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Everything Realtors Need to Know About Self-Directed IRAs

For realtors, there is no doubt about it: the more people are interested in real estate, the better business will be. Yet many realtors do not know that real estate is one of the most popular retirement investments outside of the stock market—especially with those who run their own Self-Directed IRAs. An investor that uses their Self-Directed IRA to purchase real estate still has access to non-recourse loans. And though there are some limits on what an investor can do with real estate using a retirement account, it will only help realtors to know what is possible.

Why It Is Important Realtors Understand Self-Directed IRAs

The concept is simple: there is no reason to ignore one corner of the market where real estate is involved. By using Self-Directed IRAs for real estate investments, retirement investors can put aside wealth in the form of real estate with the tax advantages of any other retirement investment account. That provides additional incentive for any real estate investor looking to build long-term wealth to utilize one of these retirement plans for their own real estate investing purposes.

Self-Directed IRAs also allow individual investors to partner up and make real estate investments that way, there are plenty of options available to those who choose to self-direct. Realtors who know clients who self-direct may be able to bring more opportunities their way, especially when it comes to “investment” real estate that otherwise has difficulty finding enough potential buyers.

Alternative Funding Strategies with Self-Directed IRAs

Realtors who recognize an opportunity when they see it can offer alternative funding ideas to their clients. For example, because a Self-Directed IRA is expected to act as a separate entity from the individual, it is possible for an individual to partner up with themselves to muster the funds necessary—provided that the real estate investment itself still adheres to the rules of Self-Directed IRAs. For example, investors cannot live in the real estate in which they are investing with a Self-Directed IRA, whereas personal real estate purchases can also double as residences. Still, this funding advantage can offer a realtor a tremendous amount of flexibility in fully exploring the market for a given piece of real estate investment property.

Limitations of Self-Directed IRAs and Real Estate

Although it is important to be mindful of these tremendous advantages for investors—even as a realtor—it also pays to know the potential limitations. For example, you would not want to bring the idea of buying a personal home to anyone investing in real estate with a Self-Directed IRA—unless the idea was to go through the usual means, and not through the investment vehicle itself. Self-Directed IRAs can only be used on real estate if those investments are kept separate, as the accounts themselves are considered separate entities.

The good news? It is advantageous for any realtor to know that there are plenty of options—including non-recourse loans—for those who invest with a Self-Directed Real Estate IRA. Knowing these options can grant realtors access to a larger market than they ever thought possible.

Interested in learning more about Self-Directed IRAs?  Contact American IRA, LLC at 866-7500-IRA (472) for a free consultation.  Or visit us online at www.AmericanIRA.com.

Best Flipping Markets for a Self-Directed IRA

If you are a property flipper, you already know some areas are better for Self-Directed IRA returns than others. Flipping is the practice of buying real estate, making improvements to unlock value in the property that may have been hidden to the previous owners and to other buyers.

It works well in rising markets, of course, but it is at its heart a market neutral strategy that can provide good results even in flat and falling real estate markets. The reason: Skilled flippers can add value through improvements faster than a falling market can suck value away.

A new survey from the National Association of Realtors lists the top ten markets for real estate flippers. And several of them are right here in the southeast, near many of our Self-Directed IRA clients in or near the Carolinas. And many of these metro markets are at reasonable entry prices. Do not have $758,800 to buy the median-priced home in Los Angeles? Head north to Fresno, or scout out properties in Nashville, New Orleans or Lubbock.

Here are the top 10 most profitable flipping markets this year, according to Realtor.com.   If you use a Self-Directed Roth IRA potential profits as stated below by Realtor.com would be tax free forever.

1.)  Nashville, Tennessee

Median home list price: $367,900
Ratio of flips to all home sales: 4.1%
Average flip profit: $87,200

2.)  Fresno, California

Median home list price: $311,700
Ratio of flips to all home sales: 3.5%
Average flip profit: $53,200

3.)  Palm Bay, Florida

Median home list price: $267,600
Ratio of flips to all home sales: 3.3%
Average flip profit: $71,500

4.)  North Port, Florida

Median home list price: $350,000
Ratio of flips to all home sales: 3.3%
Average flip profit: $85,300

5.)  Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Median home list price: $237,800
Ratio of flips to all home sales: 3.2%
Average flip profit: $70,000

6.)  Chattanooga, Tennessee

Median home list price: $257,500
Ratio of flips to all home sales: 3.1%
Average flip profit: $65,800

