What is a self-directed IRA?

A self-directed IRA is just like any other Individual Retirement Account (and can be a traditional, Roth or SEP IRA), but instead of limiting you to invest in public company stocks, bonds and mutual funds like IRAs held by your broker-dealer or bank, self-directed IRAs are set up to allow you to invest in a broader range of assets, including alternative investments like private company stock, notes, and real estate. The gains from investments properly made in a self-directed IRA are tax-deferred or tax free, just like the gains in any other IRA.

All IRA accounts are required to be held through a trustee or custodian. The trustee/custodian provides custody of the assets (documents and cash), processes all transactions at the direction of the IRA owner, maintains records pertaining to the account and transactions, files required IRS reports, issues client statements, helps clients understand the rules and regulations pertaining to certain prohibited transactions, and performs other administrative duties.

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