Why a Self Directed IRA Needs a Custodian

Brokerage firms can quickly buy and sell assets with just the click of a mouse; custodians for self-directed IRAs must manage manual transactions involving deeds, wires, titles, insurance, rent payments and property taxes that result in significantly different fee structures.

Investors should compare fees and services in order to identify the one which best meets their needs.

Tax-Free Investments

Self-directed IRAs offer tax advantages comparable to those provided by traditional investments, yet have the potential for greater returns from alternative assets like real estate without incurring capital gains taxes upon withdrawal.

However, you should take care to avoid transactions that could void the tax advantages of your IRA, such as buying and selling property to family members in your IRA unless it’s rental property. Violating these rules may incur serious fines from the IRS.

Self-directed IRAs offer more investment choices than real estate alone, including private companies, tax liens and tangible assets. While these investments may provide higher returns but can come with increased risks; as a result, you should always consult a financial or tax advisor before making these choices and find a custodian who specializes in these areas of investments.

Access to Alternative Assets

Self-directed IRAs open up access to an extensive pool of investments, including those considered riskier than stocks and bonds, such as real estate, promissory notes, precious metals and private placement securities. While traditional IRAs cannot accept such investments due to IRS regulations, certain self-directed IRA custodians — typically trust companies who specialize in SDIRAs — accept them but it’s important to shop around and compare fees, services and experience before choosing one.

Verifying information provided on account statements by alternative investment promoters – such as prices and asset values – is another good practice that can ensure they are legitimate, fair with investors, and giving fair value for assets which may be difficult to value. Seek advice from an investment professional or attorney; they can identify red flags such as brand new investments with no track record or claims of unrealistically high returns that should raise red flags.


Self-directed IRA custodians allow investors to diversify their retirement funds with higher return potential by giving access to nontraditional asset classes not available through traditional providers. By diversifying, investors can increase the diversity of their retirement fund while potentially reaping greater returns.

At the same time, it’s essential to keep in mind that an IRA custodian only handles administrative work; therefore, they won’t verify if an investment is legitimate or not, leaving your account vulnerable to fraud while increasing the chances of incurring IRS fees and penalties if an investment violates IRS guidelines.

As such, when searching for an IRA custodian it is advisable to shop around. Make sure the company you select is reputable and provides all of the services required by you. Be mindful of any fees charged by an IRA custodian as these could significantly decrease the returns from long-term investments such as maintenance or recordkeeping fees; furthermore it would be prudent to verify their credentials with regulatory bodies or industry associations.


There is an array of custodians that specialize in self-directed IRAs. Some may boast superior reputations or expertise with certain investment categories than others, so it is wise to shop around before selecting a custodian.

Some alternative investments have limited financial information or may be illiquid (such as real estate). You should also take steps to verify if their processes are secure; hacks of consumer data have become a serious threat.

Stay on top of customer service and servicing times at each company you consider investing with, such as their customer support times and servicing practices. Pay particular attention to how quickly someone is available when needed and their knowledge about your asset type. It’s also crucial that fees and how they’re charged, since hidden charges could eat into retirement funds and savings over time – therefore any custodian should provide clear information regarding transaction costs as well as have an established security protocol to protect customer data.

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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