What Assets Can You Buy With a Self-Directed IRA?

What assets can you buy with a selfdirected IRA

Self-directed IRAs allow investors to diversify their holdings with assets like real estate, private companies and funds, precious metals and cryptocurrency – however there are some key rules you should keep in mind.

Investing in alternative assets with your IRA can help diversify your portfolio and capitalize on any industry expertise that might exist within. But some assets, like real estate and precious metals, come with greater risk.

Real Estate

Self-directed IRAs (SD-IRAs) allow investors to diversify their portfolio with alternative investments like real estate, precious metals, private equity funds, notes, tax lien certificates and deeds for tax lien certificate investment and more – potentially providing greater diversification, lower fees and potential higher returns than traditional investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

Nontraditional assets may be purchased on a specialized exchange that works with SDIRA custodians, offering investors more choices and increasing investment choices; however, this may come with additional risks and costs; for example if your SD-IRA purchases property that’s difficult to value each year you must provide your IRA custodian with an estimate of its fair market valuation.

If you opt for self-directed IRA investments in private company stocks, be certain that the company provides audited financials before investing. Some fraudulent investors have used fake custodians in an attempt to steal IRA assets.


Self-directed IRAs allow investors to invest in nontraditional assets like real estate and precious metals without incurring extra risk, though this requires greater diligence than more traditional investments.

Self-directed retirement accounts must file annual reports to the IRS and their custodian must provide current valuations of investments held. Publicly traded stocks and bonds can easily be valued on stock markets; however, alternative investments like real estate or tax liens may require further research in order to ascertain fair market values (FMVs).

Some IRA custodians charge account-related fees, while others may assess fees depending on the asset type. Before choosing an investment custodian, be sure to understand all associated charges before signing any contracts or agreements.


Self-directed IRAs enable investors to diversify their portfolio with alternative assets, including real estate. You can buy property with your SDIRA as long as it adheres to IRS rules; funds from your IRA must be used exclusively to purchase it and it may not be owned by any disqualified individual or any transaction with disqualified parties must also be avoided to prevent conflicts of interest, with rental income remaining within your IRA and rentals from the property being reported in real time to the IRS.

Your SDIRA allows you to invest in various real estate investments, including residential and commercial real estate properties, apartment complexes, land and mineral rights and fix-and-flips. You may also purchase precious metals that meet purity standards; startup equity (via crowdfunding platforms); tax liens on foreclosed properties as well as deeds of transfer.

Precious Metals

IRAs can hold various alternative assets, including precious metals. Such diversification provides important protection from inflation and economic turmoil.

However, such investments can be risky and require extensive research before investing. They also tend to incur high fees from both the alternative assets themselves as well as from their respective custodians.

Importantly, it’s vital that IRA holders abide by their rules and avoid engaging in any prohibited transactions, such as using real estate held within your IRA for personal gain. Also important is annual evaluation of the value of assets within an IRA (this can range from simple estimates or complex calculations with third-party assessments required by the IRS).


Self-directed IRAs offer similar tax perks as traditional and Roth IRAs and give you greater control over what kinds of investments can be made. However, with increased power comes increased responsibility – you must ensure all investments comply with IRS rules and regulations.

Are You an Real Estate Expert and Enjoy the Excite of New Projects? Your SDIRA allows you to purchase domestic or foreign real estate that can provide a good return and provide stability in your retirement portfolio.

Alternative assets may be difficult to value and difficult to liquidate, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As a result, SEC advises taking steps to independently verify information provided in account statements about alternative investments (such as prices or asset values) provided for those investments – perhaps through hiring a third-party professional market expert for valuation services.

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