What Does My IRA Say About Custodians?

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Custodians must manage and preserve assets held within an IRA, while self-directed IRA custodians also bear responsibility to ensure account holders comply with contribution limits, age requirements, and any applicable IRS regulations. Unfortunately, mistakes do occur.

Why do I need a custodian?

Custodians play an essential role in any self-directed IRA, so it’s crucial that you select one suitable to your needs. For instance, an institution that specializes in traditional investments may not be the optimal custodian when it comes to holding alternative assets such as real estate, precious metals or private debt notes.

Consider how fast your custodian processes transactions. Quicker custodians make taking advantage of investment opportunities as soon as they arise easier.

Final considerations when selecting an IRA custodian involve finding one who can effectively manage the paperwork associated with alternative investments such as real estate or private notes. Selecting an insufficient custodian may lead to delays and higher transaction fees, so it’s wise to choose one with a dedicated team ready to assist you with investments, which ensures an experienced partner understands your individual investing needs – giving you peace of mind that your IRA is being properly administered.

Choosing a custodian

Both depositories and custodians provide asset-holding services; however, there is a distinction in how they handle these assets. Depositories typically hold legal ownership and control over these assets while custodians do not. It is crucial that this distinction be understood during your selection process.

As part of your evaluation of potential custodial options, it is also crucial to assess their service offerings and technology platform from both an advisor’s perspective as well as those of their clients. Flexibility is often key; consider features like user-friendly navigation as well as ability to monitor transactions via mobile phones.

Analysis of each custodian’s fee structure can also prove highly helpful, such as how much each charges per transaction or an annual flat fee. Comparing apples-to-apples helps make an informed decision. Furthermore, consulting a financial professional when selecting a custodian may prove valuable.


Custodial fees can quickly drain away your retirement savings. Look for custodians with clear fee structures so you can see exactly how much is being deducted based on what type of investments or assets are in your account.

Remember, custodians only perform what the IRS requires of them – they do not offer advice or protection against losses.

Custodians often charge fees for various services they offer, such as annual maintenance fees, transaction costs (buy/sell or wire fees) and asset-specific charges. Make sure to research these fees and compare them against those from other custodians before selecting one as your custodian.

Custodial fees alone do not represent all the costs involved with investing in alternative assets such as real estate. Additional expenses associated with investing include fees to process a buy request, notary services fees and wire fees. Some IRA custodians charge “check fees” when paying expenses such as property taxes or HOA dues on behalf of your account.


Custodians play only a limited role when it comes to evaluating investments; thus if you’re investing in something out-of-the-ordinary (such as real estate or debt-financed private equity) it is imperative that they are willing to dedicate sufficient time and attention to ensure your investments are legitimate and their fees and service information is transparent.

Self-directed IRA investors should prioritize finding a custodian that supports alternative assets, including private equity and real estate, as well as understanding any applicable rules when investing. You’ll ideally want a representative with certified knowledge in these investments such as Certified IRA Services Professional.

Thomas Murray and S&P have joined forces to develop a rating system to assess the quality of custodians. It will be publicly accessible, providing a thorough checklist covering areas such as accounting and reporting; trusteeship; index management and management quality evaluations as well as service quality assessments.

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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