7.)  Los Angeles, California

Median home list price: $758,800
Ratio of flips to all home sales: 3%
Average flip profit: $169,400

8.)  Lubbock, Texas

Median home list price: $240,000
Ratio of flips to all home sales: 2.7%
Average flip profit: $46,000

9.)  Medford, Oregon

Median home list price: $410,000
Ratio of flips to all home sales: 2.7%
Average flip profit: $51,200

10.) New Orleans, Louisiana

Median home list price: $280,100
Ratio of flips to all home sales: 2.6%
Average flip profit: $93,400

The best thing: When you flip a property within a Self-Directed IRA, you do not have to pay immediate taxes on the profits. As long as the money remains in the account, you can execute an unlimited number of flips each year, and there will be no taxes due, except potentially unrelated debt-financed income tax on the gains or income attributable to money you borrowed to purchase or improve the property.

Interested in learning more about Self-Directed IRAs?  Contact American IRA, LLC at 866-7500-IRA (472) for a free consultation.  Or visit us online at www.AmericanIRA.com.

Incorporating Self-Directed IRAs and Self-Directed 401(K)s into Your Retirement Strategy

Throw around phrases like IRAs and 401(K)s and people will start to feel their eyes glaze over. Add on a hyphenated word — Self-Directed IRAs and Self-Directed 401(K)s—and you will get the same reaction. Yet that simple compound word can mean a major difference for those who are planning on retiring in abundance and security. It only makes sense for those who are currently weighing their retirement options to know what they are getting into.

What are Self-Directed IRAs and Self-Directed 401(K)s and how do they differ from regular IRAs and 401(k) plans? Let’s have a look at the key differences, the key limitations, and whether or not these plans might be right for your particular retirement strategy.

Self-Directed IRAs and Self-Directed 401(K)s: A Brief Overview

The concept of Self-Direction is relatively simple: rather than outsourcing the work of investing and management to a financial advisor, you make your own choices. A Self-Directed IRA, for example, is nothing more than an IRA that you control. It will have the same overall contribution limits and characteristics that any other IRA otherwise would. The same is true of the Self-Directed 401(K).

But that control does make for a great deal of difference in how the retirement plan will be administrated. For many investors, their first involvement with a 401(k) is through an employee-sponsored plan. They then have limited options according to this plan and make do with the options available to them. In the concept of self-direction, it is possible to utilize a large variety of investment options even through a 401(k) plan—provided that the correct administrative framework has been established. This is true for both Self-Directed IRAs and Self-Directed 401(K)s.

Gaining More Control Over Your Retirement Investments

Why bother with Self-Direction? It allows you more control to make the investments you deem appropriate. For example, while your options may be limited in employee-sponsored plans, Self-Directed IRAs and Self-Directed 401(K)s allow you to invest in a wide degree of asset classes, including:

  • Real estate
  • Precious metals
  • Private lending/notes
  • Private companies
  • Tax liens and deeds
  • Joint ventures and partnerships

Although there are still some limitations—you will be expected not to invest in fine art as part of a Self-Directed IRA, for example—these options afford even the average investor with plenty of leeway for diversifying the assets in their portfolio beyond the usual medley of stocks and bonds.

How to Utilize Self-Directed IRAs and Self-Directed 401(K)s

If you are looking at an employee-sponsored plan and wonder how you can start to take control over your finances—or if you do not have a retirement plan in place at all—the idea of Self-Directed IRAs and Self-Directed 401(K)s can be quite intimidating. You are not sure which account type or investment type is right for you, and you do not know the next steps. We at American IRA, however, have created a few different pages that should guide you through what to expect:

  • Our overview of Self-Directed Accounts will steer you through the various account types – Self Directed Solo 401(k), Self-Directed SEP IRA, etc.—to get a better sense of which one might match your particular situation. It is important to do plenty of research and read up on the individual account types to get a sense of which is best for you.
  • Pay particular attention to the Self-Directed Solo 401(K) site to see if you are eligible for this type of account. A Self-Directed Solo 401(K) comes with high contribution limits, which is highly advantageous for anyone with excess money to stow away for retirement.
  • You might start by reading up on the Self-Directed IRA, or Self-Directed Traditional IRA. Even if you do not plan on opening up this particular type of account, you will find that this is a great way to get started reading up on your various retirement accounts and how they can fit into your retirement strategy.

