Alternative Investments

Options for Alternative Investments for Self-Directed IRAs

In retirement, many people think about IRAs as vehicles for stocks, bonds, stocks and bond funds, and little else. But there are alternative investment options available to investors who want to use Self-Directed IRAs. In fact, with a Self-Directed IRA, an investor has access to alternative investments from precious metals to real estate. However, investing this way will require access to a Self-Directed IRA administration firm who offers these services on the client’s behalf. To make full use of a Self-Directed IRA administration firm like American IRA, let’s explore the alternative investments available.

Which Alternative Investments Work in a Self-Directed IRA?

For starters, it’s often easier to say which investments don’t count in a Self-Directed IRA. That’s because the Self-Directed IRA is full of options for alternative retirement investors who want more than just stocks and bonds. The IRS specifically prohibits alternative investments which aren’t really investments at all—at least not in a retirement sense. For example, collectibles like baseball cards or fine wines might be long-term investments for the people who hold them, but they’re too hard to valuate for the purposes of retirement investing, so they’re prohibited.

On the other hand, there are all sorts of options available for Self-Directed IRA investors, including:

Real estate

  • Real estate has a long tradition of providing stability to a retirement portfolio, even if it’s not within a Self-Directed IRA. That’s because real estate is, by its very nature, a scarce resource. There are only so many real estate investments available, and they’re difficult to develop. That means that they tend to at least hold on to their value over the long term, if not increase significantly in value. And the fact that they can generate an income for investors is one of the key reasons so many people thinking about their long-term retirement prospects think about real estate.

Precious metals

  • Precious metals, including certain types of gold and silver investments, are another great option for investors. That’s because gold and silver aren’t necessarily correlated with what the economy’s doing. In fact, some people may even view these as safe haven assets in times of economic crisis, which can bring a lot of stability and confidence to an investor’s retirement portfolio.

Private notes

  • A private note is a loan that the investor extends, through the IRA, to another party who becomes the borrower. This makes it possible to collect payments with interest into the IRA, assuming that the investors has followed all of the proper steps. Private notes can be correlated with the success of the economy. However, they simultaneously  still provide a level of diversification across asset classes.

Tax liens.

  • A lien is what happens when a local government calls for the debt on a property to be paid—and the government can then turn around and sell that lien to a private investor. This makes the investor capable of collecting payments with interest, or potentially even foreclosing on the property. This provides a lot of flexibility for investors who want more than just stocks and bonds within a retirement account.

Making Full Use of Self-Directed IRAs

With Self-Directed IRAs, investors can access a wider range of investments within a retirement portfolio. But it requires being aware of a Self-Directed IRA administration firm who can offer administrative services on these accounts. American IRA is one such firm, thanks to experience it’s acquired over the years—to reach out, contact American IRA, LLC at 866-7500-IRA (472) for a free consultation.  Download our free guide or visit us online at

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