IRAs: The Freedom to Invest in Alternatives

When your IRA is managed by an entity of your employer’s choosing, you may be limited to traditional options. When you choose to open a Self-Directed IRA, however, the range of options becomes much broader.

With a Self-Directed IRA, you are afforded the freedom to invest in non-traditional assets. In this guide, we will outline a few of those assets that are restricted with an employer-directed IRA; you can speak with your financial advisor about which of these assets fits best with your retirement savings strategy.


Crowdfunding is a method entrepreneurs and business owners use to raise capital for their ventures. More and more increasingly, these startups are turning to crowdfunding instead of traditional banks or conventional investors.

You can use the funds in your IRA to invest in a crowdfunded venture. Speak with your financial advisor about the “rules” of this – typically, your IRA will be the investor. In other words, it will act as a separate entity to you, and the IRA will own the share, not you.

Again, it’s best to speak with a financial professional to ascertain whether the relative risk of this type of this investment suits your financial needs.

Gold and Precious Metals

If you are looking to diversify your Self-Directed IRA portfolio, you can invest in gold and precious metals. Just keep in mind that the fees associated with your precious metals may be higher than those you will pay for other transactions.

Gold, silver, palladium, and platinum are four precious metals you can easily add to your Self-Directed IRA portfolio with the help of an experienced financial professional. A benefit frequently associated with these metals is that their value goes up when the value of the dollar drops.

As always, do your research before you invest in gold and precious metals, and check with your IRA custodian to determine whether they will allow this type of investment.

Investment Properties

The real estate market is sometimes as volatile as the stock market itself, so investing in property may or may not be a good option for you, depending upon when you choose to purchase. With that having been said, a “seller’s market” may mean it’s a good time to purchase – and flip – property.

As with any other investment, it’s important to remember that you do not own the investment property, your IRA does. Therefore, all repairs and expenses incurred because of ownership must be paid for by your IRA or be included as a contribution to your retirement fund.

Once you flip and sell your investment home, the profits you receive will be deposited into your IRA and will benefit you in your retirement.


Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum is a hot topic in market news. Over the past decade, investors have chosen to take their chances with this digital currency. Cryptocurrency is “money” that is mined via a process called blockchain and is becoming more widely accepted as a form of payment.

The value of cryptocurrency may vary widely from day to day, so this type of investment is one you will have to monitor. However, with the help of a financial advisor or other professional, you may stand to pad your retirement nicely with cryptocurrency. Remember that American IRA as a Self-Directed IRA administration firm does not offer specific investment advice on what to invest in. However, being aware of alternative asset classes as these can help any investor round out their retirement investing skills.

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