Want more information on how a Self-Directed IRA might be administrated? Call us at American IRA at 866-7500-IRA or visit www.AmericanIRA.com.  If you would like to schedule a training session for your staff please call 828-257-4949.

Investing in Tax Liens with Self-Directed IRAs

Most of you who are reading this article are probably already familiar with Self-Directed IRAs. These marvelous vehicles for retirement savings have been around for several decades and have become a staple in the retirement portfolios of millions of Americans. But there is a good chance you have not heard of using tax liens with Self-Directed IRAs.

In fact, you might not know much about Self-Directed IRAs and may be wondering why you should even be interested in them. Well, they are not drastically different from the Traditional IRA, but they can be more powerful and comprehensive: more powerful because you have added control over your investments and more comprehensive because you have a wider range of investment options from which to choose.

Case in point: tax liens. Most IRA custodians limit your investment choices to mutual funds, individual stocks and bonds, and certificates of deposit (CDs). Investing in tax liens would not be allowed. With a Self-Directed IRA, however, alternative investments like gold, real estate, private stock, and tax liens are available to provide additional diversification for your retirement portfolio. Let’s take a closer look at tax liens for Self-Directed IRAs.

What is a tax lien?

Because local governments count on tax revenues to fund services, they may file a lien against the assets (typically real estate) of any individual who has fallen behind in tax payments. Then, instead of waiting until an unknown future date to collect the funds, the government agency will sell the lien at a public auction.  The returns can be very appealing.  For example, South Carolina offers a 12% return and Texas offers up to a 50% return.

Investors can bid on these liens at auction and, if they are successful, can earn a good return on a secure investment. The government agency raises immediate revenues, and the investor receives the legal right to accept tax payment, plus interest, from the delinquent property owner. The interest rate is determined during the bidding.  Click here to download our free guide about investing in tax liens.

What is the process of purchasing a tax lien?

States and counties often host websites that contain a list of available properties that include pictures and other pertinent information. Investors are responsible for evaluating the value of the tax lien and also the asset that supports its value. Investors place their bids in the auction and either write a check for the transaction or make arrangements with the auctioneer to pay from their Self-Directed IRA account.

Certain auctions may require buyers to fund their transactions faster than a self-directed account custodian can review and approve the transaction. The solution for this is to fund an escrow account in advance, which involves filing for a trust EIN and opening the account using the EIN instead of a social security number.

By now it should be evident that unless you are an experienced tax lien investor, you should be seeking the help of a professional. Tax liens are one of those alternative investments that make sense in a Self-Directed IRA, so it should also make sense to ensure that the process of obtaining them goes as smoothly as possible.

Once you have purchased the tax liens, you become the lienholder and wait for the delinquent taxpayer to pay the taxes. If the taxpayer fails to pay, at some point you will legally be allowed to enforce collection through foreclosure. Some laws govern the foreclosure process so, once again, it is crucial that you have professional assistance.

What are the benefits to the investor?  

In most cases, the investor is paid back all of the property taxes plus any interest that has accumulated. Sometimes, however, the property owner does not pay the taxes and the lienholder can sell the property at the best price available in the real estate market.

Tax liens with Self-Directed IRAs take the first position in most states, which makes them a secure investment, and the higher-than-normal interest rates that are paid on the liens make them preferable to CDs and treasury bonds.

Whether an investor ends up collecting interest on the debt or receives equity through foreclosure, the portfolio diversification that comes from investing in tax liens has to be considered as one of the prime benefits to a Self-Directed IRA.

We can help you get started

At American IRA, we have the tax lien professionals you need. With our simplified process, you can easily take care of your tax lien investing and tax sales transactions.

For more information on Tax Liens with Self-Directed IRAs, call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472) or visit us at www.AmericanIRA.com.  You can also click here for more information about tax liens.

Self-Directed Real Estate IRA Update – Criminal Background Checks and the Law

If you are a Self-Directed Real Estate IRA investor, it is not just tax laws governing retirement accounts you must worry about. There is a whole set of landlord-tenant laws you need to be aware of as well – and they can vary by jurisdiction.

For example, most Real Estate IRA investors have taken for granted that they will be able to run criminal background checks on applicants and screen out people with criminal histories. After all, these tenants pose a potential risk to neighbors, roommates and even potentially to the landlord.

