How to Spot a Great Self-Directed IRA Fee Structure

Self-Directed IRA Custodian Fee Comparison

When you invest in your retirement portfolio through a Self-Directed IRA, you’re most often thinking about the kinds of returns you can get over the long haul. You want to maximize your investment, diversify your portfolio, and put money in the alternative asset classes afforded to you by a Self-Directed IRA. But there’s one final step in researching a Self-Directed IRA Custodian that you need to consider before you make a decision: how their fees work.

Self-Directed IRA Custodian fees can take a big bite out of your investments, or a small one—depending on the Self-Directed IRA Custodian you select. But how do you know until you run a comparison of how different types of fees work? Let’s explore how American IRA’s fees work when compared with a Self-Directed IRA Custodian that has variable fees.

A Self-Directed IRA Custodian Fee Comparison

We like to compare “American IRA” with the “other guys” when we run a Self-Directed IRA Custodian fee comparison.

What does this mean exactly? It means that we pit American IRA’s style of charging fees against other custodians who might charge more variable-rate fees. In other words, we believe that our stable, flat-rate fees are much better for our clients, because it gives clients the opportunity to grow an account without having to grow the fees they pay in that account. Here’s how it works.

  • When you choose American IRA as your Self-Directed IRA administrator, you’ll notice that we don’t work on a “sliding scale” of fees. Instead, we offer one low, set, annual administration fee that you can count on year in and year out. This means that even as the value of your assets in the account might go up, the size of your administration fees will remain stable. In other words, you can shrink the relative size of your administration fees against your overall account size.
  • For the “other guys,” you might notice that they base the fees on the number of assets you own, or the value of your account. This means that over the life of your Self-Directed IRA, your IRA annual fees will continue to go up, year over year as your account grows.

If you stick with one style of investing and grow your Self-Directed IRA, the choice is obvious: you’ll want stable annual fees that don’t go up as you add more value to the account. This means that you can keep more of your own assets’ value for your retirement account.

Why Do Companies Charge Fees This Way?

We can’t answer for the other accounts. But we can tell you how we approach it. As your Self-Directed IRA administration firm, we believe in offering great administration on an account for a reasonable fee. We don’t believe in eating into your growth. In other words, we provide a fair service, and we expect a fair payment in return for that service. It’s really that simple.

Remember: a Self-Directed IRA administration firm doesn’t make investment recommendations, so there’s no real incentive to earn you more money. The incentive should be to do what a Self-Directed IRA administration firm does best: administrate the account with the utmost integrity and know-how. With a Self-Directed IRA, the money you make in the account should be up to you, your financial advisers, and your decisions. We believe the administrator’s role is in administering the account to the best of our ability, plain and simple.

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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