Self-Directed IRA Basics

Self-Directed IRA Basics — Accounting for a Transfer Between Custodians

While this topic applies to any IRA, we are going to focus on how a Transfer of IRA funds (or property) occurs and how it is reported to the IRS. First, for those of you who still may doubt, an IRA (under IRS regulations) can hold almost any asset, including assets well beyond the scope of stocks, bonds and mutual…read more →

Self-Directed IRAs — Rollover IRAs

Many of us have a vague understanding of what an IRA is, let alone what an IRA Transfer or IRA Rollover is.  But, in the business of moving your funds from one IRA to the next, self-directed or not, you should make sure you understand the differences between the two terms and why it is important to you. If you…read more →

Direct Rollovers — Does a Custodian HAVE to Accept the Funds?!

No, now here’s the funny thing….I am not sure what qualified retirement plan wouldn’t accept the funds in rollover, but they are not legally required to accept a direct rollover. Therefore, you have the legal right to execute a direct rollover but a plan administrator is not legally required to take the direct rollover. Further, a plan can limit the…read more →

What’s Better for the Self-Employed Individual? A SEP or the 401K?

Please note: This post is only to compare the pros and cons of a SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) vs. a 401K plan for a self-employed individual, who is interested in self-directing their retirement assets. Both plans have definite negatives related to having employees in the plans; however, since we are talking about both plans in relationship to a self-employed individual…read more →

IRA Custodians – Why Are They Required in the Self-Directed Process?

I receive many a calls regarding both self-directed IRAs and 401Ks as to how they are established and how one qualifies for either. Typically, and not surprisingly, many individuals are not aware of both the subtle and unsubtle differences between the two. As I have written many posts about the differences between the two (and they are considerable), this post…read more →

IRS Issues Letter Saying ‘Holder’ Can Pay Certain IRA Expenses

Can an outside source (e.g., individual IRA account holder) pay miscellaneous “wrap” fees related to his/her IRA or other type account? Well, first, what are “wrap” fees? It is not meant to be an all-inclusive definition, but such fees can include transaction costs, broker’s fees and commissions, financial planning, investment advice and even discretionary account management activities. Well, good question!…read more →

Prohibited Transactions — What the Heck are they!?

What does IRS Prohibited Transactions have to do with the Holy Trinity of cooking? Well, where the holy trinity is the core to cooking, Prohibited Transactions are the core to qualified retirement plans (e.g., IRAs, 401Ks). You have to make sure you know and do not violate IRS Prohibited Transactions!

What IRAs can be Self-Directed?

Quite simply….any and all! All IRAs can be self-directed.  The key question you need to ask yourself is:  1)  do you want to self-direct your IRA account and, if yes, 2) do you want FULL checkbook control of your IRA assets?  Most people when they realize they can have checkbook control of their retirement assets finds this to be an…read more →

IRA Custodians — Custodians, Custodians, Custodians! (VIDEO)

What is a ROTH IRA?

In a blog post last month, we spoke about what an IRA is. As a refresher, an IRA (as defined by the IRS) is a: “tax advantaged savings plan and that an IRA is a trust that is established in the US for the benefit of the account holder.” Well, a Roth IRA (largely in effect as a result of…read more →