That is not universally the case. For example, the city of Seattle made it illegal last year for property owners to decline to rent to applicants because of a criminal history. They made it a crime for landlords to even run a criminal background check.

The law, which the City Council passed unanimously last August, prohibits landlords from refusing to lease housing to individuals on the basis of their criminal history, except where the tenant is on a sexual offenders’ registry for a conviction received as an adult, and the landlord is able to provide a legitimate business reason for the discrimination.

The law also prohibits landlords from even asking about prior criminal records or creating blanket policies against renting to those with criminal histories or instructing their property managers and agents to turn down their applications. Advertisements with discriminatory language are also prohibited. Fines range from $10,000 for a first offense up to $55,000 for repeat offenders

This month, a group of small landlords affiliated with the Rental Housing Association of Washington is filing suit against the City of Seattle, arguing that the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance is unconstitutional. The RHA represents the interests of Real Estate IRA investors and those who own rental real estate directly, outside of retirement accounts. The Pacific Legal Foundation is providing legal representation.

The argument is that the ordinance is a violation of landlord free speech and due process rights. The Association also claims that the City Council.

The City states that they believe the ordinance in question is not unconstitutional and will defend it in court.

Until the Association prevails in the suit, the ban on discriminating against convicted criminals remains in force.

It is not just a Seattle issue: In 2016, the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development began sending warning shots against landlords: ““A policy or practice that denies housing to anyone with a prior arrest or any kind of criminal conviction cannot be justified,” wrote HUD general counsel Helen Kanovsky for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The current HUD Administration seems to be friendlier to landlords, small businesses and investors.

It is a good idea for Self-Directed IRA investors to stay in close touch with an experienced landlord-tenant law attorney licensed in all states in which you own rental properties. Do not get blindsided by a law or ordinance you did not know about. Understand the law at the federal, state and municipal levels. And maintain adequate landlord insurance to protect you against problems.

For more information on Self-Directed IRAs, call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472). Or visit us at www.AmericanIRA.com and download our guide to Real Estate IRA investing.

Americans Need to Save More. Here is How Self-Directed IRAs can Help.

Millions of Americans need to do more to prepare for a secure retirement. Those are the results of the newly-released 2018 Planning and Progress Study from Northwestern Mutual. Nearly 8 out of 10 Americans are concerned about their own retirement security, and more than two thirds are concerned about outliving their retirement savings.  Self-Directed IRAs may be the key to securing a nice retirement.

Key Findings:

  • One out of five Americans have no retirement savings whatsoever.
  • 33 percent of Baby Boomers – now nearing or entering their retirement age, have $25,000 or less in retirement savings.
  • Three out of four Americans believe it is only “somewhat likely” or “not at all likely” that Social Security will be there for them in retirement.
  • Almost half of all Americans have not taken any steps to help ensure they will outlive their retirement assets.

More Americans expect to be working longer into their traditional retirement years. Nearly 4 in 10 (38 percent) expect to be working at least to age 70 – well past the traditional retirement ages of 60 to 65 years. Only 33 percent expect to be able to retire during that traditional age range.

Additionally, fully 55 percent of respondents – more than half – expect they will need to work past age 65, with nearly three quarters of them reporting insufficient savings as the primary driver of the decision to keep working. Other contributing factors include the expectation that Social Security will not be around for them in its present form, and concerns over increasing health care and long-term care costs.

You can read more about the study and its methodology here.

What To Do About It

The gap between retirement income needs and the capacity of individuals’ assets to generate retirement income is substantial. Experts recommend increasing savings and investment. Here are some of the things you can do to help maximize the chances of having a secure, successful retirement:

1.)  Start saving early. The sooner you begin saving in earnest, the more compounding can work in your favor, and the less investment risk you will need to take to meet your retirement income needs.

2.)  Maximize tax-advantaged saving and investing opportunities. Save as much as you can in Self-Directed IRAs, Self-Directed Solo 401(K)s, Thrift Savings Plans and other tax-favored account types. If you have self-employment income or own a business, start a retirement plan of your own, and contribute as much as you can.

3.)  Start a Self-Directed IRA. These increasingly popular Self-Directed IRAs are designed to enable investors to expose themselves to a wider variety of asset classes not readily available from traditional investment companies, which focus on stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities. Self-Directed IRAs enable you to take direct ownership of hand-selected real estate, gold and precious metals, tax liens and certificates, private placements, venture capital and other assets not normally available from retail brokerages and investment companies.

