Self Directed IRA/401(k)

Take Control of your retirement investments with a self directed IRA

No longer be at the mercy of your broker who can only recommend you invest your IRA in low yield investments such as stocks, bonds or CDs.  You can now use these funds to invest in a tangible capital asset that you control.

IRS laws allow the use of self directed ira funds to invest in real estate and other alternative investments besides stocks and bonds.  This has become an ever increasingly popular way to invest in real estate.

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Non traditional investments that are suitable for a self directed ira/401K include:

  • Single family and multi-unit homes for resale or long term rental investment
  • Notes and Trust Deeds
  • Make hard money loans
  • Assign contracts
  • Apartment buildings
  • Commercial property

Benefits of using a self directed IRA/401k include:

  • Investment gains are tax deferred or tax free. Investments through a traditional IRA are tax deferred while gains in a self directed Roth IRA are tax free.
  • Leverage-If you don’t have enough funds in your ira to purchase a house, using leverage is permissible. Borrowing money in conjuction with an IRA may subject the IRA to UBIT (unrelated business income tax) so you will want to consult a tax professional before doing this.
  • Complete control-with a checkbook IRA, you have complete control over your investment and have the capability to complete the transaction at your own pace.   There is no delay while you wait for the trustee or custodian sign any documents and no approval of your investment is required.
  • You can manage the property if you choose to do so.

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Checkbook IRA

A checkbook IRA is a combination of a Self Directed IRA owning an LLC (Limited Liability Company) and you being the manager.  We use an LLC because it is a business entity that is a cross between a corporation and a partnership and is the PERFECT investment vehicle for your IRA!  There are no tax returns to file nor any meetings, minutes or resolutions required. The IRA will own 100% of the LLC and this makes it a “flow through” tax entity.  This means the owner, or the IRA, pays the taxes. The LLC itself will not pay any taxes, rather, it’s the owner of the LLC that is liable.   But in this case, the owner is your IRA.  So, if the LLC has earned the profits they pass to the IRA and  there’s no tax until you take an IRA distribution. The LLC does all the investing so you have control over all the investment decision.  You must follow the guidelines in the LLC’s Operating Agreement.  You have very BROAD authority with the exception of buying Life Insurance or Collectibles and dealing with your immediate family.

You no longer need to contact or notify the Custodian of investments because you now have written permission in your hand.  This is why the Check Book IRA has become so popular with real estate investors as well as Tax Lien buyers. You can even buy property offshore or at auction.  Another side benefit is the manager may hold cash or metals as an asset of the LLC.

As manager of the LLC you may open a business LLC checking account locally.  You now may write checks and as manager and make instant investment decisions and sign all documents that may be required.

You simply have MORE immediate control to the IRA funds and as long as there are no “self dealings” it is perfectly legal.  This has been around since 1996 but until recently it was mostly used for real estate investing.

Any gains on the investments of the LLC would incur no tax due until taken as a distribution by the owner. In addition, you may take assets that ARE NOT cash as a distribution if it is accompanied by a fair market valuation. This is so the proper value can be determined so the correct amount of income can be determined.  If this is done then the asset would be taken as a distribution “in kind” and taxes would be owed the following April 15th on the appraised value of the asset distributed.

Benefits of a checkbook IRA


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Getting started is easy and very affordable.  We offer assistance in setting up your self directed IRA.  For a free consultation and referral contact us at
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