How Do I Find an IRA Custodian?

Finding an IRA custodian that meets IRS regulations and provides exceptional customer service can be a critical element of your investing journey. Compare fees, education resources and customer testimonials before making the right choice for yourself.

Self-directed IRAs allow investors to invest in non-traditional assets like real estate and precious metals that may be difficult to value; as such, it is necessary for you to regularly check account statements to verify information within them.


When selecting an IRA custodian, make sure to compare fees. Some companies charge a flat quarterly fee while others assess fees based on assets or transactions – these fees help establish the overall cost of an account. In addition, seek a company that provides excellent customer service, including timely responses to inquiries and security protocols as well as being capable of accommodating time-sensitive investments.

Custodians may charge other fees as well, such as brokerage or sales commissions, which may or may not be tax deductible. To better understand these fees, it is wise to read a custodian’s fee schedule carefully and discover which assets can be invested in and whether there are additional charges; some IRA custodians charge extra if holding real estate or administering premium annuities are part of their services; the more money saved on fees the greater will be your retirement savings!

Investment options

Selecting an IRA custodian for your self directed real estate investments can be challenging. There are numerous factors to keep in mind when making this selection, including investment options, fees and customer service. Inquire as to their security measures – with hacks leading to significant financial losses it’s crucial that you understand their safeguarding plans for protecting your information and assets.

Custodians for self-directed IRAs allow investors to invest their retirement funds in alternative assets such as real estate, precious metals and commodities, private equity, crypto assets, promissory notes and tax lien certificates. Because these investments often require more expertise, it is crucial that you choose a custodian who specializes in your area of investment. Custodians charge various fees – commissions on trades as well as annual account maintenance fees can differ widely; some charge flat fees while others have variable charges; for optimal results it would be best if there was an annual account maintenance fee structure in place.


Security should always be of top priority when selecting an IRA custodian. Make sure they are an IRS-approved nonbank trust company with secure electronic storage of your assets, have an easy-to-use website and can respond promptly when answering queries or processing transactions. Ask how quickly transactions are processed and whether documentation arrives as promised.

As well as keeping your IRA investments safe, an ideal custodian should possess comprehensive knowledge of government regulations to assist with the avoidance of prohibited transactions. They should also boast an experienced team capable of overseeing alternative non-traditional investments like real estate and private companies.

Lack of industry knowledge is often cited by IRA account holders as one of the main issues with their custodian. Unfortunately, this often leads to costly errors that would otherwise be preventable with more knowledge from the custodian. When looking for one to custody your funds for you, look for responsive customer service and a positive Better Business Bureau rating as these will likely indicate their reliability and professionalism.

Customer service

When selecting an IRA custodian, customer service and support should be an essential consideration. You should be able to reach someone via phone or email with questions promptly answered; plus they must possess knowledge about investment options you select as well as regulations which govern an IRA account.

If you want to invest in higher-risk assets such as real estate, private placement securities or cryptos then a specialist custodian is required. These typically are non-depository trust companies approved by the IRS that permit IRA owners to hold alternative assets.

When researching prospective custodians, make sure they provide transparent fees. IRA custodians may charge account maintenance fees, loads (for mutual funds), commissions on trades or even a flat annual fee – while others offer global coverage.

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