4.)  Own real estate. Real estate offers a powerful combination of current income, increasing income potential, capital appreciation, leverage and downside risk protection. We recommend owning at least some real estate within a Self-Directed Real Estate IRA, which allows for both income and capital appreciation on a tax-deferred basis, or in the case of Self-Directed Roth IRA accounts, tax-free.

5.)  Reduce the fees you pay. The average actively-managed mutual fund can sap your portfolio of 20 percent or more of its value over a lifetime, thanks to high mutual fund expense ratios and other hidden transactions. Consider migrating some of your assets to index funds and pull assets from accounts with expensive “wrap” fees and assets-under-management fees to firms that charge a much more reasonable flat rate for services rendered. For example, if you are a long-term, buy-and-hold investor, it makes little sense to subsidize other investors’ trading by paying a high expense ratio, which can eat away at your retirement nest egg like termites.

This can cost thousands of dollars per year in a good-sized investment portfolio. A flat rate, menu-based fee schedule may cost a small fraction of the fees and expenses you’re currently paying to a traditional broker or investment company.

6.)  Start taking positive steps today. For example, open a Self-Directed IRA or Real Estate IRA with American IRA, LLC. American IRA is one of America’s leading providers of administrative services for Self-Directed IRAs of all stripes. Once your account is open and funded, it is very easy to purchase assets – including entire houses and apartment buildings – for your retirement portfolio.

To get started, call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472) or visit us on the Web at www.AmericanIRA.com.

The Advantages and Regulations for Self-Directed Gold IRAs

There are many benefits to Self-Directed IRAs, the chief of which is allowing you to invest in many ways. One excellent example of this is the Self-Directed Gold IRA. Although certain other precious metals can be used in this type of Self-Directed IRA, gold is by far the most common.

Perhaps you have heard the old saying “good as gold” when referring to something that is both secure and valuable. When it comes to investing, that old saying can certainly be true. In times of uncertainty, gold has always been the ultimate safe harbor.

Your investment can be held in either gold company stock or exchange traded funds that track a gold index as well as physical gold. Holding the actual metal provides the ultimate amount of control, eliminating any risk of the fund getting into trouble.

 

Advantages of Self-Directed Gold IRAs

There are a number of advantages to using Self-Directed Gold IRAs. The most important is the security that comes with gold, perhaps the planet’s oldest store of value. Like all investments, gold prices will fluctuate, but having a portion of your assets invested in gold is perhaps the safest bet. Gold prices frequently move in the opposite direction of paper assets, meaning if much of your portfolio falls in value, it will provide a cushion against those losses. Since the financial crisis of 2008 and the resulting Great RecessionSelf-Directed Gold IRAs have become much more popular. Self-Directed Gold IRAs also provide an insurance policy against inflation.

 

The Regulations Governing Self-Directed Gold IRAs

Self-Directed Gold IRAs can are subject to the same regulations as other types of Self-Directed IRAs with some additional rules specific to gold or other precious metals. Some of these regulations involve the trustee requirements, types of metal permitted and storage plans.

 

Trustee Requirements for Self-Directed Gold IRAs

Just like all other Self-Directed IRAs, in order to comply with IRS requirements, a Self-Directed Gold IRA must be held by a U.S. trustee. Therefore, legally speaking, precious metals in a Self-Directed IRA are in the custody of the trustee or custodian, not the IRA owner. According to the IRS, “A trustee or custodian must be a bank, a federally insured credit union, a savings and loan association, or an entity approved by the IRS to act as trustee or custodian.”

 

Types of Gold Which Can be Used for Self-Directed Gold IRAs

If you choose to hold gold in physical form, it may be either in bullion or coins, and there are specific requirements for each. These regulations are set by everyone’s favorite organization, the Internal Revenue Service. Gold held as bullion must meet certain requirement standards. It must be a fineness level of .9950% and come from a COMEX or NYMEX approved refiner. Certain types of gold coins are also permissible. Only the certain coins are allowed, which excludes a number of “collectable” coins. The permitted coins include:

 

Types of Storage Plans for Self-Directed Gold IRAs

There are two types of permitted storage plans for gold which is held in the Self-Directed IRA. They are known as either national storage plans or local storage plans.

When using a national storage plan the gold is sent directly to an approved national depository. When using this method, the national facility is responsible for security, but you never see your gold because it is sent directly to the facility and not your trustee.

