Security. Given the proliferation of digital data and online investing, it’s more of a concern than ever. And given the readiness levels of most people—for example, Forbes notes that 43% of cyber-attacks are after small businesses, but only 14% “are prepared to defend themselves”–it should be a concern. That’s especially true for Self-Directed IRA investors. Not only do Self-Directed IRA investors typically hold their largest assets in retirement accounts, but they might not realize what steps they need to take to secure these accounts and ensure honesty and security at every level.
We at American IRA take careful, preplanned steps to ensure security within a Self-Directed IRA. But we don’t always talk about why we do them. With that in mind, let’s zoom in on what makes a “secure” Self-Directed IRA, and what you should expect from a Self-Directed IRA administration firm that takes its role seriously.
American IRA’s Self-Directed IRA Security Policies
While you can find out more at the security section of our IRA fundamentals site, we’ll briefly summarize them for you here:
- A signed Buy Direction Letter. We will never move funds out of your account without a signed Buy Direction Letter from you. This helps avoid any scams that claim to be on your side, or on your behalf, without you knowing. Only with direct authorization from you will we move funds out of the account in question.
- Reading and approving Wire and ACH instructions. Wire and ACH transfers are often the prime goals of security hackers. They want to withdraw money out of an account on a fraudulent basis. That’s why we don’t allow any wire and ACH instructions—at least not implementing them—until you’ve signed them as read and approved. In other words, the buck stops with you.
- Signature verification. We have a closing coordinator who will review all funding requests to ensure that you’ve signed every document in the appropriate places. Think of this closing coordinator’s job as a safeguard that you don’t even have to think about. They’ll simply present you with what needs to be done if anything is missing.
- Encrypted emails. Even with the best-laid plans set to paper, it doesn’t mean much if a hacker can access your emails. We use encrypted emails at American IRA to ensure the highest possible standards of security with vital information. Encryption adds an additional layer of security that makes it more difficult to crack through the safeguards in place.
- Senior management approval. We make sure that only senior management has authority to give final approval for moving funds. This helps create another buffer, ensuring that ACHs, checks, and wires are all valid and properly approved by the appropriate parties.
If it sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry—we handle it on our end. We believe in redundancy—checking and double-checking to ensure that authorizations are valid and that any funds moving are a result of your express, written wishes.
Cybersecurity in the Self-Directed IRA Era
It’s not only about double-checking our work. That’s why we encrypt data like emails to ensure that you have everything you need to communicate honestly and securely with us. We know that your retirement funds can be the most important assets you hold. And we take the appropriate steps to ensure they’re in the proper care of trusted, dedicated professionals.