Warren Baker’s post on the WealthCounsel blog states: “Let’s assume for a moment that your client’s goal is to invest into a piece of residential rental real estate. Your client can either: (1) request that the new custodian purchase the property directly on behalf of the IRA; or (2) direct the custodian to first invest the IRA into a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) that is thereafter 100% owned by the IRA and purchase the property using the LL (note: your client will act as the Manager of this LLC). The latter option gives your client the flexibility to purchase the property using a check from the LLC’s checking account, which depending on the custodian’s ability to move quickly, will be quicker than option number one.”
Ned Coyle, Commercial RE Investment Specialist, writes: “Have you considered investing in a commercial real estate property only to back-off because you didn’t want the management hassles? OK, fair enough. Did you then invest those funds in the stock market, perhaps a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) because it was the easy thing to do? No one has to tell you the direction your stock portfolio has taken, right? It probably has about the same value today as it did in 2002. Where would your net worth be today if you had taken a portion of those funds and invested it in real estate? We are not talking a REIT stock here but a purchase, in a fee simple manner, of a commercial office, retail or light industrial distribution property.”
Wall St. Journal: “Is there a Ponzi scheme lurking in your IRA? That may sound like a bizarre question. But in recent years, a number of well-off professionals and their families have been ensnared in frauds that prey on individual retirement accounts, according to securities lawyers and firms that manage these accounts. The vehicle typically targeted by such schemes is a self-directed IRA . . . .”
The Street: “Some Americans are using their Individual Retirement Accounts to invest in cattle, sports teams and restaurants, betting they can make more money than in the stock and bond markets. . . . Popular options include real estate investments and small-business loans.”
Forbes: “Church bonds. Mexican land. Pay telephones. Swiss annuities. Bus shelters. Gold coins. Paintings. Mortgages. Untraded stock. Bull sperm. Bet you don’t know which five of these ten assets are permissible investments in Individual Retirement Accounts. . . . If you’re interested in unconventional assets, it’s worth boning up on the rules, because most lawyers and IRA custodians have only partial knowledge.”
See the table of custodians that allows self directed IRA investments.
CNBC: “If you recently watched your individual retirement account or 401(k) drop by double digits, you may wonder if there is a better way to sock away money in an uncertain economy. What if you could replace some of your investments with tax-deferred holdings not tied to the troubles on Wall Street? Maybe you’d prefer to invest in cattle in Wyoming, a gas station in Philadelphia or an underwater cemetery in Miami.”