When using a local storage plan, your gold is sent to the manager of the Self-Directed IRA and you choose where to store it, provided the site meets certain requirements.

 

Costs Involved When Using Self-Directed Gold IRAs

Owning gold in a Self-Directed Gold IRA does come with some special expenses, in addition to those associated with all other types of Self-Directed IRAs. Some of these charges that an investor will have to pay include the seller’s fee, custodian fee and storage fees. The seller’s fee (or markup) can vary depending on what type of gold you purchase, such as bullion or coins. The custodian fees are an annual expense which may be higher for Self-Directed IRAs than other types of accounts. There are also the annual storage fees which are charged by the storage facility where your gold is kept.

 

Required Distributions from Self-Directed Gold IRAs

Just as with Traditional IRAs, an investor must start to take required minimum distributions, or RMDs, once they turn 70½. Account holders are required to remove a portion of assets from their Self-Directed IRAs each year as a distribution, so the government can begin collecting taxes on your savings. If you have multiple Traditional IRAs you can “aggregate” your distributions from different accounts, possibly allowing you to keep more in the Self-Directed Gold IRA provided you remove a sufficient amount in total.

When you begin making distributions from your Self-Directed Gold IRA, you can sell some of the gold and withdraw the money as cash. You can also take a “distribution in-kind” and receive the physical gold itself and be taxed accordingly.

For more information on Self-Directed IRAs or Self-Directed Gold IRAs, call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472) or visit us at www.AmericanIRA.com.

Be a Better Self-Directed IRA Investor: Be Aware of Cognitive Biases and Emotional Traps

Are you as ‘squared away’ for retirement as you hope you are? Maybe not.  The Center for Retirement Security at Boston College has launched a new tool to help taxpayers determine whether they are on track for retirement – and to help Americans identify and address common psychological and behavioral traps that can short-circuit your retirement decision-making.  We recommend it for all Self-Directed IRA investors and conventional investors alike.

Curious Behaviors That Can Ruin Your Retirement is an interactive program on behavioral impediments to retirement planning. A host leads users through a series of exercises designed to create an “Aha!” moment as they relate to the behaviors. The host then explains how the behavior can hinder retirement planning and, coaches users through strategies that can help minimize the effects of these subconscious biases and help them develop a more rational decision-making process.

Users can then go to a “Learn More” page, which presents more information in multiple media formats. It is a terrific tool for all ages.

The tool is a fun and lighthearted look at a serious issue: Millions of Americans fall victim to irrational thought processes, emotionalism, wishful thinking, denial and a series of other misconceptions and cognitive weaknesses that cost real money.

A recent research report from Deloitte lists the following behavioral biases that can impact your ability to manage your Self-Directed IRAs:

  • Inertia: When you are used to doing things a certain way, the tendency is to take no action.
  • Present bias: The tendency to prioritize current wants over long-term needs
  • Passive decision making: The tendency to follow the path of least resistance, or to choose from the most obvious, readily-apparent options rather than investigate possible options more deeply.
  • Anchoring: The tendency to base decisions on a set value that may be irrelevant.
  • Partitioning: A tendency to make commitments piecemeal when you would be better served by bolder action. For example, the tendency to “dollar cost average” into a rising market when you may be better off investing a larger lump sum.
  • Peer pressure: Irrationally allowing other equally irrational actors to influence your decision-making.
  • Overconfidence: Excessive belief in your own abilities.
  • Effort aversion: The tendency to embrace the easy wrong option over the difficult right one.
  • Loss aversion: Allowing the fear of possible loss to prevent you from taking reasonable risks in the prospect of greater gains.
  • Endowment effect: The tendency to avoid giving up what one already has, even when a clearly better option is available.

As a group, Self-Directed IRA investors tend to be a rational bunch. Many of our clients are veteran investors and business people who have achieved significant success over the years. But all of us are human, and none of us are immune to any of these cognitive biases.

But forewarned is forearmed: Being aware of these biases and emotional traps can help you prevent falling victim to them. And that is going to make you a better Self-Directed IRA investor.

For more information about Self-Directed IRA investing, or to get started on your Self-Directed IRA investing journey, call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472). Or visit us at www.AmericanIRA.com.

We look forward to serving you.

