Can I Be the Custodian of My Own IRA?

Custodians are third-party entities who hold and administer IRA assets. These providers must meet IRS regulations as well as any state requirements they operate within.

Selecting the ideal custodian can be a difficult process, whether you are an experienced investor or new to investing. There are various aspects to take into account before selecting your custodian.

Self-Directed IRAs

Self-directed IRAs (SDIRAs) provide many advantages, from tax advantages and investment growth opportunities, to investing in alternative assets with potential diversity and resilience benefits. An experienced financial professional can assist with navigating through all the risks and rewards involved with an SDIRA and helping make an informed decision for your retirement plans.

Custodians for an IRA account may include banks, trust companies and other approved institutions by the IRS. You should do your own due diligence on prospective custodians to determine their legitimacy and trustworthiness.

Custodians charge fees for processing transactions and overseeing accounts. It’s essential to verify statements such as prices or asset values of illiquid investments that may be difficult to value; an independent valuation from an outside party or market expert might provide this verification service.


Custodians of retirement accounts can include banks, credit unions, financial institutions or trust companies. According to IRS requirements for all IRAs, an appointed trustee or custodian must keep records of transactions, issue statements to account owners and assist with compliance issues such as avoiding prohibited transactions.

Self-directed IRA custodians differ from traditional custodians in that they do not provide investment advice or act as fiduciaries, yet still allow greater control and flexibility for investing non-traditional assets such as real estate, cryptocurrency, private equity, startups promissory notes or promissory notes.

To select an ideal self-directed IRA custodian, it is important to search for one with low fees – these may include annual account maintenance fees, loads for mutual funds and commissions on trades. In addition, ensure they offer a variety of investment options – such as stocks and mutual funds – plus check the IRS website list of approved nonbank custodians.


Every IRA, including self-directed IRAs, must entrust their assets/investments with an approved custodian who acts in this capacity on its behalf. Common examples are banks, credit unions, savings and loan associations and trust companies who have been authorized by the IRS as custodians.

Custodians are subject to state and federal banking laws and must follow specific policies and procedures designed to keep your account secure. Furthermore, they must report any unlawful transactions. Custodians do not offer advice; instead they facilitate non-prohibited transactions based on your exclusive direction as an IRA owner.

Custodians should provide a straightforward fee schedule. Some charge an annual flat fee, while others vary their charges according to your investments and your goals. By asking pertinent questions you’ll find one that best meets your needs and can preserve and grow your retirement accounts safely; plus they are subject to quarterly state banking department reviews/audits that serve as motivation to do their jobs well.


Your choice of custodian can make all the difference in your self-directed IRA investment strategy. The ideal custodian should offer a selection of alternative investments at reasonable fees with excellent customer service, an online platform to monitor investments, perform transactions easily and timely responses when questions are posed – plus accurate information that provides reliable answers.

As you search for a custodian, be sure to ask about their experience handling alternative assets such as real estate, precious metals and cryptocurrencies. As part of their purchasing and administration services as well as tax reporting.

Search for an IRS-regulated custodian with a solid reputation within the industry, compare fees between custodians, and make your choice carefully considering security – hacks of consumer data aren’t rare and don’t want their IRA exposed!

Raymond Banks Administrator
Raymond Banks is a published author in the commodity world. He has written extensively about gold and silver investments, and his work has been featured in some of the most respected financial journals in the industry. Raymond\\\'s expertise in the commodities market is highly sought-after, and he regularly delivers presentations on behalf of various investment firms. He is also a regular guest on financial news programmes, where he offers his expert insights into the latest commodity trends.

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