Self-Directed IRA Administrators vs. Custodians

More and more people are coming to understand the power behind Self-Directed IRA strategies.  Further, they are embracing the wisdom of diverse and unconventional asset classes while liberating their retirement portfolios from the narrow outlooks frequently characterizing the big Wall Street investment firms.

As such, with that knowledge comes the increased openings of Self-Directed IRA accounts.  Many of these new investors are not yet clear on the role of custodians and third-party administrators in the Self-Directed IRA industry – and the important distinctions between the two.

Let’s take a closer look.

IRA rules prohibit investors from taking personal, direct possession of assets within their Self-Directed IRAs. Yes, you can own the house down the block within your Self-Directed IRA, but you cannot personally reside there. What is more, you cannot keep the gold coins your IRA owns in a safe in your living room.  To use a more traditional example, it is no different than not being able to personally hold your stock certificates residing in a Schwab IRA account.

Custodians hold your Self-Directed IRA assets on your behalf.  Administrators process the paperwork on behalf of the custodian.  American IRA is an administrator and New Vision Trust Company, a South Dakota chartered Trust Company, holds the assets.  New Vision Trust Company and American IRA, LLC are an integrated financial company providing both custodial and administrative oversight for your Self-Directed IRA transactions.

A custodian handles transactions and holds Self-Directed IRAs and other retirement assets on your IRA’s behalf. The IRS has stringent requirements for Self-Directed IRA custodians. These businesses are subject to regular inspections and audits by federal regulators. They can hold titles, cash, investments and other types of property on investors’ IRAs’ behalf, and handle a lot of transactions.

If you own gold or other precious metals, or physical assets within an Self-Directed IRA, chances are there will be a custodian in the mix, holding the gold or other assets in a secure, insured facility somewhere – or at least physically holding certificates.

An IRA third party administrator, such as American IRA, LLC, has a more tapered scope of engagement. Administrators are the account record-keepers responsible for generating statements and documents. We do not hold assets directly, but work with New Vision Trust Company, a South Dakota chartered Trust Company on your behalf.  New Vision Trust Company and American IRA, LLC are an integrated financial company providing custodial and administrative oversight for your IRA transactions.  We simplify the process, document your transactions, generate statements and 1099s, and work with your advisors to help you stay in compliance with IRS rules and regulations.

We do not advise on the suitability or non-suitability of any particular investment for your individual portfolio. That is up to you and your own financial advisors. We focus on quickly and accurately executing and recording the transaction on your behalf, in accordance with IRS regulations.

Moving down the Self-Directed IRA industry hierarchy, there are other professionals and salespeople known in the industry as “promoters” and “facilitators.”

These individuals do not handle transactions and do not hold assets on your behalf, but they support the Self-Directed IRA process in other ways.

One type of promoter might be a real estate agent who focuses on helping investors find properties for their Real Estate IRAs, and who becomes very knowledgeable in that niche. Others are financial advisors, RIAs, IARs, accountants and attorneys who also promote the Self-Directed IRA approach and help facilitate your Self-Directed IRA strategy.

For example, an attorney may help create entities within your Self-Directed IRA such as C corporations and LLCs which may help insulate other properties and IRA assets against the claims of creditors.

Every Self-Directed IRA investor needs a custodian or administrator affiliated with one or more custodians to create and maintain a functional Self-Directed IRA account. Few are totally go-it-alone beyond that. Most investors require a knowledgeable and experienced, multi-disciplinary team of professionals to get the most out of their self-directed retirement accounts.

Fortunately, getting started in Self-Directed IRA investing is very easy, and our team of professionals at American IRA, LLC is available to help you throughout the process.

To learn more about our services as one of the leading Self-Directed IRA administrators in the country, or to set up an account and get started investing, call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472), or visit us at www.AmericanIRA.com.

You can also read more on this subject at our blog, here.

Do not delay! Give us a call today! We look forward to working with you!

Events

Webinar – Moving From High Income to High Net Worth Using the ‘Holy Grail of Real Estate’ to Achieve Financial Independence

Sean McKay, Senior VP of American IRA and guest speaker Christopher Larsen, Investor Relations of Cannell Capital Partners will be hosting this webinar:  Moving From High Income to High Net Worth Using the ‘Holy Grail of Real Estate’ to Achieve Financial Independence.

During this no-obligation information seminar, we will discuss:

• Financial Freedom

• Why Multifamily

• Multifamily Investing Strategy

 

To register click here.